I Need to Chillax: Reflections on Management

Friday was a particularly challenging day for 7th period.  The last period at the end of a four-day week was just too much for them.  The class broke down with the usual litany of classroom distractions, and eventually, the class was lost.  No learning would be happening today.

I had the kids get out some paper and let me know how they felt about the class, what I could do to improve it, etc.  Many students took it as an opportunity to vent their frustrations about their classmates, the reading, all sorts of stuff.

Lots of students told me to be stricter.  I’m letting them get away with way too much, and they want some regulation: throwing kids out, detentions, writing kids up.  Duly noted.

The other half of the class either didn’t write anything at all, or gave me blanket statements of boredom or frustration with the material.  The book’s boring; I don’t like reading along with someone; I don’t like reading at all; I don’t like school, period.

But here’s my favorite, most helpful response:

What is wrong with this class?  Mr. Harding you need to chillax (take a chill pill) it is the last class of the day of course everyone is gonna be active & not paying attention every one is ready to get out of school.

&

If you really want us to cooperate no offense but be confident.  I’m not saying your not but you don’t seem like it.

Another thing: your teaching techniques are good but some students learn better their own way.

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2 responses to “I Need to Chillax: Reflections on Management

  1. Whoa! I applaud your bravery at even asking your students to vent about how they really feel. Do you think their honesty about your need to be “stricter” will help you to lay down the law? I think that sometimes it’s hard to be mean. BUT – I will tell you that there is a student of mine who is driving me up a wall and another teacher sent her to ISS on Friday. Friday was a good day.

  2. Yeah, I’m with Jaime. On Monday and Tuesday this week, the two worst students weren’t in my 3rd period class. Everyone had a much better time, and some actual learning took place.

    I’m having trouble with my last period (6th) class misbehaving, particularly after the students have gone to their lockers. The “team” decided that the last 15 minutes of the day are to be a silent study hall. This is totally ridiculous! The students just want to chill out (chillax) and chat with their friends at the end of the day. I want to do the same thing…is that so wrong?

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