Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Students Defend Me...

Today was slated as a review game day. Instead, everything went to pure chaos in the first 10 minutes of each class.

Some days are just like that.

On the up side, I learned a valuable lesson from my students today. Today, an administrator came in the side door to my classroom. To explain this, there are three doors in my classroom. On is the door that the students enter and exit through. There is also a side door that opens into the same hallway that I keep locked because it distracts the students. In the back of the room there is a prep room that has been converted into an office for the SpED teachers.

Today, my Vice Principal came in through the side door. V. - one of my students - saw him coming in the door while I was lecturing and turned to the class and made a "PSSSSSTTTT" sound. He then said "Administrator Administrator Administrator - everyone - headphones out!" Before I knew what was happening, the whole class pulled out their headphones, put away their iPods, and straightened up to look like shiny little good students. I turned around to see the Vice Principal walk in just as they did this. I spoke to the Vice Principal about an administrative thing and he left. When I turned around, all the students were pulling their iPods back out and smiling. They all had cute, sly, impish grins.

Here's the deal - while they are doing their assignment, as long as they are working and making progress, I let them listen to their music quietly with one headphone in. That's technically against the school rules, but I listen to music when I work to help me concentrate and most people I know do, too. I don't see how that's a problem. As long as it's quiet enough not to bother anyone, I don't see a problem. The kids know the drill - it has to be quiet enough that you can't hear it standing a few feet away. If it is, I tell them to turn it down. If I have to tell them again, I take it for the rest of the period. I've only had to do this 4 times this year. They all know and they're good about it.

Unfortunately, we all live in fear of the administration since the school says they shouldn't have them on school property at all or the teachers have to take them. It's against the school code. And it' probably means I'm a bad teacher, but it helps my students to concentrate, I think.

Anyway, once the Vice Principal was gone, I turned around and just stared at my class. They were all grinning like Jack-o-Lanterns. V. stood up and informed me that they liked me and didn't want me to get in trouble. I know they probably didn't want thier head phones taken, but it was still something to see. They were all so proud of themselves. I'm glad I could be part of their joy, even if it was only for a few minutes.

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