Lead Pipes 4 – Final EERP Document

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13 thoughts on “Lead Pipes 4 – Final EERP Document”

  1. That sounds and looks great. Just a few questions: do you do these things in order or are these choices, e.g. either a phone call right then and there or removal from the room? I’m a bit uncomfortable with step 2 . I’m sure that’s just me, only because of past experiences with phone calls to and/or meetings with parents of highly offensive kids. I have learned that the kid is the way he/she is exactly because of what they have seen at home. I have been bullied by a parent right in front of the kid. So, I know this would not be helpful, it would just give the kid more ammunition. In those cases, is it o.k. to skip step 2 and implement all the other steps first/instead? Step 4 is also difficult for me as one of my schools is a 9th grade campus, so only 9th graders in the whole building. Maybe I could send them to the dean’s office instead. Have to think about that one.
    Either way, this is an awesome document and will surely find many grateful users (me included). Thanks all!!!

    1. Just to be clear it is not cast in iron, that’s for sure. I have expressed what will work for me and since I am in the far upper right quadrant, almost out of it, on the Meyers Briggs chart, I need the order first and foremost. So adapt to your needs of course. My student population has absent parents – you would be an absent parent too if you worked three jobs and rode on 5:30 a.m. buses across town every day too – but, once those same gallant parents are aware of any disrespect for a teacher, the kid is in some truly deep shit, and I am including getting at least the belt in that category in some cases. It really creates a quandary, but this is why I wanted to create the EERP thing, because if it is not a machine it won’t work, and my discipline would waver, favoring some and and not others, etc. etc. So I personally need, because of my own mental make up and student population, this doc the way it is. Pls. let me know what you do about #4 – not an easy choice there. But on #2 I will probably make the call within earshot of the class. One other comment: the hardest part of this is going to be knowing when an offense has happened and whether to act on it. We are not good at recognizing lead pipes, but we are very good at conjugating verbs. We are pathetic. We need to get better at being able to tell if a child is waving a lead pipe at us. Bless us all – we have a few things to learn about personal power and boundaries, I would dare to venture. I would even suggest that it is in the area of classroom discipline that traditional teachers have it all over us – if a kid is asleep he or she can hardly be a problem in class, right?

  2. I love this document. I’ve been absent from the discussion for a few days, but love what was developed.

    We have used step 3 for years in our Dept. It works really well, as long as all the teachers involved understand how, and when, it is appropriate to bring a student to another room. It also requires understanding and trust amongst said group of teachers.

    I would recommend a step that includes admin/guidance in the process. If there is a team communication possibility, use that as a back up. Given the litigious society in which we live, we cannot have enough support…or documentation.

    Thanks for all of the work on this!

    1. Right on. We have Infinite Campus and there is a place for documentation. I will also shoot a quick email to my AP team leader, and also let the team know it happened (we meet every day in our WL PLC). I’ll go fix that in the doc now.

  3. I wonder why so many teachers are reluctant to call parents. I honestly cannot say that I have had many negative phone conversations with parents. I do, however, dread such calls home…

    Any advice as to overcome this fear? I do think it is key, Unless I can overcome the emotional piece I really don’t see myself using this option very much.

    Is there anyone in the group that is comfortable with calling home? I would love to hear how you got to that point or of any tips you could give to make it easier?


  4. Annemarie Orth

    Today I was debating on calling a parent-I have two of their daughters and they both are trouble makers. Do I address both of their children in the same phone call? A colleague has told me that the mom is anti-authority as well. Another colleague reminded me of the feedback sandwich-positive comment-critical-positive comment. But this seems too much like beating around the bush to me. I am terrible about calling parent of difficult students-one of my many weaknesses. I, too, have trouble with discipline and this is probably one of the main missing pieces.

    1. I have already complimented you today on your fearlessness, skip, and now Annemarie comes out with a whole new possible blog series on fear of calling parents. I hope we don’t get into that, however, bc we are going to do the right thing on this one with little discussion. No beating around the bush. No being a wuss on the parent calls. My guess is that the fear you both express (and just about everyone else reading this) about calling parents is a result of too many parents having their way too much of the time bc of pansy ass principals who claim support of teachers but really are just too fricking cowardly with those anti-authority parents. Look, if the principals are going to do that with these parents, then SOME ADULTS must be found who are willing to step up on this one. My advice is to feel the fear, watch the phone become your enemy, and then MAKE THE CALL ANYWAY. Annemarie, put on those shoes if you need a good approach. And separate the kids behavior. If the parent wants to test your mettle with strong accusatory words, interrupt and say that you will be asking for help on this communication in the form of a third party, your AP or principal present. Follow that process one parent a time. These parents who are used to pushing parents around have done it bc they have gotten away with it, just like that kid in skip’s class. But they have run into a calm opposing force who has made the call because their little Fauntleroy is behaving in a way that is not good for the general welfare. And Annemarie treat the two kids separately. Now, go pick up the phone and report back here. Finally, a group of teachers willing to confront bullying in students and in parents. We can do it.

