Classroom Management HELP

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Oct 26, 2018

    No idea!! The kid is sneaky. It makes sense not to remove the detention though but I wouldn't give a detention just for looking at another student. It was a tricky situation because some kids finished their test early but they still had to be silent as they worked on an alternate assessment. I told him today that his detention was for arguing with me and wasting his time/his classmates' time in class.
     
  2. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Oct 26, 2018

    Apparently this child told his parents that he is staying after school for extra help, not detention. The Dad apologized and said he would talk to him and I’ll be filling out a behavior log for him to be signed by mom or dad every night.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  3. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Oct 27, 2018

    You will make progress with this student!
     
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  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I am not sure what to do with the student who gets mad when I redirect him or another kid. The English teacher said it could be a cultural thing where he doesn’t listen to women? He did get 3 lunch detentions from admin but I assume I should continue documenting?
     
  5. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Oct 27, 2018

    By "redirect" you probably mean a "verbal" interaction - yes? Verbal reprimands are always risky because they are public. When you go public with discipline you can never be sure how the student will respond. When I was in school and, like many students, when the teacher put my name on the board with verbal reprimand first I would escalate my behavior. My goal was no longer to behave. It was to get back at the "mean" teacher for embarrassing me in front of classmates. Sooner I could get sent to the office the better. From that day forward I had a grudge against the teacher.

    A spin-off of "working the crowd" is you can camouflage discipline. If you are constantly moving, checking students' work, answering questions, helping etc. you can bend down and privately prompt the student back to work. Done correctly, no one in the room will know whether you are helping the student with math a problem or doing discipline. This is what is meant when effective teachers are described as friendly, warm and "very protective of students". When you call out a student in class odds go up you will be dealing with a larger problem you helped create.
     
  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Oct 28, 2018

    ^
    I’m aware that the ideal is private redirections but the ideal doesn’t always work in the classroom.Firstly, the setup of my room is not ideal and sometimes I need to redirect a kid across the room. If I’m teaching, I’m not going to stop class to privately redirect a kid unless it is a good time. The instance that I’m speaking about, however, was a private and quiet redirection that this student heard and didn’t like. And like I said, I rarely answer questions/provide individual help in this class because the behavior doesn’t allow it.
     
  7. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    There will always be times like direct instruction when proximity is not an option. Discipline from afar may be necessary. Difference is for some teachers nagging and threatening across the room is an every day, every hour event. Instead of visiting they live there.
     
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  8. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Oct 29, 2018

    ^
    Good point! I wish my doc cam was more central to the room!

    One of my kids was absent today, and class actually went better. The talking is still there and I need to find a way to get it under control without detentions! Right now, I am only giving detentions for things like defiance (blatantly not following directions, etc. OR talking if it is always happening.) The English teacher moved the kids back into groups and had a really difficult day with them. Interestingly, it is my first period class that is starting to act up and misbehave. I made a behavior chart with rewards (school $$) for one kid to send home to his parents and that helped him today but I need to crack down on behavior for my first period class.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Kids in my challenging class were talking AGAIN today. The whole 6th grade did a lesson on habits of work expectations and the kids were making posters. I really did not want to do this lesson with this group but I was told to. I still had markers thrown across the room (student was written up and admin gave him a lunch detention) and way too much talking. The English teacher is having the same issues, especially when he moved kids back into groups. My math coach came in today when the behavior was bad so she saw what class is really like for them. The main issue is that they will not stop talking! I feel like I have done everything (called parents, given detentions) and nothing has helped!
     
