Classroom Management Late in the Year

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Kenz501, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Comrade

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    Mar 7, 2018

    I hope this thread doesn't get closed, but here's my question.

    How do you regain classroom control this late in the year? I mishandled my duties as classroom teacher by under performing, so badly in fact that I ended up more or less in the situation where I started, with a co-teacher in the room with me! This time it's for the rest of the year. I don't really have to worry about getting control of the classroom or planning very many lessons, except for my own benefit.

    I really did want to do well on this job, but somewhere I just slipped into survival mode. I never really used "common sense" and I can't really justify a lot of my under performance. I was afraid to ask questions because I didn't want to come off as incompetent. Oddly, that happened anyway.
     
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  3. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    Mar 7, 2018

    You could just take some time to watch the co-teacher and observe how she handles classroom management. You had mentioned in previous threads that you didn't feel you learned this while student teaching, so this is kind of a 2nd chance for that. It seems to me this teacher was brought in to overhaul the class anyway so I'm doubting the school would have an issue with you stepping back and watching rather than leading, especially if you're not going to be renewed at the end of the year.

    Considering the inquiry, does this mean you'll be looking to stay in education?
     
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  4. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Comrade

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    Mar 8, 2018

    Sorry, it's just that, even though I'm probably less skilled at it than most people who choose it as a profession, I've invested so much time and money into teaching that I feel like I should learn how to do it. Plus, this is a little town where I was hired, and it's near my family. I really want a way to stay in the area to be close by. I would hate it if I had to move to bigger city and take yet another crummy job. Someone, maybe it was my co-teacher, thought I could do this job, and that's how I got it in the first place. It's a small place where most people know each other. The difference, though, is I'm one of the people they liked because they thought I could do the job.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  5. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Comrade

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    Mar 8, 2018

    I plan to watch my co-teacher carefully and take very detailed notes. I think her familiarity with the school and how things operate is a major advantage for her classroom management strategies, though. My personality just doesn't allow me to warm up to people so quickly. Plus, I get distracted very easily in the classroom.
     
  6. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    Mar 8, 2018

    Based on prior discussions, before you try anything new, I advise you to spend some time observing the students and trying to imagine how they feel and what they may be thinking in response to the other teacher's choices. Your core areas for improvement include compassion, sympathy, and understanding of the student experience.
     
  7. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Comrade

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    Mar 8, 2018

    Well, it looks like my co-teacher can do things that I can't really do, like connect emotionally with the kids. I get that this job isn't for me. No one has to keep rubbing it in my face.
     
  8. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    How are you "distracted easily in the classroom" as a teacher? I'd understand as a student. But you're the teacher .. ?
     
  9. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    It wasn't really meant as a rub in your face. In all seriousness, focus on the students. What do they need? Want? Hate? Fear? Respond well to? When do their defenses go up? When do they seem engaged or intrigued? Bored? This is the stuff you need to get a feel for. Focus on them...not her or you.
     
  10. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Comrade

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    Mar 8, 2018

    It's usually related to minor behavior things. I tell a kid to move; he refuses, and it escalates from there.
     
  11. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Comrade

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    Mar 8, 2018

    I would imagine that's easier for my co-teacher, as she knows some of their families. I'm not really sure if the kids like me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Habitué

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    As a student teacher, observing other people teaching has really helped me with my classroom management. I use some strategies that my mentor has used and also use some that work for me. I work in a high needs school where behavior management is not easy, but observing and being really purposeful about the strategies that I am using has helped. The strategies people on this board have given me are also super helpful and I have been using many of them. A lot of it is in what you are saying to the kids when you ask them to do something. People might be able to better help you if you give a detailed description of a scenario, what you did, and how students responded. I'm now teaching lessons with no interruptions/no kids talking over me and the kids have really started to listen to what I am saying/redirections. I also don't know my kids' families like my mentor does, I will say that connecting with kids is essential for good classroom management.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  13. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Comrade

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    Forgive me if I'm slow to catch on, but I often don't see other people's classroom management strategies. To me, it just looks like someone walks into the room, and the kids fall silent. I've been able to get that level of compliance temporarily with threats of detentions and such, but kids still try to "run over me" even after I explain the rules and discipline them. I'm also confused, because more than once and at more than one place, kids have claimed that they didn't know why I was disciplining them. I could just shrug, put my head in my hands, and think "they don't like me," but, at least here, this took a long time to develop. They started out respecting me like anyone else, but the behavior slowly degenerated when I had trouble planning lessons and started punishing students for getting too loud.
     
