They Notice

When a class gets snarky, we bail on them. In thus reacting and not ignoring their rude or even slightly rude behavior, they notice. Most teachers go on teaching. Each time they do this, it makes another line in their face. We must learn a new behavior in our teaching – we must learn to react to any slight degree of student rudeness by immediately changing what we are doing.

The first and most common way we do this that everybody knows already is to simply take a deep breath, walk calmly and slowly over to the Classroom Rules as if it is the most important thing in the world – because, really, it is – and, with a smile, point to the rule that is being broken and smile as we look in the general direction of the perpetrators. The rule pointed to is almost always Rule #2.

This change in what we are doing lasts less than a minute, but it definitely can be called a change in what we are doing because we milk it. We don’t rush over to the rules chart and put our hand on it and smile and get right back to teaching. We waltz.
Not a terrifying waltz. Just a lighthearted waltz, but one that definitely creates a short but noticeable vacuum in the instruction for up to a minute or more. The discipline flashlight lands on the part of the classroom it needs to. We don’t ignore. We react. We shift our energy from teaching to the misbehavior.

If that Rule #2 rule fails (rarely), we go to the two Fred Jones moves that Tina does so well that would take many paragraphs to describe here so I will just mention them here for now. They basically kick major ass. They are not general to the class but specific to the child who needs a physical walk-over from their favorite teacher.

Sometimes we use what I have always called “bail out moves” – there is even a category here for them that goes back ten years. Some of those moves may have changed in their value and effect over the years, so that those old lists – esp. now in the light of non-targeting – may not be as effective as this nice list our Bryan Whitney has developed and shared in a comment here with us this morning:

Hey Ben –

My last period of the day has been rather funky this year, and has had some issues with being respectful of each other and myself, so they are definitely getting more reading, and grammar so that they can be more appreciative, or at least it gives me some easy (though a bit boring) teaching to do. Last Friday I had it, so I went into my alternative plan (I’ve found it very useful):

Calm/Slow down a class:
1. Optional: Start with an image, drawing, or text
2. Dictée & correct
3. Translate Dictée
4. Grammar
5. Read From Back (ask ?s)
6. Reader’s Theatre
7. T/F Quiz on dictée
8. Free Write
9. Illustrate Free Write or Dictée
10. Game/Activity
11. Song
12. Translate from English to French or vice versa



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