VIGNETTES SERIES 5
Vignettes 17 – 19
COMPUTER ‘LOCKDOWN’ (Follows from Vignette 2)
This thought relates to an earlier one about the need for teachers to be people who move around the classrooms. These days it is easier for teachers to become “captured” by the computers. They become “jailed” at their teachers table.
This happens because of the emphasis placed on darter collection and analysis. Everything comes back to darter driven outcomes. That being the case it is all too easy for teachers to be so focused on data collection that the computer is a constant companion. Rather than moving around the classroom and working with children there is a tendency to be deskbound asking children to really deliver results so the chicken input those into computer.
This in turn in carriages children to one-way traffic from their desks to the teachers table.
It is necessary in my opinion the teachers of all students, particularly early childhood and primary children to be among them, moving from desk to desk.
Data of course it does have to be input but if that takes priority over the mechanical manifestations of teaching and working with children directly then something needs to change.
It is important that teachers be aware of and make “mind notes” of the amount of time they spend incidentally context at their tables with their computers. That ought not to be the major percentage of time occupation.
I believe the children respect teachers who move among them. That movement is also necessary for teachers to get to know their pupils in the best possible way.
Teachers do have to spend time at their desks with their computers, but it should be reasonable and not overdone.
School days are hectic and “hurly-burly”. There is so much to do and so little time in which to do it! That being the case, it is easy for teachers and students to overlook the need for classrooms and personal space within (desks, tables, lockers and so on) to be kept in a reasonably clean and tidy state.
There can be nothing worse than opening a student desk to see a mass of learning material, waste material, socks, hats, toys, and other bits and pieces shoved in all higgledy-piggledy and to the extent that it’s hard to exert the pressure necessary to force the desk lid closed.
Another area easily sullied is the classroom floor. Pencil shavings, bits of writing tool, pieces of paper of all sizes, items of clothing, food scraps and wrappings if children needed the tables and other things finish up as then try to strewing around on the floor. Often the floors left in the polluted state until cleaners come in at the end of the day and endeavour to straighten out the chaos.
That is not a good look! Neither does it do anything for the reputation of the class or teacher – for cleaners certainly talk amongst themselves and to each other about the state of things they find in classrooms.
They need to be some basic rules about classroom cleanliness and tidiness. That can be hard because of pressure is driving on teachers and students. Nevertheless it is necessary. Some suggestions:
. Have children periodically (at least once a week) go through and clean the lockers of residue.
. Undertake the same routine for desks but possibly a little more often. Make sure the children have loose papers fastened into books or folders is the case might be.
. Have children or students pick up any rubbish from the floor at the end of each session or period. That become something done before recess and lunch breaks. If insisted upon that process becomes “automatic”, a habit of many children will undertake without having to be reminded.
. (Ensure that the above applies equally to older students as well as younger. Students will sometimes argue that it is not “cool” to pick up after oneself and to keep things tidy. That particular lackadaisical mindset needs to be overcome.)
. Check the children keep refrigerators closed and lunchboxes tidy within.
. If children aged lunches in the classroom, check to make sure that their lunch containers are clean, that they keep their food as they should, and that any genuine rubbish goes into the bin.
. Cupboards and, and Benchtops belong to the whole class. Include those areas in the cleanliness and tidiness drive. It might be appropriate to assign particular students groups to particular common areas within the classroom and it becomes their responsibility to ensure that tidiness is maintained.
* Make sure that the teacher for example is one that models to children. Teachers tables and work areas need to be kept tidy and organised in the same way as being advocated for children. There is nothing more powerful than personal example.
. Having students involved in group competitions reward cleanliness and tidiness in my opinion is a good idea. Rewards can be extrinsic or intrinsic. Reinforcing the need for positive civic attitudes is important and putting clean, tidy needs into some competitive context can be quite fun.
MOBILE PHONES IN CLASSROOMS
in our modern, technological age, it seems that every child has a mobile telephone, smart phone or similar device. It’s understandable the parents give their children phones in order that they might be contacted in emergency situations. However there is a time and place for their use. That time and place are definitely not within schools and certainly not in classrooms.
If children bring mobile telephones to school they need to be kept in their bags in their lockers. If there is a worry about security may be appropriate for teachers to take and lock these devices in a secure place.
It is altogether too easy these days for children and students to misuse smart phones. Sadly, there seems to be a trend toward taking inappropriate photographs of students who are being bullied, interfered with, or who are in compromised situations. These photographs of been circulating for all to see.
When this happens within a school context it casts the school, its leaders and staff in a poor light. When students have been embarrassed or injured and that recorded on phone camera all sorts of recriminations can come back on the school. A great deal of time is taken in trying to resolve issues and overcome the hurt occasions by the wrongful use of those devices.
Far better that the school have a rule that smart phones another recording devices do not belong within its boundaries.
We need to be aware of the trouble smart phones can cause if they used for wrong purposes and at the wrong times. They need to be carefully secured and not used during the school day.