The Proverbial Straw…You Know, With The Camel?

It has been a rough start to the school year. Just rough. As I’ve said before…lots of crying (um, TEACHERS crying, not students…ok, well they cry too, but that’s hardly shocking), rampant gossip and The Great Parking Crisis. Oh yeah, and I’m still mourning my class from last year and trying to find things to love about my current friends.

So, yes, you might say that I have a lot on my plate for September. (Is it only September??? I am so tiiiirrred!) And you might also say that I have a bit of a short fuse. Maybe.

As many of you who are teachers already know, September is the time of year for setting up routines. (This process has also been referred to as “breaking little spirits”…)

In all fairness, I am finding that some of my new friends are super cute. We have moved from vacant blank stares into actually starting to think for ourselves which is something. And they’ve finally stopped constantly begging for water and the bathroom. Progress, right? (Be careful, I’m on a bit of an edge here….)

Then there’s this one boy. Who’s huge. Huge as in height, huge as in weight and huge as in annoying. (Was that out loud? Bad teacher!) Seriously, for someone so huge, he is the biggest baby I have ever had in my classroom. In the last few days he has (among other things) made a habit of shouting out, has hit several children, refused to do any work despite the fact that he is completely capable, cried, kicked furniture, thrown pencils, glued his hands together and hummed so loudly that children around him fled to quiet corners of the room on their own.

If I ask everyone to sit on the carpet once, I have to ask him four times. Everyone puts their backpack away and sits down in the first five minutes, he takes twenty minutes and constant supervision. When everyone else listens, he hums or bangs on his desk. When everyone else is working, he does his damndest to F it all up.

Long story short…he is on my last nerve. (I’m imagining frantically circling the block to find parking for this?? I’m supposed to do it “for THIS kid” too?) And the last nerve of all of my new friends too.

Today, he yelled at another kid to “shut up.” (The child at whom he was yelling was not making any noise, by the by.)
The other child looked up and said, ” you’re telling ME to shut up??!? You NEVER shut up!”

And I knew it was time. We had an emergency class meeting, with Big Boy, in which we talked about how his behavior made everyone else feel. There was no pointing, no tattling, and no name calling allowed. My friends were only allowed to say how Big Boy’s behavior made them feel.

They were brilliant.

“I feel upset because you are wasting our learning time and I want to learn.” (who knew?)
“I am angry because I don’t like hearing Mrs. Mimi raise her voice.” (Mrs. Mimi doesn’t like the yelling either…)
“I am annoyed because she doesn’t ask us to do anything we don’t know how to do, so why can’t you do it?” (I love you!!)
“I am sad because you make it hard for me to do my work.” (Maybe you guys are kind of cute…)

Long story longer, it made me start to see how cute these new friends can be. And Big Boy ended up having the best day he’s ever had.

It was kind of amazing (although I’m not sure how appropriate).

(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)
  • Who gives a rat ass how appropriate is was–at least it worked–for now.

    September 26, 2008 at 12:22 am
  • TOTALLY appropriate. Unless you have only one child in your class. They all deserve your time. I am right there with you. My disrupter? Would not cry, he would throw a chair. AT people.

    September 26, 2008 at 12:34 am
  • that sounds like a tribes activity. Very cool how you were able to think of that (instead of…well throwing a book at him). I have a similar child, and i’m all out of big books. Here’s a tribes link if you want to find more ways to have a classroom community….

    September 26, 2008 at 12:41 am
  • I sooooo feel your pain. In my room we have our big disrupter, although he IS a bit on the petite side. (Sadly, I’ve been thinking he looks like Igor, and now that movie is coming out and I’ll be damned if he doesn’t look exactly LIKE that character!)

    Anyhoo, we use I-Messages with him ALL.THE.TIME, similar to what you did.

    “I feel (state feeling)
    when you (state what he did) because (state effects of his behavior).
    I want (state a desired change).”

    The kids who are wronged feel better when they get it off their chests and Igor has to feel the burn of his own actions thrown right back at him.

    I meant to say, he learns a lesson about consequences.

    September 26, 2008 at 12:44 am
  • Um, has he been tested? WHile he may just be a big crybaby, there might be something else going on. You might want to have that checked out….

