Classroom Management Help Needed (Experienced Teacher)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by msugrad2007, Jun 23, 2021.

  1. msugrad2007

    msugrad2007 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2021
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 23, 2021

    I'm a middle/high school teacher with 14 years of experience. Over the past couple of years, I've experienced some classroom management challenges that seem to be more characteristic of first year teachers, versus those of us who have been in the classroom for many years. I receive great evaluations (been at my current school for 11 years), though I sometimes feel like my management has become WORSE! I'm not as confident or consistent with my procedures as I used to be. Have any of you veteran teachers ever experienced this? I've been trying to hypothesize what the problem(s) could be. About 3 years ago I had a traumatic personal experience (not school-related) that really impacted my confidence. It was around that time that I started to struggle. However, perhaps this is just a coincidence. Could it be that, with years of experience, I've simply become more aware of areas of my management that need to be improved? Should I reevaluate my methods? Or is this just a small "bump" in the road that happens to teachers? I need some fellow "teacher therapy".
     
  2.  
  3. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jun 23, 2021

    You are way ahead of the game if you are aware of your problems. The teachers who don't notice their weaknesses will never reach their full potential. I remember reading a study that showed teachers' skills improve for their first 20 years of teaching then level off, so it's ok if you are still learning.

    What helps me improve is to focus on my students and the classroom vs. focusing on my concerns about my performance. If my students are feeling confident and settled as we move though lessons, then I know I'm doing things right. If they seem otherwise, I change something. Always consider making changes to what you are doing since your students' needs change as they mature.

    Consider observing other teachers as they move through the day. Doing this may boost your confidence in what you are doing and give you some different ways to solve management problems.

    I bet you are an excellent teacher.
     
    CherryOak likes this.
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,021
    Likes Received:
    1,506

    Jun 24, 2021

    It can be really easy to ease off once you feel comfortable with your teaching. Unfortunately, you get fresh kids every year, and you can't just pick up where you left off the previous year. I know that my toughest years have been the ones where I had a difficult class after coming off a year of non-difficult kids.

    I have always been a big fan of Randy Sprick's CHAMPs program and Harry Wong. A quick refresher of both of those books has been a good way to get back in the swing of things each year.
     
  5. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    17

    Jun 24, 2021

    I highly suggest love and logic.
     
  6. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,188
    Likes Received:
    588

    Jun 25, 2021

    I agree with @Tyler B. that you are likely an excellent teacher and recognizing that something's not quite right is a great indicator of that.
    That said, if I had to guess what's changed, it would be this piece I quoted. If your procedures have been solid up until recently and you know your confidence and consistency have slipped, that's usually a good starting point. It also sounds like, even though your traumatic experience was not school related, it may indeed be connected to this new struggle with classroom management, ESPECIALLY if that's about when things started to decline. The effects of trauma are unpredictable and it's not unreasonable to connect something that negatively impacted your confidence to a decrease in confidence in the classroom. It might not feel connected, but it's hard to tell what will be impacted by trauma.

    Obviously only you can say for sure if that's the case, but self-awareness and reflection are a great start and you're in a good position to rework what you're doing so this truly is just a bump in the road. It sounds like you've had good management systems in years past so you may not need to completely start over, but I do also second the recommendation of Love and Logic. I really enjoyed Teaching with Love and Logic and those really have been the most effective strategies I've used even accidentally. "Tools for Teaching," "The First Days of School," and "The Classroom Management Book" have all also been incredibly helpful. Even as an experienced teacher it can be helpful to refresh on what works!
     
  7. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,169
    Likes Received:
    178

    Jun 25, 2021

    Classroom management based on how one feels at the time can sneak up on anyone. If it’s a rare event, then one returns to effective practice, the bump analogy fits. If it’s a pattern it may be time to reexamine self and/or methods. In addition, effective classroom management consists mainly of skills. Skills have a nasty habit of becoming rusty over time. The look I used effectively in the past doesn’t seem to be working now. On closer examination I find out I’m not making a complete turn. It’s a small detail. Yet it’s the difference between I mean business and Let’s be friends.

    Consistency you mention is perhaps the least appreciated management trait that afflicts experienced and new teachers alike. It’s very easy to ignore small problems with a sort of Maybe if I ignore and don’t draw attention to it, it will go away on it’s own. Conceptually it makes sense. In practice it destroys a teacher’s credibility. One day a student is caught talking and discipline plan applied. Next day another student is talking, but the teacher, for whatever reason, decides to ignore it. Oops! The class just witnessed one student (maybe a favorite in their minds?) get away with it while another was arrested. Not only will they think you unfair, but your rules don’t mean much either.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. John Macclearon,
  2. AspieWoman1989,
  3. Colliemom
Total: 285 (members: 3, guests: 245, robots: 37)
test