My students and I had a great conversation yesterday at the end of class about being respectful to teachers. Seems one of my kindergartners was being defiant in the classroom.
Without singling the student out, I asked the group, “So if you’re not getting along with your teacher, what’s one way that you can start being more respectful to that teacher—starting tomorrow?”
Hands shot up. “Not talk when she’s talking,” one boy said.
“Exactly!” I said. “I bet you get in trouble when you do that, huh?”
Heads nodded. “Yes, ma’am,” they said.
“I got in trouble one time and I wasn’t the one talking,” a seven-year-old yellow belt said. “I was trying to tell someone to be quiet.”
“Ah, you got burned,” I said. “I’m so sorry. You know, that happens to NFL players all the time. Do you guys know anything about football?”
“Well, there are things that you can’t do on the field, like fight. It never fails that the referee doesn’t see the player who starts the fight, only the one who finishes it. And guess who gets in trouble?”
“The good guy!” one kid said.
“Right again,” I said. “So if your classmate is talking, don’t be the second person to talk.”
“Be the first!” one kid shouted.
The parents in the spectator section laughed.
“Well, that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but I see where you might think that. For now, just don’t talk when your teacher’s talking. Agreed?”
“Yes, ma’am,” they said in unison.