I do not know what it was today that made my extra strict side and my follow through with discipline show but boy did it today. I do not think I felt unhappy with the students or mad at anyone. Maybe many students were just having one of those days. Maybe I was having one of those days and did not realize it. Maybe I have found out that when it comes to students being blatantly disrespectful I act swiftly. Whatever the reason, I handed out more punishments today than ever before. Even when I was the only teacher in the room.
The first incident happened right before lunch. One student was playing with the recess toys when she was not supposed to be. I told her to leave the toys where they were and go line up for lunch. She shouted that she was not playing she was putting them away. I guess our definition of playing is different because what I saw was, in my book, playing. I again told her to line up and leave the toys. I made sure not to say she was playing because maybe in her mind she was not. Either way she shouted at me again. After that I said, “whatever you are doing with the toys just leave it and go line up or you will move your clip.” Once again she shouted at me. I told her to love her clip. She shouted again. I told her if she did not move it I would clip two speed down, as is standard procedure in our class. She would not move it so I did. I felt like it did not really matter what I did because she finished doing whatever she was doing and lined up on her own. It happens like that a lot in our clas with this particular student. I know her grip on respect for authority is slim to none but I still feel like I am failing over and over with her because she ends up doing whatever she wants. I would have to physically move her to get her to do anything she did not want to. I do not really know what to do. I suppose I should ask my classroom teacher if she thinks I am getting anywhere.
The second happening occurred during lunch. The student in quest is not even from my class. We had lunch duty this week and a student was tryin to wait for her friend which is not allowed. They are supposed to leave when dismissed and go to their classroom for inside recess. This is not the first time I have had to speak with this student about waiting for her friends. She had absolutely nothing on her tray and was not supposed to be still sitting and eating. I told her she could get up and go on her own or she and I could walk down together and have a chat with her teacher. (Mind you, this is the teacher that I am still a little afraid of.) she decides she is not going to get up. So I picked up her tray and said that we could go talk to her teacher now. She got up and took her tray, I thought, to the trash. When I turned around a moment later there she was standing waiting for her friend. So I followed her and said it was time to go talk with her teacher. I was dreading it all the way down the hall. Her classroom is at the very end so it is quite a long walk to be worried. This could either go one of three ways; the teacher could back me up and agree with me, she could say it was not a big deal and brush it off, or she could get angry with me for disciplining her student this way. I was probably way more worried than this student was. Thankfully, the teacher backed me up and when the student refused to listen to me she stepped in and helped me out. The more interactions I have with this particular teacher the more respect (and slightly less fear) I have for her. I hope the student will not be a problem at lunch tomorrow. I may have to ask the teacher how she would like me to handle the situation should it arise again.
The final occurrence happened right as we were leaving for the day. A student had gone to the restroom quite a while ago and I was about to go check on him when the classroom aide walked by to take the bus riders out. I mentioned to her that she might check on him as she went past. She walked out into the hall and turns back to me and said the student was by the library which is across the hall from the bathroom and he would have no reason to be at the library doors. I walked out in the hall and asked him why he was looking into the library. He denied being near the library. I told him that the aide had seen him there. He the. Told me he was checking to see if the librarian was in. I began to explain to him that he was not given the bathroom pass to go check on the librarian bit to go to the bathroom, wash his hands, maybe get a drink and come straight back to the classroom. I did not get much past the sentence explaining that the librarian was not his concern when he looked me in the eyes and turned his back and walked away. I asked him to come back and he just kept walking. I followed him into the classroom and told him to move his clip. He said he did not do anything wrong. I explained that he was not to walk away from me when I was talking to him. That was why he was to move his clip. I was on a roll by then so I finished up the speech about what to do once you have the bathroom pass and repeated it two more times to him. I then walked him over to the clip chart and told him to move his clip. He stood there for a while which is not unusual for this particular student. He proceeded to try and move another students clip. Of course, I saw him do it so I immediately made him move it back. He eventually moved his clip but not after trying my patience further.
I do not know what to do to make it feel like I am making a difference. I have been struggling for power with these students (the ones in my class at least) since I was there for my first half day in the fall. I do not know what I doing wrong. My teacher keeps telling me I have to stay hard on them and I thought I was. I don’t know why it is not really working. I guess it comes down to that “thing” that my teacher has that I am determined to figure out. That “thing” that makes everything seem to work perfectly for her. Whatever that thing is apparently I am missing it.
In short, I do not know what made the “mean”Miss Haley (as one student referred to me as) come out today but there she was calling it like I saw it.