The Detention Intervention

I have written about my thoughts on my lunch detention duty before.  The last couple of days have been out of control with the number of students in detention.  Maybe it’s just spring fever, but there are at least 9 kids in detention every day for everything from swearing to cell phones to cutting class.  I don’t have a problem with the number of kids, but when you stick 9 kids, who are angry about being there, in a small, windowless classroom with a teacher who’s only recourse is to write a referral, you have a recipe for chaos.  We have kids who are swearing, others yelling at us, others trying to cut detention.

So I was thinking today, as I was begging for the students to be quiet for the 10th time, that the reason my students act out in class is because they are not engaged in the lesson.  When these students are put in this room, they have nothing to do for the 56 minutes they are there so the only thing left for them to do is act out.  Plus, most are simply going through the motions of school and don’t bring homework with them to complete. I need to give them something to do, something that I can’t require of them, but will still be of interest.

So Wednesday begins the Detention Library.  I found a list of the best books for teenagers on Goodreads.com.  Many I already had on my bookshelf at home and the rest I am going to supplement from the school library.  Maybe if I offer them something to keep their attention occupied, I can have 1 day of no frustrations.

*The above was written on Monday evening, mostly in frustration.  Below is an update*

Today I went to our librarian to see how many of the books on the list she could help me obtain and boy did she come through!  Not only did they give me nearly everything on my list, but they started adding others that are popular with the other students in the school.  Then they started asking about the personality of the students to try and suggest books directed toward their needs like graphic novels and car magazines.  I am so impressed with our library staff!

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