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

Wednesday, October 18
 During the course of the day, I noticed that Jack and Jeff have been fighting. I am not certain why Mrs. B. chose to put their desks next to each other, it seems like it was an accident waiting to happen. After hearing them complain about each other for the morning, I spoke with the two of them at their desks. They were adamant that they be separated and that the other was at fault for the situation. We came to the conclusion that they would prevent further argument by ignoring each other. I had to leave soon, but it seemed that the situation was handled.

Thursday, October 19
 Today the situation between Jack and Jeff grew worse. I watched and listened to their arguments and complaints to me, and noticed that they were mainly bickering over what the other was allowed to “get away with.” Since I had time and knew that Mrs. B. would not mind me dealing with the situation, I took the boys outside the class. I had been reading my Nelson book last night, so I was semi-prepared for this. I let each have a turn to air their thoughts on what was happening. The boys were obviously angry, refusing to make eye contact with me or with each other.

 Jack was mad because Jeff was turning around to talk to Mike and not getting in trouble. Jeff was mad because Jack was tattling on him so often. I asked Jack if I could guess what he was feeling about the situation. He nodded. I said that I guessed Jack was feeling frustrated that Jeff could talk without getting in trouble, and also that he was mad that he had trouble controlling the volume of his voice. As I said these things, Jack went from being despondent and refusing eye contact to looking into my eyes and nodding emphatically. At the same time, Jeff began to look at both of us again. I asked Jack if he agreed with my guess. He said yes. I asked him if he was tattling on Jeff to make sure they had the same treatment. He nodded again, a little hesitantly this time. 

 Then I turned to Jeff. I know that Mrs. B. has been working with his mom on classroom behavior, including volume control. I asked Jeff if he knew what it was like to be frustrated with his body for not making the right volumes all the time. He nodded. I asked them if they could see that they were both struggling with the same problem. They nodded. I asked if maybe they could help each other monitor their volume so that neither would get in trouble. They looked at me, and then at each other, and nodded. I hope this works a little better than yesterday’s solution. 

Monday, October 23
 This morning, as I leading the class in correction of the five-a-day, there was a dispute going on between Dale and Jenny. Just as we were calming the situation down, Jeff interrupted, telling me, “Miss Jost, you should take them outside and do the thing you did with Jack and me, because we’re just fine now!” I had noticed that they seemed to be doing well that morning, but I did not know that they were both so conscious of the impact. It goes to show that squelching the problem is not a solution, but talking about what is going on helps the situation incredibly. I wonder how I could implement this in my own classroom. 

 Back to Standard Two
 On to Standard Three