Classroom Management HELP

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

  1. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2018

    You have to do what works for you in terms of when you can stay, but you have received some good advice. I don't want to sound harsh, but would stop thinking about contract time. I don't know anyone who worked just contract time in their first few years (except for teachers who ended up leaving the profession in those first few years). Learning a new job takes more time than doing a job you are seasoned at.
     
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  2. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 30, 2018

    I am well aware of this. I actually stay until 3:30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (over an hour after the kids get out) and stay until 5 on Fridays. I come to work 30-45 minutes early every day. Like I said, I cannot give detentions on Mondays or Fridays (I'm not sure what I would do if a parent didn't come get the child and kids generally do not stay after on these days for any reason) and I have a personal commitment on Thursdays so I need to leave on time & I don't think I should be made to feel like I am not doing my job because of that. I also take several hours of work home every single night and work hours on the weekends to prep for the next week so please do not assume that I am not working hard or doing my job. I was only pointing out contract time to demonstrate that staying after for a detention is really not much of an inconvenience for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  3. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2018

    Ms. Holyoke,

    I wasn't trying to suggest that you aren't doing your job. You have spoken of contract time in a number of threads and my feeling is that if you are using that as your benchmark for efficiency it might be worth ignoring that benchmark for at least a few years. I would figure out what a reasonable number of hours for you to get your job done and still have time for your well-being are and try to stick to that. It sounds like you've found that a schedule that works for you which is great.

    As a more general concept, I actually think it would be better if we as teachers had 8 contract hours plus our lunch. So, for example, one school I worked at we worked from 8:30-2:30 - which is actually 5 1/2 hours plus lunch. A lot of my co-workers complained about taking things home. I think to do our jobs does require 8 so if instead of leaving at 2:35 we had been contracted to stay until 5 most of us would have felt that our jobs were less all encompassing because we could have got our marking, planning, etc done in that extra 2 1/2 hours.
     
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 30, 2018

    The courses I teach end at 1:00 and I have prep from 1-2:20. This is why I am usually able to get ready for the next day in this time because I like to lesson plan over the weekend and refine the night before. I feel like my entire prep consists of calling parents, making copies/anchor charts, and organizing my room! However, I still take a ton of work home and it does stress me out, but I know I need to do it for the first year. I make it my goal to leave on time when I can so I can get work done at home, so I can beat the traffic, and for my mental health. I do not use contract time as a benchmark for my efficacy, but I do try to use the time that I have efficiently. I make sure I get all of my work done in a timely manner.

    Everyone is different. I have friends at my school who stay until 5:30-6 every day but take no work home. I leave much earlier (except on Fridays), but I take a lot of work home. Another new teacher on my floor does the same. We all probably end up working a similar amount of hours. On a side note, I wouldn't like being forced to stay later when I could just take the work home. I'm sure teachers would resist unless they were compensated more for those hours.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  5. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Sep 30, 2018

    Detention has nothing to do with whether kids like you. What they don't like is what you represent - "no". Barney or Big Bird could be giving detention, and they wouldn't like them either. In other words, if you are expecting students to stand up and cheer, "Thanks teach for giving us little choice but to grow up!", it may be a long wait. Most students like a teacher who runs a tight ship; a place where they can get their work done without being disrupted. It is usually the vocal few who try to make you feel like a fool for having any standards whatsoever. Relationship is built because of one's high standards not lowering them in hopes if students get their way they will like you. The "Thanks" will come down the road because you know what's best for them.
     
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  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    So question...how do you handle the vocal few who are rude/disrespectful when you try to talk to them about their behavior? I have one student who is actually pretty well behaved BUT her behavior has unfortunately ramped up in my class. She sometimes talks when she is not supposed to, so I obviously wait/look at her. When I do this, she looks EXTREMELY inconvenienced and looks at me like "what did I do wrong?" It's comes off as rude and disrespectful. She does't exhibit the worst behaviors, but most of my students (even kids who talk more than she does) stop talking when I look at them and do not give me attitude about it. I spoke with her after class and I told her that I expected better of her because she had two days where she got very little done and she is a high achieving student. She basically shrugged me off and left. The English teacher was shocked when I said that she was giving me attitude but I'm sure that the behaviors of other kids cause the "good kids" to exhibit more behaviors. I did email her mother (who is very involved) last week so we will see. She might be the type of mother who takes her daughter's side so I am not sure.

