The moral of the story is this: It is difficult to discipline students and at the same time to show them they matter. It is a difficult situation unless you already paved the ground for that to happen. You can’t be a jerk and then suddenly show a student that you care. You have to cultivate that ground, to till it, and to plant those seeds just right. You have to cultivate it from day one. It’s not something you can just start. But that doesn’t mean teachers can’t change.
Good classroom management is not a plan outlined in multiple pages with multiple outcomes for various infractions or events. It is more often a simple discussion between student and teacher out in the hallway. The teacher encouraging and positively motivating the student, pouring his heart out to the student and letting the student vent his frustrations without fear of retribution or a negative referral.
Such an encounter happened today.
Setting: 5th period Contemporary Issues class. Students are talking about how good my classroom smells with the candle wax burner.
Student #1: That smells like cinnamon rolls
Student #2: That smells like something a woman would buy. I bet your wife bought that for ya.
Me: If they sold it, I’d buy woodshop candle wax.
Student #1: Oh yeaaaah. That would be awesome. Like walking into Home Depot or something.
Me: Yeah, nothing would be better than woodshop candle wax and bacon candle wax.
Student #2: Yeah, well I bet your wife still bought it for you.
Me: Nope, I bought it. It’s apple and cinnamon. My wife and I don’t really agree on most of our candle scents. I like stuff like this and she likes…woman stuff.
Student #2: Well, yeah…she *is* a woman.
Student #1: So you and your wife have no ‘common scents?’
Me: haha…I see what ya did there. No, I guess we have no common scents
Student #3: Why does it always smell like feet in here?
Me: Because I collect the toe jam from my feet and combine it with gelatin and create candle wax with it.
Student #2: Gross.
Me: Yeah, cause I’m totally serious about that.
I LOVE snarky, sarcastic alternative high school students