Avoiding the Distractions

Distractions in the classroom can be one of the more irritating things. Distractions can come in all forms. From having a substitute teacher interupt your class, a student who wants to go on tangents all day, or even something wrong in your personal life. Being able to shrug off distractions is a true skill, especially in todays world.

As I have been observing in the field for the last 6 weeks, I noticed that these distractions are frequent, and can be agitating. There is a couple of students that my co-op often has to deal with in terms of distractions. These students are very intelligent, and usually have helpful things to say in class, but often find themselves on long tangents to get to the point. This can be difficult to deal with as a teacher because you do not want to shun the stdent for participating, because by all means participation is the key to learning. My co-op is phenomenal at dealing with these types of students. Despite being being in an AP class this does happen, and in multiple periods. My co-op is a professional when it comes to this. She often acknowledges what the student is trying to get to and even implys it before the student even gets there to cut the tangent short. If that does not work she will let the student finish and then at the end relate it back to the lesson. This prevents any further tangents on this topic from other students, which is important because tangent are contagious. Once one student tells a long story another wants to do the same. But by relating it back to the lesson, it makes the other students think twice about telling one of their really long stories which may not be all that useful to the rest of the class. Dealing with this type of distraction is probably the most common, and the most difficult thing to do as a teacher. However, I think that my co-op does a great job with it and I’m glad I have this opportunity to learn things like this from her.