Mrs. Ross has her fourth grade students move their desks together into groups of 2 to do a group activity. She instructs them to pair with anyone they choose. Teresa raises her hand, “I don’t want to pair with Megan again because she doesn’t do any of the work. Can I have someone else? ” Megan who is soft-spoken just looks down at the floor as the class waits for the teacher’s response. Mrs. Ross asks Teresa and Megan to come with her outside and instructs the class to carry on with the activity. 1. What level of mutual respect exists between students and the teacher in this scenario?
How did mutual respect affect the classroom dynamics? How would you improve mutual respect in this classroom? A high level a mutual respect exists between students and the teacher in this scenario. Mrs. Ross had to trust the students at least a little bit in order for her to believe they could handle moving their desks around to do group work. Teresa showed respect for Mrs. Ross by raising her hand to properly voice her concern about her partner. Not only did she raise her hand, but she respected and trusted the teacher enough to feel safe expressing her feelings.
Although soft-spoken, Megan could have found some way to negatively reply to what Teresa said. However, I believe she respected Mrs. Ross enough to know she could trust her to act in a fair and kind manner, so Megan waited quietly for her response. Mrs. Ross showed respect for the two girls when she asked them to come with her outside. She didn’t just ignore the issue or thoughtlessly assign another partner for Teresa. Mrs. Ross took the time to acknowledge their thoughts and feelings in private where she could assess the situation better without putting either of the girls on the spot. Finally, Mrs.
Ross showed respect for the class when she trusted them to carry on with the activity while she stepped out of the class with Megan and Teresa. The class showed respect for Mrs. Ross by continuing to work while she steps outside the classroom for a moment. Mutual respect affected the whole classroom dynamic in a positive way. There was a feeling of cooperative learning. I am pleased with the high level of mutual respect shown in the classroom and find no need for improvement. 2. How well did the teacher handle herself in the scenario? What student-teacher interactions worked well and what did not work?
How would you handle the situation? The teacher handled herself very well in this scenario. She could have chosen to react immediately to Teresa’s comment with disappointment and frustration, but instead she calmly asked the two girls to come with her outside. She even thought of the rest of the class and took the time to instruct them so they weren’t left hanging while she went out with Teresa and Megan. Teresa raised her hand, but did not wait to be called on before calling out to the teacher. It was good that she felt safe enough to express her concerns, but not good that she made Megan feel badly in front of the class.
I hope, if I was a teacher given the same situation, that I would be able to handle myself in a similar manner. I would want Teresa to know in front of the class that she is to wait until she’s called on to speak, but discussing the rest of the details in front of the class would only put Megan even more in the spotlight and add to her discomfort. 3. What, if any, communication roadblocks are evident in this classroom? How could you remove the communication roadblocks? How would you communicate with the students to resolve this situation?
I could not see any communication roadblocks in this classroom. It appears to me that the teacher communicated well with the students, and the students felt comfortable communicating with the teacher. To resolve this situation, I would remind Teresa specifically, as well as the class in general, to raise their hands and then wait to be called on before speaking. I would also ask my class to pay attention to all the instructions. The instructions Mrs. Ross gave told students they could choose their own partner. There was never a need for Teresa to comment on not wanting to be Megan’s partner as Mrs.
Ross had already told students to pick their own partner. 4. What conflicts did you observe in this classroom? What conflict resolution methods could you use to resolve the conflicts in this classroom? Are there any peer mediation methods that you could use in this scenario? The conflict in the classroom was between Teresa and Megan. To resolve the conflict I would bring the two students together and have them work cooperatively on the issue with my guidance. I would want both students to feel free to speak their mind, feel listened to, and feel that they are an important part of the solution.
I would want them to understand that they both need to be respectful, listen to each other, and try to understand the others’ point of view. As part of the process I would also expect them to work together to come to an agreement they both feel good about. I would not use peer mediation methods in a fourth grade class. 5. What changes would you make to help this classroom become more of a community? Why would developing this classroom into a community be important? I don’t see any changes I would make, but something I would talk to the class about to make the classroom become more of a community would be respect.
I would plan a mini lesson on respect and how we treat others for another day. It would be important to help the class develop into a community because community members care about each other, look out for each other, and help each other when needed. I would want my class to work together cooperatively and build a positive learning environment where everyone would feel valued. Tenth Grade Classroom Scenario The bell has rung and Mr. Dunn’s tenth grade math class has settled into their seats. “Good morning! Let’s begin by having everyone pass their homework to the front of the class. ” Tom walks into class 5 minutes late. Mr.
Dunn asks, “Tom, do you have your homework? ” Tom looks down at the floor when he answers, “No, I didn’t finish it. ” Mr. Dunn asks, “Why not? You knew it was due today, right? ” Tom just shrugs. Mr. Dunn asks the rest of the class, “Who else did not turn in their homework today? ” Pamela did not do her homework, but is afraid to raise her hand. Mr. Dunn says, “Good job, class! I appreciate everyone who worked hard to get their work turned in on time. ” Daniel chimes in, “Which is everyone except Tom! ” The class laughs. Tom angrily gets out of his chair and storms out of the room as he says, “I’m sick of this stupid class. ”
1.What level of mutual respect exists between students and the teacher in this scenario? How did mutual respect affect the classroom dynamics? How would you improve mutual respect in this classroom? There exists no mutual respect between the students and the teacher. Mr. Dunn’s only attempt at positive enforcement was telling the class “good job to those who did turn in their homework”. While this seems like praise to those who complied, those who didn’t are left feeling like failures. By Mr. Dunn singling Tom out and embarrassing him, he created a classroom of disrespect and the other students felt free to tease and laugh at Tom.
