Is there any way to turn this around????

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by rebeccals, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. rebeccals

    rebeccals New Member

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    Jan 12, 2018

    Y'all. I'm a first year teacher and I am LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSING MY SHIT.

    I entered the classroom four weeks late (last-minute job transfer) with a very vague notion of classroom management and consequently my classroom is a freaking zoo. My students yell at me, don't do their work, shout out continuously while I'm talking and constantly disrespect me (to my face or by stealing my stuff--and breaking it--behind my back). Oh yeah, I'm also pretty bad at spotting these things. I'm working on it, but the eyes haven't grown into the back of my head yet...

    Naturally, the more my students scream the lower my management skills sink, so my relationship with these kiddos is pretty much nonexistent too.

    I think next year will be better since I'll have a better idea of how to implement a strong CM plan and STICK with it throughout the rest of the year. It feels the kids' expectations are so entrenched now that there won't be a lot of change this year. But trudging through the rest of the semester in this madhouse is like torture.

    I don't know what I'm looking for, either advice or sympathy or just commiseration... (is anyone else's classroom this bad?!?!).... But I had to get it out because sometimes I think that this classroom is LITERALLY driving me crazy.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 12, 2018

    What grade?
     
  4. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 12, 2018

    It is possible to reset, although it is difficult, and it will probably never be perfect. What grade level is this? What plan (if any) do you currently have in place? What have you tried? I highly recommend checking out the smart Classroom Management blog (Google it) -- it has some great, simple strategies for refocusing.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  5. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jan 12, 2018

    So tell us what you would do differently. How will next year be better?

    Every day is a new day, so take those ideas and implement them TODAY. It will be harder to do mid- year, but there is too much time left to trudge through and survive.
     
  6. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Jan 15, 2018

    I don't have much time to reply, but a quick comment. If they're waiting until you turn your back, then they do have some restraint in their behavior. First idea: Don't turn your back. Pre-write what's on your board. Use dittos or textbooks as visuals. Second idea: Don't yell at the students. Don't overreact when they disrespect you. In other words, don't give them the feedback that they seek. Third idea: Restart. Just like a computer might need restarted, so might this class. Have an honest discussion. These are the classroom expectations and consistent penalties if needed, but the penalties shouldn't be needed. Discuss, with student input, positive behaviors. Establish a signal for quieting the class (I've used a bell or a crow call. At a workshop, a teacher would clap out "Shave and a hair cut" and the class would clap "Two bits", but sometimes a signal that requires a classroom response will backfire if the students are accustomed to ignoring their part in the response; once it becomes habitual, such a signal can work like a charm. The main focus is to ritualize the day. The students get used to doing the same procedures at the same time for each specific day of the week, but also small variations are integrated at times within the schedule. Mr. Rogers, every day on his TV program, walked by the window then opened the door, changed into his sweater, etc. But, for example, one day he might stop and wave at the window. Most important idea: Increase your respect for the students. You respect them too much to yell and lecture them; you calmly expect and discuss and expect the same from them to you, not listening to any disrespect on their part during such discussions, but reminding them that this is the consistent way we talk with each other. One quick thought, it seems like the entire class, especially when everyone laughs at Silly Sam's shenanigans, but usually it's just a few. Give them a behavior to work on, encourage them not to give up on changing that behavior, you and the student devise ideas on stopping the misbehavior (but avoid the reward for good behavior trap--it definitely backfires). When you feel comfortable, have a plan for controlled silliness that is allowable. Have a quiet signal that immediately stops the silly activity, such as you putting your hands on your hips; if it doesn't stop, discuss how that inhibits such fun nonsense from reoccurring. I sometimes instigated a game of shadow, where the students would suddenly start repeating everything I said. (Sometimes I'm more hyperactive than the kids). But it always stopped whenever I gave my quiet signal and we calmly giggled and continued with the lesson.
     
  7. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jan 21, 2018

    Have you tried doing a search for Classroom Management Videos? Take the ones that you can relate to and apply them to your own class on Monday. Some of the simplest procedures can work extremely well - here's one no-frills website that I especially like.
     
