I totally agree. On the first day of class, I let the students know what my
"signal for attention" is. In my case, I say, "May I have your attention,
please." Then I teach them what they need to do when I say that (otherwise,
how will they know what I mean by the statement?)-"Stop" (means to stop
whatever they are doing--immediately), "Look" (means to look at
me--immediately-and to continue to look at me) and "Listen" (to me). They
need to do these things immediately --and continue to do them until I
release them (i.e., I will tell them they can return to work.) I demonstrate
what it looks like--and doesn't look like--and have them practice. It takes
some time to do this--and I continue to have them practice quite a few times
the first few days of class--but it really works. So often we expect
certain behaviors from our students--but we never really explain what the
behavior we want looks like--we just assume that they know, then we get get
upset when they don't follow through.
> Why do we resort to torture to get attention? Why do we use anything the
> students hate or Pavlovian dog kind of response?
> Is it not more productive and efficient to establish a routine and
> procedure that calls for student acceptance and responsibility for
> expected behavior?
> Establish a common agreement between yourself and the students as to how
> order will be established before you blow them out or off or whatever it
> is you do with the whistle. If I heard your whistle I'd act out instead
> of comply. Responding to discipline is just as connected to learning
> styles as learning is. If some of the dogs don't "heel"" then maybe you
> need to consider some alternatives.
> Yes, a whistle is used on the game playing field to indicate a foul or
> time out. It's an expected anticipation and part of the game. But in the
> classroom -- well I find it offensive.
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