Tom will now view Mr. Dunn as being indifferent if not an enemy and other students may fear if they do anything wrong they will be chastised and humiliated as well. We can see this playing out in the case of Pamela feeling afraid to admit she didn’t do her homework either. Students will not thrive in an environment where they do not feel comfortable and safe and where they risk public ridicule by their peers for not doing their work. To encourage mutual respect teachers should never single out a student in front of the class, but rather talk with him privately at a later time such as after class or when students are busy working.
Before making any decisions about consequences for late work seek to understand the reason the student failed to follow through. Show concern and understanding when they are facing difficulties at home or otherwise. Use encouragement rather than negative words and discuss ways you can help them, such as creating a study plan. Make mutual respect a classroom rule that is enforced by consequences for violation. Never allow students to laugh at or embarrass another classmate or group of classmates. 2. How well did the teacher handle himself or herself in the scenario?
What student–teacher interactions worked well and what did not work? How would you handle the situation? The teacher did not handle himself well in this situation. The student-teacher interactions were negative and the students were not willing to admit difficulties or problems to the teacher. None of the interactions described worked well. Tom left class because it was so negative. The teacher should handle this situation by having in place a policy for tardiness. The teacher should not waste time bringing attention to tardy students. Students should know what to do when they enter a classroom even if they are tardy.
One way to handle tardiness – especially for older students like these ones is to have a required slip students must fill out when they are tardy explaining the reason. They should then have a place they put slips for the teacher to look at later. There should also be a policy for not having homework completed. If the teacher setup these policies at the beginning of the year he would not need to say anything when a student walks in late, the student would know what to do. The teacher put Tom on the spot by singling him out in front of his classmates, and then showed further disrespect by asking him why he didn’t do his homework.
It is unnecessary to ask “you knew it was due today, right? ” This statement doesn’t help the situation and is only demeaning to Tom. Most likely he knew the assignment was due and if he had forgotten he would have remembered as soon as Mr. Dunn asked for them. He should not dwell on something Tom cannot go back and remedy. The appropriate thing would be to talk to Tom privately and ask if he is having trouble remembering his assignments. He should show care and concern by offering to help Tom get organized and devise a way to remind himself to do the work.
This teacher did not even take the time to find out why Tom had forgotten his homework. He may have had a very good reason in which case Mr. Dunn should consider allowing Tom to make it up. If Mr. Dunn had handled himself appropriately, Tom would not have been so upset as to get up and leave the classroom. Students should not be left feeling worthless and disrespected. 3. What, if any, communication roadblocks are evident in this classroom? How could you remove the communication roadblocks? How would you communicate with the students to resolve this situation?
There were several communications roadblocks in place in this classroom. The biggest problem is that the teacher and students had no respect for each other. As stated before, if a teacher models respect for his students and sets in place policies for behavior and academics, his students have clear expectations and are more likely to respect one another. This saves teachers time having to deal with problems as they arise. After the rest of the class has received necessary instruction and direction, the teacher should talk privately with Tom about tardiness and missing homework.
The teacher should take time to listen and allow Tom to maintain his dignity. 4. What conflicts did you observe in this classroom? What conflict resolution methods could you use to resolve the conflicts in this classroom? Are there any peer mediation methods that you could use in this scenario? The main conflicts in this classroom are created by the teacher. The teacher publicly humiliated a student in front of the class because he was late and did not turn in his homework. The teacher also created an environment where it is ok to belittle your classmates.
To resolve the conflict the teacher should talk to Tom individually and apologize for the way he handled the situation. Mr. Dunn should let Tom see that teachers make mistakes too and that they should not be exempt from apologizing. He should address Tom’s homework including why Tom didn’t finish it and what plan they can come up with that would help Tom remember in the future. He should then talk with the entire class and admit his mistake, emphasizing the rules of mutual respect. He should remind the class it is inappropriate to make fun of or embarrass a fellow student.
There is not any real need for peer mediation with the students if the teacher is more respectful the students will be also. 5. What changes would you make to help this classroom become more of a community? Why would developing this classroom into a community be important? The most effective way to create a community in the classroom is to set the tone the first day of class. Allow the students to get to know each other, have group activities and team work projects. Allow and teach students to respect individual differences and celebrate the multitude of talents and cultural practices among classmates.
When students feel like they are part of a group they perform better in school, are supported by their peers to do well and do not miss as much school; learning in this environment can be enjoyable and fulfilling. Students should learn to help and encourage one another. Set specific rules that the whole class can decide on together. Ask students what they think a caring, respectful classroom looks like. Brainstorm class rules with them and have them vote on which ones they feel are the most important. Have the students sign their names to a pledge that they will abide by the rules and work together to make the class a nice place to be.
Enforce consequences of violation of these rules with consistency. Never put students down or make them feel incompetent – especially in front of others. Listen to students’ needs and treat them with respect if that is what you expect from them. Emphasize promoting positive behaviors rather than fixing negative ones. Help students learn moral values and develop a good work ethic rather than doing things simply because they are told. Rather than punishing for poor behavior, look for ways to correct problems by discussing consequences and choices.
Courtney from Study Moose
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