class behavior in specials

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by HufflePuff, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I want your opinions on this.

    If your class misbehaves in a special area (art, etc.) is that your fault as the classroom teacher or the special area teacher's fault?

    I hate to label blame at all. I oftentimes feel like if my class misbehaves in specials, I am looked at as an ineffective teacher.

    I believe that is up to the special area teacher to be in control of each class that is in their room at that particular time. If my class misbehaves, then their management system isn't working, not mine.

    Of course, the classroom teacher should discuss expected specials behavior, too.

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Ugh we had a horrible music teacher last year. Not that it was all her fault, she came in late in the year and it was her first year, but she had no management skills. If I was out of the room doing something, when I walked back in the whole class would straighten up because they knew I wouldn't let things slide. I gave them several talks about how they should be behaving even when I wasn't in the room, but it is really hard for kids to respond to someone who can't manage them.
    I think if you are have repeated problems you should get together with the teacher and come up with a plan- or find out who the culprits are so you can work on that behavior.
     
  4. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I feel like it is mostly the duty of the special area teacher to have control of the class when they are not with me.

    When I was student teaching, my cooperating teacher had me go along with my kids to specials the first week. She didn't tell me why, but I could tell she was up to something. I quickly learned her lesson. The music teacher had HORRIBLE classroom management. The kids disrespected him, and acted out. They just turned into little monsters when they walked into that room! The PE and art teachers, on the other hand, had great classroom management skills. The kids did exactly as they were told, and there were little or no behavior problems.

    Of course, if I had a class who always had problems in specials, we would have some chats about respect. Also, if I have some students who have problems during specials, I encourage the teacher to write a note to parents, and I make sure it gets home.
     
  5. alschoolteacher

    alschoolteacher Companion

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    I have made it clear to my students that misbehavior in specials will cost them on the behavior chart. However, I also believe that the special teachers have to set expectations and stick to them. The only teacher I have issues with is the Spanish teacher. Most of the classroom teachers leave the room during the 15 minutes of Spanish because we can't stand the disrespectful behavior and awful classroom management.
     
  6. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    I just had this come up the other day. I had a bad report from a specials teacher about some of the boys in my class. I keep my kids in line pretty well, we still have fun, but I set my expectations with them. I just simply told her that I would talk to them and I talked to the entire class about respect. I let them know I was given the bad report and know who it was (the boys turned red and I could tell guilt right away). I just talked to them about treating every teacher the way they treat me. I like to talk them up too, telling them that behavior wise they really set the tone for the way our 5th graders act and are role models for the younger kids.

    While I think it is up to the specials teacher to have good classroom management, I think it is also my duty to set the tone for treatment of other teachers with my kids.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I think it is both. I would have to put my foot down with my class if they were misbehaving for a sub - I would feel the same way if I had an elementary class and they misbehaved for the music teacher.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I always talk to my class about behaviour expectations if I hear that they are not following expectations with other teachers. However...I am not with them all of the time and I am not responsible for how they behaviour when they are not with me.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm speaking as an outsider here, since I'm secondary.

    But we don't have "specials." We have classes. Each is taught by a trained professional.

    So the kids who leave my homeroom and go to Mary's art class aren't "mine"-- they're "hers." She's the teacher, they're her students. Their behavior, for better or worse, is her problem. She makes her expectations known, and she enforces consequences as she sees fit.

    It's not my responsibility to determine proper behavior, or the consequences for improper behavior, in anyone else's class.

    Of course, if she were a volunteer, and not a professional teacher, my outlook might change. And if she were a sub and they gave her a hard time, it wouldn't be pretty when I returned to my class.

    But she's a full time professional teacher. I wouldn't dream of undermining her authority by telling the kids we share how her class should work.
     
  10. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Specials teacher is responsible... I can control my class, she should be able to control her classes. Same thing with the cafeteria. I'm not there!

    My favorite is when an ESOL teacher comes to a child study and tries to say that a child is ADHD because they don't do any work for them. Well, I'm sorry, that child performs for me all day long... obviously there is a reason that he/she doesn't in your class.
     
  11. Windy City

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    Speaking as a former "specials" teacher here...

    Elementary school is very different from secondary. The students are with their classroom teacher for most of the day, and how that teacher manages the class has a huge impact on what goes on in specials.

    The specials teacher is absolutely responsible for classroom management. If the proper routines and expectations are in place, there really shouldn't be any problems. I admit that classroom management is extremely difficult when you see 35+ DIFFERENT classes per week. And there is no way to play off of the classroom behavior management program (stickers, stop lights, moving cards, marble jars... it's all a blur).

    But keep this in mind... certain specials teachers may only see a class once or twice a week for 30 minutes, which isn't always enough time for the students (especially the younger ones in the beginning of the year) to get into the mode of a different teacher with different expectations and different routines... ESPECIALLY if the classroom teacher has terrible classroom management. They would drop off their students who would be acting like wild horses. I would have to waste several precious minutes getting them into my significantly stricter mode of management.

