classroom control

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by bird, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. bird

    bird Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2006

    Today was my 2nd day subbing and it was a nightmare! I subbed for a 4th grade class that I felt I had no control of. From the begining of the day to the end it was not stop talking! They talked with each other loudly all day long and I could not get them to stop. There was plenty of work to do & I followed the normal routine. I tried bribing them with extra recess, gave points for quiet tables(even if they were quiet for a short time), and followed the teachers discipline plan as far as consequences, but nothing seemed to work. I have taught 2nd grade for 4 years in a private school but never had troubles like this. Needless to say- I don't think they learned a thing today as I was really unable to teach over the noise & disruption. I really don't know if it is just part of subbing or is it my teaching methods- could really use some input!
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Sep 14, 2006

    Don't feel so bad. Some classes are very challenging. I don't think it's a reflection on your teaching methods. Sometimes, the best thing to do when the class is out of control is nothing. You'd be surprised how fast a class quiets down when you stop talking and yelling and just shut off the lights and stand there. You have to do whatever it takes to get teaching done, and you can't teach untiol it's quiet.

    I bet your next experience will be better. Just remember, don't get into a struggle with the class and compete over talking. Make them be quiet.
     
  4. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2006

    Unfortunately, some kids are like that because of their "real" teacher. If their teacher makes it seem like it's a fun day when a sub comes, they won't respect you no matter how hard you try. Also, they may be like that with the teacher. During college, I subbed, and I found that some students just knew that their teacher gave them busy work. Those were my worst subbing experiences. When I had a bad subbing day, it was a reflection on the teacher because I know that I handled everything how I should. Some kids just don't know how to act with a sub. If I have to be out, I remind my kids that subs have the same authority as me, and we go through the rules. I also tell them that I am leaving a thick stack of referral slips for the sub to use at her discretion.

    I haven't had a problem yet......

    GOOD LUCK! Hope you get better classes!!!
     
  5. charliekay

    charliekay Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2006

    i had the exact same thing happen to me last friday.and they were
    4th graders too,i have subbed for other 4th graders and had no problem,but these were horrible,even the principle treating them did not good,i feel for you honey,just take a deep breath and know they won't all be that way.
     
  6. bird

    bird Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2006

    Thanks charlie for your reply with my message about my 4th grade sub class! You made me feel better- I felt almost ready to quit subbing but I'm going to hang in there & if things don't get better I've decieded to try a better school district!
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 15, 2006

    I have an authority problem at the beginning of the year (as an aide). It takes the teacher reinforcing that I'm an equal and have authority and using my name frequently before they start listening to me. It's kinda interesting (and frustrating) because instictively these children know "the TEACHER" is in charge. They don't see the other adults as being important too. My teachers drill it in them and soon they are doing things my way and listening when I need them to. This won't help you in substitute teaching but just that some teachers probably haven't thought about this. Nobody really plans much for a sub. Gather some authority calling tricks up your sleeve (like the quiet with the lights off trick mentioned) and realize that even the best sub will someitmes struggle with some of these classes (or some days).
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 15, 2006

    Oh, I have to mention....Today I was helping other aides supervise time-outs for recess (for 4th grade..lmbo) and I told a student to move (he was watching the game when he wasn't supposed to and wouldn't stop). He told me it wasn't up to me. (EXCUSE ME??!!) I went and told his aide and she came out and blasted him and told him he is to respect ANY adult who works there and to do what I told him to do. He moved. It's a percieved authority again. His aide is in charge, but I'm not. He barely ever sees me around. Who am I?

    Most of the time I just do a countdown firmly (5..4..3...) and that's about as far as I have to go. They aren't sure what I will do next. If I can reinforce things positively first, I will.
     
  9. souptunuts

    souptunuts Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2006

    Hi, I'm new here but have been subbing for 2 and a half years, nearly everyday.

    Sounds like your experience may have been the class and not you. That said, I probably wouldn't have given them extra recess- I would have been taking it away!! Although they probably wouldn't have cared. I had a fourth grade class at a school 2 years ago. They had 45 minutes to finish a SS worksheet with 20 questions max and a little bit of coloring on it. Took some kids 10 minutes. About 6 of them didn't finish at all and they couldn't have cared less. That was not my fault...that was the class or the teacher or the school. I rarely go back there though!

