Reflection – Treating Students Fairly
One of my biggest flaws when it comes to teaching is that I will not treat students fairly. I have a tendency to direct a lot of my attention to students who are engaged and who want to be in school. I look at the student who asks questions and wants to know more. The student that pushes his or herself to get a better education and shows effort to learn is the students I will spend most of my time helping to succeed. These students usually migrate to me. I am not the kind of teacher that is going to really reach out to students initially. I have to see some kind of effort from the students before I ever spend more time than I have to.
I have constantly tried working on this while I am teaching at my current school. I try to give every student the opportunity to read and the opportunity to speak in class or answer questions. I try to make sure that my students also get the one-on-one time they need with the Tulane tutors. I try to make sure that every student has the same experience and opportunities as everyone else in other classes as well as in other grades, but sometimes I know that I always miss someone or that I am being biased to those who I want in the class and those who I don’t want in the class. I have tried different things. First I tried keeping a tally of the students and questions they have answered or the ones that go with a specific tutor but I can’t keep up with the tally because it is hard because I am trying to get the students settled down and started on their warm up activity and taking role. So I am trying to juggle all these other things. Another way I have tried to be more equally friendly with my students is to discipline them in the same way and to make sure that they suffer the same consequences, however, they are in the stage of “if I am going down, so will you”. This makes it very hard at time and very easy because you don’t see the others, you just see that one, and so what do you do?
What I think other teachers should do is try to make sure that they find a consistent way to be equally friendly with all of students. It is hard, but I am one that is working on it as we speak. I am currently in the process of just making the class suffer for one student. So what I do now is if the class gets off task or if a student is off task and not with the class, I add time to the class period. So they stay in my class for extra time making them late for their next class or just about to be late, or it keeps them in after school if it is my last class. So they almost miss the bus. However, I think that this is an ongoing process and that teachers are constantly working on discipline and rules for their classroom even though they spent a lot of time thinking about this at the beginning of school. I think that maybe there should be different discipline rules for different classes because the personality changes in different classes and different punishments differ with students. This is just a huge component to classroom management, and it is something that can’t be set in stone because it will never have the effect we think it should have. Most likely, it will definitely backfire.