I teach middle school students in a "Social and Academic Competency Program." The students in this program often have little awareness of social expectations and because of this, often don't follow these social expectations. The unexpected behaviors displayed by my students often lead to being sent out of class, or worse, being bullied. This routinely leads to an interruption of academic advancement.
"Ms. C! J is making a weird face and hissing at me again!," says K.
J retorts with, "I was not making a weird face! You're lying."
"J - I can see that you're feeling frustrated about fractions right now. What's a better way to express this frustration instead of hissing and scowling at K?," I ask.
"But I WASN'T hissing or making a weird face!," J insists.
J, in fact, had been making a "weird face" and hissing at K. However, due to a lack of self awareness, he truly believes that he was doing no such thing. We will now have to spend the rest of our math period working on social skills instead of fractions, because J is having a tantrum due to his insistence that he was not making a strange face.
I believe that a video camera will help develop a sense of self awareness in my students, which, in turn, will prevent interruptions in academic advancement. The video camera I have requested can be plugged into my computer so that I can immediately show students when they are displaying unexpected behaviors. This way we can quickly address the issue and return to our lesson without hurt feelings or further interruptions.
Students cannot learn if they feel unsafe. My students have a difficult time feeling safe due to their displays of unexpected behaviors. I believe that a video camera will help my students to quickly develop more "expected" social skills which will then allow them, and their peers, to refocus on academia.
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