Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Calling Yourself Out

You might be aware that I've been having difficulty managing my students. There's a lot of chatter going on. I try to recognize the good behavior of students as much as I can, using signals to get students to give me their attention and quiet down, giving students warnings, keeping students in for some of their break time, and sending students out. Despite all of that though, it still gets kind of loud in the classroom. I feel especially pressured to get the class to remain quiet because right next to my little room is another classroom. So, if the students talk loud, the other class can hear it.

Yesterday, I yelled for the class to quiet down. So, the class falls silent. About 30 minutes later, it gets loud again, but this time, another student yells out for everyone to be quiet. After that, in my head, I was kind of kicking myself in the butt because that student was following my example.

It was bothering me that he was following my example of yelling to get the class to quiet down. So, I decided that first thing this morning, I would do my best to set the record straight on how to get the class to quiet down. First, I said that I made a mistake in how I behaved. I told them that me yelling to get the class to quiet down was bad for two reasons: #1 To yell, you have to be loud. But, getting louder does not make the class noise get quieter. It adds to the class noise. #2 By my yelling, I implicitly tell my students that yelling is a good way to get students to quiet down. I told them that that is not true. So, no one should do that because I was setting a bad example. Personally, I never want to yell again.

After I explained why yelling was not a helpful way to quiet the class down, I tried to tell the class which students were good role models. I told them that three of the students were good role models because they turned to me quietly as soon as I use my signal and two other students were good role models for the class because they remind me to use my signs to get the class to quiet down. I tried to encourage them to show their signs to everyone else as well.

After I mentioned that, the students who had been reminding me to use my signs were continuing to do so. That's good. And, the students who I emphasized were giving me their attention when I ask for it were doing so a little more than normally. Now, if only I could the other students to follow their lead.

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