Relaxing Class Proceedures Respect for Kids
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.