Discipline precedes instruction

The honeymoon is over, and I had rather a difficult day yesterday with one class. I thought about what I would ask others and suggest if I heard about this group.

My class is set up in Fred Jones style with space between rows. We have routines for starting the day and ending it. Many students have jobs.

But I had been responding too quickly to student blurting, and I hadn’t had enough structure for some in the long periods.

So today I made sure to do the slow stop and stare from Bryce a la Fred Jones. I also started with a quiz on yesterday’s story (I usually don’t do that, because it shuts out yesterday’s absentees). We pulled out the current (4 dates on a sheet) Listening Rubric and got it ready for grading today. Then the students had a cloze exercise on the song we’ve been doing lately. We worked on repeating the story that we’d started, and by then, the class was behaving much more like the one I expect to see. Phew!

Maybe it was all because of the full moon and they’re better today because we’re waning.


3 responses to “Discipline precedes instruction

  1. So, as I read I see that first you reflected on your part in the situation–too quick to respond to their blurting. You were allowing them over the line you drew in the sand when you first taught them what students in your class should look like. And you disciplined yourself first by remembering the slow stare and in general slowing down the pace of the class with paper work.

    Remember that word discipline–it is a practice just like learning to scull, to do TPRS, to drive a car, to meditate etc.

    When you provided again the structures and reminded them of the way of work you’d established to begin the year, they were able to relax into it and flow as the students you’d built. Sometimes when we offer too much novelty to the brain (and your class is full of brain challenge and excitement), some students feel unsafe and often create a little chaos to make the classroom look more like the world they are used to outside your doors. Your choice to go back to structures that didn’t call for new input (like a story) but reviewed learning that they knew or styles of learning they understood well allowed their brain to be assured all was well and Ms. MJ had a plan for them to be safe in their learning environment. They just needed to let go and relax.

    It wasn’t the moon necessarily, it was typical pushing the boundaries as students always do to see if the prof is on her toes.

    Congratulations! You ARE! Way too go!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (Oops! I hope I don’t post this twice)
    I think that the full moon did have an effect on things last week! I definitely felt it in my groups!
    Can you explain the Listening Rubric and grading (4 dates on a sheet?)? Is it connected to your weekly song?

    Thanks for the clarification and the inspiration as always!


  3. Here’s my listening rubric, with big props to Ben Slavic and Jen, who created the original. If I copy it back-to-back, there are spots for four grading dates on it. I look at it and comment on it if the score seems wrong. No rocket science!

    No connection to the song, just to class decorum and participation.

    Thank you for reading!


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