“Don’t Let Him Play You!”

Today, I had the pleasure of conducting field visits with my alternative certification teachers. One particular classroom is always a joy because the students are always excited about learning, have lots of energy, and never cease to amaze me with their colorful stories…and their teacher.. Mr. L, we shall call him. Mr. L is an interesting teacher, not because he wows me with his instructional strategies, but oftentimes he makes remarks which I’ve had to stifle a “WHAT THE?” here and there. Well, today was no different. Mr. L was engaged in math instruction with a group of restless students. After one young fellow made a comment, I heard Mr. L yell, “He knows the answer! Don’t tell him! Don’t let him PLAY y’all!” Um, WHAT THE? Of course I smiled politely, called to speak with him in private, and shared that’s really not the most appropriate way to re-direct a student during instruction. Plus, as the teacher of record, there is academic language that he should model. Mr. L looked at me in bewilderment and said, “But, Dr. Walters, this is the kind of language they know!” I repeated the message, smiled, and left.

Driving home, I couldn’t help but wonder..If that’s how he speaks to the children when his supervisor is there, what on earth does he say when he’s alone with the students? As one of my dear friends said to me via Facebook, “ShamefulDisplaysofLearning.”

What say you, dear reader?


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