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Kishkumen Kishkumen is offline
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 124
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 124
Full Member
Practicing procedure is supposed to work, right?
Old 04-23-2019, 05:52 PM
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I was told to practice procedures, practice procedures, practice procedures. So when a 5th grade class refused to line up without running and shouting, I had them sit down and do it again. and again. and again. Then their teacher picked them up, and I picked up the mess they had hidden (they simply stuffed the trash into the pencil cups, and kicked the mess from one table to another until every table had lined up.

So this week, I had the students line up, sit down, line up, sit down. The point is to "show that you really mean it" as everyone tells me. So after doing that twice, I let most of the tables stay seated and free draw while three noisy tables lined up again, and again, and again. Oh, they had a fabulous time! they got to run in the classroom, make funny walks, chat with their friends in line, mouth off to their teacher, yell, refuse to line up entirely, and throw things (one student chucked her backpack clean across the room when I insisted she had to leave it on the front of the room like everyone else). It took about a dozen times, with whole tables and individual students. The more we practiced, the worse it got. It lasted about twenty minutes of my forty minute class, until I had to devote all my attention to the backpack-chucker (who has been written up for defiance half a dozen times this year). The rest of the students at those tables got to sit and practice being quiet for the remainder of the class.

According to everyone, I'm supposed to practice procedures "until they get it right". What happens when this backfires and I end up with the aforementioned power struggle? Do I give up and let them "win"? Or do I keep practicing for the rest of the class and make the students enjoy the defiance?

This class has been like this all year, and no matter how much I try Harry Wong or Fred Jones, nothing works.

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