Thursday, October 21, 2010

Alternative to Referrals

While the referrals I have made were totally justified, apparently there are so many of them at our school, its about all the administrators can do all day.  I have made a very close friend at work, a much older, seasoned, male teacher, who has great classroom management skills.  He made the comment that administrators don't like doing the paperwork, bottom line.  So anything you can do to keep them out of it, is preferred.  His first suggestion was that I put them in another classroom. 

I have used this strategy several times this week.  It apparently humiliates them and more importantly, takes away all their power.  They want to irritate me, be the center of attention and get out of doing their work.  They can't do any of that if they are in another classroom.

The second is the "making them leave last" strategy.  This seems simple almost to pointlessness, but I assure you it is effective.  Basically, you say "Jamal, please remain seated and I will excuse you after everyone else has left."  Depending on the situation I either give them a little speech to make them even more late or I just let them go after everyone else has left the room.  This is particularly effective before lunch and at the end of the day, but no matter what, it works really well.   I even confirmed this with my high school aged daughter who said "Oh, I would hate that!" 

What I like most about these strategies is the feeling of control that I get when using them.  I feel like once I call an administrator, I have lost control.  These strategies make the problem begin and end with me. Sometimes it is necessary--the kid who asked to go to the bathroom, disappeared for 15 minutes, then was located walking leisurely down the hall texting on his cell phone and then refused to turn it over?  I had him removed from my room and taken to ISD (in school detention) for the remainder of the day.  BUT--I didn't fill out a referral form.  No paperwork for the administrators.  Win/Win.

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