  8. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2018

    Speaking from experience, you are in a crap district.

    Kids do not behave this way where there are repercussions. You did not make one mention of administration, which tells me they are not backing the teachers or disciplining students. Where this happens, and wherever there is underlying hostility toward teachers, these situations are always twisted to undermine the confidence and personal integrity of educators. Don't fall for it.

    Yes, you probably have lots to learn, this being your first year. But you made it this far. Clearly, you are not the drooling idiot some would have you imagine. First year teacher or not, kids do not act like this anywhere administration has its act together.

    You have six months to work on your resolve and strengthen your classroom management procedures. You have a great learning opportunity, so use it. Then get the hell out of your school system and find something better.
     
  9. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2018

    OP, I can relate. I teach high school which I will never do ever again. The last post said it perfectly at my school. Admin does not do anything to students, and they ignore referrals. Kids are disrespectful they dont care to learn. All they care about is their stupid snap chat.
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 21, 2018

    You can definitely reset. Will it be perfect this year? Probably not, but can you have order in the classroom where kids can learn? Absolutely.

    I think the first thing you have to work on is your won expectations of yourself, and your classroom.
    You shouldn't give up and think this is just how it is, but also don't expect miracles. I think you should aim for a classroom that can be quiet and the kids can learn and will listen to you.
    What helps me not take the easy way out and accept how things are is by thinking about the quiet kids. They're there to learn, and are probably looking at me why I'm letting the class behave this way. They're there to learn and are unable to. So in a way I'm failing them. So I keep them in my mind because I do have an obligation to ensure that any and all child can learn in my classroom. So keeping this in mind, I have a stronger determination to do whatever it takes to brings thing to order.

    The second thing you have to work on is how you want the classroom be, what you want your kids to do and what you have to do.
    Is it important that they like you? No. You probably won't have that fun and great learning environment we all want. But you can make them listen and be quiet and follow your directions. Sorry to say, but if they won't do it because they like you, and they won't do out of respect then they will do it out of fear. Not what you want, but at this point you want them to be afraid of the consequences: phone call home, detention, getting kicked out of class, losing privileges such as field trips or playing sports, etc. It's not real fear, you're not hurting your students, but at this point this might be the only thing you have.

    S arming yourself with these thoughts, sit down and think about what are the main things that are non-negotiable (talking while you're talking, getting out of seat, etc). What are the things you can live with? Is it ok if the kids get out of their seats without permission? (throwing something in trash, sharpening pencils, etc). IF so, put it in that category. If not, because you had problems, then it's one o f the major rules.
    Then you communicate these to the students, let them know the consequences and then you follow up 100 % of the time.

    Some suggestions / tips:
    - put everything on a Powerpoint and buy a wireless mouse ($10-15). You can stand in the back of the room, see everyone and click through the slides while you're giving instructions. You don't have to stand at the board and write and turn your back to them. You'd be surprised how much energy and time you save.
    - you might have to rearrange the classroom. You might want to teach from the back of the room. If the kids are in groups, put the desks in rows.
    - put away and / or lock up your personal things. Kids should have no access to anything that's yours.
    - you might want to reconsider your lessons for now. Not taking always quiets them down. Teach bell to bell. Independent work and no partner or group word. Your focus is not fun, interesting and exciting lessons, your focus is lots of student involvement, which typically includes lots of writing No down time. Overplan.

    Implement these now and you will start seeing a difference. It's only January, June is far away and you can't keep going the way things are.
     
    Been There and Secondary Teach like this.
  11. Resource Room Teacher

    Resource Room Teacher New Member

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    Feb 1, 2018

    A few ideas:
    Children are concrete thinkers. I like to give them clear visuals displayed in the classroom throughout the day that I reference. Ensure that you have clear reinforcement strategies and clear consequences to behaviors. I am also very big on the pairing process. You need to make sure that the students are connected to you. If you don't have a positive relationship with them they certainly won't give two hoots when you're talking. It is important to constantly circulate the room and you must learn to look up and scan the room every 15 seconds. It's exhausting and you will feel drained at the end of the day for a few weeks while your body adjusts.
     
    MsAbeja likes this.

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