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aSubForNow aSubForNow is offline
 
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aSubForNow
 
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Buddy Teacher
Old 06-04-2008, 07:17 AM
 
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I don't have my own classroom yet, but I have an interview next Wed. June 11. Nobody around here uses Responsive Classroom approach, so I'm going to have to figure out how to get someone on board with me as a buddy teacher. Do you have a specific student go retrieve the buddy teacher for you? Do they have a signal/prompt of what to say to the teacher? I just want to get a feel for how to use the buddy teacher idea.

Addie J, have you gone to any of the RC workshops? I went to a week long institute last summer. I've been following/seeing many of your posts and have been getting inspriratioj from you and a better picture of how to run things. It's been great.


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buddy teachers
Old 06-04-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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aSubForNow - I'm glad my posts have been helpful! I love RC! I totally agree with the philosophy.
I've been to RC 1 and RC 2 training - two summers in a row when our school first implemented RC. I really enjoyed the training & all our teachers were able to go so we could discuss details together before school started.

For a buddy classroom, since all our teachers use RC, it came easily for us to set up. If your buddy teacher (same grade level; right next door if possible) isn't familiar with RC, I would sit with them and ask if they would be willing to help you implement your behavior system. You could give a quick overview of the steps you're going to teach to the children and then say that when students get to a certain point (after they've shown they can not be a part of our classroom community) they need to go to a buddy classroom for a short timeout. You would need your buddy teacher to set up a desk (my buddy puts her desk closer to the door so my student can quietly come in and sit down without much interuption) where your students can come & take a time out. The less interuption to classroom learning, the better (the children in the buddy room need to be taught to ignore the incoming student.) It also helps to discuss what happens if the child is disruptive in the buddy classroom (immediately sent back to homeroom & a phone call is made home to parents.) Your buddy teacher really just needs to have a place for your student to sit and then sends them back to you after a short time. It shouldn't take away any teaching time from the buddy teacher. When my buddy sends me a student, I usually just need to point to the desk and they put their heads down.

btw - I saw the other post about answers for interviews and I think that's a great question to think about. I wanted to think about it (in case I ever need to interview at a new school!)
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I dealt with this
Old 06-05-2008, 09:02 AM
 
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when I was student teaching. My cooperating teacher was the only one in the school that used the Responsive Classroom approach. Her way to go about buddy teacher was having the classroom teacher next to her (and the next closest, just in case) understand her method and have a place for her students if they did need buddy teacher. We had a sign that another student would take along with the kid in need of the buddy teacher down to that classroom. So a helper would take the buddy teacher student down. This seemed to work just fine. The only part was that the accountability was lost because the buddy teacher never talked to our students. I always had to go and get them when I had time. One time I left a student until the end of the day!

Now I am in an all RC school and I love it! Everyone is on board and all teachers hold all students accountable. It's great..

Good luck on your interview!
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Interesting...
Old 06-05-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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Amberini's post brings up another question or two. AddieJ, how do you get your students back? Do they come back on their own when they are ready or does the buddy teacher send them back? Is the buddy teacher supposed to talk to the student?

In my RC training, my instructor (she taught K) always had the buddy teacher come and get the student. Or, maybe that was only when the student refused to go to the buddy teacher's room. She said to avoid your students having a fear or breaking any sot of sense of communy the buddy teacher should come and get the student. She had some sort of signal to send with a reliable student to her classroom, but I can't remember what it was...maybe a particular piece of colored paper.

So, it sounds like neither of you had a child get to the point where you didn't trust them to go to the other teacher's room on their own.

Thanks for your responses!
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:54 AM
 
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my buddy teacher said that sometimes (if things were super busy in her room) would set an egg timer for about 5 to 10 minutes so she wouldn't forget to send my students back. I always forgot to set my egg timer when her students came in.

Since my buddy room was directly across the hallway from me the students would go back & forth on their own. If someone needed an escort (or I had a note about the situation for my buddy teacher - not everytime), I'd have my messenger (classroom job) walk with them or if my TA was in the room, she'd escort them. But if the student was very upset about going to the buddy room, I would just skip that step and jump to the next step (which is to call their parents.) If I felt my student was gone for too long, I'd send my messenger over to retrieve them.

If my buddy teacher or myself are teaching a lesson, we don't talk to the students right away but if our TAs are in our rooms (half of the morning) then they will talk with the student. If we're not directly teaching, then we'll talk with the student about if they understand why they are here and what they will do differently when they return to their own room. I also debrief with my own students when they return after visiting the buddy and after their first time out in my room (before the buddy room.)
i hope that makes sense!


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Thanks!
Old 06-06-2008, 06:51 AM
 
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I must have missed the part about the buddy teacher speaking with the student. I do remember that my instructor said she doesn't have a talk with them after a "time out" in the take-a-break chair. She said they should already know why they were sent there and how to change their behavior.

I'm still thinking about how to sum up RC in a few sentences for my interview. When I applied, I had to write an essay which I picked the topic from a choice of 5. I chose to write about my Philosophy of Discipline. It took forever for me to write about RC! I think I may have wrote too much, but the "philosophy" part always trips me up...I never know what they want...do they want to know how I feel about it, or what I do to implement it? (Hey, I think I just got closer to a summary about RC with that question.) On the essay, I widened the margins as far as I could and I think I may have used size 10 font...because it all had to fit on one page.

Thanks again! I appreciate any and all of your guidance!
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:24 AM
 
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Your instructor was right - the child should know why they went there and how to "fix it." I like to tweak things a little to make them work for me - I usually don't just take an idea & go with it - I like to make it mine, or so to speak. I quickly talk with my students about one thing they are going to try when they come back to the group so I can try to hold them accountable. For example, one little boy went to the thinking chair for excessive talking and during our debrief he said that next time, he'll put his finger over his lips to remind himself not to talk. I saw him turn to his neighbor and I just looked at him and then he remembered to do what he said.
About the buddy teacher speaking to the students, I do when I'm not teaching; when I'm just moving around helping students I'll stop by their desk for a quick check in - nothing too formal. If I teach a lesson the whole time they're in my room, I may not get a chance to talk to them before they go back to homeroom & that's okay.

About your philosophy, I think you're definately on the right track. It should include your ideas of what classroom discipline should look like, sound like, and feel like and what practical strategies you will use in your classroom to achieve a positive learning environment. Safety is always my number one concern and I tell my students all the time that the reason we have rules is so that #1 everyone stays safe and #2 everyone learns and is allowed to reach their maximum potential.

good luck!
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