  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Habitué

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    How are you explaining the rules and how do you discipline them?
     
  15. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Comrade

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    I gave them a handout with my expectations, and we went over it in class. They were told to keep it in their notebooks if they needed to refer back to it to remind themselves. I also tried to verbally remind them when I thought poor behavior was excessive.
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Habitué

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    What are your expectations? In middle school, you have to continue to remind students of the expectations. I have also found that your actions are also more powerful than just saying an expectation.

    For example, we have had the problem of kids getting up to find their partner before I finish giving directions for partner work. Kids have been getting up to find their partner as soon as their name is called instead of waiting. The next time, I clearly stated my expectation but I also followed through. When the first student got up, I stopped and said "Hold on...please wait at your seat." The first time was painful because I had to keep stopping. But after a few days, my students are aware of the expectation. I restate the expectation that they need to stay at their seats, but now everyone waits until I am done calling names and giving directions. I would also recommend finding a strategy and sticking with it. You have to be clear about and enforce your expectations until it becomes autonomous for the kids. Countdowns are great for middle school and it works really well for my kids. "I need your attention in 5, please face forward in 4, etc." or countdowns from 10 to go back to their seats.
     
  17. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Devotee

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    Mar 8, 2018

    Nonsense.
     
  18. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    Mar 8, 2018

    But if YOU'RE working on the behavior, you're in the moment. You still get distracted by something else even while you're talking?
     
  19. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Comrade

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    Mar 9, 2018

    I can't say that I always remember what I need to do. I'm just not that good at multitasking. Since it's only a 55 minute block, I'm not even sure a checklist or some other kind of aid would help. If I deal with three students and it takes two minutes to get them back on task, that's six minutes of our class time that we wasted. If I have to re-explain my expectations multiple times in a class period, that could mean that most of the class period is used up before the kids finish what they need to do.

    Plus, my lesson planning was terrible. I feel inept in this area as well, and I only recently figured out how to use the school's pacing guide. It never occurred to me there was an easier way to do this, either. It never occurred to me until later to look for phone numbers or search for some other form of outside help, besides this forum and some brief conversations I had with my coworkers. For some reason, I just expected to get all of the training and help I needed to do this job effectively without doing any extra foot work. I have no idea why I was thinking like that, and now that I see that help was available, I'm upset with myself for not asking sooner! I think it cost me an "unsatisfactory" rating on both on my evaluations, and I'll probably not be renewed. It's my first time working at a public school, so I'm not sure what to do. Pink-slipped and non-renewed my first year!

    I needlessly struggled trying to plan lessons without even understanding my school's scope and sequence, for example. It never occurred to me that I was missing some piece of the puzzle and I should ask for help. What is wrong with me? That's why I keep going back to the ASD thing. If it wasn't that, what kept me from searching for help? Sure, I didn't know it was available, but why was I even thinking like that?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  20. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Comrade

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    Mar 9, 2018

    My principal has been very kind and understanding. I even understand the co-teacher in the room handling my lessons. I did prove that I couldn't do the job effectively, and I think most employers would have just stopped at that and tried to have me dismissed. I guess it really isn't anyone's fault but mine, really, but seeing as I'm more or less only trained for teaching / tutoring (well, and maybe writing). I don't like my job prospects.
     
  21. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Mar 12, 2018

    I'm confused. The other day you were asking for alternative job suggestions... you're now saying you want to stay in teaching?
     

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