Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Daily Assignment #30: Interruptions During Instruction

We all have them, Interruptions During Instruction, unwelcome intrusions, e.g. intercom announcements, custodian collecting trash, a student entering the classroom late, parents who drop by, colleagues who want to borrow something, and the list goes on.  A day can seem like a series of interruptions with some instruction happening in between.  

So, how do we handle these interruptions?  Some teachers allow them and then just continue instruction where they left off before the interruption.  Other teachers do not allow them.  They might turn off the intercom speaker or put the trash barrels outside the classroom door so the custodian doesn't come into the class or put a do not disturb sign on the door. I've known upper grade teachers who have locked their classroom door so that students who are late do not come in and interrupt instruction.  And then there are teachers who totally ignore the intrusion and press on.

 I think most teachers match their response to the intrusion.   A response to a student interruption may be very different than a response to a colleague interrupting instruction.  The response might also depend on the type of interruption, e.g. the teacher is teaching a concept to a small group of students and a student, from another group, comes over to ask a question versus the teacher is teaching a concept to a small group of students and a student shouts out a question from across the room.

Whatever the response to the interruption, it sends a message to your students as to what is important to you.

I hope this has given you something to reflect on.

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Best Effort,

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