“Don’t make me call your momma!” “Don’t make me send you to the office!” “Don’t make me write you up!” These are just a few of the “don’t make me…” sayings that we teachers use on a daily, hourly, minute, second basis. In the first year of my teaching career I found myself saying these things, but by now (year 4) I don’t say them at all. Why? you may ask. For you see these threats don’t work! REALLY…they don’t work!
What does work?! Well, well, well…I’m glad that you have asked. For me and my classroom here are the lovely things that have worked on my students when they choose to misbehave.
- *As I point to my bookshelf* Please go and get your phone number and call your mother. Please let her know how your day is going. Thank you sweetheart!
- *puts my hand on my forehead* OGM (oh goodness man)! I’m not sure of what I just saw/heard. Do me a favour and call your parent and let him/her know what happened.
- *puts office referral form and stationary in front of student* Please choose which one you would like to fill out for yourself. #1 an Office Referral for the Principal or #2 writing a nice letter to the parent of your choice that you will take home today. Just in case your parent does not get the letter we will mail a copy to him/her.
Now I know these my seem kind of funny, but they do work for me. Another thing that I do is that I build up a rapport with my parents. Within the inner city schools that can be hard to do, but I LOVE a challenge! I make sure that I know where all my students live and have made a home visit by the middle of the first 9 weeks. This bond does help with discipline problems that could and do arise within my classroom. I don’t just make visits when things go wrong, but I visit when things are going good.
I love the fact that I am well known in my students’ neighborhood. Even the parents of students who are not in my classroom know who I am and what I stand for. I love my students and I know that because I love them I will do what I have to do and what I need to do for them to make it!