When I first started teaching in the 9th Grade Academy, I soon learned I had to develop routines. A forty-three minute class can’t have much down time. I didn’t want things to be too elementary, but there was definitely a need for organization and expectations.
I was often guilty of trying to multi-tasks during instructions. I now know that is a bad idea but time was so precious. Should I have the students line up outside the door or not. Although it might have seemed like a throwback to elementary school, the activity made my life easier and enhanced the beginning of class. It gave me time to finish completely with one group before the next adventure began. I also didn’t have to worry about what was going on in my room while I was supposed to be monitoring the hallways. In addition, if students were lined up, they were not clogging up the hallways for others.
Technique #57: What to Do. Use specific, concrete, squential, and observable directions to tell students what to do, as opposed what not to do.
#57 is very important in the 9th grade world! Freshmen can get off task in a heartbeat. They love to respond/argue any chance they get.
“Knock it off, Johnnie.”
“What am I doing?”
This could go on forever.
“Pencils are made for writing, Johnnie.”
Stops tapping. “Oh. Sorry.”
Will I always be able to put a positive spin on a negative behavior. Probably not. But with a little practice, I bet I could get pretty good at it!