Thursday, February 19, 2015

Teacher Tip Tuesday: Mama Duck Syndrome.

Welcome to Teacher Tip Tuesday Thursday!  

Here's a sneak peak at a little mini-series I've been working on.  These posts will be for new and old school employees--ideas about the profession, classroom management tips, and teacher/school humor.  Feel free to add your tips and topic ideas below in the comment section!

Today's post is about Mama Duck Syndrome.  I live right on the coast of a beautiful NC town and our camp house is right on the river.  

It is a literal dream come true.  

My kids and I have watched otters, porpoises, skates, herons, and even an alligator in the waters of our backyard.  It's a wonderful pastime--but our favorite activity is watching the sweet baby ducks swimming with their mama.  They are so cute and brown and yellow and fuzzy and they follow their mama wherever she goes.  All of the girls in the house (myself included) find their voices going up 3-4 octaves whenever the baby ducks are seen in the waters.  We just adore those precious babies!  

But sometimes, those sweet baby ducks get distracted and they get left behind.  

Like this little fella:


Bless.

I have seen the same thing happen in hallways at the different schools I've worked in--teachers walking their kids down the hall expecting their classes to follow them in a neat and orderly line.  They never look back to make sure everyone is quiet.  They never look back to check to see if all children are accounted for.  And, for whatever reason, they often look flustered and are moving quickly.  Or they are smiling and oblivious.

But if they would just turn around for a minute, they would see the pandamonium going down behind them in the hallways.  They would see the children jumping up and down and in and out of the line.  They would see the kids who stop at the water fountain and the children who put their hands on another child's shoulders and start jumping as if they were going to jump over the child in front of them.  And when they get to their destination, the teachers are embarrassed and baffled by the noise that is coming from their class. 

Here are some tips for controlling the circus:  
  • Walk behind your students--they are less likely to act out if they think they are being watched.  
  • Walk next to the middle of your line, often turning your head towards the back of the line.  
  • Learn to walk backwards so you can see the faces of your entire line. 
  • Have clear and defined hallway procedures and expectations--and consequences if your students fail to meet those expectations.

Keep those ducks in a row--and keep your eyes on those ducks.    

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