    I agree with Ms Chandler. Some kids just do not know how to act with a sub. The expectations a teacher sets are a major determining factor in how the kids will act.


    I sub for the same school 90 percent of the time and in late 3rd grade through 5th, it really depends on the class and some can be very chatty. Honestly, I don't care if they chat at their tables and are doing their work, but when they are not doing their work and getting behind, it drives me crazy!! Sometimes I end up making a chart on my clip board, students' names down the left side, all the worksheets (worksheet crazy in my district) across the top and let them check off when they are done with each one. Seems to motivate them.

    Hang in there- it gets better as the year goes on.
     
  10. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Sep 17, 2006

    Welcome to the forums, bird!
    I agree with the others, not all classes will be like that. Sometimes your experience with a class does reflect the teacher. I find that teachers who are loud and frantic all the time have loud and frantic children when a sub is in the room. I tend to be an organized and patient teacher, so sometimes our philosophies just don't mix, and it makes for a bad day.
    However, I do have one thing that might help. When ever I go to teach a new class, usually 4th or 5th grade (you could also do it with older students), I introduce myself to them in the moring, and tell them that I am a real teacher, and that I expect to be treated like one. It sounds a little harsh, but if they know you mean buisness, they are much easier to handle. Also, don't even give an empty threat. If you tell them that they will be sent to the office for such and such, make sure you follow through.
    Another thing that helps is asking a nearby teacher (if you feel comfortable with them) to come in the room if they hear it getting loud or after a certain amount of time. They can usually get the class quiet, and you can sometimes send the ring-leader into the other teacher's room to finish his/her work. Hope this helps! Good luck with your next assignment! :)
     
  11. souptunuts

    souptunuts Rookie

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    Sep 17, 2006

    I totally agree with this. At that age they have all had subs where the day was crazy and most know exactly what you mean. Try to set the stage early and don't be chummy as they are coming in to start the day. I find that doing that starts the chatting early and you lose some authority.

    Although I sub for one particular elementary school 90 percent of the time, I go into each class assuming that it could be a behavior problem day. I am not mean, not for a minute, but I set the standard for the day and let them know that everything will be fine and the day will be awesome as long as they follow the rules.

    For the younger ones, I stand up in front of class with a clipboard in my hand and say something like "Good morning super second graders! Most of you know me, I'm Ms___- We are going to have a great day today and I am so excited to be back in this room! And it is so great to see your smiling faces. (I usually say something about somebody's smile is missing a tooth). Okay...Who can remember my rules??? (they usually start shouting out---and that's perfect!) OOPS- raise your hand was one of them wasn't it? And so was don't talk if I'm talking. Plus, DO whats right, do your best, and treat others as you want to be treated. Your teacher has rules too so we will continue to follow those as well (this is for like bathroom passes, pencil sharpening rules, where you line up etc.) Ms _____ left us with a busy day and we have a lot of things to do. We are going to get started here in just a minute but as you are working hard today, I will be making some notes of star students to leave for Ms.___. Hopefully everyone's name will be on the star side by the end of the day." This implies there is a bad side too. Then I usually go over who has what jobs for the day and get the paper passer person to pass out the first thing we need to do.

    I can tell you that I rarely have major problems. If I get a student acting up I talk to him/her discreetly and let them know that I can't have that because there is just too much to get done and it is breaking one of the rules. Occasionally, there might be a real challenging child and I'll ask another teacher from that grade who invariably knows the child and can intervene in some way. I also find that my patience wears at the end of the day but I think that is normal.??..
     
  12. zanke

    zanke Rookie

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    Sep 24, 2006

    I subbed my first class every on Friday. It was Level 1 Spanish at a middle school. Each period went very well until the last period. I was a bit worried even before they came into the classroom. The last period on a Friday.

    Half the kids were talking and the other half were complaining about the noise as they were trying to do their assignment. I ended up moving a bunch of the kids to different desks. This seemed to work for about twenty minutes. One kid looked very surprised that I even thought about moving him. He was one of those kids with wearing sagging jeans with a sweatshirt with the hood over his head. I just looked straight at him told him in a stearn voice to get up and move to a desk across the room. That group of kids fell silent the rest of the period. Just with I did that earlier on in the day.