    September 26, 2008 at 1:35 am
  • Aww . . . maybe they’re a little cute after all.

    September 26, 2008 at 1:42 am
  • Hey betsy,
    Oh he’s been tested. Last year. But I, his teacher, have no access to his results. His teacher last year never saw them either. Supposedly he got picked up by the counselor a few times, but we’ve never seen her. And she doesn’t seem to be interested in my various notes, emails, or messages.

    Sad, right???

    September 26, 2008 at 2:11 am
  • Well played, I’d say. And if it worked, all the better!

    September 26, 2008 at 2:49 am
  • Well done dear! I had a whole class of those boys last year…….. only 170-something more days…….. 🙂

    September 26, 2008 at 2:58 am
  • Oh Mimi!! You are one funny lady!!Your blog takes the edge off of a loooooong day!!

    September 26, 2008 at 5:45 am
  • Unless the laws are different where you are than they are where I am, I do not think it’s legal to not have at least his teacher from last year aware of his testing results. My last five years of teaching were in SPED; it was a HUGE no-no to hold a meeting without regular ed present. HUGE. In fact, we’d have to reschedule, or get regular ed attendance “in writing”, which means a lot of extra paperwork.

    If he did qualify, it’s in violation of a handful of SPED laws to not have a copy of at least his accoms.

    Does your school not to Response to Interventions? RtI was required at our school if a kid didn’t qualify. It is also starting to replace the whole SPED process for a variety of placements.

    I’d ask if I were you; and document any refusals of information. That way, if the parents get sue-happy about the child’s needs not being served if he is identified somehow, your butt is covered.

    September 26, 2008 at 10:37 am
  • “I feel upset because you are wasting our learning time and I want to learn.”

    I love this answer!! Wow! I’m impressed.

    September 26, 2008 at 1:44 pm
  • BarbJ

    Mimi – I had a similiar class meeting with my new Kinder-friends last week about one of our little girls who NEEDS to be in SPED (and I’m working on it, but those gears grind slowly) and who is, in the meantime, driving the other children batty. Seriously, if they were a flock of chickens, they would have pecked her to death by now! She hits, pinches, knocks over blocks, smashes play dough creations, and then lhao while they scream in frustration. But rather than having the children direct their comments at her (which she wouldn’t have understood, according to our speech path. she has the verbal abilities of a 2 yr old) we talked about how “one of our friends” had never been to preschool or daycare and this “friend” needed extra help from EVERYONE to learn how to act at school and how this “friend” really wants to play with them but doesn’t understand how to play nicely (sad but true!). It helped, at least a little. Some of my other little girls are mother-henning her now (which was what I hoped for) and the class as a whole is just more tolerant of her toddler-like behavior.

    So I say ye-haw for the class meeting and I think it’s good for Big Boy to hear exactly how his behavior is affecting his classmates.

    September 26, 2008 at 1:49 pm
  • Girl, you just started my day off with a bang! I love that this worked for you!! We are having our first staff development day of the year, so the babies aren’t here today (which is why I can check blogs at 8:52 am!) and I’m just so thankful that I won’t be having a day like this today. And, in my opinion, COMPLETELY appropriate!!

    September 26, 2008 at 1:53 pm
  • ns

    your post reminds me of this incident:

    I am not saying you are like this teacher. I think you did it right, whereas, the teacher here, went about it the wrong way.

    September 26, 2008 at 6:21 pm
  • Anonymous

    I ran across this post because it was linked to an ASCD newsletter. Honestly, I’m appalled at this blog. I don’t dispute your frustrations or your techniques, but I am aghast at the breach of confidentiality and unprofessionalism that you and some of the other teachers exhibit on a public forum. I hope that the parent of “Big Boy” or any of the other students mentioned here (or your principals for that matter) don’t catch wind of your blog.

    September 26, 2008 at 7:25 pm
  • WebDeavah

    LOL! I am with Jennifer–Who gives a rat’s ass?! I, too, have a disrupter but a little girl, which, in my experience, is rare. She just returned from a two-day suspension for biting a little boy. You’d think she’d lay low for a day or two before she started back in on her deviant behavior. However, she’s right back at it. I am trying to build a mental health case . . . FOR ME! I do like the “tribe” thing you did and will try that when I return to school next week. Good luck with the rest of the year! I’ll definitely be checking back with your blog.

