Are you kidding me?

May 12th, 2008

This is a true story.

A class of kindergarteners were dropped off with a specialist teacher. The normal specialist teacher was out so the founder of the school subbed.

The class entered the room and tore through the room screaming and fighting for seats. As teacher left she overheard the sub say “Take your seats. Your teacher is still here.” Umm…no. The teacher had left for her prep time.

30 minutes later, the teacher returned to pick up the class. Before she left her doorway she heard shrieking coming all the way down the hall. Can you guess where it was coming from?

She returned to her students to see another teacher repremanding the class. When she entered the room the sub greeted her with “Are these your students?” (at this point a smart teacher would have said no and turned around and walked out of the room). The sub then went on to tell her how terrible her class was. All of them. Every student. Terrible. And also informed her that 5 students had earned a detention that afternoon.

The teacher’s response? A very firm “Turn your voices off and put your heads down. Now.” And the room was silent. Quietly they lined up and quietly they walked back to class. Rest time was quiet and reading class was quiet.

When the detention announcements were made the kindergarten names were not on the list. When the teacher asked the sub if he gave the list to the school secretary he said no. The teacher asked if he would still like the students to report to detention. “When is it?” he asked.

“Tonight or Wednesday.”

“They can just go Wednesday.”

The teacher oh so patiently explained that kindergarteners don’t think that way. Consequences need to be as immediate as possible in order for them to be effective. It would be best to have them serve detention tonight.

The response? “It’s okay. They don’t have to go.”

“But if they don’t go, they will think that their behavior was okay.”

“It’s okay. They can just be okay. The whole class was terrible. They can be okay and not go to detention.”

Once again, the teacher tried to explain. “If you say you are going to give them a consequence and you don’t follow through, the next time you give them a consequence they will have no reason to believe you. You will have lost all authority with them.”

“It’s okay. They are in your class. You can give them the consequence tomorrow.”

The teacher opened her mouth to explain, again, sighed and walked away.

Seriously. True story.

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