NYC is one of the areas in US with the highest concentration of schools. These schools range from kindergarten schools to even higher level. This has presented unprecedented challenges to school managers and especially classroom teachers. Teachers play a very important role of imparting of knowledge into the children so that they can change their entry behaviour by the time they come out of the learning process. A lot of incidents occur in the process of learning between the teacher and the children or amongst the children.
These incidents are inevitable as conflicts are part and parcel of the learning process. The classroom setting brings together children from different backgrounds. In the NYC area, some of the challenges facing the children especially from the pre-K level to the second grade level include delinquency, a significantly high drop out rate, environmental as well as peer pressure as well as challenges in socializing and obeying to the set school rules and regulations. These children are in a very low level of development and most of them feel that a school is just a place of passing time, chatting and playing.
It is the way the teacher manages these incidents when they are manifested in the classroom that enables the children to experience a conducive learning environment, develop self-competence as well as self-esteem and be able to improve in academic performance.
According to Edmondson D. (1999), there have been quite a lot of critical incidents that have been observed between the teacher and children and amongst children in the NYC learning institutions. For instance, in a classroom setting, many teachers have been burdened with the problem of most of most children fighting one another due to minor differences among them such as being denied to join in a play. This fighting among the children has distracted the learning environment and even affected the emotional and psychological well-being of the children. These effects consequently have resulted to poor academic performance among the children, something that has affected their learning motivation and led to loss of interest in learning.
Most students through this turn out to be joy riders in the class and this has also led to loss of morale in teaching on the part of the teacher. it is therefore very important that the teachers chips in to address this problem. The teacher should seek to establish a conducive learning environment by inculcating good social skills into the children and teaching them the need to respect one another. For quality and improved academic performance, this incident needs to be addressed and controlled in future. Proper and strict ways should be put in place and highly practiced on the children who have this behaviour.
Behaviour modification techniques such as use of a token should be reviewed and practised by the teacher in order to discourage this incident. Although Slavin, (1978) notes that, punishment is one of the best deterrents for bad behavior, this is disputed by, Astin (1985) who notes that, there is enough evidence to conclude that, punishment can have negative effects for classroom teachers. Hence punishing the misbehaved children should be exercised with caution.
There are incidents like overlooking of the needs of all children that have occurred between the teacher and the children. Most teachers for instance in classroom situation tend to treat all the children as having similar needs and similar levels of understanding. This has had a very negative impact on the academic performance of most children. The children who are slow in learning and also those who have special problems like hearing difficulties have always lagged behind as far as ranking in academics is concerned.
To curb this problem in future, the teacher should understand and clearly define the problems that each child faces in learning. This way, better approaches of teaching the slow learners and those with special needs like hearing problems, blind children will be applied. Use of tutorial classes and giving remedial work to learners who learn slowly will be of great use in solving this problem. Building of different learning institutions and providing adequate learning materials and resources for the exceptional children should be practiced. Braille and the relevant learning resources as well as materials should be provided to the children who are blind.
However, teachers have had critical incidents with children whereby they have encountered very bright, clever and talented children. These incidents and many others which have become rampant in the NYC area have helped the classroom teacher to be able to come up with ways in which these children should be encouraged so that they do not get disinterested in the learning process. These children can be said to be exceptional and also require special concern so that they continue participating in learning process.
To manage this situation in future, teachers should also employ other techniques like giving challenging tasks but those which are within the ability of the clever children, encouraging the children to read ahead of where the teacher reaches in class as well as helping them to set realistic goals. They should also be given responsibilities such as class room monitors so that they continue perfecting their leadership skills and be engaged in fruitful activities
Critical incidents like stress have also arised between teachers and the children. A teacher in a classroom situation has been able to encounter children who have stress. Stress among children arises from family backgrounds and academic performance (Slavin, 1978). Those children who come from poor families have been observed to be the mostly affected by stress due to financial constraints in the family set-up, something that have widely resulted to hardships in paying fees, unlike those children from stable families who have everything at their disposal, right from in time payment of fees to other secondary needs.
Continued failure in academics as well as poor reinforcement from the part of the teacher also result to stress among children. Stress has led to very poor performance among children since the children who suffer from it tend to spend too much time in thinking about their problems than in learning. Teachers have tried to control stress among the students in many ways.