    I also have another kid who exhibits more extreme behaviors (talking, yelling, hitting other kids with PAPER...so many ridiculous behaviors.) I call him out and he is downright disrespectful. (And yes, I have to call kids out publicly...I know Fred Jones says to take a pause or something but my kids can't handle it if I stop teaching.) He acts like he doesn't know what he did wrong! He is the kid I needed to call admin on & I finally got him to apologize to me and own up to his actions when I pulled him aside in the hallway at the end of the day on Friday. Apparently, he told his mother that he wasn't yelling, but he just has a "loud voice." (That's what the social worker told me!!) This is not true and the social worker said she would touch base with his mother. I also told the social worker about how he reacts to redirections. Things might go back to normal with him tomorrow (the defiance and disrespect) so I will have to see if the events from Friday will change his behavior.

    I am planning on running a tight ship tomorrow. I even called another parents this afternoon because her son has been very badly behaved this past week and I'm hoping that he will have a better day tomorrow. I will try the two reminders and then silent work idea. HOPEFULLY they can handle partner work and we don't need silent work!

    Has anyone ever had a class that was never able to use materials or do any fun activities? I'm worried this will be it for me. :( I'm teaching fraction division next week and my mentor has a lesson that I'll be using involving fraction tiles. I'm not even sure if this class can handle fraction tiles without throwing them at each other.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Oct 1, 2018

    Today went better but I am required to teach a lesson with manipulatives next Wednesday! Agh!! It's really just about 5 kids right now. This unit is BORING and very difficult for kids with weak computational skills, so I am glad that it is over on Thursday.

    I also really want to increase engagement in the classroom. I would love to use mini-whiteboards with the kids for exponents but I do not want the class to end up in chaos again.

    One of my students (academically high but very chatty) is moving away! So I am down to 33 kids (for now).

    I did ask my math coach to model stations for me and she will in the next few weeks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  8. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Oct 1, 2018

    Hard to tell from your description the context of this interaction. Are you teaching a directed lesson, at her desk or?
     
  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Usually during a lesson but sometimes individually.
     
  10. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Oct 2, 2018

    Unless students have legitimate neurological disorders which prevent them from understanding "no" there is little reason to talk. They know what they are doing. They know the rules. They have known them since kindergarten. They have heard the lectures, cajoling, threats and reprimands from every teacher before you. Michael Linsin recommends never lecturing students about their behavior. He advocates trying to act like you don't care at all about their behavior; you have seen it a 1000 times and, quite frankly, you are bored. This is a good strategy. It keeps you in control. When you lecture it is telling students their behavior gets to you, upsets you, messes with your teaching. It's a license to keep doing it since it works so well. Calmly issue whatever consequence your management plan dictates. Then walk away. I sometimes carried a little notepad in my pocket. When I saw a student goofing off I would make eye contact and slowly take out the notepad. Slowly I would look at them and start writing as if it was a death warrant. I was doodling. They didn't know it. They thought it was a write-up. Slowly I put it back in my pocket. They usually got back to work.
     
  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    I honestly feel like some of my issues are arising because my students are SO CONFUSED about division. I have no more time to spend on this unit but my test is easy and I'll throw out questions that everyone gets wrong. My mentor came to observe me and gave me some really good advice. She said that I need to create partner work norms and one of them needs to be that everyone has to work on the same problem at the same time.

    There was one point where 18/34 of my kids were working as she noted. Yikes...
     
  12. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 2, 2018

    Don't worry about that "What did I do?" look. They will give it to you with false hopes that you will think it's honest. It's not. They know they're not supposed to be talking. If you really think she might not know (or that she would argue she doesn't), wait until she stops talking, and then say "Voices need to be off." Repeat, repeat, repeat. She will eventually get annoyed enough that she'll stop just to get you to stop. Although... this is good advice if it's just one or a couple kids. It may not work as well if there are a lot more doing the same thing.
     
