I Feel Ya', Brother

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2 thoughts on “I Feel Ya', Brother”

  1. We need to talk about what happened to this man in Nashville. We’ve all been there, if not quite that frustrated that it would cost us our jobs. That guy lost it, in my view, because, in Transactional Analytical terms, he “collected stamps” for 21 years (means that we let each negative interaction/failure to reach a kid in class – another stamp – collect in our stamp book over years until it explodes with stamps and that negativity costs, in this case, one’s employment).
    This math teacher clearly didn’t break the plane (see blog entry above) and make personal contact with his students. He let that little group of guys get away with sitting together and doing what adolescent boys will do if given the opportunity. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to feel, deeply each day, as powerless as this guy in a classroom?
    He never connected with his own personal power as an adult/teacher, is my view. He never confronted that group of boys, obviously. I keep saying here that if we don’t learn how to confront kids who are not following the rules (posters page of this site), then we can’t even swing our new Krashen Slugger baseball bats to hit the ball out of the park.
    We won’t even make it up to the plate to take our cuts. No, we absolutely must discuss this video in terms of what it means to us in our classrooms. I would love to hear reactions from others. I found myself in more than one private conversations in Maine about this topic of discipline first and CI later.
    This ia a big deal and we must not (it’s not too late now in October) “collect stamps”. The math teacher’s outburst is a cautionary tale for us. Once the stamps start collecting and the book of our emotions starts becoming unwieldy, we lose sleep, kick the dog, wish we had gone into some other career, quit teaching, etc. The key word I am suggesting here is “pre-emptive”.

  2. Of course, the antidote for every failure on our parts to confront the bullies in our classes (collect one stamp, do not pass go), is to give a star to each kid when they do something right. That means breaking the plane and walking to the kid’s desk when they offer and you accept one of their suggestions, doing so in amazement that they are so intelligent that they knew that is exactly what you were thinking. It means asking for applause for the kid’s idea that was accepted into the CI as well. Then, whether you physically place one of those little gold stars on their cheek like Susie does so inimitably or not you will have replaced a stamp with a star, and the kids will know and feel that, and so will you. When Susie does that it is really a just a metaphor, isn’t it? Isn’t Susie really just using the star thing to model for us how we can send kids messages all through our classes that they are approved of, cared about, smart, important, etc.), When they feel like a star, you feel like a star. It beats teaching.

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