Many more ways should however be put forward in an effort to fight stress among the students. Such ways like guidance and counselling of the students suffering from stress, organizing for sources of funds so as to facilitate their education as well as encouraging them should be emphasized in order to achieve positive results from these children.
In addition, the parents of these children have been involved to encourage the children in learning through trying to groom them and advice the accordingly. According to, Astin (1985) use of reinforcements and rewards are among the most important ways that can be used to improve performance among children. The stressed children should always be positively reinforced and rewarded every time they make a positive improvement of their situation.
Another critical incident between a teacher and the children is the realization that children have different talents. Teachers have been able to meet children who are very talented in sports and athletics. This incident has helped these children a lot since teachers have had an opportunity to help them broaden and practice their talents to the best of their ability. They have been able to do this by organizing for physical education beaks and allowing the children to engage in playing different games. This has enriched learning process since cu-curricular activities are also part of learning especially where socialization is encouraged.
Children also during interaction with one another have had several critical incidents. The realization by children that some of their colleagues shine in academics only through hard work but not because they are geniuses has created an atmosphere of hard work among the children fraternity. In the process of working hard so as to attain the level that their colleagues are enjoying, they have improved their performance and consequently the entire performance of the schools has improved. The slow learners have been able to seek for assistance from the teacher until they understand fully the concepts for example how to perform addition and multiplication in mathematics.
This attitude should be more encouraged in future and rewarding of the best children be sustained in order to create a competing atmosphere. There are incidents among the children whereby they have come to realise that some students are being favoured by the teachers. This has really suppressed the morale of the other children since they have believed that no matter how hard they try, they will never shine. Favouritism has been practised through marking assignments and in reinforcing the children. This behaviour of teachers favouring some children should in future be discouraged because it leads to discouragement on children who are not experiencing the favours, and later translate to poor academic performance.
Moreover, there have been critical incidents whereby teachers have realized that some children can become good leaders. This has been helped by the evident leadership skills that these children portray at their early age. Through identifying these children, teachers have been able to help the children through providing enough guidelines and encouraging them to maintain as well as improve their qualities. This has really been an opportunity for the children to succeed, improving their self-esteem and acquiring much confidence to pursue the education. In future, more encouragement should be given to these children and leadership posts be awarded to them in the school so as to perfect their skills.
In addition, there are things that have happened such as children stealing from each other and this has really demoralised most children. Children who take to this behaviour tend to grow up practising it even to their higher educational levels. The teacher should put into place the necessary disciplinary measures so that this stealing behaviour can be modified. This contributes to a better learning environment and consequently to a improved academic performance.
Critical incidents have also occurred among the children whereby they have been able to realize that some of them are quite anti-social and cannot even work in groups. Group work is one of the most effective ways of learning (Joyce, & Weil, 1986). It is through group work that children learn new ideas as well as develop confidence and social skills. Children who engage in group work and participate fully tend to broaden their views and acquire diverse thinking ways. They stand a good chance of improving in their academic performance unlike those children who are anti social and defect from group work. In future, group work should be highly encouraged among the children and means of motivation the groups devised. This will see to it that performance among the children is improved.
All education stakeholders in the NYC area need to join hands in order to handle the numerous challenges facing the sector. There is a need to create learning environmental that is ample enough to allow an interaction between the teachers and the children. The numerous incidents that the teacher encounters should serve to formulate clear policies to govern the learning process. This in turn will lead to a better learning environment. Finally all children-children incidents, needs to be solved by applying the necessary psychological theories in order to create a conducive learning environment.
Astin, A. W. (1985). Achieving educational excellence: A critical assessment of priorities and practices in higher education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Dover. Edmondson, A. (1999). Psychological Safety and Learning Behaviour in Work Teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44, 350-383.
Slavin, R. (1978). Student teams and achievement divisions. Journal of Research and
Development in Education, 12.
Joyce, B., & Weil, M. (1986). Models of teaching. Englewood Cliffs,
NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Anderson, J. A. (1998). Cognitive styles and multicultural populations. Journal of Teacher Education. 39.
Wlodkowski, R., & Ginsberg, M. (2003). Diversity and motivation: Culturally responsive teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.