Many times in education, we feel as if our kids have gotten the better of us and taken advantage of a situation. Sometimes this is entirely truebut other times, you may have not clarified the rules well enough. I think it’s important slow down when you are frsutrated or even angry and analyze all the facts in a calm, cool, collected manner. From that place only should you mete out judgment when a kid has broken a rule.
Let me give you an example …
We do AR reading at my school and the kids compete for points. My kids really get into this and they love to boast to me and each other about “how many points they have.” I have enjoyed this process and watching it since August but yesterday I found outr they were doing it wrong (best case scenario) and cheating (worst case). The kids were reading below first grade level books like Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss and then getting the point of so that they were worth. Instead of reading one chapter book that was worth 9 points, they would read 20 “baby books” and test 100% on them in ONE DAY. Thanks to the librarian for pointing this out to me.
As I accused the worst offenders I asked myself, “hmmm could I as the teacher have prevented this?” My answer was a sad: “yes.” I should have made sure each kid knew her/his level and reinforced the boundaries. Live and learn. Even after 11 years doing this, I have to learn the “model and repeat” rule again and again.
“Are They Sneaking Around or Did they Just Not Get it?”
In this case, I have to say, maybe they just didn’t get it because I failed to clarify it. A good teacher takes responsibility when that happens. That’s what I am going to do!