Monday, December 22, 2014

School Behavior?

The issue of school behavior arose at a recent meeting.

The issue has actually arisen for every one of my 29 years of teaching.

My sister who is a teacher and I debate the issue often. We both have somewhat different philosophies about school behavior.

I listened as the issue was discussed.

I added a few points, and then when I got home I kept thinking about it.

What are the common protocols for behavior in a school?

When is noise good, and when is noise a problem?

How can we all learn together in a community that's respectful--respectful of each other's learning/teaching needs and respectful of young children's rights and needs.

How can we shift a discussion about behavior so that it doesn't reoccur year after year--what could we do?

As I think deeply about this, I have the following thoughts.
  1. At what age are lines appropriate and good, and when are lines not appropriate for students?
  2. Is it a good goal to be absolutely quiet in halls, or is there a level of quiet that's good enough?
  3. If children are consistently noisy in the halls, how can we positively empower them to quiet down and respect the classes around them?
  4. Are established spaces conducive to good learning? If noise is a factor is there a better way to reorganize spaces so this doesn't occur?
  5. Are we crowding our schedules so much that there isn't enough time for good transitions? Is that an issue we should be concerned with?
  6. What truly is the issue? Have we collected data so we really know where the issues lie? 
In schools where numbers are small and space is great, this is not an issue, but in many schools in the United States numbers are quite large and space is at a premium so this is an issue of concern.

Our discussion today got me thinking. Any thoughts?