Odd Habits at My New School

Discussion in 'High School' started by ptlanguage, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. ptlanguage

    ptlanguage Rookie

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    Jan 6, 2017

    I am a teacher of thirty years. I recently moved to a new community and a new school. There are two odd habits that take place at my new school. I wanted to know if these are common in other schools. I have never dealt with these two situations, and they are annoying to me. Let's see what the rest of you think!
    #1: When I am finished with class (about 3 or 4 minutes before the bell rings), the students want to gather their things and go stand at the door to wait for the bell to ring. I have never had students do this. Usually students just stay seated in their seat - the bell rings - and then they get up and leave the room. And, yes, students have plenty of time to get from class to class. #2: Students bring their "cozy" blankets to school and have them draped around them all day. Our school does not have a problem with heat. The rooms are warm and each teacher has a thermostat. I have asked the students if both situations are commonplace in this school and they look at me like "why of course, what's the problem." They have told me that at the middle school they are not allowed to have their blankets, and they think that is so unfair. Both are not that big of a deal, but I think both are just so weird. So what do you guys think?
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jan 6, 2017

    The students wanting to end class early is a problem. The bell doesn't dismiss them; it reminds YOU to dismiss them. Sounds like a good wrap-up / anticipation activity in the final five minutes of class would do you a world of good. I would let the blanket thing go. Some of my own students love to drape blankets over themselves, to the point I've started keeping a couple of extra shawls in my classroom.
     
  4. Bioguru

    Bioguru Companion

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    Jan 6, 2017

    I think you must have moved to my school!

    This is a frequent occurrence in other classrooms but I tell my students the first day that neither of those things are permitted in my class. I would hate for another teacher or principal to have to wade through 20 high school students to get into my room. As far as blankets, I simply insist they bring a jacket if they are cold. I want them to be serious about working in my room and a comfy blanket suggests just the opposite. I just remain consistent and after the first few days, students know not to even try these things.

    Edit: I forgot to say that our school outright banned blankets this year. Some teachers don't enforce it, but it has become the official policy.
     
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  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 6, 2017

    The blankets is a bit unusual, but probably not something I would oncern myself about too much unless it became a problem or distraction. As far as the end of class is concerned, it sounds as though they need more to do to keep them working until the bell. At the bell, ask them to organize their belongings and then dismiss.
     
  6. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    Give them a minute to put their stuff away & gather, and then when the bell rings, they can get up and go. They should NOT be standing up and waiting at the door for the bell.
    As for blankets, that's weird, but who knows with kids these days :D
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 6, 2017

    You said when you are finished with class, usually 3-4 minutes before the bell rings the kids want to leave. They probably thing you're done and want to get a head start on their break / passing period.
    I would make sure I teach all the way up to the bell, or have 1 minute left over and then they can gather they things.

    When we're finished early (4-5 minutes), even in high school I tell the kids that they can talk quietly, and they can check their phones, even move seats, but have to be seated. They understand it, it's funny I have to really spell it out, but that's how kids are.

    The blankets I wouldn't worry too much about.
     
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  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jan 7, 2017

    I have students that have been trained to pack up with they see there is two/three minutes left in class. When I call them out, they proceed to tell me what time it is. Uh, I know. I can read a clock too.
     
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  9. CharRMS

    CharRMS Companion

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    Jan 7, 2017

    I cannot stand students standing at the door, so I understand how frustrating it can be. I don't like it for many reasons, but one of my biggest reasons is for safety. It's always possible that an emergency code could be called in those last few minutes of class, which calls for being away from doors or windows. It just easier if the kids are already in their seats. I use the following expectation with my middle school students.

    The expectation in my room is that everyone must be in a seat before the students can leave. I do make exception for kids who are finishing up their job, talking to me, or doing something I have asked them to do. I have the alarm set up on my laptop to ring three minutes before the bell. Students know that this alarm means that they can start packing up, put their notebooks in the basket, clean up their area, and get ready for the dismissal bell, but they cannot stand up (this includes putting on their backpacks) and they especially cannot stand at the door. The first few weeks of school, students tried to be out of their seats, but the consequence is that for each time I have to remind them to sit down, it is 30 seconds after the bell that they owed me. It usually only took less than telling them twice before they learned that I was sticking to my rule. All of their classes are in one pod, so it's not taking away from their time to get to class as much as it was them losing their socializing time in the hallway. Every once in awhile do I have to remind them, but they're usually pretty good at being in a seat.

