Classroom Management HELP

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 13, 2018

    I am also going to start staggering my classes and I am hoping this is a good idea. I have one class that is high and they are ready to move on. I teach all "college" classes but these kids are in honors science, etc. This class is super easy to teach and I always end my day on a high note. It makes me feel better as a teacher since I know that if I had honors classes or pre-AP classes, I'm sure the behavior would be easy to manage. The english teacher next door to me is also having issues with my morning groups.

    Anyways, I am thinking of having my high class be one day ahead so that I can test out a lesson -- and because they are ready to move on & they don't need another day of multiplication practice. My only concern is that admin looks at my board for objectives, agenda, etc. so I need to find a way to quickly change my board between classes.
     
  2. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 19, 2018

    Does anyone have tips for kids leaving things behind in class? I’m sick of my second period class leaving behind pencils and papers. It’s most annoying when they’re crumpled up on the ground. Yes, our janitors sweep it up but it is not their job! Another teacher told me that she picks it up when annoyed and calls them up in front of class to pick up their paper! Lol

    Today, a student from my second period class (my most difficult class) brought DIRT into my class and his English class. A kid from my last period class came for extra help after school and showed me the dirt. I was joking with him that they’re my favorite class because they always take their stuff with them! I went to supervise in the hallway and when I got back this kid had picked up every single piece of paper and pencil on the floor!! It was really sweet. I also have a girl and a boy who don’t leave my last period class until they help me put up all of the chairs. I have some very difficult kids but I also have a ton of very sweet and respectful kids.
     
  3. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Sep 19, 2018

    Don't let them leave the room until it's clean.

    Excuse rows / groups / tables when their floor and desks are clean.
     
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 20, 2018

    We unfortunately have bells so the kids are used to leaving with the bell.

    I might “threaten” this today or say that kids who are leaving their papers behind clearly need organization help and will be required to stay after on Wednesday.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Sep 20, 2018

    Because #1 Teachers are required to do a lot of the parents' jobs now. They expect way more from teachers and feel entitled (of course not ALL parents so don't whine about my comment).
    #2 Kids are much lazier nowadays and expect everything handed to them and do not want to even try to figure things out (yes, I know there are some kids who have initiative so you're lucky if you get those kids in your class).
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    What if you start one minute before the bell rings and let them line up or stand at the door once they're excused from their tables?

    I'm a big believer of that teacher saying "the bell doesn't dismiss you, I do." It's certainly hard to change an attitude that they are automatically able to leave when the bell rings, but they should at least need to wait for you to say they can go before they walk out of your room.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    They are used to leaving with the bell???? NO, they leave when dismissed by their teacher. Where did they get the idea they are in charge?
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Sep 20, 2018

    [QUOTE="otterpop, post: 2080167, member: 84048"

    I'm a big believer of that teacher saying "the bell doesn't dismiss you, I do." It's certainly hard to change an attitude that they are automatically able to leave when the bell rings, but they should at least need to wait for you to say they can go before they walk out of your room.[/QUOTE]
    Right. The teacher dismisses the class. I had a teacher in high school who set the stage the first day of school saying he would dismiss us. The only way we got dismissed is if we were quiet and the room was clean (I believe it was a science class). He would say, "Stand up. Push your chairs in" then when HE was ready he would say, "have a nice day" and THEN we knew we were dismissed.
     
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  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    We are apparently supposed to have bell to bell instruction. I dismiss kids to get up, turn in work, etc. about a minute before the bell rings but they wait by the door for a few seconds until the bell rings. Anyways, today I reminded the kids to put their papers away and said that kids who leave their paper behind obviously need help organizing their binders, so will be required to stay after school with me on Wednesday. I didn’t have any papers on the floor today.

    However, the class is a nightmare to teach still. They honestly make me want to quit because it is exhausting working with them and I don't even know if they are learning anything. My other two classes are fine to teach...I just hate, hate, hate this group. I have 34 kids and it seems like every boy is a behavior problem.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    34 kids is a lot. I'd guess a lot of your problems stem from that. Obviously you have to make the best out of what you've got, but that's way too many students for one teacher.
     
  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    I think that is the main issue and the english teacher is having issues with the same two groups. My first group is also 34 and I have minimal classroom management issues with them...so I'm not sure what it is. I feel like if I just had 5 less kids then I would be ok. My second group is a nightmare and everyone says that classes at that time of day are always badly behaved. I just feel bad for the kids in the class who actually want to learn and are frustrated by the disruptions. I told the social worker about issues with this class and she said she will try to talk to some of my "heavy hitters." She has been really understanding and helpful.

