Lead Pipes 5 – Updated Final EERP Document

Concrete Action Step 1: sit and let the gorilla (the offending words) be acknowledged by all in the room.
Concrete Action Step 2: call a parent then and there to set up a physical meeting with the offending child present that day, and refuse to put it off to another day. make that call so that the kids can hear it or not, as per personal preference. (my own thought is that I will do it, because it is a kind of payback – a child has consciously chosen to be a pain in the ass to me or to a classmate in front of others, so I think it a good idea to return the favor. There are few things a teen would want less than a call to parents by a teacher in front of peers.)
Concrete Action Step 3: the student is removed to the back of the room or, better, to the classroom of a willing colleague where he/she works on translating old stories or on grammar packets. Yumma yumma! Ideally, the student is not removed to a classroom of peers but to a class of students younger than they are or much older so that the situation is uncomfortable for them where no “badge of honor” is possible.
Concrete Action Step 4: after the kid is removed, a class discussion about what just happened follows. No discussion of the person here, only the behavior, referencing perhaps the 2010 rules or the newly minted 2012 metacognition doc.
Concrete Action Step 5: no warnings, just action in the form of a machine.
Concrete Action Step 6: no discussion with the child is to occur about the offense, from the moment you decide to act on it, as the child would then further accomplish their goal of disruption of the class. The first thing we might hear when we stop the CI and turn on the machine is, “What did I do?” in a kind of outraged voice. The answer to that should be silence, or, if anything, one simple statement: “We’ll talk about that later but not in this setting.” Watch for some real bullying and abuse at this time. Relax. Just let the machine take over. (I can have security in my room in ten seconds.) That is what I plan to do. Let the machine do what it is programmed to do.
Concrete Action Step 7: After school call the parent again and document the event with an email to a principal/dep’t. chair or in your system, as per Shannon today. set up any actual meeting that is agreed upon. this comes under the heading, “Would you like to do this now a few times in the fall or fifty times a week in the spring?”

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3 thoughts on “Lead Pipes 5 – Updated Final EERP Document”

  1. There are fettered and unfettered responses to discipline problems. A fettered response would take into consideration all sorts of factors like who said it, the tone of voice, the history of the kid’s involvement in class, the kid’s grade, who their parents are, if the administration likes them, if they are a cheerleader or a football player, what they were wearing the day they chose to say in class the word “faggot” in class or some other equally horrific word about another human being.

    Unfortunately, most of us make the fettered response. Our response could even go so far as to be related to the weather conditions that day, or even our own mood. In that reasoning, if it’s a beautiful day in spring and we are having a good day and some kid calls a classmate a faggot, but it’s Friday afternoon and there is a big dance that night and everyone is happy, and the kid “really didn’t mean it”, did he, because he apologized on the spot, by that line of reasoning, calling a classmate that name just doesn’t look like it does on a cold Monday morning in January.

    The unfettered response to the above situation is the machine like response, the one described above. In this response, it doesn’t matter who said it, the tone of voice, the history of the kid’s involvement in class, the kid’s grade, who their parents are, if the administration likes them, if they are a cheerleader or a football player, what they were wearing or what the weather was like that day.

    This response is the proper response. It is the black and white response. The word was used in class, people heard it, the teacher heard it, someone suffered, and the teacher acted in an unfettered way, a way worthy of a fully functioning adult human being whom society has entrusted to make such decisions.

    We spend a lot of time thinking about how unjust everything is. We need to start thinking about how unjust we are when we allow children to hurt others in our classrooms or in the hallways and we let it go because we have a “class to teach”. There is nothing more important than a child’s safety, and many of us in this group, including me, don’t get that. It’s time we got that. It’s time we got our professional priorities in order of their real importance in our quickly crumbling society, crumbling because there are no leaders left anywhere.

    1. Very interesting timing on what I wrote above. Yesterday, Monday, a kid did exactly what I describe in the first paragraph above. Exactly. Because of this thread, I acted swiftly. He was in the next room in a Spanish Heritage class within 30 seconds, writing a free write. It was surgical, no emotions, and I was back with the class in under a minute. Thank you Jody!

      1. I would add here that, depending on the school of course, the burdens of teaching are due 99% of the time to the emotional interactions we experience in dealing with little or big pipers. It’s amazing. But, looking back on my career now, I see that the teaching part was a very very small part of the work. It was all about the little insults, the seemingly dead students, the hyper ones, the crazy ones, the sad ones, the needy ones, all of them. Such work we do.

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