    September 26, 2008 at 7:53 pm
  • Why is it that when people want to leave insulting, judgemental comments, they always do it anonymously?

    September 26, 2008 at 8:38 pm
  • Mrs. M.

    Anonymous, I don’t see any confidentiality issues here. Nobody know what school or even state “Miss Mimi” teaches in, and she didn’t use a child’s name. I’m really impressed by the way the whole class was able to express their feelings respectfully and appropriately to let this child know what he was doing wasn’t appropriate. Way to go!

    September 26, 2008 at 9:01 pm
  • Hey anonymous- you’re an ass= there was no confidentiality broken here.

    Mimi- was that like the elementary school version of an intervention?

    I hate to say it- but I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with the boy- I just think he’s a big old bully who is, most likely, coddled and spoiled at home and is treated like the little prince. I’m sort of surprised that the parents didn’t come up though- in my school, the kid would have found a way (even a young one!) to text his mommy from the bathroom to tell of his mistreatment.

    September 26, 2008 at 10:16 pm
  • Thanks for the love everyone! I have to admit, I was surprised to see such a hateful comment, but I guess it is to be expected from time to time. I’m assuming that maybe too many of my critiques hit too close to him…like I say to my kids, “When people are really upset about our own behavior, sometimes they lash out at others to try and make themselves feel better.”

    But anonymous, you are entitled to your opinions. I, however, have never named a child, colleague, school, city or state. Nor will I ever.

    September 26, 2008 at 10:31 pm
  • Anonymous

    As a veteran building and district administrator, I have an obligation to let you know that that you’re lucky I wasn’t in your classroom to observe your your handling if this situation. You may be sure that your principal will hear about it, though. Regardless of how effective your might have been, you singled out ONE child in front of his peers and his parent easily could claim that you made her child the object of derision and ridicule in front of your entire class. Granted, for some unknown reason, you are not privy to whatever Learning Disability or other “disabling condition” (including any number of psychiatric conditions) he might have. I cannot imagine any legal or administrative reason for your not being able to access any information about your student. However, I do hope you have your explanation all ready for your principal. Parents of such children are often vocal and come directly to us. You also had an obligation to bring the counselor’s lack of response to the attention of your and his supervisor. No counselor who ever worked for me ignored an administrative directive to confer with a teacher. Somehow I don’t think you’ll feel quite so successful after a talk with your principal. A situation such as this — to be handled in a public venue — must be handled so delicately that I doubt most newer teachers could resolve the matter and also render herself “reprimand proof.” (I can think of at least a dozen experienced teachers with whom I’ve worked who could have resolved this situation without reducing a child to tears in front of his classmates.)I couldn’t defend your actions to this child’s parents — especially since it smacks more of “Lord of the Flies” than any of this “tribes” nonsense. The bottom line here is that a parent would come to me in my office and inform me that your actions and actions you encouraged your students to take resulted in her child’s crying for “ten full minutes,” if I recall your post accurately. There’s no way I could justify that or defend you and I always have taken the position that one of my primary responsibilities is to defend my teacher’ actions in the classroom until and unless I have a solid, concrete reason not to so so. For your sake, I hope you have tenure — and I hope you do a little more thinking and act with less impulsivity in the future. Seeing posts such as your make me very glad to be able to state that my Ph.D. is in English and American Literature and not in education. (I have an M.S.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision, which I earned several years after completing my doctorate.) There is always a better way than to cause a a child to cry!

    September 26, 2008 at 10:49 pm
  • Thinking of trying this with my kindergarten class. And to make you smile just think. Since I work in child care there are no days off. So when you have holiday /christmas break. We still have all those children even the ones that well are the ones you hope just once they will be absent. It all comes down to choices though yes I chose this career and to teach in a child care center. But just think and laugh to yourself next time you have a day off some kid somewhere is having a field day with his/her child care teacher. There is no countdown with us as we run a summer program too.
    Do you feel better now?

