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I typically don’t wander into political waters with my writing, but this one is just too good to pass up. It’s a great lesson that’s all over today’s news–one that I’ve already learned by observation, I’m happy to say, instead of the traditional “hard way.”
Here’s the lesson: Don’t make a rule with a corresponding consequence that you’re not going to be able to uphold.
That sounds pretty straightforward, but I’ve seen this too many times to count: Teacher establishes rule and says “this is what will happen if you break it.” Student breaks rule. Teacher can’t really follow through with the consequence, and is left with egg on his or her face. Student “wins” and teacher’s credibility takes a tough shot. Ouch.
The lesson I’ve learned in the past is that it’s never a good idea to leave yourself without any wiggle room. I don’t mean to be “soft” with classroom management, but the minute you make a hard, fast rule is the minute your least-likely-to-get-in-trouble student is going to break it. You’re then between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Enforce it? That student certainly doesn’t deserve to be punished on a first offense. Don’t enforce it? Your rule doesn’t really have any meaning or you would have enforced it.
So where is the politics, what is the allegory, you ask? May, 2008: Florida, Michigan, DNC rules about early primaries. Oops.
Our last student day was Tuesday, and our turn-in-your-key day was Thursday. I guess the school calendar shows this as a holiday weekend for the sake of the year-round employees.
Memorial Day is tomorrow. I suppose I’ll relax like most folks, but my mind can’t help but drift for a moment toward a friend that I lost on November 29, 2003. I was well into my first real semester of college as I was retiring from the Army; he was in a convoy in Iraq.
Thank you, Tony.
It’s coming up in June! Since I’m presenting on blogging, I’m putting together a blog to act as a source for lesson material, resources, and links to sample blogs.
The best part of the process is trying to research everything that’s out there to ensure my presentation is as complete as possible. I’m obviously going to spend time on “how” to blog, but look forward to researching and presenting the “why” to blog in the classroom. My own knowledge has grown quite a bit–I’m looking forward to starting “from scratch” with next year’s class!
Link to my presentation blog (which is obviously under construction): http://technology911.edublogs.org/
(By the way, I know that I mentioned this a few posts ago!)