Oh the Salend book. So long, yet so full of insightful information. After reading just the first story at the beginning, I could already identify it with a student in my own classroom (I will call him Ben). The calling out of turn and chatting with classmates is a distraction to say the least. Sometimes I feel that Ben’s behavior is partially due to the fact that he is not challenged enough by some of the material we cover. It is like unless he is able to call out all of the answers he gets bored by the lesson. We have identified the problem behavior, but it is the next step that we are having difficulties with. We are not positive that his issues are interfering with his learning, but it is certainly interferring with our instruction and with others’ learning. According to Salend, we need to start recording the misbehavior, which I can understand. But it seems like an awfully time-consuming task that could take away for instruction even more. Now, if we had a specialist come in to do these “latency” or “interval” recordings, I would be all for it. Maybe my CT can do some of these during my full-time teaching.
It was interesting to read the section on socio-cultural factors, as I had never considered the fact that some of my ELL’s may have completely different concepts of time or styles of movement. Because of our EDUC 629 course last semester, I had thought about how ideas about respect for elders or about individual vs. group performance could differ among ELL’s. It is always good to have your knowledge and pedagogy reinforced through different texts, though.
I think Ben needs a behavioral intervention plan, even if it is just letting him put a sticker on his chart when he succeeds in not calling out. We have some of these charts in place now for a student who is shy (to encourage her to participate) and one for a student who needs extra encouragement in turing his homework in on time. These charts have 5 boxes on each row. When a row is filled with stickers, that student gets to go to the treasure box. This method really allows students to track their progress and gives them a constant motivational reminder to keep up the good work. I’m not sure that this kind of incentive would work for Ben, though. Maybe the behavior contract would be a better plan for him.
I like the idea of using humor to build strong relationships with our students. But I wonder just how funny we can be as student teachers. It is important for us to establish ourselves as authority figures and role models for our students.
I must admit that I am one very lucky student teacher, as the only behavior-related issues in my classroom are along the lines of calling out and focusing. I know that the issues could be much more severe, and I made sure to think of the “big picture” of teaching while reading this chapter. I am sure the strategies described will come in handy, which is why I definitely plan to keep this book around as a resource!
I hope yall had a wonderful snow-week (however many days you were actually in school!)