the phys ed teacher told me this afternoon that the kids are scared of me.
no, that isn't my goal as dean. my current goals are that the kids comply with the school rules for the most part, student frustrations and fights are kept to a minimum, and that detention is restored as a viable threat, sought to be avoided.
in gym class today, the students were discussing that i suspend them just for saying "okay." bwahahahahaha. i'm really not that evil but i have very little tolerance for the students disregarding rules. there are certain students i'm willing to give an extra chance, but overall i have been suspending for simple offenses.
my feeling is if the students see they can push the boundaries with basic rules, it will only get worse. next year we are adding another 80 students to the school and i want to set a precedent for behavior.
i have already noticed a big attitude change in a couple of my repeat offenders. they're following the rules more and being more respectful in general. i'm also "insane" with my detention policy but this week uniform compliance has been at an all time (96% ) high since we first instituted the policy in 2008.
i also noticed that now i can walk into advisories in the middle of the day and get the whole class' attention within seconds of standing there. they are becoming so respectful, and it only took about a month!
in terms of my other goal, minimizing fights and frustrations, i try to pull kids out of class and talk to them when i notice or hear of the first hint of an issue. when i hear a child's name mentioned with a certain issue, even if only as a periphery figure, i still pull them to talk. i check in often and try to have many personal conversations with the kids. while i am known as being "super strict," at the same time i don't want to lose my softer edge and sacrifice the personalization most students need.
just as i'm still tweaking the way i balance my personality and teaching style, it will take time for me to find the perfect balance outside the classroom.