Classroom Management Theorists and Theories/William Glasser/Skits to Help High School Student Learn Choice Theory
Skits to Help High School Students Learn Choice Theory
Material from William Glasser, M.D.
Modified By Dee and Valerie
This skit can be used as a classroom discussion starter for eighth to twelfth grade students who are in the process of learning choice theory. Both students and teachers can use the skits to get the feel of how different this classroom is.
Five tenth grade students, three boys and two girls who are learning choice theory in some depth from their new English teacher. These students are close friends and often hang around together.
School cafeteria after lunch.
The New Teacher:
Jeff: I like our new English teacher; she’s really cool.
Kim: What’s cool about her?
Amy: She’s so friendly. I mean like she doesn’t even yell at us. She’s always calm. She’s kinda weird.
Kim: I think it’s weird because she doesn’t have a normal name. All she has are two initials. She wants us to call her C.R.
Tom: I like calling her C.R. That’s cool. I asked her what they stood for and she said, “When I get to know the class better I’ll tell you.”
Ken: Yeah, she’s really cool. Like this morning when that jerk that sits behind me kept poking me with his finger, I turned around and started yelling at him to stop. She just watched us for a minute. Then she walked over and quietly asked if she could help us solve the problem.
Amy: I saw that. She didn’t say anything else. She just asked if she could help with the problem.
Kim: She didn’t have to say anything else. You both stopped yelling and it was over.
Tom: But you let him get away with it. You know he’ll just do it again.
Ken: I didn’t feel like it. It was her quiet voice and the way she looked at both of us. It’s like she doesn’t want to make a big deal out of a little trouble. She wasn’t even angry.
Kim: But I did see her talking to you for a moment before you left class. What was that about?
Ken: Nothing. She said she appreciated me calming down and suggested I try to be friends with him. He’s new and probably lonely. Then she smiled at me.
Jeff: You aren’t going to make friends with him, are you? He’s a jerk.
Ken: Big deal. He didn’t hurt me. It’s tough being a new kid in high school. That little talk we had after class, she didn’t have to do that. She cares about me. She doesn’t treat any of us like kids.
Jeff: That’s how I feel. She treats us like we we’re being good even if we’re not. That’s weird.
Amy: She does but I’m not sure she should do that. I think she should have done more than look at you. You were yelling. Even though you shut up, she should have said something.
Ken: But she did later before we left. She even said I should make friends. I told that to the kid and we shook hands. No teacher ever suggested that. I think we should all make friends with him.
Jeff: Yeah, like she trusts us to do the right thing. She’s not goin’ to change. Trusting us is the way she is.
Amy: I’ve talked to my mother about how C.R. trusts us and doesn’t yell or punish us. My mother says punishment builds good character. My Dad agrees with her.
Jeff: But remember what she did yesterday when the new kid kept talking and refused to shut up. He was giving her a real hard time.
Tom: She told him to go to the office and he’s still gone.
Kim: She didn’t get angry or raise her voice. She just told him she’d never learned how to teach when a student keeps talking and she asked him to please go to the office. She talked real soft but I did hear her tell him, don’t worry, you’ll be okay. No one is going to punish you.
Ken: I know why he hasn’t come back. He rides on my bus and I’ve been talking to him. He told me he’s in the “connecting room” and he likes being there.
Amy: What’s the connecting room? I never knew we had one. Where is it?
Ken: Amy, like you’ll ever see that room. He’s been telling me about it. It’s for kids who make trouble. He says he’s doing work now in that room. He says the kids in the connecting room like him and the teacher helps him with the work. He says they don’t have to be totally good but after the first few days most of them are.
Amy: What do they do in there?
Ken: They talk a lot to each other and the teacher. They also do assignments. C.R.’s been bringing him the English work and he’s been doing it. The teacher there helps all the kids catch up with their work.
Jeff: How many are in there?
Ken: He says usually around nine.
Tom: Why do they call it the connecting room?
Ken: He says kids who make trouble are mostly like him, they don’t have enough friends in school. The teacher helps them to connect with each other in the room. The teacher uses the word connecting for making friends. That teacher is like C.R. He doesn’t yell or punish either.
Kim: Did you ask him if he’s ever coming back?
Ken: He said the teacher in that room doesn’t want him to come back until he can figure out how to get along in class. We’ve been getting along fine on the bus. I told him I’d be his friend if he’d come back to our English class.
Tom: But he never did much work in here. Why’d he change?
Ken: He told me he’s learning something they call choice theory from the teacher and it’s helping.
Kim: I wonder if C.R. is going to teach us choice theory.
Ken: I asked her that and she says she’s going to start next week. It’ll only take us fifteen minutes a week and if we like it we’ll do it once a week every Friday.
Jeff: Well, at least we know why she’s like she is. She must be using that choice theory or whatever.
Amy: I guess she’ll expect us to use it, too.
Tom: I asked her that and she said that all she wants is for us to learn it. We don’t have to use it if we don’t want to. Haven’t you noticed how she’s been saying choosing this and choosing that since she came here? She says we choose everything we do.
Kim: She says if it’s a choice we can always make a better choice.
Ken: That’s what the kid on the bus told me. He’s choosing to learn it and he’s getting along better with the kids in that room. He says he’s looking forward to coming back to our class.
Jeff: But this is school. We never get a chance to choose anything. They even make us come here.
Kim: Maybe she’s figured out if she tries to make us we won’t want to.
Jeff: But we’re teenagers. Everyone makes us do every thing. If we don’t, they punish us.
Jeff: I like learning about the basic needs. It was neat to find out I have a need for fun. More teachers need to know about what we need.
Amy: Yeah, the needs were easy to learn.
Tom: She’s going to pass out a handout and a test that we can take it home just like homework.
Amy: But we’ll have all the answers on the handout. We’ll get them all right. What kind of a test is that?
Tom: That’s what I asked her and you know what she said. She said she wants us to get them all right. If we get an answer wrong we can keep working on it until we get it right. She said we really don’t learn much from making mistakes but we learn a lot by correcting them.
Jeff: I’d sure like to hear more about how to do that. I never get all the answers right on a test.
Amy: She lets the kids who didn’t answer the way she wanted to keep working until they got it. That wasn’t fair. I should get a better grade because I got every one right the first time.
Kim: I don’t think we got away with anything. I’d rather take a test once than have to keep working on it.
Jeff: One kid had to work on it for two more nights. He had to get help from his parents. But in the end he got the answers the way she wanted. He was okay with it.
Tom: A couple of girls didn’t take the test at all and she didn’t do anything to them. She’s not kidding. She really doesn’t punish.
Kim: I was curious. I asked the two girls why they didn’t take the test.
Amy: What did they say?
Kim: They hate tests. They like talking about choice theory in class when we’re learning it but they won’t take a test on it. They said that was okay with C.R. She told them to participate when we discuss it. They’d still learn a lot.
Kim: But the questions C.R. asks are a lot different from most of the questions I’ve ever had on tests. They’re not really harder, they’re just different.
Amy: I kind of like them. I guess she wants to find out if we can think and if we really know it.
We’ve modified Glasser’s skits into a more concise one that is, we hope, interesting and informative. Enjoy!