  5. Maybe not a blog series but how about some posts that include the experiences of some in calling home…. especially from those that feel comfortable doing it…

    Honestly in 22 years I have probably called home fewer than a dozen times….
    Does it get easier the more you do it??

    1. I don’t like calling home, partly for not knowing what I’m getting on the other end, and partly because it can be such a time eater (and add to that the fact that I am in a relo building without a phone, so have to use my own cell phone or make the trek into the building, where it’s another quarter mile to a private phone).

      Still, I call home to someone about once a week. I try to make those my “good news” calls, especially when someone’s been being a pill and is suddenly doing something right. If I have already established contact in that way, I will e-mail if someone is causing trouble first, asking when a good time would be to talk. If I get no answer, I call anyway. Sometimes the kids see me sending an email, and they intercept it. But no, Skip, for me calling doesn’t get easier.

      But I also start the semester by giving the kids a participation grade for getting their parents to e-mail me (or to fill out a survey, or something like that). That way I have dependable e-mails from a bunch of parents, not the ones that are in our attendance system and are rife with errors. (My survey has stuff like: what’s something I probably wouldn’t guess about your student? what has made you the proudest of your child lately? and other questions that they love to answer.)

      Something to think about with this EERP document is to figure out how to make it comprehensible to parents, so that it could be part of what’s up on a website or so that we could mail it out to parents.

      All the support in this thread for quick action meant that I gave my Russian 1 class a sharp talk this morning, because when I came back from taking parents to the hospital yesterday, I found that there had basically been a food fight in my classroom. I asked them how they thought that made me feel, and they finally admitted that it would feel like I couldn’t trust them. Yeah. Not an option. It’s not quite what we’ve been talking about, and I could only surmise which group had done it while I was vacuuming up the remains. I told them that now there will be notes to subs about no food, and that they wouldn’t even get a pass on standing in the doorway to munch if they get hungry for a few weeks. That was what got them. But before this document, I might not have thought of that. I would have just done the cleanup and ignored it the next day.

  6. I am watching a BBC murder mystery tonite. It’s called Blue Murder. Kids with no adults in their lives in trouble with the law, parents too busy to parent, etc. This phone call deal is about adults helping kids, that’s all. By not calling, we become part of the problem. I totally get your point, skip, but if somebody doesn’t show up really quickly in our current society as the adult, more and more kids are going to be in deeper and deeper trouble. Hey, if we can teach a little language on the side, fine. But the fact is that we as teachers owe our employers this other work as well. We can’t just shirk our responsibilities. Those of us who bury our heads in the sand and say we are only supposed to teach content have our heads wedged somewhere else. Not that we have to do it all, but on those occasions when a kid lets loose with a big stinky set of bad words right there in our classrooms for all to smell (there’s no place to hide), we can’t just ignore it anymore than we can ignore someone coming at us with a lead pipe.

  7. Sabrina Janczak

    Thank you Ben and all those who contributed in this wonderful document! I still feel so new at teaching and I confess that discipline is my biggest problem. Often I feel that my job is a lot about babysitting and a little about teaching. Can we teach a kid that does not want to learn? Is it our responsibility to motivate the kids? I don’t mind emulating the kids and leading by example but I find it hard to motivate the unmotivated.
    On the thread of calling parents or not, I often don’t call parents bc I assume (perhaps it is wrong of me) that they are a bigger version of the offenders and so why bother. When I have called though , I have noticed a difference in the behavior of the students, but it is usually short lived, and the recidivists soon enough go on the attack again. I feel stuck in behavior patterns with my kids that can only change if I engage into a paradigm shift, but I am not sure how to do it.
    I was raised and educated in France , and I feared my teachers. I understand that still today in France a kid who disrespects his/her teacher will get expelled. Can you imagine doing this here?

    1. …I find it hard to motivate the unmotivated….

      We can’t motivate anyone but we can give them success. That is connected not just to the way we teach but to the way we grade, which is a huge factor in motivation.

      My purpose with this document is that, rightly used, it can become as close to a paradigm shift as we may get, and that due entirely to its being use each time it is needed, with elegant consistency.

      I believe that this document can bring the recidivists to justice, again only if used consistently. Like Blaine says with TPRS, show me something better.

      I don’t quite get the reasoning on not calling bc a parent may be a bigger version of the kid. My thinking is that that would be a good thing. They can reason better, and if they can be made to understand that they are raising an asshole, it would help them.

  8. …can we teach a kid that does not want to learn?…

    I have some of the most reticent kids on the planet in my school. As I look back on my career in other schools, it strikes me how the situation is almost impossible. Honestly. Diana Noonan comments on it all the time. But I find that I am able to involve them, only bc of this method, however. So yes on that question.

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