assumptions, community, lessons learned

Well, Mrs. Ripp….

I have been working a lot with my students about trust and how we must trust each other in the classroom. We do this through meetings when we get a chance or small conversations through the day. Today, as we sat in a circle, we once again discussed how we need to trust each other when it comes to learning. The students know this lesson and can recite it but I always wonder; do they understand it? Well, ask and you shall receive…

Students agree that they would never mock another child for getting a math answer wrong and neither would they roll their eyes if someone wasn’t able to perform at a certain level. When asked why they wouldn’t, they told me that they knew better than that and that they do not want to hurt each other. I then asked whether they would mock someone at recess – silence. Shy glances, shifty looks and finally a couple of students started to speak in vague terms about other students and how they misbehave on the playground.

After some discussion, students admitted that they too can lose their temper with each other and don’t act the same way at recess as they do in the classroom. I, of course, finally asked them why? The answer: “Mrs. Ripp, you are not out at recess.” When I wondered how that mattered, they answered “Well, we always behave around you because we are afraid of you…”

Apparently, I have some thinking to do.

3 thoughts on “Well, Mrs. Ripp….”

  1. I wish I had an answer, but I am going through the same thing. It seems that every day I am dealing with kids who are horribly mean at recess. I've tried team building, class meeting, positive reinforcement, and there's certainly no magic bullet. Glad I'm not alone out there.

  2. I think the fact they are "scared" of you is not something you should be to worried about. With kids, espically younger ones,(I don't know how old your kids are, I don't know the US system that well) the kids scared and respect mixed up. If you think about it in the sense they respect you in your class to behave. The behavoiur at break tho is different because they are not in the class. Do teachers in the US do duty? We here in NZ have duty at break times. Walk around talk to kids stop things happening. Maybe spend some time with them at breaks?

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