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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I Took It Back
It's crazy around here right now. If I usually read your blog and leave comments, I'm not ignoring you now. I'm just really far behind. It seems like we haven't had a spare minute lately.

Jim and I have a running joke about whatever the latest catchphrase seems to be. Aaron Sorkin shows are usually a good source for the latest. One of the ones we use is I'm taking it back. That actually comes from a Kevin Smith movie, but I digress.

One of my favorite classes to teach is my Business Foundations class. It's an intro to business class for freshmen and sophomores. I like it because it's usually a small class of students who plan on taking more business classes. We do a lot of projects and group work, and it's usually pretty fun. This trimester has been different. My class is about 50% larger than usual. The increased numbers, unfortunately, are students who don't want to be there. They've been put in the class because it's an elective,and they need a class.

Yesterday, I left school very frustrated. I even had a nightmare about this class last night. I have adjusted the curriculum to remove lessons that were fun, but would be easily disrupted by the uncooperative students. Last night, I planned a different class for today. One they would not have enjoyed, but would have shown them what the class would become if they didn't straighten up.

This morning I woke up with a different kind of anger. I was angry with myself for allowing the disruptive few ruin the class for the many. I went to school with a new attitude. I had a meeting with an assistant principal about one student and with a counselor about another, then I drew my line in the sand.

When class began this afternoon, I told them I had an announcement to make. I told them I was tired of punishing the entire class because of the actions of a couple of students. I said they were all old enough to know appropriate classroom behavior. There would be no more warnings, no requests to get back to work or to quiet down. If they act in an inappropriate way, including speaking or acting disrespectfully to me or another student, then they would receive a referral to the office. No warnings, no second chances, no excuses.

Today, they listened, got into their groups, and worked like good students. I'm not naive enough to think I've converted them in one class, but I think I made my point. It's in my hands to follow through or mess this up. I've got the blank stack of referrals ready to go, if necessary. Let's hope it's not.

It's my classroom, and I'm taking it back.

Now back to your regularly scheduled holiday mayhem...


Blogger bbmomof2boys said...

Good for you!!! Stick to your guns.


Blogger Melissa said...

-take it back!!!
Now teach my sons teacher how to do that....

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you! You're right. You're the boss.

And as far as the Christmas madness goes, I'm seeing it everywhere I go. I don't know what's going on this year. Everyone seems to be struggling.

Honestly, I'm looking forward to Valentine's Day! That's a holiday I think I can get a grip on. LOL

Blogger Kate said...

I wish for you an unnaturally retentive group of students who are able to remember how to behave like higher-order mammals longer than a day or two... Good luck!

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