However, I do not want these (flattering) comments to cloud my judgment in any way. After all, despite my assumption of sincerity, they could just be making these suggestions to ensure that I will not think of them negatively.
In comparison to the first round of conferences, there were some new findings. In the first conference on the second day, there was a great lack of focus, even within the smaller group of six students. One such student was actively checking and typing into her phone right in front of me, and I had to request that she put the phone away and focus on the lesson. Within this group, the general lack of focus stemmed from a very contagious laughter. Whether this was due to some previous joke I was not aware of, or simply because they were in the same room together, I could not tell, but it made it difficult to control the tempo of the conversation.
A couple interesting comments were made in the second group discussion. One student pointed out that perhaps the reason why problem behavior persists in the class is the tone in which I handle these behaviors. When I talk to students, he claims, I sound very “chill,” and so the students do not feel like they are in any amount of trouble, thus, persist to do it in the future. The rest of the group concurred. Another student, one of my role models, admitted that she had gone to her counselor twice to get out of the class because she could not put up with the “annoying” behaviors. Interesting that what I see as distracting, she finds annoying. She claimed that this did not negatively impact her learning, but it certainly has made an impression on her. The group overall felt that in order for the class to act within a positive learning community, it was important to structure lessons in a way that those who exhibit distracting behaviors came in direct contact with role model students to guide them towards appropriate behavior.
Overall, here are the conclusions I have drawn from the group conferences:
· Students that display distracting behavior are generally aware of the fact that they regularly cause distractions.
· Students feel that my current, situational responses to problem behaviors are adequate.
· Students do not fully understand a positive learning community and how behavior can affect it one way or another.
· Most students feel that there is nothing wrong with the class while some students find distracting behaviors annoying.
· Students enjoy using technology in the classroom.
· Students feel that problem behaviors will be reduced when lessons are authentic and utilize new and interesting technology. In addition, group work with strong leadership may help students who exhibit problem behaviors by keeping them on task.
Using resources from my literature review, I feel that an integration of some of the students' ideas would be a beneficial guide to my action plan.