  10. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Nov 6, 2018

    Challenging classes can some time feel like one step forward two steps back. They have good days and bad days like any human. As long as there are more good days than bad then it’s success. As your relationships with them improve and classroom management improves, the number of good days will increase.
    I have a challenging class and some days I walk in and it’s like I don’t even know who the heck they are. Those days are rough. But then majority of the days they listen pretty well for the most part and are respectful. And some days, they are like angels. My class is pin drop quiet the way I like it. It’s just the way it is. I don’t see the bad days as failure, just part and parcel of them being kids going through hormonal changes which they don’t understand. (I teach 13-14-15 year olds). At the beginning, it was mostly bad days, ok days some days, and good days never happened. But that changed slowly as the year progressed to the point where it is now. They aren’t perfect but they have made such progress.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    At this point for this class, almost every day is a bad day. Today, I had an issue with a kid throwing paper airplanes and lots of talking again. I have to remind them to be quiet during the Do Now 5 times. I wrote this kid up and he will be on "clean up duty" in the classroom for a week (maybe 2 weeks) and he will no longer have the privilege of keeping his binder at his desk until/if I earn his trust back. I had another student who continued to call out, told another girl to shut the **** up, and refused to throw her gum away. Finally, I had another student who walked out of class (w/o permission) and continued to talk. This student continues to insist that he doesn't know why he gets detentions in class. I am not longer stressed about this class & I am making it through but WOW the behaviors are bad & the kids are not learning. Test average was 10 points lower for this class!
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I'm sure this is normal for a first year teacher, but I am starting to despise my job and dislike my students. I dread going into work every day and I don't even like teaching my "good" classes because the kids are annoying! I'm not sure if maybe the grade level isn't for me. I hate how I can never do anything fun with them because of pacing and class size. Some of the kids in my "high" class are just obnoxious...

    I have decided that I am done giving detentions for talking because it does nothing to improve behavior + it's too much for me to keep track of. I think I'm just going to try to continue to make it through each day with them. Today wasn't bad but I still have kids throwing stuff when I am writing on the doc cam. Maybe I just need to abandon using the doc cam but how am I never supposed to turn my back to the class? I still have to turn around to use the SmartBoard or take attendance on my computer. I'm really tired of it.

    My vice principal told me that the talking is normal and I should just keep teaching if it isn't too loud. She also told me to call admin for kids throwing things but that means that I need to be able to watch them. They obviously wouldn't throw things while I am watching them.
     
  13. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Nov 8, 2018

    One year I didn’t do the writing. I wrote out step by step what I wanted a kid to write and taught while looking at my copy of the notes and prompting the kid to write what I wanted.

    It was necessary
     
  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Was this because of throwing things? I really can't see any of my students having the independence to write what they would need to on the board.
     
  15. CharRMS

    CharRMS Companion

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    Nov 8, 2018

    Is there away to turn your doc camera to where you can use it but you are facing the kids? Could you implement PowerPoint or GoogleDocs and have things already in there, and then you could buy a presenters remote to move through the slides so you could be anywhere in the room? Have you tired a different seating arrangement? or teaching angle? For example, in my room I have my kids in table groups (probably wouldn't work well for you from what you're telling), and my favorite spot to lecture/give notes is perched on my stool in the back of the room with my presenters remote. I'm just up high enough that I see most of the kids at all times, and the kids are sideways so they can see the screen and me. Plus, when I need to be on the move, I can take the remote with me and teach from anywhere in the room. I don't know if you access to tablet of some sort that you could use, but that is also an option.

    On the talking issue, describe what you mean by talking? Each teacher has his/her own definition. It almost seems from your posts that you are looking for a completely silent classroom at all times unless you give the okay to turn and talk. This may not be the case, but it is what I'm interpreting. I may be wrong. It will be easier to give advice once you describe exactly what you are looking for and meaning by no talking.
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I can't move my doc cam unfortunately but I might email the tech guy to check. I personally haven't tried powerpoints but I use guided notes and the kids fill in what I write. I could try some PowerPoints but I also think writing is easier for math. I am also not very good at making PowerPoints! I have tried different seating arrangements but my room is cramped and the paired rows is the best that I have found. I wish I had one of those things that I could write on from anywhere and it would project to the board. Tomorrow, I am going to try using my SmartBoard with all of my classes and see how it goes. I think it will be better since I don't think that the kids throw things when I go over the Do Now on the SmartBoard.

    I guess I am looking for a silent classroom unless I ask them to turn and talk or work with a partner. Do you think that is unreasonable for a 6th grade classroom? My vice principal was saying that it seems like I have really high expectations of myself and that it is sometimes ok to keep teaching even if there is a little bit of talking. This goes against all the advice that I have heard but I know I might have to do it.
     
  17. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    The kid who wrote on my doc cam had no independence. That kid was just a scribe.

