Wikispaces (you know, the world wide Internet space for free information sharing to which we all can contribute) has launched an initiative to gather ideas, practices, tips from us (i.e, mostly teachers probably) about how to address misbehavior in the classroom (1). Prizes to be won (2). The good thing about the initiative (and yes, there a small hitch too) is creating a community of learning and gathering of information about this critical issue that impedes good education: how to deal with students who misconduct. We, again teachers mostly, are often painfully aware that students may disrupt the classroom flow and can be distracted by things other than being attentive to the instructional process going on. So, gathering information worldwide through the Internet from firsthand experiences is really fantastic.
Peculiar thing, however, is that the answer or adequate response already seems to be given. To quote the site:
“ address misbehavior with our curated bundle of classroom management resources for elementary school educators and our collection of classroom management tips for K-12 teachers” and elsewhere on the Internet site: “reset your classroom routines with these classroom management tips for fast finishers, positive reinforcement strategies, and editable behavior plans”.
So, what happened with the gathering of experiences on classroom management resources that work well? What is the point of creating a community of learning about misbehavior in the classroom when ”awesome anti-bullying resources” are already there for the taking?
Okay, this may be a grumpy remark; it is true that there is a lot available on how to deal with misbehavior in the classroom, so why not put it up front. The bad, or at least worrying, thing is that small phrase “curative bundle”. Misbehavior, is not misbehavior, is not misbehavior. What could be at fault in a particular context, may be well acceptable in another. It depends all on the classroom culture; the way in which teacher and students have agreed on how to interact with each other. Instead of having a curative bundle on how to react to the unanticipated, it may be better to ask why in the first place it occurred. Not the tricks of the trade must come first but the understanding for what reasons a student reacts the way he or she does. For a large part teacher’s self-awareness and role behavior (3) contributes to confusions or violations in maintaining a steady the classroom culture. Therefore, understanding comes before the cure. Would be nice to learn from experiences in this way.