Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Teacher 2 Teacher: tips from some other Teacher blogs I've recently read....

The first teacher to teacher tip I'd like to share comes from "MzSmlph" who is teaching in a school someplace in the south. Her great tip is one that takes so little effort, but can make such a difference. MzSmlph writes: "Now here's the key to Band-Aids in the classroom. New teachers, if you're reading this, take note. Instead of handing the student the unopened Band-Aid and allowing him to apply it himself, I find that opening a Band-Aid and lovingly applying it to even the most trivial of wounds can make a world of difference to a student.."
Her blog can be read at http://www.mzsmlph.com Polski3 suggests you check it out.

Our second tip deals with the ever present issue for teachers of classroom discipline, behavior expectations and how do we deal with them. On April 19, Coach Brown, a Senior Econ and Government teacher in Ukiah, CA., models this bit of classroom management for us as he writes:

"The problem of the day was 1st period Intro. Three boys sit together and are basically, well, teenage boys. Today, I asked them a number of times during instructions to relax and calm down. They kept playing grab ass (not literally, a term), making faces and finally, throwing a paper airplane. My response was simple.
"Last warning, knock it off or your moving."

"What?? What did we do, huh?? It's not like we are doing anything."

That is my signal that these boys are looking for an argument. Most students will pipe down because they realize that my final warning means "It is over". So I decided to act.

"Out the door, now. Wait for me outside." I said it very calmly. I wasn't mad (as I might have been a year ago). It was business, not personal. They trudged outside, muttering that I was overreacting and was being unfair. I then continued with the instructions and lesson. I left them out there.......for 25 minutes. I checked every 5 minutes through my window to make sure they didn't bolt. They didn't. When I was down with my lesson (and with 5 minutes left in class), I went outside and announced to them.
"From now on you will do exactly as I tell you. You are in my classroom and you will follow my rules. Failure to do so will result in your removal from my classroom, loss of points, and a possible problem for your graduation (my class is required). I will answer none of your questions."
The really smart-assed one asked, "Isn't this a democracy?".
And the conversation ended. They came into the room, got the assignment from peers, and then left with the bell. They were not happy and shouted it in the hall on their way out. Later at lunch, one of their girlfriends came up to me and said, "There are students that hate you because you are so mean." It really didn't phase me as much as it might have last year. Why? Because this summer I had at least 12-15 past students that I ran into tell me that they appreciated my class and that they actually learned something. It was hard, but it was more like college than most of high school. So it didn't bother me that students were pissed that I wouldn't take Middle School crap. I bothered me that I had to be a Middle School teacher for a period, but sometimes you have to do that."

Editors Note: As Coach Brown said, "ITS BUSINESS, NOT PERSONAL". There is much truth to this. Polski3 suggests you check out Coach Brown's blog at

Thanks for Reading my Blog.....well, the Teacher to Teacher Tips I put up on my blog anyhow. Go read those blogs! As always, I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS !