Anyone else feel like they spend more time policing their class than teaching them?

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Teacher_Lyn, May 6, 2009.

  1. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    May 6, 2009

    This year's been really rough for me. i had y wedding being cancelled three days before the date, having to move back in with my parents (who live on a different coast than fiance and I), then my parents split up, so I had to move out of the house with my Mom to an apartment.

    So it doesn't help that I feel like I'm in Hell every day I enter my second grade classroom.

    I don't know why, but I can't seem to get them under control. Someone is always talking. Someone is always playing with a bakugun (these little toys that look like balls). It takes us about 15 minutes to go to the bathroom because the boys are playing in there. THen, when i go in the bathroom to get them under control, the ones in the hall start acting up and getting loud.

    Yesterday during science for once they were ALL sitting quietly listening to me teach about living and non-living things, so I decided to have a little fun with them. I said, "Boys and girls unless you're a zombie, EVERYONE in here is considered a living thing."

    For lack of a better word, they went apesh*t. Several boys got out of their seats and starts moaning and groaning acting like zombies. Everyone's hollaring and laughing and it took me about 4 minutes to get them quiet again.

    So I try to be extremely regimented, and still, they talk and act up.

    My old class was nothing like that. I used to play around with them and they'd giggle, then get back to work.

    I'm at a lost. All year I've been calling parents, threatening the kids, taking away privledges, trying to have incentives (ie: each group can earn points and get a special treat at the end of the week), not getting emotional, being firm, raising my voice, hand signals.

    NOTHING seems to work. I'm thinking about taking Friday off simply because we don't have specials that day and I can't imagine being stuck in this classroom with the kids all day with no break. :eek:

    EDIT: I just picked them up from PE and they were acting wild as usual and the coach looked exhustd. I asked him were the that rowdy for all of PE and he said, "They're actually calm right now." Then he shook his head
     
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  3. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    May 6, 2009

    I'm sorry to hear, Teacher Lynn. Sometimes you just get assigned a combination of students that are bound to act up throughout the year.

    I'm not sure of any advice I can give, especially so late in the year. However do keep in mind that the year is almost over and hopefully you will have a less unruly group of students next year.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    May 6, 2009

    Have you tried Power Teaching techniques? It's late in the year, but you might as well jump in and do it. The website is http://www.powerteachers.net/. Sounds like the download "Teaching Challenging Elementary Students" is just what you need! Hang in there. :hugs:
     
  5. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    May 6, 2009

    thanks ladies. i appreciate the support as always. :hugs:

    it's so hard. i can't wait until this year ends. i feel like i'm going outta my mind
     
  6. MissBee06

    MissBee06 Rookie

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    May 6, 2009

    If I didn't know better I would think that you were talking about my class. All I can say is that there are three and a half weeks left and I am ready for the year to be over.
     
  7. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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    May 6, 2009

    Teacher_Lyn, I understand a little of what you're going through. My class last year was very mature so I was able to be silly with them and joke around a little. They would laugh and joke back and then get back on task. The group I have this year is not like that at all. I really can't be silly with them which I hate because I want to be. If I try to act a little goffy with this group, they go nuts and then I have to get them back under control. So, my day is very regimented, it HAS to be. :(
     
  8. AFWifeinUtah

    AFWifeinUtah Comrade

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    May 7, 2009

    The group of kinders I taught last year were talkers. The ones I had the year before were better. Like others said, sometimes you just get a group that is like that. What I did to help restore my class when things got chaotic would be skittles. I kept them in a container and I would give them out when students were doing what they were supposed to. So if everyone was talking, usually I could find a couple being good and I'd give them skittles. Sometimes I'd even announce "Jan got a skittle for sitting quietly." the others would start to follow. If you can use skittles, use stickers. I don't know if it would help. It's late in the year. Just keep telling yourself "I can, I can, I can." Don't feel bad if you need to take a day off on Friday. Take it off, enjoy it, and know that the sub will probably be happy to have a job that day.
     
  9. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    May 9, 2009

    Here's what you have to look forward to: next year's class may be worse. The class after that worse too. Do you really want to keep using the systems that have proven thus far don't work? Do you really want to deal with discipline on a daily basis from Sept. to June repeating the same rules and dealing with same behaviors? Do you really want to manage incentives which can cause their own discipline problems in addition to the clerical time which pulls you away from doing more important tasks like planning effective lessons?

    If you really want to get discipline off your back, on the back burner, and invisible like if someone were to walk into your room their impression would be, "Oh, I see, how lucky. You got all the good kids this year", get your hands on Fred Jones' Tools For Teaching and attend his seminar.
     
  10. historygrrl

    historygrrl Rookie

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    May 10, 2009

    Wow, this sounds just like my kids - except I teach middle school. If you add cussing you out or telling you to shut up when you actually tell them to stop talking and do their work, then it definitely would be my classes. I'll have half of them again next year plus some new ones. I'm already reflecting on what to do different since I now know what doesn't work and how the school works.
     
  11. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    May 11, 2009

    I have to agree Tools for Teaching works well. I have started using it's guidelines full time this year and have had a very well behaved group of kids maybe partially because of Tools for Teaching. They have been doing so well that recently I had gotten lax in the pluses and minuses and keeping track. I brought it back today with each transition and the little ones were back to being the well behaved. I even have a few who couldn't care less about whether or not we do PAT but they will never go against the majority and so they also toe the line. It will be interesting to compare next years group and see whether it has the same effect on them.
     
  12. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    May 12, 2009

    Jones' approach is unlike any other in that the focus is on the *teacher* as the number one management tool in the classroom. Too many other so-called systems focus on what to do *after* a problem occurs. Names-on-the-board is a classic example. Jones' is all about preventing discipline problems from occuring in the first place so one doesn't have to write names, send kids out, write referrals, call parents, make contracts etc.

    Jones' methods reduce a teacher's workload. There are no cards, treats, parties, auctions, stars or any other tangibles which increase clerical work to track, hours at the Dollar Store buying auction items, and chasing after kids who lose their Gummy Bears or scream "Someone stole my Lucky Bucks!"
     
  13. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    May 12, 2009

    I have to agree Loomistrout. I have had to call parents the least amount of times this year in all my years of teaching. The most extra time necessary is putting together prefered activities.
     
  14. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    May 19, 2009

    Welcome to my High School. You must have the younger sibllings to my students. Hitting, name calling, swearing, yelling, throwing things. Sneaking out the door. It's not just me, most of the teachers are struggling and the number of kids suspended from school grows each day. I agree that the Fred Jones works well, but some of my kids get violent if I get as close as the book recomends. I think that a healthy dose of Harry Wong's "First Days of School" mixed with Fred Jones would be perfect. Hang in there. I think you get frustrated because you care and want to teach.
    Today I was so tired of the mouthy kids I popped in a nature video. I felt like I had given up, but what a relief it was for the first 3 periods. The kids that wanted to review for the final, did. A few other kids worked on their mouse trap cars, the rest chatted quietly and signed yearbooks. It was nice. Then all heck broke out with a bunch of girls in my 4th hour. 6th hour is usually hard; I got a couple of kids that if I don't keep an eagle eye out on them, they disapper. I sometimes lecture standing in front of the door.
     
  15. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

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    Jun 1, 2009

    You should definitely look into Responsive Classroom. It's an amazing program!
     
  16. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

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    Jun 1, 2009

    One more thought....I know some teachers in my school have the child call the parent in front of the teacher. The students hate this and it seems to work. Personally, I believe in logical consequences and that is an RC (responsive classroom) concept.
     

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