I don’t know if the last batch of comics has been entirely successful, especially this one… but I really want to try and tackle more classroom issues in depth next year, so perhaps this was a start.
Archive for the discipline problem Category
I’ve backed myself into a bit of a corner with this week’s run of comics and I wanted to address something about the nature of the comic that (not to get to flowery) “revealed” itself to me over the course of the past year.
You may have noticed that I don’t do many comics about my interactions with the staff, administration, or other teachers. There have been a few that popped up here or there, but not too many. Originally I planned this comic as a huge sprawling narrative that would hook in as many of my fellow teachers and co-workers as time and my very meager skills would allow.
As I got further and further into this experiment however, I found that angle of the job didn’t work for the comic. The focus I was most interested weren’t the behind the scenes machinations of a high school or the relationships between teachers… it was my classroom. My relationship with the students and how I work were the things that were the most interesting to me. I probably figured this out right around January (which is a ridiculous learning curve for someone who’s been drawing the same comic for months on end, I will admit) but when I figured that out, it really helped. I stopped second guessing a lot of these comic strips in the writing stage.
Now, approaching the comic with this in mind presents some problems. I’m keenly aware that I’m overlooking a HUGE part of my job and missing out on some unique storytelling opportunities. Today’s comic necessitated detailing a conference with my boss that left me in a position of not actually drawing my boss. I have some ideas about how I’ll handle these types of stories next year, but for this year? No two ways about it, it’s awkward. It’s important to remember (for me if no one else) that these past nine months have been a learning process, and a very rewarding one at that. I’m looking forward to next year’s run of comics even as I start to finish up the 2009/2010 run of strips.
Anyhow, I just wanted to take a second to point out yet another obvious flaw with my comic before someone else took me to task:)
Every once and awhile, someone who’s in teaching school or thinking about being a teacher asks me for advice… which probably says more about their willingness to ask anybody for an upper hand in the classroom than it says about my qualifications to dispense advice. Anyhow, this is one of the things I tell them: Try to handle as much discipline by yourself as you can. If you are constantly sending kids to the office and asking your administration to step in, you’re giving away a HUGE amount of teacher power. I’m not saying you should be timid about sending a student out if they REALLY need it (see today’s comic) but I know when I started out, I used the principal’s office waaaaaaay too much.