California Standards for the Teaching Profession: Standard Two
2.1 Creating a physical environment that engages all students
2.2 Establishing a climate that promotes fairness and respect
2.3 Promoting social development and group responsibility
2.4 Establishing and maintaining standards for student behavior
2.5 Planning and implementing classroom procedures and routines that support student learning
2.6 Using instructional time effectively

Response to  “Speaking Their Language” by R. Payne

 As I read Payne’s explanations about the differences between the hidden rules of the classes, I had a paradigm shift. I was moved to reconsider how I see quite a few of the children in my current class, as well as to consider how I will orient my classes in the future.

 The most striking matter to me was the difference in response in attempting to reprimand children in the class. I have a number who literally do laugh back in the teacher, yard duty aid, or principal’s face upon reprimand. If this is the only method that has been modeled for them, though, what can be expected. This is where I think that, in my own classroom, I would work at establishing the rules for classroom attitude as well as behavior. If schools and workplaces operate on these levels, as Payne states, then they need to have an environment that will train them in how to be successful. What better place than my classroom?

 I was also struck by Payne’s discussion on mediation. She states that, “Non-mediation is reversible and remediable,” and then goes on to discuss how to teach mediation to kids. I see often that children who act outside of the “hidden rule” ideals are chastised for their actions, but not told what was wrong in what they did or what to do instead. The key in mediation is helping them learn how to act in a way that they can be treated how they want to be treated. If success becomes something that is worthwhile as well as attainable, the children will choose to succeed; if we continue to expect them to jump the gap without help, we should expect nothing more than frustration from the kids, and eventually towards the kids. Mediation is a necessity and needs to be taught along with reading, math, and science. It is just as important in this age.

 Back to Standard Two
 On to Standard Three