Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What would you do?

Can I just say there are 14 days left of school and I am feeling it?! I know this isn't the subject for my post, but I couldn't help it.

Onto the real subject. What to do when your (school) children are being naughty under someone else's care. Another teacher, an aide, their own drives me nuts! My students have learned what to expect with me. They are not perfect, and neither am I, but they know that misbehaving will NOT be tolerated.

So what do you do when you catch your students misbehaving for someone else? I am always torn between speaking up or letting the person in charge handle it. For instance, it is easy to step in and stop the behavior when it is happening during a parent led lesson or library. But it is harder for me when it is outside of "my control" like before/after school. Like when you are talking to their parents and they are being really disrespectful.

Or what is happening currently in my school. Some of our kinders go to "extended day" letters class (read title 1 interventions) while the rest go home on the bus. I send the letters class off to lunch, put the others on the bus and then it is my prep time for the day. Letters class is taught by our reading specialists and then at the end of their day they listen to a story read by an assistant in the hall outside my room until their bus arrives. This is about 15 minutes. I haven't had them in my "control" for over an hour by that point and recently they have begun acting up big time during the story.

Let me say that it is not just my kids. All Title 1 serviced 1/2 day kindergartners are involved in this story time. Even a few pm kinders arrive early to listen to the story. It is a lot of tired kids, ready to go home and play, trying to sit and listen to a story. The assistant always says "you don't have to listen, but you need to be quiet". needless to say, it is not working. they are LOUD and she is constantly stopping to redirect them. I have gone out there a couple of times to talk to them and told her she can always send them to me, even if they are not in my class. But, it is just getting worse. I feel like i've stepped in but don't want to step on her toes at this point.

But honestly. They are obnoxious and in the hallway. If I was her, I would be going NUTS. heck, I am going nuts just listening to it from my classroom!!

So tell me, what would you do in this situation? Or in general when a student of yours is being disrespectful? Do you step in and stop it at the risk of undermining the adult in charge? Or do you leave it to them and let the naughtiness continue??

I have a feeling the kinders can feel the 14 days left as well...even if they don't know what it means! Sigh... Best Blogger Tips
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Jennifer K. said...

I think she shot herself in the foot when she told them they didn't need to listen to the story! What she's saying is "I know this is boring and you don't like it, but I'm going to do it anyways, but don't feel like you have to be respectful of what I'm doing." Is she not an engaging reader? Can she maybe get out puppets or do a felt board or soemthing to make the storytime more engaging? At this point, because they're being disruptive, and she's obviously not handling it well, I think it's okay to step in. My reasoning being that if they get away with it with her, eventually they are going to try it other places/times.

Also, if a child is ruyde/disrespectful while I am talking to a parent, I try to hold them accountable to the same classroom rules. Just because their mom is there doesn't mean my expectations are different, and sometimes parents are embarassed to chastise their child in front of you, so they ignore behavior. If you let their kid get away with it then, it sends a mixed message about how they're supposed to behave at school. So i just gently remind them of our rules and ask them to follow procedures. I also try to have an activity for them to do during conferences, so they're not sitting there bored either, as that always leads to problems!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Sneaker Teacher said...

Have you talked to Mrs. L about this? I think that the person in charge doesn't have the skills to keep the kids engaged and quiet, but it's not necessarily your place to coach her. I think going out and reminding the kids to be respectful is totally ok, YET why should you have to do that on your prep time because the person in charge is not being effective...