    I have a class of 28 in the afternoon with better behaved kids and it feels like a breeze to teach and I actually feel relaxed with them. I'm honestly just frustrated with my school. I teach all "college" classes which has lower levels kids but I don't have any kids with IEPs. Therefore, we have no legal limits on class size. (I was told that they supposedly stop around 36-37 and I just got a new student today.) We also have no extra support unlike inclusion classes. My principal said that he wants to focus on pushing the college students this year since they don't get a lot of attention or something. It all feels like a joke. All of the better behaved kids are in the honors/pre-AP classes which are so much easier to teach. (I have a class of kids in college math but honors science/social studies, and there is a remarkable difference.) I have 5 kids who are failing now and I have no logical way to support them. I got an email that 2 of my kids were in danger of retention next year and would benefit from extra support...but I’m not sure where exactly this support is supposed to come from!! What am I supposed to do with a kid who can't even tell me what 5-0 is? Or kids who don't come to extra help after I email and call their parents AND remind them? The math coach tells me to do "centers or stations" to remediate but I cannot work with individual groups at all with my morning groups. She said the groups working without me will behave if it’s engaging enough...but the truth is that I have to monitor the whole class otherwise it just ends up in chaos.

    In January, I am planning on starting a job search in a district with a contracted class size cap because I am done with these ridiculous class sizes.

    The good news is that although 5 kids did badly on my quiz, most kids got A’s and my average was good!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  12. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 21, 2018

    I know you are frustrated with this class but you have got to keep using the strategies you have. They may not seem as if they are working but you really need to give it time. Be positive and acknowledge the small gains you have made, and you have made gains in a short space of time. 34 is a lot, but that’s outta your control so you have to make the best out of it for now. Don’t hate the students or enter the class with dread because they do sense things and it won’t help to build positive relationships. They just aren’t choosing the right choices at the moment, perhaps because their home life is crap, perhaps they haven’t been taught discipline and structure, perhaps they are just testing you. But if you keep at it, they will come around. Maybe not all will come round, maybe 20 will come round, which is success. It may take 6 months maybe more but they will. I’ve had absolutely awful classes that have made me feel like a failure every single lesson but 3/4 into the year or even a month left in the year, they come round and start changing for the better. Then the next year, they come to you and say you’re the best teacher they’ve had and they miss you. That’s the beauty of teaching.
     
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  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 21, 2018

    I have MUCH more experience than you do, and my group (3 weeks in) isn't ready for me to work with one small group while the others work independently. I am doing small group activities, but instead of sitting the entire time with one of the groups, I rotate between them. I am able to differentiate for the groups, so that all are working on their level, but my mini-lesson or instruction with each group is only 1-2 minutes long. We'll build stamina, but that will take time. I never did get there with 5 or 6 of my students last year.

    **This morning is the first time in the past week that almost every single one of my students has sat on focused on the task I had assigned. Conversation has been, for the most part, on topic and the noise level has been a quiet hum. There's hope!**
     
  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    So I was very strict with class today and it went better. I even got through an entire lesson on long divsion.

    I asked a group of kids how class went and one kid said I was too strict!! Lol I might have been but class was at least better and more calm.
     
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  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    At the beginning of the year, I asked my students what I could do this year to help them be successful. Several said, "Don't be strict." We had a discussion about what they meant and I pointed out that if they expected me to just let them do whatever they wanted to, they wouldn't get their wish.
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    I was just extremely strict and it didn’t feel natural. It worked though. My lesson was long and not super engaging (long division) and they made it through most of it.

    My system was one warning and a detention. The warning is public. I had two kids get two warnings and I talked to them after class and said this was their one “free pass” because their behavior was much improved over normal behavior. I’m honestly just tired because I’m not used to being that strict but I don’t see another way to do it.
     
  17. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    If by "strict" you mean putting discipline before instruction and dealing with every infraction, no matter how small, each and every time then, by all means, be strict. Don't expect students to say "Thank you" for giving them little choice but to grow up. The thanks will come down the road because you know what's best for them. Majority of students like a teacher who runs a tight ship. They know a good teacher by how much work they get done without being disrupted. It is usually the vociferous cries of the few who try to make the teacher feel like a fool for having any standards whatsoever. From students' perspective a strict teacher is someone who interferes with their agenda of goofing off. That is, some students are horrified to find an adult who knows how the game is played and won't play fair.
     
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  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    I addressed almost every behavior with a warning and I might have to do it again on Monday. I don’t like public warnings but I don’t see any other way to start out. I didn’t really like how I felt as a teacher but the kids were behaved. I’m hoping it’s not just the shock factor though. My mentor said I should start strict and then I can loosen up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  19. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Many students think they don’t like strict but actually they do, they just don’t realise it. When there is order and structure in the classroom, kids feel safe and that this is a positive environment for learning. Stay strict but fair and the kids will appreciate it, further down the year.
     
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    I hope so!! I am just not sure if my warnings are “fair.” I accidentally gave a warning to a girl who I thought was talking but I realized she was just turning around! I obviously apologized but still!! I feel like I constantly have to be on top of them!
     

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