Assignment 4: Discipline Interview with Mrs. Shapiro
Q: What are a few examples of discipline in your classroom?
A: Well, when I’m not crabby, I am much different. As I have gotten older, I’ve gotten much crabbier, and have less patience now then when I did when I started teaching here 19 years ago.
I get aggravated when Brittany continues to talk. I am losing patience with her, and I tell her constantly to stop. I do not yell, but it makes me feel crabby when I’m telling her to be quiet and tell her to stop. Brittany also has problems with aggression, even though she is much less aggressive than before.
If a student needs to be quiet and is not acting quietly, I will tell them, “Oh, you need to sit here and be quiet,” and motion them to sit by themselves so they do not disrupt the class. In my opinion, this is a more patient way of dealing with this specific issue.
A: My discipline philosophy is to be preventative. Fix the environment so that you do not run into problems. This is why I have people in assigned seats on the rug. Four years ago, before I assigned seats, there was so much talking on the rug when they should be listening. I want to alleviate it before it ever begins before I have to remind them.
I also want to be positive. Jessica, for example, is an girl who tries to please me. She is quiet, and is so obedient that she could be “overlooked”—that is, ignored while I work with the other students. I look for her especially and try to find ways I can praise her for her behavior. One day, she was the only child to promptly sit down when I asked her, and to stay there while the others got up.
Because she is such a pleasing student and extremely obedient, I praise her so I can use her as a role model for the other students.
I also believe in teaching students the importance of following rules. The kids need to clean up after themselves because that is the rule of the classroom. It is also a part of responsibility. They need to be a part of doing what they are supposed to. Many kids try to go to the bathroom and hide during clean up time, but I have to teach them that that is not right. It is sometimes hard if I am the only one in the room enforcing the rule.
You had trouble with following some of the rules when you were in my class, Will, but when push came to shove, you were willing to follow them. I don’t want it to be like that, but that is still better than nothing.
Q: What are your discipline procedures?
A: If a student does not follow the rules, I will first give them a warning. A second warning would be the consequence if the student did not follow the rules. A third punishment is the consequence.
Such consequences include missing two or three minutes of free time, and being required to sit during free time. Another consequence is being required to go to your seat while the other students are busy working and sit quietly. I have to follow through and make sure that I mean it, so the students know to follow the rules.
I was able to remember to enforce the punishment I gave to Peter and Mark on Tuesday.
I also remember to tell them the consequences later so they follow the required rule accordingly, and what they are supposed to do. When Peter had the same problem yesterday, I told him if he wanted to miss free time today, and he promptly cleaned up.
A: I try to design the room to alleviate difficulties. The materials are always ready so there is no wait time between when I assign a lesson and to acquire the required materials.
I also try to make instructions understandable for the students. One example is by asking them to go to their tables by asking them in ways they will understand—by calling those who are wearing red, those who are wearing blue, those who are wearing green, etc.
Transitions are important because of the low attention span of the students. They are sometimes so low that between the time I call a transition and it is completed, some students are sidetracked and stop following the rules.