The other day, I pulled out my student teaching notebook from 12 years ago. (Teachers don't throw anything away). And as I was showing her an example of what it looks like to reflect on your lesson plans, I noticed something.
This lovely little classroom management ticket that I apparently used for the middle school students in my placement. I'm sure at the time I thought it was cute and a great way to manage all those "unnecessary" trips students take out of the classroom.
I took one look at those tickets and then looked straight at my student teacher and said, "I would NEVER do that now. How times have changed."
You see, as we get
Maybe I've worked on my empathy a little over the years, but if a student needs to get a paper, pencil, or water bottle out of his or her locker, I let them go. If kids need to go to the bathroom, go. Even if they just need a little break and don't really have to "use the facilities" I let them go.
It all comes down to what my biggest priority is. Student Success! If a student needs a break from class in order to be successful, go for it. If he left a paper in his locker that's due today, go get it. If she needs a pencil to be successful, I'm going to let her go get the pencil. My goal is to help students become successful by planning activities in class that are relevant, engaging, and challenging. Restricting students from access to breaks and their lockers actually work against my goal.
And you know...as I've pushed to have a more active, student-directed classroom there are less and less of those "unnecessary" trips that need to be made.