Its Not the Kids

A couple of months ago I attended a workshop about mean-spirited behavior (bullying).  One thing that has stuck with me was when the speaker said, "When kids are in control in the classroom and out of control with other teachers, its not the kids."  I have been thinking about this a lot lately in relation to intrinsic motivation, classroom community, and student engagement.  I know I have a lot of thoughts about this, but would relish yours!


  1. I'm not exactly sure I understand what the speaker means by "in control in the classroom and out of control with other teachers." I take it to mean that when the teacher is not in control, the kids are and it therefore is not the kids fault when they behave badly. Is that how you understood the intention of that statement? If that is indeed what he meant, I'll have to think some more about my opinion on that.


  2. @Jeanne I do agree with you that it is also when the adult has lost handle on the situation then the kiddoes will run with it. They look to us to see what to do. If they see us out of control they behave accordingly. But...this is tricky for me because I also believe that children want to do the right thing, even when its hard.

    When she was speaking she was talking more about connections and the relationship between teachers and students. How the expectations of one teacher will heed different results.

  3. And we cannot forget that most of the behaviors are learned at home, making them that much harder to "control". I teach high school though, and that makes it a bit easier to say that, in fact, some of it IS the kids' fault. That does not mean that I condone lackadaisical teaching and classroom management, but at some point each of us, including the students, has to be held responsible for our actions. I fear we are taking too much blame for the students' actions, again, looking the lens of a high school teacher. We can blame hormones and we can blame the parents and we can blame ourselves, but there does come a point when it just doesn't matter if I am a good teacher or a poor one: students should not swear at me, they should not use their phones in class, and they should be able to control themselves in class (for the most part). My ultimate belief is that he more we expect, the more we will get, and unfortunately, the opposite is also true.

    On another note, have we actually met via Anne? I'm so enjoying this exchange of ideas, so thanks for the challenging topics!


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