Sunday, January 08, 2006

Class Rules

Ms. Frizzle wrote about the various, and often incredibly obvious ways kids deceive her in order to chew gum. They get caught, and simply deny everything. I suppose denial, nowadays, is the American way, but I’m still largely unimpressed with it.

I think it’s very important to have and enforce classroom rules, but I have only two:

1. We will treat one another with respect, and

2. We will use only English in the classroom.

As an ESL teacher, rule no. 2 is the one that gives me the most trouble. I have to constantly reinforce that, or my class will become the same time-waster my high school Spanish classes were.

I won't give kids a hard time about eating or chewing gum anymore, unless they make noise, litter, or otherwise disrupt my class.

If a kid makes a snapping sound with gum, I'll continue doing whatever I'm doing while strolling over to the kid with the trash can in one hand. I'll stand next to the kid, talking only about the lesson, and asking questions of other students, until the gum is spit out.

In our school, many kids have lunch at 8:58 AM. Many more don't have it at all. I let kids bring sandwiches and eat in my class if they like, and if they show up on time.

I suppose if conditions were different, I might behave differently.
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