Friday, May 9, 2008
Filled with "Fence Riders"
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to go to Mark Boynton's BER workshop called "Working Successfully with Difficult & Disruptive Students: strategies that work."
Overall, I really enjoyed the workshop. Mark Boynton knows what he's talking about and he's a very dynamic & energetic speaker. He used a lot of film clips from 80s teen movies, like "The Breakfast Club" and "Better Off Dead," to illustrate some of his points. He also showed a lot of these Suburban Auto Group Trunk Monkey commercials to show that these challenges and the techniques he was discussing would not be solved overnight. Also, do not worry, he went through the proper channels to get permission to use these clips! (YAY! That makes a lot of librarians very very happy.)
Honestly, I wish, I had taken this workshop at the beginning of the year instead of the end of the year. I am not sure if I posted about how much trouble I was having this year. I care about my class but I have a lot of "fence riders." You know, who the fence riders are, the kids who are good but can also swing either way in behavior depending on how good your class management style is. Well, unfortunately, I do not come from a teaching background, I'm a librarian and learning about how to deal with students and children is not a requirement. Though at this point, I think, it should be especially if you are going into the public library field because we get all kinds of kids in the public library.
The main point, I got out of the workshop was the obvious, care about your students - ALL of your students even the most challenging ones. I had only one last year. This year I have 15. I know, I am so lucky that I am at a school where the teachers and administration want their teachers to succeed and help out when you ask them. This year, I asked our class management guru, Dr. D, to help out. She was my cop. She actually pointed out a lot of techniques, like proximity, eye contact, assertive voice, etc., that Mark Boynton spoke on during the workshop. It has been a long year and I am still becoming more comfortable being an "authority" figure but this workshop definitely helped me reassess the techniques I was implementing during the year and also gave me techniques to apply for next year.