Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quiet Ones. Make Some Room for Them.

"The squeaky wheel gets oiled."
I really dislike this saying.
Partially because it's true, especially in education.
Kids who are lively and chatty, or kids who are disruptive, tend to get a lot of attention.
This isn't a bad thing. It's part of the job.
Thing is, you have to be able to see and hear all the kids.
I have fifty more kids in the same number of classes than I did two years ago.
This is a reality.
I greet all the kids at the door every day.
Apparently an Education Specialist wrote a book and a lot of education programs use this book, and this guy is really rich now, and one of the things he says is that you greet the kids at the door.
Dang. I should have written a book, but I think if you have to be told stuff like this maybe you need to not be a teacher.
Just saying.
I can greet the kids at the door, but getting to each kid each period to address each individual need is a physical impossibility.
I need super-special powers to stretch the time-space continuum.
Or maybe people will decide that kids count and do something about it.
In the meantime, I just want to give a shout-out to the quiet kids that can get invisible, because they are just as important as everyone else.
Sometimes people think that quiet kids are quiet because they don't have problems.
And it makes me frustrated, because if I could just have a little more time, or not as many students, I could make sure that the kids who have C's could get to B's and the kids who are quiet because something is wrong get an opportunity to voice the wrong to someone.
Sometimes kids are quiet and just fine, but I know that they appreciate being seen.
I need more room.


  1. Love this! I'm a children's pastor and the same thing happens at church... I really really want to pay more attention to the quiet ones.

    Also wrote about a quiet one for my a-z challenge...

  2. Oh but there's also another saying "it's the quiet ones you look out for" cos their roar may just be mightier in time!

    I was so a very quiet child - well I just refused to speak really! LOL! and would have hated any attention! But I do appreciate how the quiet ones tend to be overshadowed by the noisy loud ones. Love that you are able to greet each one of your students but I think having larger and larger classes is truly detrimental for all.

    Take care

  3. Quiet kids do appreciate being seen; I was one. I'm like that as an adult too, in a group I listen but rarely speak which allows much time to learn about those around me. When I teach, I look for ways to connect with the quiet ones, as do you.

  4. I was one of the quiet ones at school. I remember once when I became so involved in some work and very excitable that the teacher reprimanded me in front of the whole class but in a very belittling way. Today, people never believe me when I say that I used to be quiet, I became more outspoken when I left school. I think I was just unlucky with teachers. They made me more self-conscious and doubtful than anyone ever did. But I think its because I loved school so much and idolised the teachers that I was so deeply affected by anything negative that was said. Its sad to think that I can still remember how I felt that day, I can see the scene in my mind yet I struggle to remember what I had for dinner yesterday. You wouldnt believe that it has been 25 years!
    Your posts have been great.

  5. Another great post. I once had a teacher tell me I was like a sponge, sitting there and soaking it all up, taking it all in. "Sometimes kids are quiet and just fine, but I know that they appreciate being seen." Don't we all?

  6. Unfortunately, I don't see us taking any particular notice of our children in the USA anytime soon. They don't bring in any money, and kids are more and more seen as problems and issues and noise makers with no place in society. Not very long ago I was reading an article about the growing trend in resteraunts and movie theaters to not allow any children at all after a certain time of day.
    All of this makes me sad.
    But it makes me especially sad that the government doesn't see it as worthy to provide enough teachers at a good enough salary that they want to stay so that they can actually make a difference to all of their students rather than just one or two.

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  8. I teach 18 classes a week with about 35-40 students per class. There is NO WAY I can get to know each student individually, no matter how hard I try. The best I can think of is circling the room and trying to talk to as many as possible, even if just for a minute. Even still, there are so many student who are quiet and need help. Suggestions from a seasoned professional? -- A continuing Pelfrey student, Julia Wittlin