Prior to the start of school, I stumbled on this sign (not on my campus):


Further up there is a diagram showing exactly how the cabinet is supposed to appear. Now, look, this isn't intended to call this person out and tell them they're doing it wrong or anything like that. And I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not strict about much. Chances are there were a series of incidents that lead to this sign and intervention was necessary. I have a serious face too. But, how you react to this sign could be an interesting indicator of your classroom culture.

To me, a sign like this is an immediate sign of mistrust. You, dear child, are GOING to screw up and I WILL catch you.

I have a lot of devices in my room. Being the control lover that I am, I too appreciate a nicely organized cabinet. When I ask for them back, I get them back. The kids make a stack on a table. We use them often enough they know how this works. Then I stick them back in the cabinet. No boxed threats required.

Students are not by nature against you. You can make a lot of progress if you recognize that they can be trusted individuals with something to offer.

AuthorJonathan Claydon