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Old 03-19-2015, 10:19 PM
 
395 posts, read 306,184 times
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This is a topic I really am serious about, not because I don't know the differences between the types of classrooms, but because I want to know what teachers think about the way students are treated in college vs. the way students are treated at the K-12 level, and if we're really going about it the right way.

I've taken human growth psychology, so I know the mind of a child and adolescent is not the same as an adult, but I often wonder if we as teachers ever take advantage of that and go too far with it with the methods of discipline we use in schools.

I'm still a college student myself, so this isn't my attempt to try and claim I know everything and know what we're doing is wrong without experience, but if I got additional perspective from teachers of why we really need disciplinary methods such as detention, silent lunch, loss of activities, etc. when we wouldn't need to use those methods for college students. The most obvious answer is that college students are paying for their education and they are adults. However, what I really want to know is, what does it mean for a teacher to have respect for their students?

Part of this I will admit is more of an emotional reason and not necessarily a logical one, but when I was in my first attempt at student teaching, I had flashbacks of the trauma I had in middle school seeing the teachers yelling down the hall telling the students to behave, making them have a pass every time they leave the room, yelling out orders. The question that comes to mind is, are we in prison or are we in school?

One of my goals is an attempt to be more professional with my career choice, but how much of teaching is supposed to be taking the place of parents, and how much is it supposed to be taking on the role of a professional educator, and why is it that way? How are you confident that you are showing courtesy and respect to your students, while being firm and disciplining them at the same time?


I don't want to teach college or be a professor, but I've been told I'm teaching more like a college professor multiple times. One scenario was when the 8th grade class was talking constantly, and I finally just said I would wait for them to stop before going on, and it ended up wasting several minutes of class time. I was told I simply cannot get away with that as a middle school teacher even though I've seen college professors do it. Having autism is very tough, so I just wanna get some more perspectives on the differences in the learning environments with maybe some scientific reasoning instead of the typical, "kids need to respect adults" speech I always witness.
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Old 03-20-2015, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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The first thing to do is not assume that establishing and insisting upon structure and having nonnegotiable behavioral expectations is somehow indicative of disrespect.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:03 PM
 
4,366 posts, read 3,796,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enrico_Fermi View Post
This is a topic I really am serious about, not because I don't know the differences between the types of classrooms, but because I want to know what teachers think about the way students are treated in college vs. the way students are treated at the K-12 level, and if we're really going about it the right way.

I've taken human growth psychology, so I know the mind of a child and adolescent is not the same as an adult, but I often wonder if we as teachers ever take advantage of that and go too far with it with the methods of discipline we use in schools.

I'm still a college student myself, so this isn't my attempt to try and claim I know everything and know what we're doing is wrong without experience, but if I got additional perspective from teachers of why we really need disciplinary methods such as detention, silent lunch, loss of activities, etc. when we wouldn't need to use those methods for college students. The most obvious answer is that college students are paying for their education and they are adults. However, what I really want to know is, what does it mean for a teacher to have respect for their students?

Part of this I will admit is more of an emotional reason and not necessarily a logical one, but when I was in my first attempt at student teaching, I had flashbacks of the trauma I had in middle school seeing the teachers yelling down the hall telling the students to behave, making them have a pass every time they leave the room, yelling out orders. The question that comes to mind is, are we in prison or are we in school?

One of my goals is an attempt to be more professional with my career choice, but how much of teaching is supposed to be taking the place of parents, and how much is it supposed to be taking on the role of a professional educator, and why is it that way? How are you confident that you are showing courtesy and respect to your students, while being firm and disciplining them at the same time?


I don't want to teach college or be a professor, but I've been told I'm teaching more like a college professor multiple times. One scenario was when the 8th grade class was talking constantly, and I finally just said I would wait for them to stop before going on, and it ended up wasting several minutes of class time. I was told I simply cannot get away with that as a middle school teacher even though I've seen college professors do it. Having autism is very tough, so I just wanna get some more perspectives on the differences in the learning environments with maybe some scientific reasoning instead of the typical, "kids need to respect adults" speech I always witness.
Your experience sounds a lot like mine, right down to being autistic. Welcome to the real world, I guess. Here's a list of the mistakes I made (and sometimes continue to make). Maybe this will help.

*Don't "be their friend."

