11-23-2009, 07:17 PM
To paraphrase an old saying, it sounds like we're teaching different classes
together. I'm in my 3rd year of elementary subbing, and, to paraphrase another
old saying, I've found that nothing succeeds like recess (taking it away, that is.)
I don't announce any rules at the start of class, since I really only have one that's
hard and fast, and it shouldn't come as a shock: when I'm talking, LISTEN UP!!
The first time someone is talking or not paying attention when I'm talking, even if
he was working and not playing, I put his name on the board and politely say he's
lost 5 minutes of recess. If he was working I'll praise his diligence, but I'll make it
very clear that when the kids hear my voice they need to stop, look, and listen.
Enforcing this one rule establishes that I'm in charge, and seems usually to keep
chattiness down without my having to work at it. I never use the teacher's system
if it's different, since I DON'T want kids out of their seats pulling cards, etc.
I tend to treat the kids as if they were young adults. I may CALL them kids in
class, but I ADDRESS them as "ladies and gentlemen," and try not to talk down to
them. I always bring my guitar to class, and sing them a song or two if we have
time, but I don't sing them kid songs. I sing them a mixture of country standards
and some of my own.
By the same token, though I often praise the whole class or individual kids, I don't
give the kids childish rewards, though sometimes they'll say, "Mrs. X gives us
(whatever) if we're good." By the time they explained the system to me,
the day would be over.
If a class won't quiet down, I'll keep most or even all of the class in at recess, with
their heads down, if necessary. Sure they need recess, but if they're that wild they've been having recess all day, and enough is enough.
Sounds to me like you're doing fine. Good luck.
Last edited by Ball Three; 11-24-2009 at 09:20 AM..