Monday, September 22, 2008

Because I said so

In my time as a teacher I've learned that I have to be strict and enforce routines and then my class is happier. A lot of the routines are random- I don't particularly care if they put their books on their heads when they take out a new book or finish a page, or put their hands behind them when they listen to a CD for the first time, but it keeps them all together and behaving well.

For little kids (up to about 2nd grade) I find myself resorting to well-worn bad-parenting chestnuts. One of my classes learned "Because I said so!" in a conversation they had to memorize, and now I say that all the time. They totally accept it, and it's so much easier than explaining in their second language why they should do something.

Whenever two kids fight, and I don't know who started it and they both blame each other, I make them both say "sorry" and "it's OK." Totally unfair but effective. Other disputes are solved by "paper scissors stone"- the winner is right. This is even more unfair but kids submit to the wise judge, paper-scissors-stone.

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