Unformatted text preview: Sam Jones October 5, 2009 Activity 3.8 Mrs. Pixley (The Dunham School) Mr. Donald (Glasgow Middle) Discipline is something that must be instituted in the classroom regardless of the level of schooling. Whenever a teacher attempts to instill classroom discipline, it can either be a failure or a success. The success of classroom discipline depends on the environment that the teacher creates. I interviewed a high school teacher and middle school teacher about their classroom setups and the discipline which they maintain in their classrooms. Each of them do things differently, but both have successful classrooms. The High School Teacher I interviewed was a freshman level civics teacher. She said that the first day of class and the first day of the week set the tone for the year and the weeks ahead. Coach Pixley said that she made sure that her classroom was set up with bright, interesting posters, motivational sayings, etc. But she made sure that wasn’t too cluttered, and had a distinct theme. She said that she wasn’t really as interested as a middle school teacher would be with making the classroom interesting. She wanted it to be inviting, but not childish. The Middle School Teacher I interviewed said that he had no problem with a cluttered wall. He said his main concern was not making the walls too distracting for the students. Mr. Donald continuously uses his wall posters about the Constitution during the section that I have been observing. Each article of the Constitution has a really good drawing/interpretation, which make it easy for a student to really understand and remember the articles. Mr. Donald says that every year, he tries to update his classroom, making it vibrant for the middle school mind, which he says definitely needs motivation. In the end, talking with students of each class, they seemed very happy with the classroom set up. Both had desks in rows in front of a chalkboard, projector in the middle, and teacher’s desk in the back. I viewed tests in both classes, and the teacher was actively patrolling, not allowing cheating. The students seemed to be in a comfortable environment in both classrooms, so now, on to classroom discipline. The two teachers definitely had different styles of discipline. The middle school teacher was more indirect with his discipline, and the high school teacher was not afraid to be confrontational. Let’s start with the middle school teacher: at Glasgow Middle, the discipline system revolves on Thumbs Up/Heads Up. If a student has “Thumbs Up,” then he or she can attend the function. If it’s “Heads Up,” then it is required study time. There is definitely more of an incentive to behave correctly, not poorly. Mr. Donald is always ready to threaten “heads up” and the “behavior book.” The behavior book is also something which Glasgow uses to keep discipline in the classrooms. Every time a student acts up and does something deserving punishment, he or she must sign the book. 2 signs equals a “heads up” and 3 signs equals a call home. 4 signs is the most drastic, including in school suspension. Mr. Donald does not hesitate to ask students to sign the book. The students complain, but it definitely kills any extra talking. Mr. Donald uses signers as examples, and definitely points out what they have done wrong. Mrs. Pixley, the high school teacher I interviewed, was also quite strict in her classroom. She had no system like “heads up” or the “book.” She uses changes in demeanor and attitude to reflect her anger at misbehavior. Over the year and during her career at the high school, she has gained a reputation as a disciplinarian, which she says make is easier for her to maintain a good classroom. She says that she is not challenged very often, but when she is, she comes down very hard. Mrs. Pixley is a very small woman, and most of the kids in her class are physically taller than her. She must maintain total control or the class could get out of hand fast. That’s what I worried about, so when I asked her, she said that she must act larger than she is. She keeps the class interested with games, activities, among her lessons. Mrs. Pixley knows that when there is a lull, there is definitely an opportunity for disruption. If a kid gets out of hand and won’t listen, she sends the kid to the principal. In the end, there is not much difference between middle school and high school discipline. Middle school is more personal, and high school is more out of the teachers hand. My high school teacher said that she could not always control the students and my middle school teacher said that there probably wasn’t a situation he couldn’t handle. ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2009 for the course EDCI 3001 taught by Professor Pitre,a during the Spring '08 term at LSU.
- Spring '08