Week 12 Breadcrumbs

    By Louie

    Hey everyone,

    This week I read the section in chapter 8 about communication styles.  I figured these were just like authoritative versus authoritarian, but was completely off.  This chapter was more about the ways teachers and students talk to each (which linguists call a register).  The technical definition of a register is “a pattern of vocabulary, grammar, and expressions or comments that people associate with a social role,” (Seifart, 2015).  This instantly reminded me of a male student I had in my first student-teaching placement who engaged in the “baby-talk,” which confused me.

    I found that I engaged in teacher-talk which is pretty cool.  I often say “eyes up,” to signal students to stop what they are doing and put there attention on me, usually for a tip to help students apply a skill.  Or I’ll say, “I only call on quiet-hands,” to help students resist from calling out.

    I often have to deal with “digression attempts” during my substitute/student-teaching as well.  The younger students I sub (kindergarten-2) don’t really mean to bring up irrelevant things, but the older students do this to escape doing their work.  These cases are handled differently depending on the scenario/age of the students, but generally I will say that’s interesting if the tangent is quick and incidental or I ask how it relates if it’s intentional.  I think that whether or not you choose to address an irrelevant statement is similar to addressing inappropriate student behavior; if it’s not disrupting learning, you have to decide whether it’s worth it to address.  Also, pointing out that a student brings up totally irrelevant things calls attention to the student in a negative way. For example, one of our students with an IEP often gets called on and says things totally off-topic, other students have to refrain from laughing.  

    When is calling attention to irrelevant responses appropriate, and when is it not?