Am I the worst kinder teacher ever??

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Newkindermom, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Mar 12, 2016

    Hi,

    This is my second year teaching kindergarten. I did a year of student teaching in a rich suburb and now work in an inner city school as a kinder teacher. I really struggle with classroom management, in every aspect so much so that I am wondering if i should quit? I have excellent actual teaching skills, but can not get the classroom management down. Specifically: I am constantly having to stop instruction due to rude behaviors on the rug during teaching time such as students laying down, talking while I'm teaching, playing with shoes, getting up, touching other students, etc. I feel like from other classrooms I've been in this doesn't occur with other teachers just with me... I wonder if I'm handling behaviors wrong?? So it makes them worse? I tend to move students to a chair if they are misbehaving on the rug, I also make students move down a color on our classroom behavior chart. What would you do for constant disruptions? I am at the point where I can hardly teach!
    I also struggle with center management, I constantly have to stop my reading group to check on groups because they are too loud or misbehaving and not completing work. I have a very low, struggling group this year so that is also an issue. They often don't know what to do even after weeks of modeling.
    I am just so done with the constant misbehavior I am thinking of using my special education license and seeking working with smaller groups.
    Other issues, calling their attention after they've been working, it usually takes 3-5 minutes because they just don't listen and stop talking! I try to be fun, motivational, I don't make them sit too long, and I constantly praise good behavior... I am at my wit's end. Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 12, 2016

    Do you think you would have an easier time if you moved to a more mature grade level? I think it takes a special teacher to handle K class management and not all of us have that special ability.
    I have taught K but my classroom management style is much better suited to older children.
     
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  4. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Mar 12, 2016

    Maybe.. What grade did you switch to? I do love the kids.. I just feel like I must be very ineffective as a classroom manager.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 12, 2016

    I still teach all the grades because I teach self contained SPED but I turned the youngest students over to a new teacher this year. So I have students in grades 3-7 this year. When I taught gen ed K I moved to 5th grade.
     
  6. Torgie

    Torgie Rookie

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    Mar 12, 2016

    I have taught Kindergarten for 4 years. 2 years of inner city and two years of private school. I think some of those things are just "Kindergarten" behaviors. They like to touch things whether it is their shoes or someone else. I experienced the same thing at my inner city school with centers as you are. Our schooling for Kindergarten is not very developmentally appropriate anymore. I think centers used to be more constructivist-based for Kinder, but it has changed over time. One thing that has worked for me in both settings is student banks where they can earn or lose pennies and cash them in for prizes. I take and give pennies for any and all things. It basically is just a behavior modification approach. Hang in there and I hope that helps!
     
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  7. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2016

    Thanks for sharing your experience Torgie, I'm glad to hear you also had similar behaviors. I know it can be worse in an urban setting. I just feel like I can't take the behaviors anymore, all I do is correct behaviors all day!! I also have a few students whose behavior is almost unmanageable... As they can not control themselves at all throughout the day, extremely exhausting.
    You are right that the curriculum is no longer developmentally appropriate. Last year was much better because my class was more mature and able to handle the demands better.
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Mar 13, 2016

    How big is your class size? Do you have an assistant?
     
  9. Torgie

    Torgie Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2016

    Yeah I do agree it can be exhausting. Have you tried modeling the proper way to do every little thing? From how to sit on the carpet (model it, try it together, have them try it on their own) to center behavior needs to be taught to Kinders. It seems so silly to teach them how to sit, but they literally have never done it before Kindergarten so they don't know.
     
  10. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Mar 29, 2016

    I have 22 kids and no aides except for a half an hour a day to help a student with disabilities.
     
  11. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    I definitely modeled every behavior repeatedly. The kids just do not get it. It's like they don't have the memory or maturity to remember routines and rules this year. I feel like last year at this point I had those few that were behavior issues but the rest really understood what to do. This year I am STILL correcting basic behaviors like how to sit and how to stand in line. I don't want to constantly feel down about my class but every little thing seems difficult!! And the majority are really sweet kids, they just don't understand what to do apparently. What would you do in this situation? Keep going over routines or just coast until the end of the year?
     
  12. AlesiaN

    AlesiaN New Member

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    Mar 31, 2016

  13. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Every class is different. Have you every looked into Whole Brain Teaching? Google it...specifically the "scoreboard." Other than that my suggestion would be to pick one area to focus on (i.e. whole group time). Discuss the expectations. Model things. Practice. Hold them accountable. Most importantly hang in there. You're working hard and doing your best. Celebrate small successes and go easy on yourself.
     
  14. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Do you have them repeat things until they do them correctly?

    (For example, line is not right, everyone has to go sit back down and try again)

    This really works with my older kids but I'm not sure if it would in kindergarten.

    The "power of one" also works well. "I'm looking for one quiet student who can show us the right way to line up." "What did you notice about the way Carley lined up?" Take a few comments, then ask if someone else would like to show the correct way to line up. I call a few students one by one, then try to dismiss a row or group at one time. Again, this is with older kids... but my students really want to be chosen as that one good kid who gets to show how to do things correctly.
     
  15. rang

    rang New Member

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    Apr 13, 2016

    Do you give them play time before class starts? I do this, for 15 minutes while the children are arriving in the morning, in my school, it was always staggered as parents were caught in traffic etc, the children would have a library / reading zone, where they read to one another and another play area to do board games, some like the small laminated sheets to draw on etc this calmed them down and then there was "chat time" before break. We always went out after out scheduled going over numbers or the alphabet too for a walk and play, it put an end the disorganised chaos before. Set boundaries for them. Put the rules up, no more than 5. Display them and read them daily a few times a day if necessary. Praise good behaviour.
     
