Ben, much of teaching is about instincts. There is a lot about knowledge of subject, of pedagogy, of skills, and application. However, many times it has to be about instinct, noticing little things in the classroom that tell you the spit ball came from the second guy on the right even though you didn't see it, or that Susie had a bad morning and needs to be given a break, or that the kid isn't carrying a big wallet in his hip pocket, but a hunting knife. Instincts, and these at times will tell you that there is some ill intent with something they are making in class, and that their nervous giggles and side talking has more to it than just normal kid stuff. Sometimes you have to go with your instincts, and do something that maybe no one else would understand, but that when you explain the reason for that tickly feeling on the back of your neck the administration will back you up. You made a judgement call based on instinct, great call, move on, and look the kid in the eye and tell him not to try to get something over you again.
Oops How Did That Happen?
Posted 15 January 2014 - 10:58 PM
I agree with everything you said up until last phrase, " look the kid in the eye and tell him not to try to get something over you again." if you're not careful many kids will see that as a challenge, "throwing down the gauntlet". You don't want to set up some game or challenge. you want to pay as little attention to inappropriate behavior as possible. However, a confrontation can underline it because it implicitly says the kid has gotten to you emotionally, which is a reinforcer.
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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:37 PM
I'm not one to baby students. "Oh you have a headache, and don't want to work? I've had one since this morning, and I'm still doing my job." But I know how hard I can push them. If I can tell someone is not having a good day, I will find a different way to approach instruction. Instead of "Get to work!", it's "So how's that part of the project coming along?"
Teaching instinct, the ol' "Teacher has eyes int the back of their head", is kind of like a sixth sense. However instead of "seeing dead people", I see students doing idiotic things.
Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:48 AM
There are ways of saying as if throwing down a gauntlet, and ways of saying it with a smile and a joke, that get the message across. Again it all comes down to instincts. I never through a gauntlet down, but let them know that I knew what I was doing.
However, when teaching the computer animation classes, I encouraged them to explore all the keyboard commands possible and take notes. I let them know I didn't know much about computers so if they found a command that was new, let me know. In the end, they realized I knew more than I let on, but then I never seemed to be the expert about computers, just the guy that knew how to animate and was really excited about good animation.
Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:27 PM
I agree with you that the gauntlet does not have to be thrown down. It sounds like you have the perception and skill to pull it off.
I really like your way of teaching computer animation. it is very empowering for kids.
Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:37 PM
Ahhh Gosh Gee, blush blush! It just seemed to make sense at the time. I worked through two operating systems, Amiga, and Windows up to XP. Which one was better? The one that didn't survive, but then that is the way of the world isn't it?
Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:28 PM
I'm so glad I have Elementary.....if I move up to middle next year, though, I know I'll have to worry! But I really don't think it will be as big of an issue as you guys seemed to have had. That instinct though...I've got it after only a few years of teaching. Somehow I always know when they're up to something...EVERY time I think, and follow through with the accusation of materials being stolen....I've always turned out full pockets of sharpeners/pencils/crayons/markers/etc.
Posted 24 February 2014 - 05:54 PM
If me, having to put the kibosh, to students creating inappropriate projects, is the worst thing I have to put up with, then I' ll take it.
I honestly have not had much of an issue with theft. Usually the only thing that kids "borrow" are my big erasers and Sharpies.
I've had other teachers tell me about students stealing needle tools, for the purpose of home done tattooing. It sounds like one student, who'd steal them for others. Odd.
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