Being "gun shy". Can't pull the trigger, so to speak!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Pi-R-Squared, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Oct 26, 2013

    I believe what keeps me from sending kids to the office to my being unable to "pull the trigger." One part of me somehow decided that their behavior (especially 5th period) isn't "serious" enough. The 3 that I sent before hit someone, called a girl a b%tch, and used the n-word. Those were no-brainer decisions and automatic.
    I'm just finding it so difficult to "put up with nothing" as the P would say. A veteran teacher says if the learning process is disrupted, that is serious enough to get sent.

    It's like this. If I see a kid and his head is turned and I tell him to turn around, he turns around. Now, if he turns his head around again, is that "serious enough" to get sent to the office? Or another who makes noise and I warn him to stop. If he starts again, is that serious enough for an office referral? The admin says anything that keeps others from learning is serious. What about my 2nd period class which contains someone a "retard" and then the one called a "retard" returns the insult with "you're stupid." And then it stops for a bit. Then it starts again and then stops. I'm lost and feel "powerless" even though I theoretically hold all cards! I need some advice, please! I think I've harped on this so much during the two months I've been teaching and just no closer to finding what works! What sums it up is what I said during student teaching. A student asked if I had written anyone up yet and off the cuff I said, "I don't have the balls to do it." Then everyone laughed when I didn't realize what I had said. But I think what I said above still rings true!
     
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  3. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Oct 26, 2013

    You just told the students that you're afraid of them. Or at least afraid of admin. That's a huge problem and def shouldn't be communicated to your kids. I know that was last year, but if that's the attitude you're projecting, it's only going to increase behavioral problems.

    What constitutes an office visit (which I will assume is equivalent to me writing a referral) is a combination of you and the school rules. Headturning- probably not, IMO. If I had to ask more than twice, I'd pull him in the hall for a talk and call home if he's continuing to be inattentive.

    The insulting- how did you correct that when it happened? That would probably get a referral from me if a private conference and phone call home did not quickly correct it.

    Have you had private conversations/phone calls home for any of these incidents? That'd be the best place to start, IMO.

    The reason you feel powerless is that you are projecting that mentality. Be consistent and don't ever tell the students that you're afraid to discipline them. That will only lead to trouble.
     
  4. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Oct 26, 2013

    I think that what is considered "serious" enough depends on each school community and the beliefs of your administrator. In my school, asking a child to turn around and them turning around but then turning back is NOT an office referral. Most of what you mentioned in the 2nd paragraph would not be an office referral in my school. Your admin says, "anything that disrupts learning" but I think you need more of a straight answer. I would approach your P with common scenarios that happen in your classroom and ask if that would be an office referral-worthy offense.

    Do you have some sort of in-class positive behavior support program?
     
  5. worrywart

    worrywart Companion

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    Oct 27, 2013

    I don't think those issues warrant an office referral, but you do need to start documenting if you are having repeat behaviors from the same students. Then, private conference with student, phone call home, etc. before taking it to the next level.

    I have found that a phone call home before it gets bad can stop a lot of that off task/disruptive behavior.
     
  6. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Oct 27, 2013

    I agree and will start making phone calls. I have enough documentation to send to the office but there must be something in between. I'll be making calls during my planning period and after school.
     
  7. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Oct 27, 2013

    Why wait? Send emails home now, today. I hate having phone calls with parents so I always try email first, and only do phone calls if they request it.
     
  8. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Nov 2, 2013

    Everything you listed in the second paragraph are not things I would send a child to the office for. They are things where if I was sending a child for those it would make the principal wonder about my management.

    I have sent children for destroying or damaging school property on purpose, for injuring others on purpose (depending on the seriousness sometimes it takes more than once for sending to office), and repeated willful defiance (not for several years have I sent a child for that, it no longer really happens).
     
  9. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Nov 3, 2013

    I think when admin say "the learning process is disrupted," they are referring to serious disruption, as in you can't teach/students can't learn for a significant period of time. If the offenders are easily redirected, then it's not worthy of an office referral.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 3, 2013

    I firmly believe that there's only so much authority in the world. And that every time a teacher gives a little of that away, there's a little less that he/she has left.

    There are some offenses that clearly need to be bumped up to administration. The ones you mentioned in your second paragraph wouldn't do it for me. Those kids would be seeing me after school for a personal detention. If they failed to show, then perhaps THAT would warrant administrative involvement. (In my school, "FTR"-- failure to report-- is an automatic hour of dean's detention. Blowing off a teacher is disrespectful, and isn't tolerated.)
     
  11. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Nov 3, 2013

    Administration (both the P and AP) has told me over and over again that if anyone is a disruption in the classroom, you go right ahead and write them up and send them to the office. Their mantra is that students that distract others from learning are to be removed immediately. In fact, I sent a student from 2nd period to the office. He left the room muttering openly, "I don't care..." After a while, the P called into my room and asked me to send another student out with his stuff. He blatantly "cheered", got up quickly, and left as if he were going to a party! Later during lunch, the P said I won't be seeing that 2nd student for a while... This was the 1st time that I hadn't felt "bad" about sending kids out. The other times, I felt as if I failed as a teacher. This time, I sent them on their way and continued teaching. Administration said to me that all I have to worry about now is teaching and they would handle the rest. On a final note, I spoke to the AP about how I have been handling things and she said that there are things happening in 5th period and being caused by xxxxxxxx and she says she is expecting him to be sent to the office.....
     

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