If you’re someone who still has students put their heads down when it gets a little rowdy, I’d like to remind you that it’s 2012, not 1979. Classroom management has come a long way since the last millennium. If you are someone still engaged in this practice, look around the room next time. The reason half the class has their face smashed against the top of their desk with their arms snaked around their head is because they don’t want you to see them laughing. For the record, most kids do not consider getting out of work as punishment. The sign of a good consequence is when the teacher is still calm, cool, and collected and the offending students are the ones a bit peeved.
Have you ever seen this done anywhere else… besides in a classroom? That should cause us to stop and reflect for a moment. If we’re trying to prepare kids for life beyond school, shouldn’t our consequences be more closely aligned with the real world? I mean c’mon…have you ever seen a construction foreman tell his crew to get back in the truck and put their heads down? How about a basketball coach? I just can’t see Phil Jackson saying to his team, “You guys can just put your heads down if you’re not going to rebound the ball! Go on. Put your heads down and think about what it means to hustle. Maybe in a few minutes you’ll be ready to get out there and play some basketball.”
Here are some examples of things you probably won’t hear outside the classroom:
“I ordered these without onions. Go put your head down!”
“You’re supposed be here by 7:00! Go put your head down!”
“You only sold two cars this month? Get over there and put your head down. Now!”
“Mr. President, do you want to help us balance this budget, or do you need to put your head down for a few minutes?”
The same can be said for the outdated practice of flicking the lights on and off to get kids to quiet down. Nobody else is doing it, maybe teachers shouldn’t either.
Just something to think about.