Man, I wish people trying to give advice would be more specific. What they mean by this is "act professional" (carry yourself in the same manner that other teachers carry themselves, and react to situations in a similar fashion as your mentor teacher reacts). Don't take off your mask or end your act for anything. You are an advocate of the subject and are there to help facilitate the student's learning of said subject. Anything else is off-limits, including playing favorites, trying not to hurt a child's feelings, providing extra help to one set of students but not to the others, trying to get kids to like you, etc. One pretty good point of advice is NEVER let things escalate. If you see two kids innocently bouncing a ball close to the floor, assume it will go through the window.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:05 PM
 
3,157 posts, read 3,275,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enrico_Fermi View Post
This is a topic I really am serious about, not because I don't know the differences between the types of classrooms, but because I want to know what teachers think about the way students are treated in college vs. the way students are treated at the K-12 level, and if we're really going about it the right way.

I've taken human growth psychology, so I know the mind of a child and adolescent is not the same as an adult, but I often wonder if we as teachers ever take advantage of that and go too far with it with the methods of discipline we use in schools.

I'm still a college student myself, so this isn't my attempt to try and claim I know everything and know what we're doing is wrong without experience, but if I got additional perspective from teachers of why we really need disciplinary methods such as detention, silent lunch, loss of activities, etc. when we wouldn't need to use those methods for college students. The most obvious answer is that college students are paying for their education and they are adults. However, what I really want to know is, what does it mean for a teacher to have respect for their students?

Part of this I will admit is more of an emotional reason and not necessarily a logical one, but when I was in my first attempt at student teaching, I had flashbacks of the trauma I had in middle school seeing the teachers yelling down the hall telling the students to behave, making them have a pass every time they leave the room, yelling out orders. The question that comes to mind is, are we in prison or are we in school?

One of my goals is an attempt to be more professional with my career choice, but how much of teaching is supposed to be taking the place of parents, and how much is it supposed to be taking on the role of a professional educator, and why is it that way? How are you confident that you are showing courtesy and respect to your students, while being firm and disciplining them at the same time?


I don't want to teach college or be a professor, but I've been told I'm teaching more like a college professor multiple times. One scenario was when the 8th grade class was talking constantly, and I finally just said I would wait for them to stop before going on, and it ended up wasting several minutes of class time. I was told I simply cannot get away with that as a middle school teacher even though I've seen college professors do it. Having autism is very tough, so I just wanna get some more perspectives on the differences in the learning environments with maybe some scientific reasoning instead of the typical, "kids need to respect adults" speech I always witness.
I have taught every level, from Kindergarten to college to senior citizen. I treat them all pretty much the same (with some obvious exceptions). But I respect everyone. I NEVER yell at students in anger. I don't insult them. I let people go to the bathroom or get a drink whenever they want, and I don't make them ask me. I don't do stupid rewards or threats or clip charts or detention or any of that. I have two classroom management techniques that work - a great lesson plan and a good relationship with my students. Teachers who don't actually know what good teaching is, or who don't want to or can't build strong relationships with their students use all that other junk. Positive rewards are good simply because they help create a positive climate. Responsive classroom techniques also help. But they don't control students - nothing controls students. They pretty have to want to behave.

Middle school is a tough age, because it's very hard to connect with them sometimes, and you have to have a lot of confidence. Confidence in your subject and confidence in your authority. They can smell fear. It's not a grade level I particularly want to teach again - I don't have the energy anymore.

Don't listen to people who say you need all that stuff. I'm not saying you don't need something - you do. I've seen your other posts. Making connections, reading people, that's not easy for you. So you'll probably need to focus on great lesson plans, keeping them busy, making the class so interesting that they actually want to be there. I don't really think the "I'll wait" approach is all that bad. I do it sometimes. Better than shouting.

And I agree that school is prison-like. So much so that it just kills me to send my child there every day.
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Old 03-21-2015, 12:38 AM
 
395 posts, read 306,184 times
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The issue is, I don't try to get them to like me, they usually just do because of my personality. However, the problem with this is that my maturity is still lagging to the teenage level due to my disorder and they start to think of me as the big kid in school. This does have its advantages sometimes, such as when kids come to me to talk about problems, such as an abusive environment at home because they aren't comfortable going to other teachers, but it is problematic in that sometimes their feelings get hurt if I try and correct their behavior.

The issue is, I want to not be taking advantage of the fact that they are kids the way I see some teachers do. The problem though is they don't have a choice of being at school or not, so I can't really just say don't come if you don't like it here. In my mentoring groups I volunteered with, that was a lifeline I had because they were getting the privilege of spending time with me.

The other problem I had was responding to disruptive behavior with sarcastic and smart ass remarks. Sarcasm has been a huge negative impact in my life, and I didn't see how harmful it was until the last year or so, and that was listed as a major flag of concern in my recent evaluations. The issue is more researching how to change since that is part of my personality, and putting those changes to practice.
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Old 03-21-2015, 04:23 AM
 
4,366 posts, read 3,796,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enrico_Fermi View Post
The issue is, I don't try to get them to like me, they usually just do because of my personality. However, the problem with this is that my maturity is still lagging to the teenage level due to my disorder and they start to think of me as the big kid in school. This does have its advantages sometimes, such as when kids come to me to talk about problems, such as an abusive environment at home because they aren't comfortable going to other teachers, but it is problematic in that sometimes their feelings get hurt if I try and correct their behavior.

