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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 07 2012

Abnormal Weeks and a Question for CM’s

Why this past week was abnormal…

1.) I only had 3 days of school this week. 1 day off for Good Friday, then I took an unexpected personal day on Tuesday. Note: my personal day was not at all because I felt like I needed  a break from my kids. And honestly, it was so much worse than just going to school. It was like re-experiencing Sunday all over again just 2 days later.

2.) 4 of my kids got suspended this week. 2 fights broke out during lunch. While they were breaking up a fight between the boys, a fight between the girls happened. This has not happened since September.

3.) I got 2 new kids on Wednesday. I now have 31.

and

4.) One of the new kids is J. Do you remember her? Go back in my blog and read about her. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that excited for her to come back. Because of her defiance and attitude.

 

Here’s my question. Every morning since the beginning of the year (or in this case, since January since that is when I have had these kids) the instructions coming into my room at the beginning of the day has stayed the same. You come in SILENTLY, put your bag away, sit down and get started on the “Do Now.” Everyday this is a struggle for 5-7 students. They come in, start talking, then get mad real quick when they are redirected. I’m pretty sure they blow up talking because they have to sit down in the gym for like 30 minutes silently every day when they enter. HOWEVER, within about 5 minutes everyone is quiet and working. It is now April. I’m getting really annoyed that some of them are coming in still not doing what is asked. I’ve started keeping documentation because it’s becoming chronic. Even though in my mind I can’t fathom writing a kid up over this.

BUT MY QUESTION TO YOU IS….

Should I watch this next week to see if I let my kids talk the first few minutes and then they all still remain to get on task and then make a personal decision to let it keep happening?

OR

Do I continue re-directing students and come up with some kind of consequence system as of Monday for this problem specifically that way they do not start thinking they can get away with stuff?

What do you think?

 

P.S. – Haven’t been counting down how many days of school are left. However, there are only FIVE school days until MAP State Testing begins. Yikes.

 

4 Responses

  1. meghank

    I’d say let them talk, if they’re on task. As a first year teacher, I couldn’t stand any talking (mostly because they were often saying mean things about each other). But in my second year, I don’t mind it at all (except in the hallway, because my principal has a thing about silent hallways) and nothing bad has happened. They do their work.

  2. parus

    If the rule exists for good reason, then there should be consequences for breaking it. If it is unnecessary, then you should change the rule.

    I have had a few classes who needed to be on total lockdown if they were going to accomplish anything, but that has been outside the norm for me. For most of my groups it would be more than enough to just give them limited time to complete their bellwork, thus they have to get to work right away and not goof off.

    I don’t have a rule against talking, I have a rule against disrupting people’s learning. That covers the kinds of talking that are actually a problem.

  3. els

    I think I only have one class right now that can come in and get to work silently on their bellwork.

  4. T

    If you figure out a good solution, let me know! This is one of my biggest struggles!

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