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Very well said! I appreciate your input. Thanks for putting the problem of
classroom management into perspective. It should merely be a challenge for
creative teachers. Unfortunately, I suspect even you would have to admit
it is much easier to say or write than it is to actually carry out on a day
to day basis. Thanks for the refreshing point of view.
At 2:32 PM 2/10/98, ed29970 wrote:
>I may be covering old ground here so forgive me if it is. I get the
>impression from reading some of the "Classroom Management" postings that
>some folks are seeing misbehavior as a problem instead of a challenge.
>We are more than aware that there are no absolute solutions to the choices
>made by misbehaving kids. In that light, as teachers, our job is not to
>solve problems but to rise to the challenge. These kids, (no matter the
>age, grade, academic ability, economic standing, character, etc.), they
>are magic. They are wonder. And despite the headaches they may cause and
>the choices they might make, they are worthy of all the love and attention
>we can give. In the midst of distractions and other unwanted behavior, we
>can forget this.
>No one wants to deal with a problem but how can we ignore a challenge to
>work some magic of our own. We are, after all, probably some of the most
>creative folks around. Our responsibility then, as I see it, is two-fold.
>First, we should be building strong relationships with our students.
>Never in my years of working with kids has this failed me. I have had to
>deal with my share of misbehavior, but it is minimal compared to what I
>might have dealt with if those relationships hadn't been there. Second,
>we should be directing the energy of misbehavior into something worth
>while. We, the royalty of divergent thinking, should develop an enormous
>"bag of tricks" to deal with these "challenges."
>The things we want as teachers don't always jive with what the kids want.
>I would argue that if we seek to understand what they want and find
>creative ways to accomodate or delay those wants, while at the same time
>working to get what we want, in the end, things will work out for the
>"But I have other kids to deal with and there's so little time." What
>other excuses can we come up with? It doesn't matter because our
>responsibilities don't change. Effective classroom management is a hard
>earned skill. Kudos to those of you who continue to evaluate and look for
>more effective ways to deal with misbehavior. Apart from some extreme
>cases, we are (should be) very equiped to handle things with a firm voice
>and loving heart.
>To each of you who struggles with misbehaving kids, keep things in
>perspective. Build relationships so you can encourage kids instead of
>control them. Relax and rise to the challenge with the interests of the
>kids at heart. It will benefit teacher and child alike.
>Sound too Utopian? It may be. But since our jobs involve more than
>giving kids information, it seems to me that attitude and perspective
>count as much as anything when we want to create success for and in our