1st yr teacher/having a super rough go at it

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by mamacass13, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. mamacass13

    mamacass13 Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2012

    Looking for words of encouragement and strategies to get through these first weeks of school as a first year teacher. I accepted a position in an urban district, inner city kiddos who are 90+ % in or below poverty. We are in week 2 and some parents have yet to even enroll their children yet and we just keep getting the new ones roll in. We have 2 second grade teachers and we each have 30 in our class (as of tomorrow). I was never prepared for what I am dealing with right now. I have 2 students to bark at me and crawl on the floor and kick other students/desks/furniture/tear things down/run out of my room/not walk in line EVER/etc.etc.etc. I call for support, they take them, then the kids are brought right back and we do the whole scenario over again. I have 30 kiddos who of course LOVE to talk. They also love to hate each other and TALK. The talking does not stop - and it's not just in my class it's every class that I have talked with the teacher! We are screaming at these kids. My Principal came in the other day while I was extremely frustrated and screaming at them to line up and put up bumpers and bubbles (arms crossed and bubbles in mouth so no talking).....the principal then proceeded to yell and scream. ACK! I do NOT want to scream and yell - it is NOT and can NOT be effective! However, it is the only way anyone has gotten these student's attention. I'm being told I'm doing great with what I have and that I'm in survival mode just like the rest of the school. This sucks and I want to quit. But I know these kids need me. To make matters worse, I have yet to sign a contract (supposedly waiting til they have the next board meeting before they approve it) which is making it easy for me to think about leaving. In no way do I think this would reflect good on me to any other district so I'm sure I will not be leaving...it's just tough as tough can be. I need some awesome attention grabbers and some team building, fun things I can do in the classroom. We are supposed to start in with curriculum next week, but I'm not sure any of the teachers will be able to do that yet, so I'm really needing something awesome to try to grab and keep these kiddos engaged and to learn to love me and each other!!!
    :dizzy:
     
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  3. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Aug 23, 2012

    My advice would be to put anything academic on the backburner. even if you have to spend the entire week teaching behavior, rules, and procedures.

    I would suggest toughing it out for the year, but if you really think you can't since you haven't signed any contract, make sure to give plenty of notice.
     
  4. Momma5

    Momma5 Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2012

    Wait, you are a student teacher? Why would you have a contract?
     
  5. mamacass13

    mamacass13 Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2012

    No, just haven't update that yet.... :0)
     
  6. mamacass13

    mamacass13 Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2012

    No, just haven't update that yet.... :0)

    there, now I figured out how to fix my grade -
     
  7. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Aug 23, 2012

    Prayers coming your way.
    I hope you will find a way to do this job, since you mentioned that the children need you. You have heart and you just might be the one to start something good.
    May God be with you during this stressful time.
    Rebel1
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 17, 2012

    My first year was in a similar environment. I screamed too. I never have since. YOU ARE NOT A BAD TEACHER!

    Finally I got something to work for me. My kids were simply hungry!!! We couldn't give candy, which was fine with me. We couldn't keep food in the rooms because of rats. But I put a Dixie cup on each child's desk. I literally walked around with a box of honey nut cheerios a d dropped a few at a time in their cups. I'd do raisins, sometimes mini-marshmallows and peanuts (this was ten years ago before so many peanut allergies) chex mix, etc.

    It was the only thing that actually worked for me. It got them to do everything! Prizes, warnings, behavior bucks, nothing else worked. Cheerios saved me that year!

    You can just start by putting the cups there and telling them you are going to see if they can sit still for 3 minutes. Then walk around. Increase to 5 minutes. Get them to listen to you while you walk and they sit. Tell them a story about when you were a kid. Or a story they never heard that you don't need a book for like Paul Bunyan. Do not read or make them write. Just sit and listen. Increase the time to ten minutes. They only get treats for sitting still and listening. Then, when they can do this for 15 minutes, listening to you tell stories, teach them an interesting fact. Talk to them about something they font know- anything! Like how snakes shed skin. The inner city kids don't always have a lot of this one of background information due to exposure. After they can sit for something like that, let them draw with paper and a pencil, then crayons. Increase to standing in line, walking down the hall. Walk them just to the bathroom and back. Make this your whole morning!!!

    Keep doing this. You'll get them writing and reading and doing math! I did! My year in the south Bronx was hell. But I did it even though I wanted to quit daily! I made it and it made me a better teacher. Plus I got my dream job the next year and I think it was my experience there that did it.
     
  9. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Sep 17, 2012

    I agree!

    You will not get anything done until there is structure.
    You will need to model the right way and the wrong way for everything.
    Look on you tube or school tube for some.
    I found some great ones for the hallway and bathroom.

    Prayers for your patience and strength.
     
  10. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Sep 17, 2012

    Miss Froggy...I was thinking Cheerios too.
     
  11. mamacass13

    mamacass13 Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2012

    Just an update - end of first semester and I've utilized generic cereal during testing and they stay so focused! I do pass out candy sometimes, but try to keep it to a minimum - unfortunately it's sort of something most of the teachers are doing - but it sort of helps for the short term. I have found my classroom management style and have been noticed for it by the administrators. I have one of the best classes in the school! Things have turned around awesomely and it makes me so proud, thanks for your kind words and suggestions - I took many of them to heart and made them a part of my classroom.
     
  12. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

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    Dec 18, 2012

    I love the dixie cup idea with cheerios!!! Thanks! I am going to try it when we get back--my kiddos are VERY chatty and it drives me BONKERS.
     

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