You know it's the end of the school year... 9:26 a.m. 2003-05-07 We have only 13 days of school left, but I wish that some of my students would just go ahead and leave NOW. Some of my students pretty much have called it quits for now, anyway.
One of my colleagues articulated an idea that I had a couple of years ago. Let's just arbitrarily call an end to school... say... TODAY!
Bear with me here. It's a good idea.
Instead of trying to nudge and pull our students into learning more (or anything!) - picture one of those old pictures of someone trying to pull on the halter of a stubborn burro, its front feet planted, sitting on it's haunches. It's not going anywhere. Add another person trying to push it from behind. Still not moving. Some are mules!!!
Sometimes, when training a horse, you stop the moment you achieve the behavior you wanted. Even if you have only been on for 10 minutes, if the horse does that thing, you call it a day. Or work on something else, for you purists who can't follow me on my analogy, here!
The problem is finding a thing that the student can excel in, a task that he or she has mastered, or has a chance of mastering. Work toward that one thing. Then, if he or she does that thing, they can go home for the year!!!!
Yes, I have been told that students should not be compared to animals, but I cannot help it. How I long for a longe line and whip when I have some of my students. In my ideal classroom - a project I did for one of my Exploratory programs, I has the center/conversation area of the room encircled by a track. You could see the little stick figures running.
It is a great idea - a student has so much pent-up energy that he cannot sit still, or resist shouting out (disturbing the class), let him run it off! Got a student that is "falling asleep" on his/her desk. Take a little run! I also had little electric prods in the seats, just as a warning!
I also would bring my dog to class, a mixed breed dog with a loud bark and herding instincts. Students dragging their feet in the halls? Send the dog after them to herd them to class! I would also have her learn to just go and silently stand and stare at students who were doing other things (eating in class, etc.) - like the drug dogs.
I know, my ideas are ahead of their time. Just wait until I write my doctoral thesis - sell my book and "school improvement" program. I need to wait a little longer - Education is desperate at the moment, but not quite desperate enough to embrace this.
© Tiedyefor 2003