Bad attitudes getting worse

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Caesar753, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 11, 2009

    I'm just about over all these bad attitudes among my students. Seriously. I could punch all of them in the face. Obviously I won't, but it's a nice fantasy to have on my bad days....:dizzy:

    I posted about a girl who complained that I'm mean and boring. I'm over it.

    Today I listened to a kid complaining about something being "bullsh!t". I'm over that too.

    I wrote a referral on another kid today for just being a general douchebag today. It was hard not to cite "blatant douchebaggery" as the reason for the referral. (Instead I chose "blatant disrespect, insubordination, failure to comply with a teacher directive, adamant refusal to do work, profanity". Heh.)

    Despite my best efforts to guide them towards good choices, they fight me every step of the way. I really hope that all this is the result of this time of the year, which I call The Dark because it blows and there aren't many breaks from the daily grind.

    Who else is having this experience? Let's commiserate. :p
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 11, 2009

    Sorry to hear this, Cassie. Are you teaching high school?? They can be a tough crowd for sure.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 11, 2009

    Yah, I'm in a high school.

    I normally love my students, even the ones who can be frustrating. Recently though they've just gotten on my last nerve.

    I worry that I'm burning out.... :(
     
  5. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Feb 11, 2009

    Cassie - Hang in there. Though I'm not to the point of disliking my students, this year isn't the best year I've had in the classroom. We've had some success, but I'm worried that it is only February and I am already thinking "I can't wait until summer." I want a fresh start next year.

    Of course, Feb is a tough month for me. Besides having typical classroom stuff ...

    I'm sick (though getting better)

    Tuesday my StuCo hosted a health fair at the school for elders.

    Thursday my StuCo is hosting a youth leadership conference at our school.

    Next week is Sr. Project presentation week (which means my seniors are having absolute meltdowns on a daily basis this week and next).

    I am out of the classroom every day all day next week judging presentations.

    Oh, and next week is homecoming which means every day after school I have to work with StuCo to decorate for the dance, go buy dance stuff, order homecoming flowers and go buy a tierra(which just makes me laugh ... I am so not a crown type of gal).

    Then, the FOLLOWING week, I am out of the classroom for THREE days because I have to go to student career training - training.

    These are the frustrations I am dealing with ... this week. and next week ... and the week after.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 11, 2009

    :hugs: Cassie. Could it just be this particular group of students that is making this year so difficult? That is one of the perks of being a teacher is that you get to start fresh every year. Start counting down the days to Spring break!
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 11, 2009

    While I get new students every year, I also keep most of the old ones! My kiddos stay with me from freshman year through senior year!
     
  8. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    Feb 11, 2009

    If it makes you feel better, my 6th graders have been very difficult lately. They've developed bad attitudes, they've become mean to classmates, name calling, talking back to staff, negative attitudes/complaining about every assignment and activity. I've been giving out a lot of detention points lately. I'm contributing it to time of year/change in the weather. Then there is hope it will end soon!
     
  9. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Feb 11, 2009

    :rofl: After I read your second sentence about punching in the face I lost it b-c that's where I am at this week. I think it is that time of year. The weather here has been bad & everyone is ready for spring. Plus the same kids who have been terrorizing our school continue to do so...but on a daily basis now. They have begun to drag down the good kids so we have a huge problem! Thin spring break & personal days!!! :D
     
  10. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    Feb 12, 2009

    :lol: If only we could use those words with students..."blatant douchbaggery"... That's great. I would love to put that on one of my discipline slips. You gave me a good laugh this morning.

    I feel for you Cassie, look on the bright side though... February Vacation is coming up. (Hopefully you have one!).
     
  11. historygrrl

    historygrrl Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2009

    I, too, needed that laugh. I have a similar situation at the middle school level. There is no real structured discipline from administrators and the kids have figured this out now. They know a referral doesn't mean much and they know we are not allowed to give them Fs. The kids have absolutely no respect. It doesn't help that some parents have told their children they don't have to respect their teacher. I'm at my wits' end and there still is four months left of school!
     
  12. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 14, 2009

    Cassie, I feel for you. I give back what my students give me. If they disrespect and are totally obnoxious, then we do boring work. Also, I give out behavior grades. I WISH I could write a student up for that.
     
  13. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Feb 14, 2009

    This is where I am at too - the Admin has been in place for 4 years and the kids I have (5th grade) have been under their "control" for almost all their elementary school years and it SHOWS! They have that lack of structured discipline from the admin (not me) but I have no real recourse and they don't have real consequences.

    Why do admin think not having discipline and structure and consequences good for running a school where students need and really want it - no wonder they can't get their act together.
     