    This being my first time subbing, first time in a classroom, I had no idea what to do, but moving the kids from their friends seemed to work, for the most part.
     
  13. squarepusher

    squarepusher Rookie

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    Sep 24, 2006

    haha, my friend who is experience sub for 4 years, often just sends trouble makers outside. like he just says "go outside" maybe with a chair or something


    i was subbing at aschool last week, and was totally losing it, almost went insane. a neighboring teacher was very nice and gave me advice, dont call kids out loud caus that can create a different situation embarrasing them, instead go up close and whisper very quitely what u want to say, or what they should do.

    this works caus a lot of kids get confrontational if you call them out loud and wont listen to you, since thye dont wanna be embarraseed :( i have tried it a few times and it worked OK.

    LOL, last week, different topic, i was subbing in a Jr High, in san diego, and thye sent me to assist a classroom. I went in, the teacher was a mess. 49 kids !!! including mixed special ed / regular / cluster/GATE

    total mess and chaos, lol. she hand'ed it REALLY well and I was impressed anthing was able to get done
     
  14. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2006

    The greatest discipline challenge for me was picking out the students that were the cause of disruption and dealing with them. You'd be surprised at how taking action against one or two students can change the entire classroom's behavior.

    Often, the entire classroom will be engaged in talking or working off-task. It's hard to focus on just one person because most of them aren't doing it with any kind of malicious or rebellious intent; they're just so self-absorbed that they either don't care or forget what they're supposed to do. So, when I finally pick one out to take disciplinary action against, I get tears or grief. What was worse was when I finally did decide to crack down, the first person I'd catch talking and behaving poorly was someone who was normally well-behaved and wasn't used to discipline!

    I've found that giving several stern, specific warnings help. When you tell a class not to talk or misbehave, be specific about what kind of misbehavior you're referring to; don't just say "don't talk," but say that making faces, dancing around, and other common sense things can get them into just as much trouble. Once you've made your expectations and what you classify as offensive behavior perfectly clear, you can begin enforcing the rules on anyone, since they've all received one (or more) fair and clear warnings about their behavior and how to improve.

    This works best with a teacher that has some kind of intermediate disciplinary tactic. Some teachers I've substituted for have a "turn a card" system, where they turn a card for each infraction. Each additional card turn means a greater consequence.

    It can be hard when the only choices you have available to you are either "verbal warning" or "refer the student to the office." Once you decide to send someone out, though, the rest of the students seem to understand that you mean business.

    Sometimes I get the feeling from the office that there is a such thing as asking for too much help or sending too many students to the office. But, if there's no intermediate disciplinary tactic, that's what you have to do. Just pick one student among the many that are clearly violating the rules and send them out. "I'm writing you up" seems to grab the rest of the class's attention faster than anything else.
     
  15. souptunuts

    souptunuts Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2006

    I will sometimes take the ring leader out in the hall and talk specifically to them in private. Tell them that they are clearly breaking the rules and we just can't have that. I'll tell them they have a choice right now and that is to go back in the room and have me move their desk, or to get on task and behave they way they know they should. Which one will it be?

    ( I only do elementary ed)

    I've never sent anyone to the office without personally walking them down there. I think I have only done it once in 2.5 years for true bad behavior and a couple times for an autistic child having issues and needing to be removed from his peers.
     
  16. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2006

    You should try doing middle school! With most of the elementary school students, I just get crying, pouting, or silence when it comes to discipline referrals. Many of the middle school students I've worked with will make their thoughts perfectly clear in the most abrasive way possible.

    That's not to say that elementary school students wouldn't either, but in my limited experience, that's what I've seen so far.

    I usually don't have time to walk the student to the office because it's a discipline problem that needs a reference to the office in the middle of an ongoing class. I can't leave the class to escort the student out, but I can send another student (or teacher's assistant, if available) to escort the student, or notify the office so that it'll be expecting the student. If the student never arrives, there's plenty of campus advisors that'll start hunting the student down.
     

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