Fort Herriman Middle School


Interesting Things Happen When You Listen
February 26, 2008, 7:48 pm
Filed under: administration, internship

Yesterday, one of the teachers that was having a problem and discussed it with me gave some good feedback to other people. She didn’t say anything to me about it, but other people sure did. She came in and talked to me and I sat there and listened, said that I would do what I could, and then followed up with her later in the day and this morning. All I really did was listen and make sure that she knew I cared about resolving the situation. That is important. The hard thing will be making sure that I remember that when I am an administrator.

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Why No Courses about Students?
February 26, 2008, 12:16 am
Filed under: administration, internship

Here is my question of the day for my administration program: Why don’t we learn anything relating to dealing with students (or parents)? That is a huge issue for administrators. We learn interpersonal skills and that is great, but there really should be a class on dealing with kids and working through attitudes, anger, depression, etc. Every administrator that I have known has dealt more with kids than with teachers. We have all these courses about dealing with teachers and making them better (and maybe they teach this because they want us to deal with teachers more), but the reality is that we are so busy dealing with kids that we don’t have time to make it to the classroom and observe and help teachers. Maybe they think that because we are teachers we already know how to deal with students. But it is very different when you are an administrator and not just a teacher. 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Administration Day 2
February 25, 2008, 4:42 pm
Filed under: administration, internship

Here is a rundown:
Announced when it was time to change classes
busted some kids on tardies
busted some kids for fighting
dealt with an upset teacher (three times)
gave a kid a hug
forgot to release everyone at 2:30

So, today was a much better day for administrative duties. It seemed more real than last week and I am glad, because last Thursday was not that fun. One upset teacher did not want to burden me with anything, but I told her to just go for it, I’ve got to be baptized by fire, I guess. She has been dealing with a student that is very passive aggressive since the first quarter, and she has just now reached the breaking point. I talked to her and realized that he is doing things to make sure that he doesn’t look like he is screwing around, but that he is “not one to make trouble” (his words). I realized that there is a lot of passive aggressive behavior going on at schools and kids love it so much (and adults, too) because it is easy to get away with things. I think that we ought to have a training about passive aggressive behavior because almost every problem I dealt with had to do with that. Some were more aggressive than passive, but most are things where the kids can get away with things and still try to seem innocent. For example, one kid was “helping” a kid gather his spilled papers by pushing them to him with his feet. Right, that is a good way to “help” someone that you have had problems with numerous times before. Anyway, it was pretty silly. I think it would be very beneficial if all middle school teachers and administrators had training in identifying and dealing with passive aggressive behavior. It just makes sense to arm them with some knowledge about what it is. Maybe they already know, but I didn’t understand it until Leigh VandenAkker explained it to me last summer. On Friday, I explained to some of my students what the passive aggressive behavior was that they were exhibiting, and once they knew, they seemed willing to try to change it (we will see ;).

In a more humorous note, I had to be the bell ringer today. That meant that I had to get on the loudspeaker and announce when it was time to move to the next class. When you get on, it makes a doorbell sound and then you can make your announcement. What I should have done is just let it make the doorbell sound and not say anything. At the end of the day, I forgot to ring the bell to let everyone out, so it was two minutes late. Some teachers decided they didn’t care that I was late and they let the students out anyway. I got on at 2:32 and said, “Oh, I forgot to ring the last bell! Everyone get out of the building fast!” I thought it was funny, but didn’t hear anyone laugh ;(.

So, I know that you have to be careful when touching students in any way, but I gave a kid a hug today. He seemed like he needed it, and so I gave him a hug when he apologized to me for being non-compliant. I was already reprimanded by the school psychologist, so now I know. Oh, well, I am just an intern. The school psychologist also mentioned that he got tears in his eyes after I gave him a hug. Was it a good thing to do? I don’t know, maybe? Was it bad? I don’t know, maybe. In the immortal words of Michael Scott, “Am I a hero? [pause] I really can’t say, but yes.”

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