  14. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Feb 16, 2009

    Historygrrl how do you deal with that? That's how my students are...and in addition they are full grade levels behind where they ought to be as 6th graders...
     
  15. historygrrl

    historygrrl Rookie

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    Feb 16, 2009

    I just take it day by day. I'm so happy we are on break right now - I really need it!
     
  16. NewCoTeacher

    NewCoTeacher Rookie

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    Feb 19, 2009

    I'm also in CT, and we also have the same exact problem. Just today I had to lecture an 8th grade girl about how she is not allowed to tear down her team mates while on the bench DURING THE GAME.

    Then when she spoke back with the most disrespect I've EVER SEEN a child speak to an adult with I had to raise my voice and tell let her know that if she wants to participate in sports ever again this year she will follow my instructions and "BE QUIET."

    I have never seen such a miserable child, it makes me sad to be honest, however these kids are just deplorable as far as how they speak to adults in their lives.

    However I do have some light to shed on the subject.

    I recently inherited a student (7th grade boy) that is known throughout the school for being the most tough trouble maker. Today was my first class with him and it was no lie. He has basically had lunch detention every day for three weeks. Guess what, it doesn't work anymore.

    He began to misbehave and I pulled him out of class and looked him square in the eye and said "I stay after work for 2 hours on Fridays, if you would like to join me, keep behaving like you have in the past. (Hitting, screaming, etc). If you'd like to go home on time with the rest of your friends you had better never act like that again when you walk through this door.

    For the next 40 mins, he was an angel. Of course I know it was only the first day and 40 mins, but it sounds like that's the longest he's behaved in a quite a while.

    Even though I don't stay 2 hours after work on a Friday, I would be willing to do so if he needs to be reminded to behave. Maybe something like that would help?
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It would be a great idea to keep them after, but it's nearly impossible for me to enforce. Because we live in a big city/district (5th largest in the nation) and our students come from all over the county, they have to have access to transportation and plenty of fair warning if we're going to give them detention. Even then, we can't keep them for more than 30 minutes, from 2:15 until 2:45. :(
     
  18. CanadianTeacher

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    Feb 21, 2009

    The last week I have also been beside myself. There is so much disrespect and I'm just overwhelmed and frustrated lately. I think it's been building because usually I can 'shut myself' off to protect my sanity, but I can't even do that anymore. They are in my face and there are too many at once whose behaviour is totally unacceptable. I've spoken to admin and in the past I've bragged about having a supportive admin, but I'm quickly learning that's it's nothing but lip service. I can think of a million things that would have prevented this situation but sadly, they all have to do with how the schedule is set up and how the kids are transitioning too much in a day and are seeing too many teachers for not enough time, which is causing chaos. I'm just tired of feeling like I have to find ways of making things work when in reality the admin could have foreseen and prevented some of these things. I've never called in sick before but feel like I will have to once in a while to save my sanity and I really hate feeling that desperate.
     
  19. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Feb 22, 2009

    The only high school classes I sub for are advanced math. I find these kids ...... for the most part .... to be a pleasure to work with. Of course they are some of brightest kids in school.

    Major.....:)
     
  20. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Feb 22, 2009

    The second half of the year is always more difficult no matter what level you teach at. The children are tired of their teachers and teachers are tired of the same poor behavior by the same students. The parents and administrators have been contacted about the problem a few times already and in many schools the children realize not much is going to happen to punish them for their poor behavior.
    In my elementary school,our fifth graders are finishing their state exams by the first week of March and some children know their promotion to middle school is based on those exams, so why bother to do classwork or homework anymore.Unfortunately I do find the children's attitude and respect for adults to be worse then in previous years and I wonder if this is a national occurrence.The only thing that keeps me sane are the number of well-mannered and hard working children I work with,although some years I wonder why the disrespectful seem to outnumber the respectful children in my school.
     
  21. historygrrl

    historygrrl Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2009

    To be honest, I don't know if the disrespect is a national trend or not. I don't know what level of respect was in northeast schools 20 years ago since I grew up in South. I only know that when I was growing up in 70s and 80s in the South that this kind of behavior would not have been tolerated at school or at home. If I spoke to a teacher (or any adult for that matter) with such disrespect, there would be line (mother, grandmother, aunt, father, etc) waiting for me at home. I feared what my grandmother would do far more than anything the school would do. I still can't talk back to my elders, even when they are wrong :) And, I was a latch-key kid so you can't say the disrespect is because of working parents not being home.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It is appalling how some students talk to adults and around adults.