    When I taught the special, I would always give a quick report to the teacher when they picked up their students. I didn't do this so that the teacher could take care of my discipline. I would take care of anything in my class. I did this so the teacher was aware of any discrepancies/similarities in behavior.
     
  12. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    It is up to the special teachers to have control of their classes. If they call the classroom teacher, then they are passing over the authority.
     
  13. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    They have a teaching certificate and are on the same salary scale. I'm not there. Come up with a plan that works, and I'll remind them of it when I drop them off. The music teacher at our school expects me to take away recess for her poor management skills. Isn't going to happen.
     
  14. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    I think it's up to both teachers. Also, it depends if the specials have their own rooms, or come to your room.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Why? How does the location of the class make a difference?

    I have 5 SAT prep classes this year. Each meets for one class period every 6 school days; just under once a week.

    Their behavior is MY responsibility, since for those 38 (or 36 or 32 or 19,depending on the schedule) minute, they're in MY class.
     
  16. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I was asked to give detentions for inappropriate behaviors that occurred during specials. I didn't take it too well. I said, YOU can give them detentions.
     
  17. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    It's the specials teacher's responsibility. That being said, if there is a problem, I have no problem talking to my students about it, since I'm the one that has built up the most rapport, generally.

    This year though, once they are in specials, they are no longer my concern. I hand them off to specials, and then I am out the door. (Ok, not usually, since I stay a little longer... but I COULD be out the door.)
     
  18. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Maybe it's just because I'm a preschool teacher that I think this way, but the way I see it, if they go into a new room, and the teacher in that room has different expectations, they associate the expectations with the place and the teacher. When it's in your room, they get more confused, and it takes them longer to catch on to the changes.

    Other factor is whether or not you are required to be in the room at the same time as the specials teacher. One school I worked in did not allow teachers or aides to leave the room during specials. It took away authority from the specials teachers, and distracted the students. Of course they misbehaved, and the regular teachers had to help out with behavior management.
     
  19. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    We have a specials teacher who will take the whole class back if they are bad and call me to come be with them. So, I lose my break because she can't handle the class. In my opinion that is wrong.
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I completely agree with you--when the class is with another teacher, they are not your responsibility and you should not be called to deal with their behaviour.
     
  21. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    I feel responsible for my class at all times. I don't want them to show respect only when I am present,as I feel then I am not teaching them the conflict resolution and character education skills they need to be a respectful person . I let them know I am disappointed with them if they misbehave when someone else is in the room and they will be held accountable for any misbehavior.
     
  22. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I would be unavailable and/or hard to find. :p

    Don't get me wrong. I'll fuss and verbally back up the specials teacher, but ultimately she/he needs to get it under control. However I won't take away recess because of her ineptitude. (Did I spell that right?)
     
  23. Toast

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    That would tick me off. Prep time is sacred. Make sure you are hard to find/get a hold of!
     
  24. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    We had so many complaints about specials teachers (and cafeteria staff) asking us to discipline problems in their classroom, that our admin told us this year that we are only allowed to write office referrals if we were there. It's nice to know that I am not going to be called in to explain a child's behavior when I was not in the room with them!
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    lol. Me too!

    I think it is the specials teacher responsibility. I mean, we are expected to manage our classes well, so they should be too. They should come up with a system that works for them. We also had a specials teacher last year who would bring classes back if they were not well behaved. This never happened to my class, but I would have been extremely upset if it had. It's not like we can go take our kids to someone else (as a whole class) and walk away when they are misbehaving.
     
  26. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I think is cute how they call PE or Art or music specials. I like being special, I guess. Of course it is the teacher in charge to take command of a group. Now I have had groups come out to PE and can tell who is coming from a ship shape class and who is not but regardless, they will follow the rules and do what I say in PE or suffer the consequences. And of course we should communicate. If someone is having problems in PE I try to warn the teacher like I would like her to give me a heads up on potential issues coming from the inside to the PE field.
     
  27. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Once there was a fire drill and they were in her class. She is responsible for taking them outside so I did not go back to my classroom. Well she just told them to leave her room. They wandered around until another teacher found them and took them outside. It was only a drill but still...she drives me crazy sometimes.
     
  28. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Here is a question for you all. My students were badly behaved at gym today. The other 5th grade teacher is taking some of her kid's recess tomorrow because of the bad report. Should I punish mine also or not because it was not in my class? I was planning on punishing them to some extent
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sue, I would say it's up to the gym teacher to impose the penalty, not you.

    I don't punish for things that I don't see. If a parent calls me on a punishment I've given, I can defend it because I know what I saw. That's not true if I wasn't there. It's heresay.
     
  30. alschoolteacher

    alschoolteacher Companion

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    When my kids misbehave in gym (as a class) they have to go to the gym and sit during recess. The coach issues the punishment and sits with them during the punishment. If only one or two kids were misbehaving the coach and I work together to issue punishment. He will tell them to pull their card, but I oversee the actual change and write the note in the folder at the end of the day. I would write something like "PE behavior" so the parent knows to speak to coach about it.
     

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