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flutetoot flutetoot is offline
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Need to be less relaxed
Old 02-10-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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Hello

I am a first year teacher and teach 7th & 8th grade Language Arts in a very small public school. The school is considered “rural” and does not have any behavioral problems. My question is this: I have been told by my P that I am too relaxed a teacher. She used to teach my subject area, and she would not allow talking or any type of exchanges during the class time. My teaching style is more relaxed – I encourage students to have discussions on reading and voice their opinions, as long as they do not get out of hand. I also do not have a problem with students talking quietly to each other while working on assignments, as long as it does not disrupt others and it is not a test or independent writing prompt. I guess my P and I have two different teaching styles, and she wants me to incorporate her style. I am not an “authoritative” person, and have not found any reason as to why I need to be more “strict”. However, I guess to keep my job, I need to be. The problem is that it is now February, and the kids have become used to this classroom style – how do I go about changing it?
I have had no behavior problems and the classes I teach are almost model classes.

Oh, as an aside – I am “older” (40) and have kids of my won around this same age – I tend to kid around with my students and will often talk to them about various things that come up, often triggered by something we read.

Thanks for any help!


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Pull a Matilda
Old 02-11-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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I have the same issue except it is not just the P in my school who expects the silent classroom. Many of the teachers think that I have no classroom management because I want my students to actively participate. This has caused me a lot of grief because rumors travel at light speed in this place.

I have let my students know (third grade) what the difference between my expectations and other teachers expectations are. They know that in front of other teachers that they have to act differently because what is ok with me is not ok with them. I have kinda pulled a guilt trip on them at times, and it isn't perfect, but it has really helped. I think of it like in Matilda when the P comes and the kids dash to put away all the art work.

This might not be the best way to go about this issue, but I cannot spend all day pretending to be someone I am not. I am not a "Sit in your desk and read silently" type of teacher. I would burn out if I couldn't teach with all of my heart and personality. I believe that when we are ourselves that our teaching is more effective. I am not saying my way is the best, but the other way doesn't work for my style.
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Ms. Iggy Ms. Iggy is offline
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Stylistic differences
Old 02-17-2011, 12:40 PM
 
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The funny thing is that in my school district they expect students to share, discuss, talk....if they walk in on a classroom where the students are all silent and the teacher is doing all the talking, they give the teacher grief for having a class which is too teacher directed! Could you do some research to back up your teaching style?

As you're teaching middle schoolers, you could consider inviting them into helping you whenever the principal walks into your room by getting quiet and looking the way the principal expects them to look. You could have a code word that you say to get them quiet...practice with them, it could be a game...what you need is to get a good evaluation or two so you get tenure!
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