  16. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Apr 12, 2017

    Honestly, you may want to change grade levels. I've taught Kinder (and a little PreK and 1st) for 9 years. The reasons you describe are the reasons I've seen a lot of teachers quit. And I have known many teachers who say they have a solid behavior management plan, but then I see their kids getting away with all kinds of crazy stuff that I would never put up with.

    If you are dedicated and enjoy teaching K, take a class, go to a workshop, read read read, and RESTART teaching routines & rules like it's the beginning of the year. I have taught K for 9 years. When I got back from maternity leave this January my kids were nutso. We went back to square 1 and worked on behavior and within 2 weeks they were great again. Kids are smart and know what they can get away with. If you aren't absolutely consistent you're going to lose them.

    If possible, before you begin, see if you can observe another teacher in his/her class, and ask questions during your prep.. Or even have them come in to your class and get them in shape.

    If you are still having problems after that, you need a schedule change or the way you're teaching is not DAP. What does your day look like?

    My schedule is:
    8:20- morning work & socializing/puzzles/books time (ACTIVE time)
    8:45- morning meeting
    9:00- writing workshop
    9:45- recess (ACTIVE time)
    10:10- snack (time to socialize)
    10:30- math
    11:00- math game (ACTIVE time)
    11:20- lunch (time to socialize)
    11:50- recess (ACTIVE time)
    12:15- music
    12:50- PE (ACTIVE time)
    1:20- story & show&tell
    1:40- recess (ACTIVE time)
    2:00- Play centers while I do guided reading (ACTIVE/social time)

    Kinders need a LOT of movement & time to talk and socialize or they will be STRESSED and wiggly!
     
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  17. suzy7677

    suzy7677 Rookie

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    Dec 7, 2017

    Wow? Guided reading at two? When do you have whole group reading lesson? The last two districts I taught in mandate reading and writing to be done first thing in the morning(research based), no morning meetings, although I have a very quick routine in the morning, but no time for developing social skills or sharing. We also have an hour after lunch for reading. So we spend three full hours on ELA.
     
  18. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Maven

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    Apr 2, 2018

    There you go....

    I figured as much. You are in a typical setting. Really need to divide and conquer. You have to let them know they are a team. But you need to get to the bottom of the negative behaviors first.

    Besides the other wonderful suggestions here, have you tried separating your class by skill level? Pairing up some of the stronger ones with lower ones? Teach to the middle, and praise the lower achievers whenever they make effort. Use the higher ones as helpers, which will motivate the middles to work harder. Nothing like added responsibility to build trust, confidence and hopefully - better behavior.

    My preschool class started off that way. Now we are in a good place, and I am able to give out jobs, and more responsibility. Mind you, I do have a co-teacher, and we have less structure, but some of the same issues are still there.

    You will find the more affluent areas have a much smaller class size. Practically non-existent in the inner city, urban areas. But the primary grades are prized, and very few new teachers are offered these positions. I've seen Kdg. teachers work for years and years at the same building. They aren't going anywhere until they retire!

    Do you best to finish this year. Re-evaluate your strengths and goals. If you would be happier with a smaller, quieter group - you know where you need to go. A different route would be the charter schools. They do have their own set of issues. Some have different hours, no union or no state pension. Less money but more structure, fewer behavior problems. Parents push to get their kids there, so they usually support teachers more as well.
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Groupie

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    Apr 2, 2018

    Look up Dr. Wong’s video series about education and classroom management.
     
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  20. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Maven

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    Beat me to it futuremathprof!! Harry Wong, “The First Days of School”. They gave this book to all student teachers before we did our field hours.
     
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  21. Pinkclouds79

    Pinkclouds79 New Member

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    Apr 15, 2018

    Hi Newkindermom. I agree with the poster who said a lot of these sound like typical kindergarten behaviors. Here are some things that work well for me:

    1) try to Keep them moving. I don’t like to have them sit in one spot doing the same thing for any more than 15 minutes. LOTS of brain breaks or fun transitions.

    2) instead of clipping down, clip up. I pick anywhere between 1-5 name sticks out of my cup every 15 minutes or so. Or whenever I know that a difficult transition time is coming up. I will say, “I have three names in my hand. I am looking to see if these three friends can grab their math books out of their boxes quietly, and open to the correct page.” Then after everyone has gotten their book and turned to the right page, I will let those three friend clip up IF they did a good job. If they didn’t, their name just goes back in the cup.

    3) my kids earn 1 penny at the end of the day if they stayed on green or clipped up. When they collect 10, they can use those pennies to buy a popsicle.

    4) during centers, I use 4-5 different noise meters. I rotate through them so they don’t get bored. If they earn so many happy faces or stars (depending on the noise meter app) I will give the class a letter towards their classroom party (popcorn, extra recess, a a magic school bus movie, cookies, etc.). If they lose a star or get a sad face on the noise meter, the whole class owes me recess time.

    5) during centers, i may not use the noise meter but a “sheriff”. I choose 1 sheriff that walks around with a 5 minute timer. He/she is looking for the quietest and hardest worker to be the next sheriff. When the timer goes off, he/she chooses the next sheriff and they know how to start the timer for the next 5 minutes.

    6) also during centers, if they get 5 sad faces or lose 5 stars on a noise meter, they go to silent centers. I tell them that if their neighbor catches them talking (not making thinking sounds) that the neighbor can ask them to clip down. This usually is extremely effective.

    Sorry so long. Hope maybe one of these might be helpful
     
    Leaborb192 likes this.

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