    September 26, 2008 at 10:49 pm
  • Anonymous

    This is totally inappropriate on the part of the teacher. Put yourself in the position of that child. There most definitely is a reason for his problems at school. Find out what they may be instead of bullying him under the guise of a team meeting. Please heed the advice of the people directing you to special education services and find out about the laws as they relate to the children in your care. This child’s parent can go to the media, call an attorney, or otherwise fill your days with long committee meetings and due process hearings away from your class or after school into the evenings. Please remember, all of you, that your job is to do the best you can for ALL of the children in your classes. If you can’t or won’t do that, perhaps you should find another profession. Please don’t take out your frustrations on your students.

    September 26, 2008 at 10:58 pm
  • I think that the last two comments (a “veteran administrator” / anonymous #1 and the other anonymous comment(#2) were completely off-base. Since when did it become hurtful to tell people (even small ones) how their actions affect and hurt the people around them? Since when did honesty become the exception and not the norm? I am thankful(anonymous #1) that you are not my building administrator. If the only experience and knowledge you have of my teaching is through the words of an angry parent and not first hand observation (informal and formal) you have no right to be in your position. I would hope you would defend teachers because you are confident and knowledgeable regarding their teaching practices, not their title. As for anonymous #2 – since when did expressing remorse about one’s actions equal emotional scaring and abuse. Kids – of all ages -appreciate a caring, honest environment in which to learn. They know an insincere gesture when the hear/see it.

    As for PhD (anonymous #1) – so what? Why was that injected into the discussion? I can assure you that for teachers who actually teach, any combination of letters after your name is not impressive.

    September 27, 2008 at 5:18 am
  • For all of the anonymous posts, let me explain how things work in the real world. I teach high school — 11th and 12th graders, and my biggest problem is that they have been coddled and spoiled since day one. They are unable and unwilling to take responsibility for themselves and run to whomever they can solicit sympathy whenever anything doesn’t go their way. Today alone I made 5 students cry, one told me to go to hell, and another told me my class was bull$*#t all because I refused to take late work, which has resulted in a failing grade for these students. If students, of any age, do not begin to take responsibility and mature, the world will run them over and they’ll never know what hit them. Miss Mimi did a terrific thing by instilling a realization in that student that his actions affect others and he must be held accountable for them. Congratulations Miss Mimi on being a strong teacher who cares about her students’ success after they leave school (which is our ultimate goal, by the way).

    September 27, 2008 at 5:19 am
  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    September 27, 2008 at 7:14 am
  • Sorry for the delete above-
    after re-reading the original post and the follow-up post, I think my original post would of come off the wrong way.

    September 27, 2008 at 7:16 am
  • I love it that someone who has spent little, if any, time in a clasroom chastises you for so-called inappropriate behavior. He/she/it does not understand tenure and the concept behind it which is academic freedom.

    Nor does he have any notion that it is your responsibility to teach all the kids and not expend most of your energy trying to calm down one twentifourth or so of your class.

    I am not saying that I would handle it that way but you keep trying until something works.

    And I would hazard a guess that prior teachers let Big Butt get away with a lot of inappropriate behavior!

    It requires far more dedication and effort to try to settle thing kid down. You have to “fight” with him or he will control your class.

    And he is in every class be it Hugo, Cesar, Luis, Fernando, Oscar or whomever.

    When I grew up I went to Catholic schools and some of the nuns bordered on SADISTIC.

    Children could be seen and not heard.

    If we dared to tattle on the teacher for being beaten at school, we got hit at home.

    These practices were the norm.

    The pendelum has swung entirely the opposite way. Children are coddled and often are SPOILED brats.

    We need to be somewhere in the middle!

    I had a loud-mouth, mentally slow SECOND grader of illegal aliens tell me he was going to get me put in jail! (For what, I do not even recall. But i never hurt a kid. I love kids.)

    I believe in talking straight to the kids- it works for me!

    I turned and looked at him and said “You know what, Pedro? My brother is a judge and he can put you AND your Mommy and your Daddy in jail! That’s his job! And how dare you talk to me like that!”

    Pedro was stunned.

    That shut him up but good! He was hearing it at home, of course!

    The disrespect for teachers is sometimes tangible!

    And it makes me feel like a FOOL sometimes for busting my butt continuously, for spending my hard earned money on their bratty kids!

