If you are like most teachers, you spend your school days being bombarded by a relentless stream of requests from students who want to go to the restroom, the office, a locker, the clinic, or to call home, open a window, shut a window, sharpen pencils, charge a cell phone, and hear the directions just one more time.
The sheer volume of student requests in the course of an ordinary school day can cause even the best classroom management plans to go awry if they are not managed carefully and with deliberate thought about the consequence of your responses.
Very little is simple in any classroom, and that certainly includes student requests. Managing these entreaties tactfully requires that teachers make swift decisions not only about whether the request is a reasonable one, but also how our response will affect the other students in the class as well as the student making it.
Just think--if you were to run out of patience and snap at even one or two students a day, soon the atmosphere in your class will turn toxic. Students should be able to ask questions and make requests without being intimidated by the dread of a teacher’s brusque (or worse) reply. The old adage that there is no such thing as a dumb question really should hold true in most cases in most classrooms....