Lifelong Learning – Reading

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September 19, 2011 by k. liz

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Today is my reading day. I picked up the book The Pressures of Teaching: How Teachers Cope with Classroom Stress (Kaplan Voices Teachers) a few months ago when it was free for Kindle. I had it on my iPod so started reading it a couple of weeks ago while I was waiting in a mall somewhere. So, I haven’t read it quickly or extensively, but I have enjoyed it thus far. I really enjoy books by teachers for teachers about problems they actually face. I just wanted to share one idea with you that I learned from this book. Enjoy!

The Wanderer – by Tim Clifford

Tim Clifford writes the first essay entitled “Becoming More than a One Trick Pony.” He humorously gives descriptions of the different “problem children” you may encounter in the classroom and some practical ways of dealing with them. I found this solution particularly intriguing and hope to be able to use it someday.

The wanderers, as Tim describes them, are the “students whose object in life is to meander around, and sometimes leave, the classroom . . . Regardless of the subclass, the main goal of a Wanderer is to be somewhere, anywhere, but at his or her seat.” He talked about how this was a struggle for him to be able to control the classroom and get the students through a profitable lesson. However, then he came up with this idea, and I think it was brilliant!

Mr. Clifford bought a roll of carnival tickets and handed out three to each student. He told them that this was their ticket out of his classroom, but once they were out, they were out. (I’m not sure of the time frame he gave the students, possibly a week.) Well, of course the wanderer used tickets quickly, so Mr. Clifford came up with another aspect of the rule. The students could use their tickets when they wanted to, but whatever tickets they had left at the end of the specified time, they could enter into a raffle. If theirs was chosen out of the raffle, they would win a prize.

According to Tim Clifford, that did the trick. Students did everything they could to keep those tickets and enter that raffle.

I really respect teachers like Mr. Clifford who recognize a problem, come up with a solution, and continue to teach for the success of their students.

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