    But I do not do it for the blowhard parents- I am there for the kids. I got into teaching as I enjoy children and prefer them to adults.
    Another time I heard a teacher say that the administrators better not see me putting a kid in a corner- with a chair to sit on! I said “Too bad.”

    I have to do something to calm that kid down and isolation is often the only effective alternative available.

    Give me a break! Hell, I’ll go sit in that corner if it woul give me 5 minutes of peace and quiet.

    I rarely send kids to the office. I just do not believe it it. It is sending a message to that kid that I cannot handle him.

    I have had principals compliment me on that.

    But one of the very same principals kept sending an extremely disruptive kid back into the classroom. I was ready to kill him!

    IF i send one of two kids a year- I EXPECT and DEMAND back-up. But more often than not- it is not there!

    I had a student who demanded constant attention- a fouth grader. Oscar was driving me nuts. I finally made a deal with him. And I told him my idea and why I was doing it.

    I told him he wanted too much of my attention, he was driving me nuts. I told him that i actually liked him (and I did) and that I loved his sense of humor.

    But that I wanted to try just giving him some time with most of my attention and would he try to stay calm for the rest of the day. We agreed to try it.

    While I took attendance, collected forms from home etc in the morning, Oscar would come by and sit with me for about 10 minutes.

    While I was attending to the tasks, we sat and just chatted, about everything under the sun.

    Finally SOMETHING WORKED! He was still a pain in the butt but he calmed down over night, like a miracle.

    So my advice to you is to keep trying. If you do so, you will hit on something that works for that kid.

    Just bear in mind, he is VERY likely dealing with loads of heavy duty conflict at home so try to focus on his positive traits although you might need a microscope to find them. ;o)

    September 27, 2008 at 9:37 am
  • Wow – lots of debate happening here eh? Well, here's my favourite part of this piece:

    "There was no pointing, no tattling, and no name calling allowed. My friends were only allowed to say how Big Boy's behavior made them feel."

    Perhaps if the anonymous posters had re-read that statement they might understand how that class meeting went. It doesn't sound like a big old bully session to me.

    In fact, it sounds more like "circle time" or "tribes" – 2 very powerful & effective approaches in the classroom to deal with classroom community.

    Thanks for sharing your writing with us!

    September 27, 2008 at 3:32 pm
  • Wow! I am nothing but impressed with the way you handled this with a class meeting.

    A similar situation happened in the school I was working in last year. Except that it was the principal who initiated the discussion with the disruptive student. Let me explain.

    We were having a class meeting, and the principal happened to walk in for a few minutes. Some kids were talking about how they felt bullied by another student on the bus, in the schoolyard, etc. The principal explained how it was unfair to be having this discussion without the student in question being present to defend himself. So he sent someone to go get the student to join in on the discussion.

    It was absolutely amazing. Like in this post, the kids used “I” statements explaining how his behaviour made them feel. The student apologized and had to explain what he was going to do next, or what he was going to change in his behaviour.

    It was so visible how the kids felt empowered. It gave them tools (strategies) on how to deal with difficult situations. It gave the bully the opportunity to look inwardly and realize that his behaviour wasn’t as popular as he thought. It was wonderful all around.

    September 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm
  • This is interesting.

    IEP: if there is none, you don’t have rights to the evaluation. And if there is none, then there is no IEP meeting. Sometimes the parent wants the teacher to see the evaluation results anyhow.

    Appropriate? I wondered, as I read, the same thing. I think you are probably fine, but the anonymouses raised a point that is worth investigating. Do you have someone to run this past in your building who can advise you? Or from outside the building?

    First one. Aghast. But there is no breach of confidentiality here. (others have said it better)

    Second one. Veteran building and district administrator. I’m going to hold back a little. Because you are a disgrace, disgusting, and you should be as far from children as possible (granted a district office is a good start).

    1. There is no IEP. There is no diagnosed LD. I’m not smarter than you because I have secret information; I’m smarter than you because I read.

    2. The teacher’s intent is clear. The teacher’s commitment is clear. The teacher’s dedication is clear. If she is wrong (and I don’t think so), but if she is wrong, she needs advice, information. You offer beratement and condemnation?

    3. You seem to be looking for reasons not to back the teacher. I’ve heard it from dozens of admins “I defend my teachers” and it ends there, but when I hear “I defend my teachers” — “unless,” or “until,” or “up to the point” I know that it’s baloney.