    As for blankets, our school rule is blankets aren't allowed during the school day. I'm not sure what I would do for blankets, but I would most likely tell the kids to keep them in their lockers and then let them be something the kids can bring to class for a reward of some sort.
     
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  10. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Jan 25, 2017

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  11. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 26, 2017

    It's funny to hear that these things aren't just in our individual schools! I, too, have been seeing blankies (for the girls) and gallon water jugs (for the guys). I wonder how these kinds of random trends spread?
     
  12. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    Jan 28, 2017

    Where I went to school, some students would wear slippers or open toed shoes to school. Some would remove the collared shirt, and slip into a more "comfortable" t-shirt according to them.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    We have one girl carrying around a cute blanket. Honestly, I don't blame her. I wanna feel cozy, too. So since winter started (here, around November), I crank up the heat to 72 F, I usually wear tights, a very long, big and oversized sweater (still cute but covers even most of my thighs), scarf, gloves and I'm ready to teach. If I could, I would wrap myself in a blanket. But I have do have an oversized poncho (open) at my desk, that can serve as a blankie :)
     
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  14. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Oct 17, 2017

    I see so many of our athletes carry around gallon jugs of water too LOL. All boys, it's a thing,
     
  15. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Nov 7, 2017

    I'm the exception here. 3-4 minutes before the bell I tell the kids to pack their stuff up and then they wait by the door for the bell. But they don't pack up until I tell them to pack up.
    I wouldn't mind about blankets either. If they wanted to wear ski jackets and gloves to class, by all means. It's not a battle worth fighting over.
     
  16. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Nov 7, 2017

    I would not be opposed to kids acting like Linus (from Peanuts comics). The blanket can be a calming tool, and a calm brain is a learning brain.

    I'm wondering if the rush to pack up is a societal trait. There seems to be a habitual hurrying among adults, not that that's necessarily a bad or a good trait, but my point is, this could be picked up by teenagers as they try on adult mannerisms.
     
  17. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Companion

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    Nov 7, 2017

    At the high school I'm doing my practicum at, my host teacher keeps a bunch of fleece blankets in her room that her students can borrow for the class period (and often, at least three of them are in use.) Mostly because her room feels like it's locked in at a constant 50 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of what's going on outside the building.
     
  18. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Jan 25, 2018

    Honestly, I would love to have my room set at 50 degrees.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 26, 2018

    I personally would fight the lining up early thing. I've been to schools where that's been the norm, and you have to train them that this will not happen in your room even if it happens in every other classroom. The only exception is when I have labs, because I want the entire classroom cleaned, I let them pack up early if their station and other areas are cleaned.

    I would not fight the blankets. In fact I think they're a great idea. I would LOVE to have a blanket with me in all of my classes. Also some of my classrooms didn't have great temperature control, or I preferred to keep it colder than my students preferred.

    The boys carrying in gallon jugs of water is a new thing I'm seeing. It makes sense at our district though because apparently they've had a lot of issues with lead in the water system, so kids can't easily get clean water. Most teachers rooms I've subbed have water coolers in them now, and the school ships water containers to the rooms daily.
     
  20. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jan 26, 2018

    I've seen the lining up before. If it is the norm for the school and the kids are behaved while they wait, I don't see the need to be "that" teacher who does things differently because.....

    It would be one thing if you were still teaching, but you did say you were done teaching.
     
  21. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Are you addressing me or OP? If me, you're right. I'm just describing what I did while I taught and would do if I were still teaching. I still like to participate on these forums, even if I'm just a sub now.

    My justification for being "that" teacher is that unless you set very clear expectations, like "You can line up only 2 minutes before the bell rings, and only if your area is clean, etc." then in my experience students usually take advantage of this and over time might lead to lining up 10-15 minutes before the bell rings while you're in the middle of a lesson. Also certain students like to sneak out before the bell rings to wander the halls (at least in middle school). It's near impossible to stop them if they're all huddled near the door and you don't really want to be jumping into a crowd of kids to physically block students from leaving anyway. It's awkward for all involved. It's best to just avoid that behavior all together by keeping them at their seats until the bell because it's harder to sneak out in that scenario.

    Also, whenever students tell me "all of the teachers let us do this", that usually translates to me as "some of the teachers let us do this, and we wish all of the teachers would let us do this", or "this guy doesn't seem to know either way, so let's trick him into thinking this is okay in all of our classes". That's not always the case, but in most cases it's what the truth of the matter is.

    Even if lining up early were the norm across the school, I could probably find at least a handful of teachers that keeps students in until the bell as part of their personal classroom procedures anyway.
     

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