The issue is, I want to not be taking advantage of the fact that they are kids the way I see some teachers do. The problem though is they don't have a choice of being at school or not, so I can't really just say don't come if you don't like it here. In my mentoring groups I volunteered with, that was a lifeline I had because they were getting the privilege of spending time with me.

The other problem I had was responding to disruptive behavior with sarcastic and smart ass remarks. Sarcasm has been a huge negative impact in my life, and I didn't see how harmful it was until the last year or so, and that was listed as a major flag of concern in my recent evaluations. The issue is more researching how to change since that is part of my personality, and putting those changes to practice.
Yeah, I think I know where you're coming from. I was seen as the "big kid" when I first started student teaching and working as a sub, too. It's really hard to gain their respect after being put into that category when you have to discipline the kids. They often don't see the logic behind your choices. It's important to try to be fair and consistent, explain when you feel you need to, and DON'T be their friends; come in with a let's-get-to-work attitude, don't try to connect with individual students (it's hard, I know), be prepared for the kids who say they loved you one day to completely turn on you the next, and, generally, try to establish a reputation as a cold hard no-nonsense professional. In general, I think I failed at most of this advice, so I don't really know if it will help you or not. I just don't have enough of an attitude, and the students tend to misread me terribly.

One problem I still have is that I sometimes let things escalate, because I forget that they aren't using logic. There's not a great age difference between a senior in high school and a sophomore in college, but college students are far more mature. High school students still don't have a real understanding of what the real world is like, and they are used to being given second and third chances when they fail. Plus, the classes vary a lot; there are a lot of people who genuinely don't want to be there, while in college, not so much. Generally, the people who don't want to go just don't. No one's forcing them anymore. Also, they learn very quickly that their professors won't tolerate goofing off. I often approach the high school students with the zeal of a ticked off professor; I do not come off as empathetic and caring when people challenge my authority.

Another issue I have is that I tend to take things a bit personally. The kids are misbehaving specifically because they want to give me a bad day. They want to give me, a wonderful person who likes teaching and helping people, a bad day. There is no excuse. Recently, a group of punks stole my cheap cell phone. It has no resale value and will cost more to replace than it was worth. My reasoning is that the kids knew that and just wanted to give me a hard time. I see it as a very rude calculated act of malice that should be punished to the full extent of the law. The school's attitude, though, might be, they're just kids. I should learn to shake things like this off. Take every precaution I can think of ( In this case, just don't bring a phone in, period. Leave it at home or locked in the trunk of the car,) but couple that with the constant badgering I get just for SHOWING UP, and I think you see why I'm a little frustrated as a sub.

Don't try to control them with your personality. That just will not work for me. I'm not quick-witted, snarky, or sarcastic in any acceptable way. I can make people laugh, but I've tried using humor with the students with disastrous results. I soon realized my joke came off as crude, rude, or mean, and the kids then tried to "correct" me by misbehaving and acting like I had no authority. It was just a big mess. I think that's the hardest part for people like us, actually knowing when, where, and how to say or do something (most of the time, if you can figure out the body language and how to use threats, warnings, etc., you don't really have to take any real action,) Personally, I'm still trying to learn it. I don't hate the kids; I just really hate their behavior. I have to remember to make that distinction. I also have to remember that they will not give me a pass when I mess up, because I'm the authority figure. They'll give each other a pass, but they are just waiting for me to fail so that they can take advantage of me. It's me against them.

Last edited by krmb; 03-21-2015 at 04:32 AM..
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:07 PM
 
395 posts, read 306,184 times
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The problem is, as far as being perceived as being the student's friends, as much as I keep professional distance, that's likely something that won't change because of my personality. It's just how I act, my demeanor, and the overall perception of how I interact with children. I have the ability of how to understand topics not to discuss with students, but as far as changing who I appear to be and looking like I'm their friend even if I'm doing my job as a teacher, it can't happen.
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Old 03-22-2015, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Middle America
37,330 posts, read 44,797,762 times
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That will continue to complicate things for you, if you do not make an effort to change your behavior. What you are terming as "just my personality" are in fact behavioral choices over which you do have control.
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Old 03-22-2015, 03:58 PM
 
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Youthful, energetic, and friendly are personality traits. Maturity I can change, but some things I don't want to change.
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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Ther's no reason to change those things. They've been an asset to me in my years of teaching as well. Those aren't the things that are causing you problems.
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