    I had to talk to a parent during a parent conference earlier this year about his son saying "shut the f*** up" twice (TWICE!) during class. The dad flat out said that he didn't believe me because he raised his son better than that. The kid denied it, of course. I said something to the effect that I might be mistaken, and I left it alone. I'm not going to argue with a parent who is very visibly agitated--the dad was leaning over me and raising his voice.

    While it is possible that I misheard, I'm fairly certain that I heard what I thought I heard. Especially considering that he said it twice, and especially since right when it happened I called him out on it and he apologized....One would think that if he had been accused of something he didn't do, he would deny it right then and there.

    I think that for most students these days, it's not so much a matter of being 'raised wrong' as it is being unable to code-switch. They don't seem to understand that the language they use with their peers when they're at the mall/club/whatever is not necessarily appropriate to use in school, during class, in front of a teacher. I really think that most of the time they don't even realize what they've said because it's a totally unconscious habit.
     
  23. sciencewrestler

    sciencewrestler Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2009

    Maybe the current economic crisis is helping to subtly stress out these kids (not to mention two wars). They may not totally understand all its ramifications (heck I don't either!), but they see adults worrying about it and start to worry themselves. They may even have relatives that have been laid off or a house foreclosed on. And if they are planning on going to college, those plans may now be in jeopardy.
     
  24. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    I hate to admit it, but I am so relieved to read this post! I am in my 2nd year teaching 8th graders (last year was my first year teaching) and this year started off strong, but the attitudes and rudeness have gotten worse lately and I was feeling really down on myself, thinking that I was doing something wrong. Well, I probably AM still doing LOTS of things wrong, but it makes me feel better to know lots of others deal with this kind of thing, too...

    And sorry to say this, Cassie, but seeing that even you still struggle with attitudes...and you are one of my "heroes" on here for having such great ideas and strategies...anyways, take it as a compliment, please, but it made me feel a little better! :blush:
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    :lol:

    Aw, thanks! You totally made my day! :blush:

    I'm only in my 3rd year teaching. I know that I don't get everything right, but I sure do try hard. I know that whatever problems I'm having this year are going to be "Learning Experiences" for me. I'll totally be a better teacher next year because of all this baloney this year.
     
  26. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Cassie, I feel you on this one. When I taught HS, I had a student call me a "white b*tch." When I called his mother to let her know he had a referral and what he said, she just replied, "Well if the shoe fits..." :huh:

    I'm not sure where this trend came from, but when I was in school (and I'm only 28!) no kid would have DARED to talk like that to a teacher, or talk back to a teacher the way some of my students did. And no parent accused a teacher of lying or making things up.

    Like the parent who said I was lying when I wrote a referral for her kid after he taunted me about maggots eating my mother THE DAY I came back to work after she died. Really? I would make that up? I would get hysterical and lie about it just to get a kid (who had only been in my class 3 weeks) in trouble? I don't get parents sometimes.
     
  27. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    wow. That is disturbing and just so, so sad.

    I'm starting my day now...deep breaths!
     
  28. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    This isn't as despicable, but today when I asked one of my seniors to read aloud, he said no. I said, "No?" and he answered, "Yeah...just not into it today...thanks for asking, though." These are upper middle-class white kids, and sometimes they're so smug and act so entitled I just want to scream! Our Dean of Attendance and I were chatting yesterday and we agree that this year's crop of seniors is really bad in terms of cutting school - I have quite a few who are getting F's on progress reports because they were truant on a day I gave a test. I mean, really.
     
  29. Cranmans

    Cranmans Rookie

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    Its getting to be spring time--atmospheric changes.
    Could there be something in the water?
    Wall Street?
     
  30. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    So my question is...how do we deal with this? What is the best response to the attitudes? I have had some success with calling parents, but it seems to have a limited effect. I can give detentions, but that seems to make it worse at the time...how do you all deal with and respond to the snarky attitudes?
     
  31. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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    Although I have been subbing in two school districts, some of the schools I've been in, high school, middle school, and elementary have the students on a tight leash and don't let the kids slack off for nothing. It's either the teacher's way or the highway.

    The principals and teachers know that discipline goes a long way and it the students don't have good discipline in school throughout the year, the schools can't function properly and teachers can't do their job properly either.

    In one middle school I subbed in, I actually saw an older teacher, I believe he was retired from the military, yell at students who were messing around in the hallway and not getting to where they needed to go to. Needless to say, those students who got yelled at were put in their place. Teachers who had classrooms around the guy who yelled loved his discipline style.

    I myself already know that if I got hired in a school, I would not accept crap from no one and would make it clear to all the parents of the students that I need them to do their part as parents in ensuring their child's education.