    4. “I hope you have tenure” “…after a talk with your principal” “I hope you have your explanation all ready…” “your principal will hear about it” “you’re lucky I wasn’t there” Your writing is the epitome of the cowardly bully. Threaten from far away.

    I see you have some advanced degrees (why did you think anyone here would care?) But seeing that you possess them, might I suggest you seriously consider using one to land a job far from where you could do further (because I assume you pull this crap IRL, as well) to dedicated teachers and vulnerable children?

    Third one. “totally inappropriate.” It’s a real discussion, as you can see. I’m concerned that you’ve expressed your opinion (you certainly don’t know the rules and culture of Mimi’s district) as fact. And I can’t understand how a thinking person would address a caring, skilled teacher (and there are dozens of posts in this blog, there is no doubt; she is both caring and skilled) and suggest that they leave teaching. Your comment was irresponsible.

    Jonathan jd2718

    September 27, 2008 at 5:33 pm
  • I’ve been watching these comments with a great deal of interest.

    I think that Mimi handled the situation in a way that could have gone terribly wrong if not done correctly, but she handled it just fine. The thing is, if a kid is disrupting other kids and upsetting them, they will let that person know eventually – and more often than not, not in a good way.

    Mimi took her class and let them express their feelings without being mean, taunting, or bullying. She allowed another young man to see what his behavior meant to others. Sometimes kids don’t know that what they’re doing has an effect on others. They need that behavior labeled in order to begin addressing it. I’ve had to tell a kid his behaviors were bullying before he’d stop. “Don’t pick on so-and-so” had no effect, but “When you do that, you make your friends feel bullied” put an end to the behaviors.

    Don’t forget that this meeting was held with the disruptive student present – that’s a huge step towards doing things properly. I have literally had a teacher promise that one of my students, who had been removed from school for aggressive behavior, “won’t ever come back to our class.” She did not understand why I, as the SPED teacher, became absolutely livid that she A) had a meeting about my student without him present, and B) Made a promise that she had no authority or right to make. If my little guy had had a teacher like Mimi instead of the one he had, I imagine he would be a much different kid now. Instead, that lower-elementary teacher ruined any chance I had at getting him to feel anything but animosity towards his peers.

    The point of Mimi’s exercise wasn’t to single out a kid and make him feel bad. It was to point out behaviors he could change and explain why it would benefit the whole group to do so.

    Mimi, I suggest that after two or three days of improved behavior, hold another meeting – this time with all your kids telling this kiddo how much they appreciate his new habits.

    September 27, 2008 at 5:50 pm
  • Hey Sparky. (that means “anonymous”). What should she have done? Instead of criticizing; help. direct, lead, set an example, provide input. This is a caring person who does not want one student messing up every other one.

    September 27, 2008 at 7:08 pm
  • I see we’re moving on from this post, but I still have to comment because I don’t think that the reality of your teaching situation is evident to certain commenters.

    An administrator might have walked into your room during that discussion and taken action against you? I almost fell out of my chair with that one. It’s clear from your other posts that classroom walk-throughs would result in severe disruption to the tightly scheduled day of newspaper reading and breakfast ordering.

    It’s a totally different world with an incompetent and indifferent administration. Demanding that SPED paperwork be processed more quickly? You’re lucky the people in charge even show up for work. The fact that the paperwork process was even begun is a miracle in some schools.

    Why do people post judgmental messages? Because the systemic corruption you’re dealing with is simply unfathomable to them. They think the necessary supports are in place, and you’re simply not utilizing them, when in fact, that anonymous administrator is the lucky one, not you, that s/he isn’t in charge at your school. That person wouldn’t last a day with the challenges in your district.

    September 27, 2008 at 7:47 pm
  • This was a great post by a great teacher. That so-called administrator wouldn’t know good teaching if it bit him/her in the proverbial a** (probably because they never did the very thing they are criticizing your for – y’know, that little thing called TEACHING?!)

    You rock!

    September 27, 2008 at 9:27 pm
  • lol @ the anonymous admin. As a teacher at a charter school serving at-risk kids, with no union contract, let me tell you how scary his post(s?) are.