    I had three violent students in that class. I was walking around during teaching to prevent assault.
     
  18. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Nov 8, 2018

    Please ask your vice principal to teach your class for a week and see if he/she still recommends it's okay to keep teaching while students are socializing. The main reason classes spin out of control (talking) is because for students "no" means something else. When two students are talking it doesn't matter if it's not a big disruption. It doesn't matter if it doesn't bother students around the talkers (whispering). If you fail to do anything about it you declare open season on yourself. The whole class just witnessed two students talking when they weren't supposed to and the teacher ignored it. Don't be shocked if other students join in. Why not? It's free. You might as well announce to the class, "Class, remember all that talk about high expectations, following rules and creating a learning environment where everyone can work without being disrupted the first day of school? Well, as you know, talk is cheap. What you just witnessed is reality. As you can see I find some problems, well ... um ... not worth my time. So, if feel like talking go ahead. The worst thing that will happen to you is I will keep teaching." - FJ Tools For Teaching
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 9, 2018

    I expect my students to be silent when I (or someone else) is talking to the group (lessons, announcements, class discussions) and when they are working on an assessment. Other than that, my classroom is almost never completely quiet. I do put a stop to the social conversations, but welcome them to have conversations about what they are working on.
     
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Yep, I have the same expectation as well and I usually don’t say something is independent work unless the behavior is terrible. Today, my class was much better and I think that not using the doc cam helped. There was still some talking but there was no throwing things.

    My math coach observed me when it was bad and she again made me feel bad about it. She kept saying how I had to stop talking every two minutes because other kids were talking, etc. and there was just no practical advice. She told me that I should still be able to use the doc cam and that my students should still behave when I’m not watching them. Like obviously I know that but I don’t know how to make it happen!! She also commented AGAIN on how I don’t have groups!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  21. CharRMS

    CharRMS Companion

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    Nov 9, 2018

    If you're not good with PowerPoint, maybe try Google Slides. It's a little easier to work with if you're okay with its limitations.

    I think the whole silent classroom is up to each individual teacher's preference. Personally, I don't mind my students talking with each other while they work as long as they CAN work while talking. I give them a three strikes and you're out deal. If they can finish their bell ringer while talking quietly, then I'm fine with it. I do have them sitting in groups though, so I know it is going to happen. However, I do expect that while I'm talking or someone else is addressing the class that they are respectful and keep silent. During assessments, I tell them upfront that I expect their behavior to be the same as it would be when taking a state test: no talking, stay in your seat, face forward, etc.

    I feel like kids need time to talk. If you think about it, most adults don't sit and do their work without talking to someone else about something, but we also know when it is time to stop talking and listen. Collaboration is good, and you will always know the students who can't talk while they work because they never get anything finished. I usually tell them that if I can hear their conversations enough that I know exactly who is talking and about what, they are too loud. Maybe you could give your kids more time to collaborate or talk out what they're doing with a partner. I've been known to tell mine that if I can get through all I need to do that day because they are well behaved, then they can have the last 5 minutes of class to talk quietly. They have to stay in their seat and be quiet, but they respect my time because they know they will get that 5 minutes. I don't do this often, but I feel like every once awhile is okay.
     
  22. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Nov 9, 2018

    ^
    I also let my students talk during classwork and I don't expect it to be silent except for the exit ticket, the Do Now, or when I'm teaching a lesson. I personally prefer silent Do Now's and I don't want to change it because they've been doing so well with it. I also tell the kids that I don't answer questions during the Do Now because the kids get off track and we talked about why. My Do Now completion has gone up by a lot since I've enforced silent Do Nows and no questions.
     
  23. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Nov 9, 2018

    Good move regarding cam. The gain you realize using projectors etc. during lesson delivery can be off-set by the behavior you lose by being tethered. From students' perspective they would be foolish to try some stunt with the teacher constantly near them. Proximity doesn't eliminate discipline problems. It takes care of most of the problems most of the time. Anything you can do to help yourself be more mobile is something to consider.

    Does the math coach ever teach your classes while you observe? Also, is there any program at your school where teachers can observe colleagues?
     
  24. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    I've asked her to come in to model a lesson but she hasn't. She said that she wants me to observe the English teacher and she also wants to videotape me and the kids working on Wednesday.
     
