General Question

SundayKittens's avatar

Educators: In a disciplinary sense, what things have you decided to "let slide"?

Asked by SundayKittens (5834points) October 26th, 2010

I’ve come to the realization after two years at the high school level that if I reprimand teenagers for every little thing, I have no time to teach and I become a nervous wreck.
For instance, I’ve let cussing go unless it’s directed at me (and THAT is not a pretty scene) because it is a losing battle…I just pretend I don’t hear it.
What things have you found are useless to try to correct? Or that you once punished but realized aren’t detrimental to the classroom or learning?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

Ummm… well, my teaching (1968–1980) was long ago and things have changed. The school had rules, and if someone was breaking the rule, I would bring it to the student’s attention. How they reacted determined my course of action. If they were nice, I would be nice and vise versa! I always thought my scope of duties was anywhere on the school grounds, not just in the classroom. I was a coach/teacher and most coaches approach discipline differently than just a teacher. Coaches tend to be more proactive in this area.

rowenaz's avatar

I try to treat the students like human beings. I ignore standing up, the occasional distraction, quiet chatting if they are still working. Everything else gets addressed. Hyperactivity I don’t punish but do address, understanding it’s not the kid’s fault, but can be a major disruption.

Joybird's avatar

I work in Special Education at an Alternative High School for students with learning disabilities, mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction, emotional disturbances and involvements with the legal institution. While it would be correct to say I pick my battles in the moment I would also have to say that there is nothing that I let slide. I have my eye on where the student is at as they enter our facility and for that particular student where I can shape their thinking and behavior to. Punishment is the worst model for shaping behavior and so although it is right that there should be natural consequences for certain behaviors it is better to retrain people while rewarding for approximations to the desired behavior. If civility in your classroom is the goal, then what makes up civility in behavior terms. That is what you shape and reward for…the approximations in your classroom through a reward system until you get the desired behavior. Alot of people think it’s impossible to get certain students to cease to engage in particular behaviors in your presence. That’s folly. Almost anyone save for a sociopath can be shaped to some degree. I ask for the desired behavior. I reward verbally when I catch people giving me the desired behavior….I pointedly reward for persons who engage in a behavior and then apologize and make a correction…I reward for an open response when I redirect to the desired behavior. I use every instance and opportunity to model and reward. I used to carry around a pocket full of candy and nickels but due in part to my encouragement our school has now adopted a coupon that can be spent like money in a school store.
I use humor on the “hard cases” and treat them like difficult to train dogs. Now don’t laugh…you might want to purchase a book or two on difficult to train dogs. The behaviors they engage in are similar to humans and they do it for similar reasons. Peggy Swager has a great book…“Training the hard to train dog: Effective training techniques for working with shy, controlling, and stubborn dogs” .
But I also used Dialectical Behavioral Treatment skills. If you are interested in these universal skills you can pick up a copy of Marsha Linehans workbook, “DBT skills for treating Borderline Personality Disorder”. Forget that it’s for persons with BPD. These are universal skills that you can master in order to better deal with difficult students. And y ou can teach them some of the skills in order to create that classroom civility you are looking for.

Cruiser's avatar

No offense but letting slide disrespectful behavior not only in the schools but in the home, just because it is the easy way out, is why we have a whole generation of disrespectful foul mouth teenagers. In my day you spent the afternoon in the principals office for that offense and more than likely the rest of the day in your room for swearing. My generation just didn’t do it as respecting your parents and teachers was enforced.

SundayKittens's avatar

I see your point, @cruiser. But it’s not that it’s the easy way out to disregard the words, it’s that I have to choose my battles.

kruger_d's avatar

It’s a hard to be specific here. Some behaviors are intended to get attention, disrupt, or aggravate, and sometimes not responding can be effective in stopping them. I also find that there are behaviors that I might find personally annoying, but that are not really disruptive to other students, so if it’s not effecting my performance I would let it slide. Also, one could consider a verbal correction “letting it slide” in the sense that they are not really being punished, just put on notice. My expectations pretty much boil down to respect and keeping everyone on task.
It’s all really about experience and intuition in knowing what correction will work in that situation with that student, while trying to maintain consistancy.

SundayKittens's avatar

@kruger_d Excellent tip. Thank you.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther