Advertisement

Classroom reflections

March 23, 2009|By CLAUD KITCHENS

In my second year of teaching, my junior high school principal asked me to make a presentation to the faculty about how I disciplined my classes. That was nearly 60 years ago and I remember very little about what I said to my fellow teachers.

One thing I do remember saying is that children chewing gum in my class did not bother me, as long as they did not stick it on the bottoms of their desks. Leaving school that afternoon, I passed two older teachers on the sidewalk. Both pointed their fingers at me and said, "Just you wait and see."

Several years later, as an assistant superintendent, I spent considerable time with a very wise high school principal from whom I learned a lot.

He liked walking through his school's corridors when classes were changing. He felt it gave him a good sense of student morale in the school. One day I accompanied him on one of his walks. A few yards ahead of us, we saw a teacher obviously berating a student for chewing gum. As we walked by them, the principal began chomping his gums as if he had a mouthful of gum. He was silently telling the teacher to get on with more important things. As we kept walking, I knew I had been right all those years for ignoring unimportant things about children's behavior.

Advertisement

Claud Kitchens, who passed away recently, was an educator for more than 35 years, retiring in 1990 as the deputy state superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education. Prior to that, he was the superintendent of Washington County Public Schools.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|