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Walking students in line
Old 09-11-2016, 05:10 AM
 
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This is my 20th year in an elementary classroom and I have ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOWED behind my students so I could see what is going on. For years this is what I was expected to do and it was instilled in me even from Classroom Management 101 in college! Now my p, (who has never actually taught in a classroom other than one year of high school band) is instructing us to stand in the front of our line when walking students to assemblies/chapel which take place clear on the other side of the campus. We actually walk past a busy driveway of parents dropping students off at our preschool and attending chapel with us.
When I saw the weekly update from him this morning I couldn't believe it. It goes against everything I've learned as a teacher. My P is BIG on "active supervision" - in fact we received FOUR emails in the course of one day about it last week. How is walking in FRONT of your class active supervision???
I'm sorry, but I am so tired of receiving these kind of directives from someone who has close to zero classroom experience.


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Talk about your concerns/side
Old 09-11-2016, 05:32 AM
 
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I'd respectfully let him know your concerns. Don't act like your way is correct, instead emphasize how much you support him in his belief of active participation and how important student safety is to you. Then share what you've always done and why and how being in the front worries you about student safety. I'd do this in person, not by e-mail.

I've always walked on the side across from students and toward the middle. That's what works best for me for supervision and for getting the best view of the whole class. I'm short and teach 5th graders, so standing in the back doesn't give me a good view of the front. In the middle and off to the other side, I can see and hear everything.
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unbelievable!!
Old 09-11-2016, 05:37 AM
 
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Is he clueless?

I suggest all the teachers attach a rearview mirror to a hat to "actively supervise" your class as they follow his new directive!

The experienced teacher knows that it's wise to be a in position where you can see all of your students at all times.
Yes, there are times when a teacher needs to be at the front of the line, but one can quickly move to that position when needed.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen some teachers walking at the head of their lines, "thinking" they've got everything all under control, looking back now and then. However, there are some kids, who will , poke, hit, roll on the floor, run all over the place when the teacher is not looking... and the teacher is clueless. It doesn't matter what grade level.

Hopefully, seeing the difference between high school students and elem. students, he will change his preference.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:46 AM
 
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I have always walked in front and periodically turn and walk backwards. The last child reports to me if anyone is out of line. If you are worried about the drive way, I would stop at the crosswalk and advise the class to keep walking and once everyone makes it safely across advise the line to stop so you can get back to the front to lead again. I hate change as well but I have learned that whoever is in charge will listen to my concerns and just make me out to be the complainer.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:50 AM
 
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I walk next to them, with some in front and some behind and we have assigned stopping points along the way. I'm too short to walk behind, I couldn't see them.

I'd also respectfully email and point out your concerns (using his phrasing of "active supervision"). Honestly, admins are as hard to raise as parents.


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Old 09-11-2016, 05:57 AM
 
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Before you get too upset, look at it from an outside perspective. If you aren't at the front, it doesn't look like you are leading the class. I've tried walking at the front, at the back, in the middle of the line and different approaches have worked better for different groups of children. The problem I've had with some groups is that when I am not walking at the front it can be difficult to get the attention of the front of the line to have them stop and regroup when they need to.

Teacherbee's advice is good. Be curious to see what your P's concern is. Perhaps your P is reacting to a problem another teacher in your school is having. I have found that often when I get upset about mandates like this one, I have incorrectly assumed the motives behind the mandate.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:57 AM
 
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I typically walk kind of outside of the line toward the side and middle so I can see everyone. Plus when we are walking, the ENTIRE school is basically walking in one long line, so the kids know where they are going. We have safety patrols and teachers along the way stopping us for cars and such. I have seen 2 or 3 teachers who walk in front of their lines and NEVER turn around to see what is going on, so IMHO being more toward the middle or behind them is a little more along the lines of actively supervising.

Quote:
I hate change as well but I have learned that whoever is in charge will listen to my concerns and just make me out to be the complainer.
brownbear, that is EXACTLY what will happen. I have learned that everything I ask for or suggest to this particular administrator is basically looked at as "Thank you for your voice, but do it my way anyway". If something were to happen or kids are out of sort, I will refer to the directive I was given. This year, I am finally throwing up the white flag in that regard.
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Hallway
Old 09-11-2016, 06:00 AM
 
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The first couple weeks of school, I walk in front, turning often, and sometimes even walking backwards. This is bc I want to make sure all the kids are learning where to go in their new building (we have attendance centers).

After that, I'm like a PP - I walk about halfway down and to the side, because I can see/hear everything that way!
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:10 AM
 
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I always lead from in front because my Kinders don't know where they're going. I am crazy good at walking backwards and my aide is always the caboose, so the kids are sandwiched between us.
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:31 AM
 
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Quote:
I've always walked on the side across from students and toward the middle. That's what works best for me for supervision and for getting the best view of the whole class. I'm short and teach 5th graders, so standing in the back doesn't give me a good view of the front. In the middle and off to the other side, I can see and hear everything.
I could have written that. Ditto on all accounts including being short.

I also had designated stopping points in the hallway for the line leader. They knew the specific places to stop and at each place to wait to be instructed to move on to the next. That way the line was always together before moving on. No stragglers and no kids disappearing around a corner before I was there and the line was together.


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Old 09-11-2016, 06:49 AM
 
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A friend of mine who taught in urban schools walks beside the students and tells them to stop at corners and intersections. He also stands at the corner where he can see both sections of the line (coming and going).

If you are at the front of the line You can't see what is going on behind you.

