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Teach4Life001 Teach4Life001 is offline
 
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How would you feel/react?
Old 10-29-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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Another teacher came into my room today and commented that she doesn't know how my students can learn in my room because I have too much stuff on my walls. The "stuff" is class created anchor charts, Writing Traits Board (fashioned after the CAFE board) and academic word walls.

She has bare walls and no word wall. She said she could not learn in my room and doesn't know how my kids can. I was shocked...my mouth fell open. How would you have reacted to that?


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I would
Old 10-29-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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have said, "Well, you aren't in my room" Then I would have showed her the door. How rude and spiteful. She's probably jealous. I'm sure you are doing a great job. Keep it up.
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Tear it all down!
Old 10-29-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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I'd probably be speechless like you and then not pay her comments any mind and keep on doing what I was doing. Kids are different, so I'm sure there are some kids somewhere who learn well in bare-walled rooms, but I'd say that anchor charts and word walls are more of a help to most/almost all/all (take your pick) students. I know that my students refer to our charts a lot. Plus bare walls are depressing IMHO. If she brought it up again, I'd probably tell her how my students are benefiting from the charts and word walls and let it be. After that she can KMA! (Excuse my French, but I would be very annoyed!)
I get distracted by things hanging off the ceiling, but I wouldn't dare tell another teacher in my school that her students can't learn because I get distracted by stuff hanging from the ceiling so her students must not be able to learn because of it. That's a huge leap of logic! Thousands and thousands of children have gotten a great education with "stuff" on the walls (and ceiling)!

Last edited by TwistingTeach; 10-29-2010 at 04:46 PM.. Reason: noun/possessive pronoun agreement
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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I'm not sure she is jealous.....she is one of those minimalists. She probably doesn't put up things that the children need because she is bothered.

I would have said, "Those are my teaching charts. The children have to be able to see them. Where do you put your anchor charts?" Then just look stunned that she doesn't have any.

And as Lee Cantor says, "Be a broken record." Repeat as needed.
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Agree with PP
Old 10-29-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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I am one who has a lot going on in my classroom. Inform her that in your classroom you want to make sure any visual learners have the chart to look at.


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Old 10-29-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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as a special ed teacher with a lot of ADHD kids I have to say that too much stuff up in a classroom does cause disturbances for many children. They are visually stimulated by all the distractions up in the room.

I recognize the need to put up visuals for the children but I do try to minimize what is posted. I also try not to hand things from the ceiling that can flap back and forth in the wind/breeze. Some children are visually disturbed by moving objects which can cause a reactions similar to car sickness.

Likewise I do not allow a lot of scents in my classroom, like perfume or air fresheners because of allergies or allergy type reactions.

I would also add that children are also disturbed by flickering lights and that buzz that the lights make before they're going to begin flickering. Many children on the ASD spectrum in particular are bothered by these.

You all may say jealousy or other reasons but you would be surprised by the amount of children who find classrooms to be too cluttered. You may want to rethink your decorating.
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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Well, isn't she lucky that she isn't in your room and she doesn't have to be bothered by it! No word wall...I'm guessing that's not a requirement at your school then-but at my school that definitely wouldn't fly. We also are "highly encouraged" to have print-rich environments that feature class-created anchors for reference. In fact, if we don't have these posted we can get in trouble for not having artifacts on display.

I think as long as it's not crazy-cluttered with everything flapping in the breeze she is just making an unnecessary comment. I am sure if you did have a child who seemed to be over-stimulated by the environment you would take steps to give them a less-stimulating space in the classroom as needed. I would let it fly by this time but if she were to say something again I would say pointedly, "Well, I would have a hard time learning in YOUR classroom with no reference points or word wall-to each their own!"
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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Like TwistingTeach, I would be speechless also. I think that was rude of the teacher to give her opinion on something that wasn't hers to give.

While the teacher shouldn't have been so rude, I do understand a little from what she/he may have really meant.

I found an old picture the other day of my first grade classroom from a few years ago. Even though I also adhered to the need for a "print rich" room, I was really surprised at how much I had going on in the room.

I haven't always dealt with sensory issues, but they have begun to be somewhat of a problem for me in the past 5 years. The very things that pmac mentioned are troublesome to me now.

Everyone has their own style and beliefs. You just have to go with your gut and do what you think is right.
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rude
Old 10-29-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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There was another post a few months ago where a teacher suggested responding to rude people by saying

"Did you really mean to say that out loud?"

I liked it so much I've started using it. I think that would have been appropriate in this situation. Her judgmental comment was rude.
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Concerns
Old 10-30-2010, 05:11 AM
 
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How do you know if your classroom is causing students to be distracted? It doesn't appear that they are. Also, if a student got distracted reading The Three Ways to Combine Sentences chart that we made together, I wouldn't mind at all!

Interestingly enough, I have nothing hanging or flapping from my ceiling. However, that is the one thing that she does have! She has half done, not always correct student made construction paper hanging from her ceiling!

For those of you that agree with the comment, how can I best arrange my room to avoid distractions, if they occur? Here is some additional information:

All of my charts are organized my subject. They also get changed out every quarter.

There are several bare places on my wall...especially the wall behind where I do whole group instruction.

Word Walls are organized on long cabinets that are behind the students. They have to turn around in order to be distracted by them!

Nothing flaps or moves and EVERYTHING has a purpose.


Also, my reaction was due to her comment, not her observation. If she had worded her comment as several of you have that agree with her, my reaction would have been different. Her comment, in my opinion, was not based on what your opinions are. I am not saying she was jealous, but she was being unnessarily inconsiderate of my feelings.


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Old 10-30-2010, 05:31 AM
 
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you go girl!!! keep hanging everything and ignore that other teacher. in my classroom we celebrate everything we do and hang it all over the room. my kids love it and so do i!! our room starts out bare at the beginning of the year and by the end of the year it is packed full of all the things we have made together and learned!!! we love it!
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:21 AM
 
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Teachforlife- I'm sorry I did not clarify all of my thoughts
I was not condoning her behavior...I was being a different perspective.
I do agree she was rude and I do love the reply from SKY 22....I am going to remember that one as well. I also was not criticizing your room organization and I'm sorry if it seemed that I was. That was not my intent.
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"that was not my intent"
Old 10-30-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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Sure sounded like it. Your ending words were "you may want to rethink your decorating." Glad you apologized. I say to each his own. We don't know the full story or picture most of the time for why some of us do the things we do, but I am sure each person has their own reason. You said you teach sped and so it is understandable you need few distractions in your room. I am not scolding you and it was nice you re-posted, but the teacher who made that comment was being rude...period, and quite frankly it probably wasn't any of her business to begin with.
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