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Lesson Plans

Kevin's response to Bunki

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Karen Hurt (khurt)
Wed, 11 Feb 1998 16:07:26 -0500 (EST)

Kevin, I am responding because you do sound top-lofty -- probably without
meaning to. I think most of us who teach are doing so out of love and
enthusiasm for our subject, and it hurts us to see someone not fully engaged
-- no matter if the digression is willful disruption or simply tuning out
quietly. Most of us are also aware that Classroom Management encompasses
more than dealing with behavior problems.

You wrote:
> I am certainly aware of the "real life" (I suppose that refers to
teaching college as somehow not teaching) and since this seems relevant to
you: I spent seven years teaching k-12 (1989-96)).

Do you compare K - 12 with college? I certainly hope that you don't have
the same kinds of classroom management problems we're dealing with at
various ages in public schools. My experience has been that the two are as
different as night and day. Something about wanting to be where you are, as
opposed to having to be where you are.

You wrote >Using "book work " as punishment sends the wrong message, period.
But it can effectively be used to diffuse a situation -- students who are
pulled to an observation mode rather than a participation mode, can not help
but spend some of it in reflection on their behavior -- especially when
doing something rather rote.

You wrote >Using artwork as examples of sites of contention and artists who
use their
>dissatisfaction as impetus for their work can be useful to redirect
>inappropriate behavior.

Yes, but that's a whole different topic than what you might be covering in
class that day and that time.

You wrote >We must problematize our own compicity in any model of education that
>rewards control not learning, and understand the myriad of reasons why
>students would be disruptive in classroom social relationships. Teachers
>should always take active responsibility for raising serious questions
>about classroom management, legitimate forms of control, unequal power
>relations and how certain systems of reward and punishment reproduce
>behaviors antithetical to democratic learning.

Yes, but we do that outside of regular class time -- Whether in committee,
self-reflection, or in an individual dialogue with the disruptive student or
students. It helps to be consistant with the patterns within a school
building or district, and there has to be quite a lot of collegial research
and dialogue before that starts to feel like it belongs to all the owners of
the school -- not just the administrators.

Just my two cents on a big issue.

Karen Hurt

Grafton Library
Mary Baldwin College
Staunton, Virginia

Voice: 540.887.7317
FAX: 540.887.7297