Observing Communication

I decided this week my classroom observation that I am required to do on my classrooms would also be my observation for this assignment. It was very convenient to coincide the two observations because it also helped me recognize that my before and after care teacher needs some additional training or to come out of that classroom.

As I am walking into the classroom the teacher does not see or hear me come into the room because of where the entrance is so it is easy for me to stand, observe, and listen without being seen. They are school age children who have been in school all day and have a lot of energy but are being unnecessarily loud. The teacher is screaming across the room for them to be quiet or they are going to sit in silence until their parents come to get them. One of the seven year old boys, who has a history of being disrespectful, yells back “You can’t make me be quiet and I don’t have to listen to you anyways.” Instead of the teacher coming over to him and talking to him she yells back, “Well I’m tired of your crap and you being disrespectful all the time.” He goes to say something else but I cannot let it continue because although they are both wrong, at this moment, she is more wrong than him and as the director I have to intervene.

I call the boy over to me and tell him to have a seat and calm his body down and I will be back to talk in just a minute. He agrees and I walk over to the teacher and before I can say anything she starts crying and telling me how disrespectful they all are and they don’t listen to her….and so forth. At this point I am not interested in all this but as to why she felt it was appropriate to scream back at a seven year old in front of 30 other children instead of calmly talking to him off to the side.

I have learned over the years from working with children and raising four of my own that yelling or screaming back is not going to accomplish anything and the child is definitely not going to respond to you in a positive manner. There is always a calm way to talk to a child and be firm and make them understand that their behavior and conversation needs to change. I asked the teacher where her lesson plan for the afternoon was so I could see what activities she had planned were. She informed me that the director whose position I just took over told her she does not have to do one.

I believe that if children are engaged in activities instead of freely running around the room then they are more likely to behave more respectfully and respond differently to the teacher. She is not engaging with them in any other manner than to yell at them and this is not healthy for the children. They need to have something to look forward to when they come back to the center and have some type of routine so that they know what to expect and what is expected of them.

It is going to be a long week of trying to turn this chaos around and get the children to respect this teacher who they feel does not like them. I welcome any suggestions on activities for school age children who are only at our center for 2 hours in the afternoon.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Leslie
    Jan 27, 2013 @ 19:02:48

    Excellent choice April. I would have done the same. It is better to be on the outside looking in that on the inside looking out. If the teacher is having problems with the syudent she should take the matter upo with his parent(s). Thanks for sharing.


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