  25. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    So, I am not sure if it is because break is coming up, but my kids are driving me crazy! It's like they won't stop talking. Today, I told them that I was not happy with their behavior and we need to work silently for the rest of the period. They are in a place where they listen to me if I ask them to work silently, etc. Near the end of class, I asked the kids "Who likes working silently?" I was hoping that no one would raise their hands but over HALF the class did. I wonder if I should just incorporate more silent work time. This goes against everything my college math program said but maybe it's a good idea.

    I also have an interesting situation with another kid in my high class. This student has hated me since the beginning of school when I entered grades as a percent instead of points, so it looked like he had an F on a homework. I was just figuring out the gradebook and the same mistake happened to all of the kids. I fixed it within a day. Anyways, today/yesterday his behaviors were:
    -Calling out regularly + usually to complain
    -Not following a procedure: I told the kids that if they had a question about their specific quiz, they can write me a note and turn it in OR they can stop by quickly after school. He tried to argue about his quiz as usual during the Do Now. (He gets mad when I ask him to label ratios!)
    -Yesterday, he put his hood on (over his whole face) for a few minutes after I told him to take it off. He took it off after a few minutes but denied having it on when I spoke with him privately. He then said to his friends, "my hood was only touching my neck and she got mad!"
    -Called out to go the bathroom during a lesson. (I just told another student not to ask about the bathroom while I'm teaching and he called out right after.) Walked out of the room without permission (he refused to ask the correct way, by raising his hand)
    -Today, he had his hand up, but I waited to call on him because I wanted another student to finish his thought. I called on him after a minute, and he said "I don't even want to say it anymore!" (This is obviously not a behavior that warrants a consequence but it's the kid's attitude)

    Anyways, most of the kids in the class are not like this BUT this one kid is starting to influence the classroom climate. I usually just ignore him when he's being annoying (like when he didn't want to talk when I called on him, I just moved on and it wasn't a big deal.) However, I did give him a detention today for talking back and I asked him if he understood why. He said yes, he understood. I honestly stopped giving a lot of detentions but I've been giving them mainly for defiance. (I had another student who walked out of class.) I'm not sure if I should keep trying to give detentions for talking to my difficult class but it doesn't seem like it's effective anyways and I really don't like managing them.
     
  26. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    So I feel like I have completely lost control of one of my classes. They won’t stop talking and it is basically the whole class. I have to stop almost every 2 minutes because someone starts talking. I called admin for a student who threw things in class again and two students lost their lunch for this reason. I was going to play a game with them tomorrow but I’m instead making them reflect on their habits of work silently. I really don’t know how I am supposed to teach them anymore!
     
  27. otterpop

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    What I'd do?: Worksheets. Quiet packets, at their level so they can work independently. You might make two or three different packets depending on your students' levels. No talking, at all. I think you said they aren't in groups anymore, but make sure desks are all facing forward and seperated if possible. Sit or stand in front of the room and just watch them and call them out every time you hear them talking. Keep your cool, and decide on a simple repetitive phrase to use every time someone is off task "Voices off please" or "We're working silently."

    Have a separate area where you can move students if they can't sit without talking. Warning 1 - they remain at their seats. Warning 2 - they move to a separate table or close to you. Warning 3 - detention. (Or whatever you decide on.)

    It sounds harsh. It sounds boring. It really isn't either of those in the extreme, because it will be a better use of their time than what they are doing now, which is wasting their learning experience entirely. For every kid who hates it, there will be one who loves it. You just won't necessarily hear that from them.
     
  28. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    Unfortunately, I don’t have any extra desks or any space I can move kids who are talking. (I wish I did!) I have been doing a lot of silent work but the kids need a lesson before they can work on a packet. Today, they couldn’t even handle a lesson without talking. And the issue is that I don’t always know who is talking.
     
