Sometimes, a teacher needs to think out of the box to maintain a decent classroom environment. There are moments when no trick in the book seems to work. As a teacher, not only you need to be able to rise above the moment, but also you need to provide the guidance and the assurance of an atmosphere conducive to learning. Consequently, in this scenario that follows, please help Ms. Sandoval solve this behavior problem.
Ms. Sandoval allows no one to talk in her class. She has a zero tolerance policy regarding chatting and other disruptive behaviors. The class knows it, and no one dares to challenge her authority. She teaches Latin at an inner city high school near downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. This week during a schedule realignment, Ms. Sandoval was given an additional 5 students who originally were in PE. The latter students want no part of Ms. Sandoval’s strict discipline code. They are either on the phone or chatting and laughing among themselves. They claim they belong to PE, not Latin, a language they hate passionately. Ms. Sandoval has already called parents, written referrals, and had several heated interactions with them. Nothing works. This morning, the tension has boiled to an uncontrolled capacity. Ms. Sandoval orders them to leave, but they refuse categorically. She calls administration, no one comes. Meanwhile, the class is at a standstill.
How do we help Ms. Sandoval diffuse the situation?
Note: Dr. Ardain Isma teaches Cross-Cultural Studies and Education at University of North Florida (UNF). He is a veteran educator and World Language specialist for the Duval County Public Schools. He is the Chief Editor for CSMS Magazine. He may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Sandoval isn’t going to teach any Latin today so she should ask the class as a whole to address the injustice of moving these students to Latin. Instead of contacting parents, she should have been fighting with administration. However, she can start now by acknowledging the perceived injustice dealt to the students acting out. Yes, they are dealing with their problem inappropriately, but they are kids who feel powerless. .
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