  13. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    The good news is that things have gotten better with that student after I emailed her mom and also sent her a positive note when I noticed improvement. The other good news is that I am able to make it through a lesson and the kids are listening. However, being in the front of the room, there is stuff that happens near the back that I might not really notice.

    One of the defiant kids is still behaving badly and I'm pretty sure he is trying to show off for his friends. He is always complaining that "she' (aka me) is always picking on us, etc. I'm moving his seat to not sit so close to two other boys. I grouped two low kids together which was a bad idea & I'm pretty sure this is why they're not behaving appropriately -- I need to put them with higher kids who will be able to help them.

    The main issue now is academic work. My mentor noticed two girls talking during the whole Do Now that I didn't notice because I was checking homework. There was also way too many people not working on the assignment and I cannot redirect 15 kids. I am planning on being more clear tomorrow with norms (ex. you and your partner have to be on the same problem) and also timing us (we are practicing 3 different skills) to create a sense of urgency. (10 mins to practice multiplication, 10 mins for division, etc.) I have no idea how to make kids do their work. When I student taught, we had kids who didn't do their work and there was nothing we could do. The issue really is that some kids cannot do it...but when I'm just one person and pulling kids doesn't work, I'm not sure what to do. I have to say my mentor gave me really good and practical advice -- be more clear with directions, group norms, always project the worksheet we're on, etc. She also agreed that I shouldn't do anything fun with them for a while.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  14. ms.irene

    ms.irene Groupie

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    Oct 3, 2018

    Definitely use proximity as much as you can -- one of the hardest things for me in the beginning was to walk into the rows and not get stuck "on stage." I usually teach from the middle of the room now and will (slowly) move towards kids who might be getting distracted as needed. If you're somehow tethered to the front of the room, try to find a way to change it up so you can roam around more.
     
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  15. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Surprisingly, today's class went really, really well (not as good as my other class, but much better than previous classes). I followed my mentor's advice about partner work and almost every pair was on the same problem at the same time. I would say that the first 70% of class was really good. We did a review packet but I set a timer for 10 mins on addition, 10 mins on multiplication, etc. The kids turned in their work and almost EVERYONE worked except for one student. Near the end, the kids lost focus, so I had them work independently on a problem for the last 5 mins of class which they did. I want to keep this structure going forward and I hope that it will work!
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    I wish I had one of those tablets where I could write on the SMARTBOARD from anywhere in the room. I feel like when I am teaching a lesson, I am always stuck in front of the class. But I am trying to move around more when I don't need to write on the board and I notice a difference.
     
  17. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Oct 3, 2018

    Consider: There is nothing in state or federal law that says a teacher is the only one permitted to write on the board during a lesson. You have 34 willing workers, any of which would love to get out of their seat and write for you.

    In advance, I made a VIP (Visual Instruction Plan) on paper then chose a student to use it to copy from at the board as I moved around the room and dictated. This allowed me to "work the crowd" as I taught. Sometimes students would take turns "teaching" at the board.

    For bell work I assigned four problems (or categories) for homework. Next day one student was chosen to put their problems on the board and become the "teacher" - monitoring students and discussing solutions. This got me out of the business of having to create bell work each day and allowed me to move and watch. Surprisingly, idea of using their own work and role-playing teacher was motivation to complete hw.
     
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  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    So I had an informal observation during this class today and my principal left me really good feedback (kids working together, etc.) I think my mentor's advice is paying off! :) He said he went to 27 kids in the class and they were all working together and discussing. Obviously, behavior and focus improves a bit when he comes into the class but it's still a good sign.

    I'm going to tell the kids tomorrow how impressed the principal was with them. I think some positive feedback would be good for them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
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  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 4, 2018

    Ms.Holyoke, thanks so much for sharing both your fears and your progress. This thread has become one of my favorite things currently on A to Z.
     
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  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Thanks!! If is also helpful for me to look back and see how things have gotten better!!

    Interestingly, I think I’ve “let go” a bit too much in my last period class. The kids are much better behaved and I haven’t been very strict. I realize I still need clear directions for them otherwise behaviors start to pop up. I did whiteboards today and I didn’t teach clear expectations, etc. so it didn’t go too well. They’ve also started talking in class, etc. I will make sure I am well prepared for them tomorrow too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018

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