  29. rpan

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    It could be that there is an imminent break coming up and kids are just unsettled. It happens like that sometimes.
    How about trying to give them a choice in how they want their lesson to go? Option 1 is to not disrupt the lesson and then spend the last ten minutes of the lesson playing revision kahoot (or any other educational game) or Option 2 is work all the way till the bell. We really can’t make the kids do anything they don’t wanna do so perhaps giving them a choice is the way to go. If they have made the choice then the ball is in their court.
    With my tough class I have a movie they enjoy running through a few weeks. I tell them if I finish what I had planned for the lesson we can continue the movie and it works a treat. They ask to watch the movie at the beginning of the lesson and I tell them that they know how they need to behave to watch it. I know you can’t do anything non educational with the kids but I mean the alternative here is to not be able to have any meaningful teaching at all rather than a good chunk of meaningful teaching and then a nice way to end the lesson. That’s how I’d justify it to anyone who walks by or questions it. I’m not even the least bit ashamed or do I try to hide it.
     
  30. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I feel bad because the reflection did not go well today! I should have just had them play the game I had and made the reflection an option if the game didn’t go well. I just feel like a game with them would be tough. It went really well with my first class though.
     
  31. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Nov 23, 2018

    I think your too hard on them. We watched a two-part video Tuesday and Wednesday.
     
  32. LouiseB

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    Nov 23, 2018

    Ms. Holyoke, you are not too hard on them! It is good to high expectation for your students. This year you are finding your way as a first year teacher. It is unfortunate that you have so many students in your class. Hang in there. You are doing a good job.
     
  33. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Self reflection is a big part of gaining experience and learning from things that don’t go as well as planned. Things aren’t going to be ‘down pat’ for the most part till a couple years down the track and even then many teachers struggle. This is why teaching is tough and the learning curve is so steep and so many people quit. You aren’t failing even if a lesson hasn’t gone to plan. Keep at it. Think of each ‘failure’ as a chance to be better and gaining experience. It’s not necc a negative thing.
     
  34. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I started saying that anything that we do not get done in class is homework which has been slightly effective. This class actually has very high homework completion. I actually had a decent day with them today as 4 kids were absent. It really does feel more manageable with under 30 kids. I was actually able to tell kids to throw their gum away, etc. I realized that they usually do the Do Now quietly when I am watching them...and not when I am checking homework. I am going to try a review game with them on Thursday and I think they will do ok with it...we'll see. I've decided I do not want to do silent work anymore except for the Do Now and the Exit Ticket. I instead want to focus on teaching them how to work effectively in partners because silent work just ends up being me telling the kids to be quiet and a lot of times they need to work with their partners so they can help each other. This class actually works together well when they are focused. I have to say that moving my document camera has been the best decision I have ever made. It's been two weeks with very minimal throwing things in class. At the end of last week, I had one student throwing things again and because I wrote him up for it twice, I called admin on him. He hasn't thrown anything since. I make him leave his backpack by the whiteboard and today he asked if he can have it at his seat since he stopped throwing things for a week. I said maybe at the end of next week...lol.

    It is interesting because my friend teaches my 1st period class which is generally well behaved for me. There are issues with "mean girls" in the class and a lack of engagement but behavior and talking is generally manageable. I honestly like the kids in my "bad" class better than this class but I don't have to stop during my lesson because students are talking in my 1st period class. I usually only get about 7 kids who do homework and it's difficult to get them to turn and talk. These kids are apparently terrible in her class...don't work on the Do Now quietly, talking and out of their seats, etc. I feel like time of day makes a huge impact on behavior.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  35. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Dec 4, 2018

    I found out that I am getting ANOTHER student in my morning class...so I am up to 34. This is my generally well behaved class (they don't talk during lessons, are quiet during the Do Now, etc.) but it is still so many kids. This class is probably my least favorite in terms of the students in the class.

    I'm strongly considering job searching in a district with a cap next year. I do not think I can continue like this. We have no class size cap so they could continue adding students and it just feels scary to me. I just don't know how I would start the process or whether districts in my area actually cap class sizes. I know that I need to begin the process in a month or two if I do go this route.

    Everything else about my district is ok. We have some supplies, unlimited paper, etc. I wish our lunch was longer (we only have 20 mins) but I have a long planning period. (1:03-2:20) and we have to stay until 2:40 so it ends up being a lot of time at the end of the day which is nice. I really like the other teachers in the school and we also have one collaborative planning, which is more time to get some work done on some days. I just absolutely hate the class sizes and it makes it difficult to teach how I want to.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

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