Annoyed...Need a little help.

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by lsho, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. lsho

    lsho Rookie

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    Dec 2, 2010

    I am a 2nd year teacher (which I count as still being new). This year has been really tough and made me really rethink this career path. I know that is normal though and I know I wouldn't be fufilled with any other job...

    But...

    The last couple days, I have been SO annoyed with my students that it is hard to even pretend to be nice. I teach 7th grade and this bunch is 1000 times more immature than the group last year and they care so little about being here that they turn in terrible work and refuse to redo it. I literally cannot handle it anymore. I'm really afraid of just snapping on a student one day (verbally, of course).

    Any suggestions or advice or helpful stories? Thanks.
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 2, 2010

    Many of my students are like this as well. This year I have started having my students complete a form when they don't turn in work. I am not allowing them to turn in terrible or incomplete work. If the work is not acceptable it is not complete, so they fill out a form.

    I keep all these forms until the end of the week, then I staple them together and send them home with the student to be signed and returned with work.

    I write myself a list of the students who take forms home and cross them off when they come back. If they don't come back, the student makes a phone call to his/her parents to let them know that they are not completing their homework.

    Very, very effective for the students with parents who care. For the students whose parents don't care...well, it's one extra piece of evidence to share at grade/conference time...
     
  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Dec 2, 2010

    Can you share the form you use?
     
  5. Marvin

    Marvin Rookie

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    Dec 9, 2010

    What do you teach? I teach math, and taught at a very low performing inner-city school. I too had way too many students that just didn't care, when I first started. But I made my lessons so much fun, including math games, projects with candy/food, that my students looked forward to coming to my class. They always looked forward to what I had planned for them that day. I would also change up my seating arrangements quite regularly, always keeping them off guard. I also had my students enter into a contractual arrangement with me, and would hold that over their heads. I would issue tickets when they would not follow my class rules, or live up to their end of the contract. I also established student folders on all my students, and kept examples of their work, which I could share with their parents. I also always make a deal, that if a certain percentage make a passing score on the state skills test (TAKS in Texas, where I live), that they can shave my head. This motivates them. Certainly, you will still have some students that simply don't care, usually because they come from parents that don't care. Make your lessons fun, and demand high expectations from the students, and that they obey your class rules. That's all you can do.
     
  6. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Dec 9, 2010

    I was super annoyed today too. I think it's just that time of year! I was trying to get my inclusion class settled down to take a test, and the phone kept ringing! I got 4 calls in 5 minutes, from the school nurse, the special ed teacher, the nurse again, and another teacher. The students were super talkative and didn't want to take the test. I was cussing inside my head by the time I got the 4th call! You've just got to take deep breaths and hang in there until winter break!
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 10, 2010

    The kids are insane this time of year. I think we need to start there. Would it be nice if it were otherwise? Of course. But the reality is that, regardless of their age, they're still kids and they're incredibly excited. Throw in some 12 year old hormones and it's bound to get ugly.

    Keep your eye on the big picture: they're kids, they are who they are, and meet them at their level. Seventh graders aren't above a little bribe: "Let's get through __ and ___ and we'll see if there's a way to get you a weekend without homework."

    See if you can put a holiday spin onto what you're doing-- if your reading can include The Gift of the Magi or something else with a holiday spin, or whether they can use red ink on green dittos, just for fun. Can their grammar include a letter to Santa, or could you find a way to work something about snow or penguins or something else in?


    Can you find a way to tap into their compassion? Have them write letters to Santa, then drop them off at Macys for their Make a Wish promo? (Macys will donate $1 dollar a letter.) Could they write letters to the local nursing home or VA hospital?? Sometimes kids of that age-- and any age-- really need a reminder that the world doesn't revolve around them and their pre-teen drama.

    The lack of maturity and the time of year are two things you cannot beat. So you have to find a way not to let them make you crazy, will still ensuring that you're able to teach.

    Hang in there!
     

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