7th Grade Behavior Management?

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Sab, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Sab

    Sab Companion

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    Sep 9, 2017

    It's my first year teaching, and my first experience with teaching middle school. I have four 6th grade classes which are going very well, and one 7th grade class that I'm struggling with a bit.
    On Thursday, they pretty much all left when the bell rang after I told them to wait at their tables until they're dismissed. So on Friday, I projected the class expectations and had us read through them again. Then I have a few disruptive students shouting things like "WOW, GLAD I'M LEARNING SO MUCH SCIENCE." How do I respond to things like that?
    I've emailed two student parents from that class (no response yet) and I feel like just generally the kids in the class don't respect me much and I'm not sure how to change that. A couple of the kids will roll their eyes at me or argue about things I ask them to do. I just feel like I really need to get on track with this class before things escalate even worse, but I've already focused so much on trying to teach them behavior expectations and rules that I'm not sure what else I can be doing. Any advice would be appreciated; this is a totally new age group for me.
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 11, 2017

    Never engage in an argument with the students. If I had a snarky comment like what you had, I would simply say "I don't appreciate the backchat. Especially since I've been polite to you. If it happens again, these are your consequences" You should be prepared to follow through.

    I would also pick my battles. Not everything is worth fighting for. Because in fighting about everything, you lose the relationship aspect with the students. When they don't give a rats behind about pleasing you, your classroom life is hell. So I would only articulate the expectations that really are a deal breaker for me. E.g. Backchat, being unsafe in the lab etc. To me, I don't give a toss if you wear your hat in class or if you want to write in red pen. Those, to me, are not worth fighting for.

    Praise good behaviour. If you are waiting for silence, instead of targeting the kids who aren't settled, praise the ones who are. If kids are supposed to be working on something and some arent, praise the ones who are working diligently. So you get your message across but you haven't picked on anyone specifically.

    When the niceties fail, and for some kids, it won't work, then you bring in the detention, suspension etc. But I suggest you don't go all guns blazing for every minor indiscretion.

    In everything you do, respect the kids. It's a big thing for middle school kids. When you respect them, they respect you.
     
  4. IcyRock

    IcyRock Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2017

    You gotta realize that peer acceptance + hormones may be at work here. Middle school and 5th grade can be rough, but they are still at the age where they want to please you. Give them opportunities to have a win. Assign classroom jobs or appoint people on the spot. Put up student work as exemplars. Get the administration and their other teachers involved. Sometimes they observe the things that work while they have those students. Show up unannounced at the house of the parents who haven't contacted you back. (Just kidding about that one. We all need humor in this job).

    About contacting the parents, don't be dismayed just because they haven't emailed back. Contact them different ways- text, send a card in the mail, call. Don't assume that the contact information on file is still valid, that they check their email frequently, that it is not going to their spam folder, or even that they have regular internet access.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017

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