Relaxing Class Proceedures Respect for Kids

September 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM 2 comments

Relaxing and Respect, I wish there was the chemical equilibrium symbol because that’s it in a nutshell.

My friend Pete Brown is a museum educator in the UK. He is all for leaving books out for kids to page through and if they sometimes steal one, well, perhaps that kid really needed it. My colleague Linda our new librarian, took a look at the ugly old book-stealer sensor that clicks or sounds a siren when you walk through it with omg, magnetized books in your hand. Same argument. Really, how many books go missing these days when the kids have all of these electronic entertainments? The nuciance of de-magnetizing books on check-out, the amount of sheer space taken up by the special doorway. It’s just not worth it.

So I started looking at how I manage materials in science class and well, who wants to steal a one-app device like an electronic timer anymore? A kid takes a ruler? They probably needed it and I really can replace a few bits and pieces. Same with pencils.

I do keep an eye on hard-to-replace items like the large steel ball bearings. I mean, who wouldn’t want one of those to roll around? Good thing they are too big to warrant full body searches… Or are they?

The real time when I start to lose equipment is when kids feel disrespected and do it as a passive aggressive protest. Relaxing a bit, trusting them to give stuff back. Circulating to check in and chat, being a little more relaxed. So far, nothing missing. And I must say, the new ‘clean up and wrap up’ regular end to class helps too.
Here’s what Edutopia blogger Rebecca Alber has to say about rules, routines and respect for kids – I really had started this blog post before reading it, so I guess the idea is in the air. It’s really worth the read.

Clean up and wrap up takes place 4 minutes before the bell. I go round with buckets for the valuable equipment, the materials managers get their desks cleaned up and everyone gets all their stuff away and sat at their clean desks when we have one minute to consider ‘What did you learn today?” It’s so effective that I feel stupid for having only just put it in place after all these years.


Entry filed under: Class Management, Starting the School Year. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. peregrin5  |  February 19, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    I’ve been having issues with things going missing such as electronic mass balances, and a lot of graffiti in books and things. It’s really really discouraged me. I try my best to make my students feel respected, but when I see things like this, it feels like they are walking all over me.


    • 2. Sue Boudreau  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      I’ve been right there too. Awful. Relaxing the rules and respect both ways, is a careful balancing act. Don’t be a patsy for some new ed. fad. It sounds like you still need materials checks firmly in place. But keep trying relaxing a little. If it works, great. If not, pull back and try again later. Tell students what you are doing. Be transparent, it’s part of them feeling respected. And keep trying, don’t give up on them. I’ve been thinking of you. Thank you for your honest and thoughtful comment.



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