Friday, March 25, 2011


Today was my evaluation. It went well. Captain Principal said he sees growth in my use of data to impact student achievement and my confidence over all.

That is true. I've improved a lot over the last two years. Partly because I have so much more experience teaching. A lot because Captain Principal gave me so much room to be the teacher I can be.

There's a Psalm that says, "Fathers, don't exasperate your children." Well, maybe a Proverb??? My scripture knowledge is a little rusty these days.

Anyway, I think that it applies to all types of authority. Bosses don't exasperate your employees. Teachers don't exasperate your students.

During my evaluation, my students had a sub for one half hour. Unfortunately, the only sub we could get was really passive. She came in to do Math as the kids were coming back from lunch. She couldn't get them settled down. They were talking back, running around, and apparently generally out of control. She actually had to call the V.P. to restore order.

I have a student this year that I have nicknamed the Taz (as in Tasmanian Devil). He's one of the crazy eight. He is always making noises and messes. He destroys anything around him. If he doesn't have anything to destroy, he actually chews his own shirt until it soak all the way to the hem. The behavior intervention specialist got him this chew toy he has to chew on to stop him from licking his lips raw and chewing on his shirt. During the course of the year, he has turned around his behavior and improved his grades; but since break he has been just terrible.

The sub singled the Taz out as one of the worst, so I gave him a behavior reflection to fill out, take home, and have signed by his parents. He did fill it out, but he wrote in large letters across the bottom: ROCK ON.

I was pretty mad when I saw that, so I said, "Walk to the V.P.'s office and wait for me until I send the other kids to Music."

After the other children went to Music, I went to meet with the Taz and the V.P. in the V.P.'s office. "Taz," I said, "I don't understand. Before break, you were doing amazing. You improved your Math grades. You improved your behavior. You were doing amazing. Since break, we've had a problem every day, and today when you had to reflect you decided to celebrate your bad behavior by writing 'rock on.' It seems to me that you don't care about your Reading or your Math or school at all anymore."

The Taz is used to ending up in the principal's office for a variety of things, so he didn't break down, but he did soften. "I do care about my reading and my math. On break, I went and visited some family and it made me sad."

He didn't tell all of the details, and I knew some anyway, but he opened up. "Well," I said, "We want to help you make better choices. I want the Taz back who is so smart and so helpful, that was here before break."

After our little talk, he was back on. Well, on as much as the Taz ever is. All week, I've been moving him to seats by himself. I've been making him complete assignments on his break. Yet, the supportive talk was the answer.

I believe in discipline and accountability. I do. Most of the time there should be more. But, fathers should not exasperate their children. Those who follow you have to believe that you believe in them. Teachers have to believe that principals believe in them to succeed. Students have to believe that teachers believe in them to succeed.


Sundy said...

Thank you very much for this post. It is a great reminder for me. :)God bless you!

Ricochet said...

Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3:21 (you made me look it up!!). Apparently this is important enough to say twice. In a class, that would mean it would be on the test - so thank you for sharing!!