Kemerer and Sansom (2013) describe the disciplinary acts and consequences of current student discipline law on Table 9.1 of page 345-349. In it they describe the different acts a student must commit in order to get recommended for expulsion as in the Big Five and the rest of the actions a student must commit in order to get suspended. According to Kemerer and Sansom (2013) if a student commits any of the big five, which include possessing, selling or furnishing a firearm, brandishing a knife, unlawfully selling a controlled substance, committing or attempting to commit a sexual act and possession of an explosive, a student must be immediately suspended and mandatorily recommended for expulsion. Having said this the final if the student is found to have committed any of the big five actions the board can suspend the enforcement of the expulsion. Because of this possibility current disciplinary law can be used to bring interventions to all students.
I can recall one case a few years ago when a student brought a toy gun to school, one of those cap guns that tend to look real but have the red tip to show that they are not, and after he was discovered to have had the gun on school grounds he was immediately suspended and within a few days removed from the school. He was never officially expelled because the parent requested to transfer the student to another school rather than face the suspension hearing. When thinking of this incident I can’t think that this student didn’t have to transfer to another school. What if the school policy was to use actions like this to bring more awareness to these types of incidents? As Kemerer and Sansom (2013) point out that an expulsion could be dismissed if an “alternative means of correction would address the misconduct” (pg. 356). Why instead of having zero-tolerance policies we created a different policy of working with students to change their behavior.
At the school I currently work for we have a tool that we use to create dialogue between the teacher, parent and student. Some teachers like myself take advantage of this tool to reach all students (I’ve had up to 60), while others use it to reach the ones that have been described as needing extra attention, the tool we use is home visits. Every year teachers are required to do a minimum of 10 home visits a year, as I mentioned previously I’ve tried to take all my 60 students on home visits. The reason being that I have found once I begin to build that bond with that student outside of school the bond within the classroom becomes more powerful. My first year teaching I had many discipline issues in my classroom but I realized that once I took students out on a home visit, some of those issues diminished or went away. As schools become bigger and more complicated, the bond between teacher and student is slowly diminishing and I know that one way we can create interventions for all students is to get to know them and build a bond with them based on their interest. Yes, it takes a lot of time an effort to do this but I know it makes my life as a teacher a lot easier when my students know I care about them as people and because of it I have seen the need for behavior modifications within the classroom diminish.
Kemerer F, Sansom P. (2013) California School Law, Third Edition. Stanford California: Stanford University Press.
"In recent years, students increasingly communicate at school through their own wireless electronic devices such as cell phones, iPhones, and Blackberrys (Kemerer & Sansom 2013, pg. 234).” At the core of technology education is the barrier of access. One of the major hurdles we have been facing at our school is how can we move forward with technology implementation in the classrooms when many of our students do not have access to consistent forms of technology at home. As Kermer and Sansom mentioned, one of the keys to this obstacle is cell phones.
Last year was my second year using 1:1 with chromebooks, but as much as I wanted to flip my classroom I had the issue of my students not being able to access or create material outside of my classroom. What changed in my second year were the advances made by Google in the mobile technology field. Programs such as mobile Docs (which is where I'm typing this from), Google classroom, YouTube, and Drive have allowed students who did not have access to the curriculum previously be able to access it now. At this time I'm reminded of a student who told me this year very embarrassed that he didn't have a laptop or tablet where he could access the homework for that night. When I showed him how he could use his phone to complete his homework he was thrilled because he would be able to do it anywhere.
As far as how do we differentiate curriculum in order to reach all of our students with various language backgrounds and cultures the answer is to first focus on the California Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The second step is to know our students. One way to accomplish this is to survey both the students and the parents in order to better understand their cultural and linguistic background. Finally, as a teacher it is important to develop self awareness of what gaps exist in the cultural and linguistic knowledge of our student demographics and plan accordingly. In the end, unless we know our students both inside of the classroom and their lives outside, it will be difficult to plan curriculum that will reach them.
Kemerer, F., & Sansom, P. (2013). California School Law Third Edition. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.