    Plus, when I was a teacher aide a few years back, the 6th grade teachers liked me because I always pushed their students to their fullest when they were in p.e. When I got on to the students, especially at some of the girls in 6th grade, they frozed in their place. I even gave the entire 6th grade class a lecture stating that in no way when they move up in middle school next year are the attitudes they show to their fellow classmates are going to be accepted and that the middle school teachers don't give students any kind of slack. I have a short fuse and don't have time for students to act like 5 year olds. They all know the rules and need to follow them all to the letter.

    But I do have to say when I was a student in school, there were sometimes where I groaned when a teacher made the students do this or that even though I thought the idea was dumb. I'm sure everyone can think back when they had to do something they didn't want to do when they were in school. However, there is no way I would call my teachers any kind of name. If I did that, my parents would be on my behind for the rest of the year, not to mention the rest of the students would be stunned. They wouldn't act like that either.
     
  32. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Mar 7, 2009

    I like your style, I have very much the same philosophy, however lately I feel like I'm just swimming against a very, very strong current...
     
  33. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    Mar 7, 2009

    so the answer is yelling? I have to admit, I am not a natural yeller. I have started to yell at kids more this year, but it doesn't seem to be wokring for me, anyway. It just makes me get more upset and the kids, too. But the other things I try don't seem to be working, either: giving detentions, calling home, "talks" in the hall...what works for other folks?
     
  34. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    LA/FL - didn't a thread go on about pulling the kid into the hallway and calling the parents right then and there? It works for some.

    I think attitudes get to the point where a conference with the guidance counselor is needed. Sometimes they can dig out some crazy stuff going on at home that the kid is unwilling to tell us but is showing in their actions. Some kids are just teenagers. Lord knows I had a mouth on me at that age!
     
  35. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think the answer is whatever feels comfortable for you and works with your kids. What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for the next person.

    For example, there is a teacher in my hallway who yells. Students listen to her while she's yelling (but not when she's not yelling, but that's a whole different issue....). On the other hand, I'm not a yeller. If I tried yelling, I think it would come across as totally contrived and fake, and I don't think it would be all that effective.

    My greatest strength as a teacher is my ability to develop positive relationships with my students. I feel like I'm really, really good at getting the kids on my side, and I use that rapport as a bridge to my content. What usually works for me for addressing behavior issues is to tap into their humanity, or however you want to say it. I can get away with the whole "guys, come on...." thing, and it is usually very effective. Another thing that seems to be fairly effective is to pull the Disappointment Card. If I come back after an absence and found a bad report from the sub, I make my voice really quiet, sigh a little, and say, "I have never been so disappointed in you guys." You wouldn't believe how quickly their behaviors change or how many letters of apology I receive after that!

    Of course there are times when it's not effective, usually because the student and I don't have that strong, positive relationship for whatever reason. In those situations, I put on my Firm But Fair teacher persona. That's when I use all my behavior strategies: redirecting behavior, sometimes ignoring behavior, changing seats, calling home, conferencing with the student in the hallway or at my desk, having the student write a letter to his or her parent explaining the situation, whatever. Only in the most extreme situations do I issue referrals to the deans' office--habitual violations of the rules, blatant disrespect, extreme insubordination, threats, academic dishonesty, truancy, etc.

    All in all, I think the best tactic for handling discipline and behavior issues is to get to know your students and make sure that they understand that you're on their side and that you care about them. If they trust you, like trust that you're honestly and truly looking out for them, they'll probably move away from the dark side and over to yours. At least that's been my experience, with a few notable exceptions.
     
  36. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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    Mar 7, 2009

    Don't know if yelling is the answer. I just saw a football coach/teacher do that at the school I subbed at when he saw kids messing around in the hallway. But when he had his class walk in his classroom, he smiled at them and said hello, etc.

    You just got to do what you think is best.

    I subbed at a high school yesterday and those students know enough to not act stupid or get out of line. Yes some were chatty during class, but it's going to be that way with most subs not matter what, as I've been finding out.

    Personally, it just comes down how the school is run. If the principal runs a tight ship, students aren't going to get out of line because no one will allow it, from teachers to principles.
     
  37. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Mar 7, 2009

    Well, reading this certainly makes me feel a bit better. While the year is generally going well, I have one class period that makes me want to.... I won't finish that, but use your imagination.

    They're constantly chatting, as if class is a cocktail hour. Many are failing anyway, and so don't care. Office referrals don't work because they LIKE in-school suspension ("it lets me get all my work done and then relax without having to go to class"). Now it's gotten to the point that even better students are joining in. It seems like every day is a battle, and if yesterday was any indication... a losing battle. *sighs*
     

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