Active supervision may be the latest buzz word. I haven't hear about rigor for a while.
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:57 AM
 
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We have one teacher who always walks behind her class. We hate that she does that! Her class is always cutting everybody off. They don't understand to wait if a class is entering the cafeteria in front of them. So they push and shove their way in. Then we have to crowd control and then by the time their teacher catcher up she gets mad at them. But it's too late. We've already done her job. They also love to run when they turn a corner and she can't see them. Plus the front if the line is noisy. This has been going on for years, so it's not just one group of kids.

I know I may have problems at the back of my line, but at least I can control a lot of these issues.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:02 AM
 
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I teach third and walk halfway down the line, next to my students. The only time I walked in front was when I taught PreK, and then I walked backwards everywhere.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:04 AM
 
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I walk at the front but I walk backwards. It's the best way for me to have eyes on all of my kinders.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:05 AM
 
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It sounds like all early childhood teachers are adept at walking backwards! My husband jokes I should lead tours after I retire. "And we're walking...."
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:17 AM
 
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I walk backwards as a middle school teacher I used to be an elementary school teacher and I am a minority with how strict I am about my lines (we only have lines to and from lunch and for fire drills). "Thank you for remaining at a voice level 0...this line is phenomenal!" I get a few kids at the beginning who gripe that they aren't in kindergarten to which I respond that they are correct so they should have no problem being polite and respecting the other classes that are in session.

I don't like that you're being told how to do your lines. I would probably just keep doing what I was doing until I got yelled at repeatedly.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:12 AM
 
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I could never walk behind my class ---they would run, or go in the wrong direction, or be silly, etc. I walk at the front, and - yup - I walk backwards! I've done it this way for almost 30 years.

I guess a lot of it does depend on the age of your students. Mine are 3-5 years old.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:47 AM
 
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I teach kindergarten and train them on walking in a line at the beginning of the year. Every week I have a student "line leader" who leads the line. The kids are trained to walk behind the student line leader. I walk along the side or towards the end of the line so I can see everyone.

Walking in the front of the line is a safety hazard. I can have up to 28 students in my class, so it's a looooong line. If I were in the front I wouldn't be able to see the end of the line, plus I'd be walking backwards which isn't at all safe for me.
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:44 AM
 
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Former Pre-K teacher here: backwards at the front 😂. Is it a skill we can put on our resumes?
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:09 AM
 
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Kindergarten Teacher. Backwards and at the front. The kids always ask me why I am so good at walking backwards and I just tell them lots of practice. At the beginning of the year, there are always a few that try to walk like me especially the line leader (which is a job that changes weekly), and I just nicely explain to them that it is my job to see everyone and their job to lead the line and be a good example.

I also make sure to point out landmarks frequently. "Oh look, here is the security desk!" That way if I do have to leave the line, I can give the line leader a landmark to stop at.

I have a great classroom location and we never have to walk too far but I do make sure to stop often. Just to make sure I can see everyone and we are all together. This works when turning a corner.

We are not told how to walk in the hallway. Some teachers have two lines, some have line orders. As long as we get their quietly and ordering, we can do it how we'd like.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:15 AM
 
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I've done all of the things mentioned here- in front (walking backwards for most of the time), in back, and on the side/middle. The one I did least was in the back. I felt like I had the least control in that position. On the side/middle is where I feel I have the most control, second being in front (with plenty of backwards walking). I actually feel the least control in the back position.

It's pretty ridiculous that someone would decide one size fits all for these management decisions.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:28 AM
 
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Kindergarten, at the front, walking backwards.

As the year goes on I might go to the side or back, but the student leader stops at each intersection. Then I go up front to give them the okay to go to the next intersection and then follow them along.

Older kids I tend to be to the side near the back, but even then I'm usually the one that okays the intersections.

Like others, I've never had any "instruction" on how to lead a line. I just do whatever works best for each class.
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My school
Old 09-11-2016, 11:36 AM
 
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At my school (now retired from, but sub there), most teachers walk alongside of their students. We have "stop lines" at intersections and some major doorways. Students stop at those lines, then are sent on when the line is ready. It has really helped with those transition times when different classrooms are going to and leaving specials. When walking along students one can see both directions. It really does help with hallway behavior control.
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Lines
Old 09-11-2016, 12:38 PM
 
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Quote:
I walk at the front but I walk backwards.
A few years back, a teacher at my school tripped over something while walking backwards and was seriously injured.

I walk at the end of my lines. I do a boys line and a girls line, so I have two shorts lines, rather than one giant line.
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Old 09-11-2016, 02:06 PM
 
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Here's a different response - if that's all your p has to complain about and focus on you guys must be doing a pretty good job!

But really - dictating how you walk your line is just plain ridiculous.
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I led the line...
Old 09-11-2016, 05:25 PM
 
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But walked backwards.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Now my p, (who has never actually taught in a classroom other than one year of high school band)
How the heck does that happen? I would like a law requiring all principals to have at least ten years classroom experience,
unless there really is no other option. (as in some outback areas)
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:37 PM
 
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Quote:
if that's all your p has to complain about and focus on you guys must be doing a pretty good job!
Oh, Sbkangas5 - if only that were the case! Most of the time it feels like P is MUCH more concerned about the teachers' behavior than the students. I've been at the school for ten years and my son has attended since he was in preschool and I can safely say that we have some AMAZING teachers at my school. I wish there was more trust and less micromanaging.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:45 PM
 
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Middle and next to the line, with stopping spots at the double-doors, intersections, and corners. By week 2 everyone knows the stopping spots so it's not an issue. The only time I walk at the front is if we are 'practicing' walking in the hallway because something has gone wrong and I am striding quickly so they have to rush to keep up. They shape up real quick - No need for scolding, just a little posture and speed adjustment

Your principal sounds like a real micromanager. Yuck.
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