    During the course of an unofficial lecture on my classroom management by the vice principal last week, I voiced concern that because 4 teachers were fired without warning last June, I felt I was walking on eggshells. I was told that “as long as you are doing a good job you have no need to worry!”

    Well, in some utopia where every admin. is an insightful, competent, trustworthy, a-political authority – that might be the case. But in reality, people are complicated. Teaching is complicated. For instance, as a 3rd year teacher, I still have plenty to learn about management… but I also have been forced to teach a K/1 blend, which is 80% male and ELL, with a standards-based, paced, interventionist curriculum. Half the time. Double the work. No contract. No hazard-pay.

    Many admins would understand what I’m going through. Apparently some do not.

    Anyway… long story short, what Mimi has posted may not be “textbook” pedagogy in some people’s books – and in some districts cause for skepticism. But she obviously loves her kids, did what she thought needed to be done at the time, and apparently was successful.

    Given the insanity that teachers are being asked to juggle on a daily basis, give us a fucking break.

    September 27, 2008 at 10:10 pm
  • My circle of happiness is complete. I see that Angela Powell (another rockin’ rockstar) teacher posted a comment on Mimi’s rockin’ blog. Two of my favorite “online” teachers. I heart the blogosphere and I heart them!

    September 28, 2008 at 1:43 pm
  • Wow. I just picked up on this thread and the one on the other post.
    Anonymous is definitely an adroid.

    September 28, 2008 at 2:18 pm
  • oops- meant to write “android”
    An automaton that is created from biological substances

    September 28, 2008 at 2:22 pm
  • Has this post changed since I read it initially?

    It seems different.

    Plus, some of the comments refer to a period of time spent crying and I don’t see it now.

    Just curious.

    As an aside, I also value the input of all persons commenting— anonymous or signed—-regardless of the person’s job title (teacher, admin, parent, whatevah)

    Even tho I value and welcome all comments EXCEPT those who use profanity.. I don’t always agree w/ them. As I age, I (for ME.. not you) have found that often the best response or reaction is None.

    Kinda like.. if you don’t drink (the first beer), ya cant get drunk. And if you don’t engage in conversations (or rebuttals) w/ jerks, they cn’t push yr buttons–or at least they won’t know they pushed them..

    Well, that prolly made no sense



    September 28, 2008 at 10:25 pm
  • I think you handled the problem very well. My whole district uses the Tribes learning community activities. I think there is too much time spent worrying about what parents will think or do about what goes on in our classes. Administrators worry too much about getting sued or ruffling parental feathers.

    You addressed a huge societal issue…Personal Responsibility. That is our soceity’s problem…it’s always someone else’s fault and no one should be held accountable for their behavior. And, that is completely ridiculous.

    Great job, Mrs. Mimi! :^)

    September 28, 2008 at 11:35 pm
  • I used to work in one of those negative whistle-blowing schools. One of the things that my kids liked best in my classroom was community circle, where they could address any issue that occurred during the day using an I-statement. Inevitably, other children came up in conversation.

    Yet, surprisingly, community circle was always one of the most positive parts of the day. It was often filled with apologies and acknowledgement of behavior that could be improved. Kids know when they can improve. Sometimes, a little self-evaluation helps them put that improvement into action.

    Great job on helping your students learn a valuable lesson!

    September 29, 2008 at 5:25 pm
  • Thanks for the shout-out, Emily. Yes, I most definitely read and LOVE Mimi’s blog. Since I don’t blog anonymously, Mimi says all the things I wish I could. 🙂

    October 3, 2008 at 2:26 pm
  • Funny how “anonymous” is no longer making comments after feeling a little heat. And I totally agree with kathleen about the poster being a non-teacher with only degrees and theories to back them up. I had a blog several years ago. I commented on a personal observation. And really, isn’t that what a blog is? A sort-of diary. An idiot decided that MY personal opinion was stupid and proceeded to harrass me on HIS blog. So much so that he had others put up nasty and idiotic comments on my blog. I ended up closing my blog to everyone except close friends. Too bad because it makes my friends chuckle.

    October 7, 2008 at 7:58 pm
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    March 3, 2009 at 2:21 pm
  • 希望大家都會非常非常幸福~

    April 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm

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