Classroom management question.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by riverdance85, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2014

    Am I on the right path?

    The last few years I've been a little lenient, but this year I want things to be different. The reason for my leniency is because when I tried being strict before, the kids got their parents to complain about me to the principal. Since I was learning how to work with administration (I still am), I just said sorry and accepted the fault. Should I stick up for myself the next time something like this happens? I respect my admin but I felt like I was cornered these last few years. I fear that they don't like me because of my mishaps in the past. I am afraid that they'll dislike me even more...

    Another issue that stems from my relationship with my Ps is my evaluation, which is based on the students' test scores. For the last two years, they have been low (with 60% failing). I feel that's my fault as a poor teacher (but then again, am I? Could it the students' study habits?) I've been working so hard to better my instruction. Could it be that the students don't like me? I know that I go out of my way to make things work in their favor (or could that be another mistake? My leniency ? What can I do to up those scores? This year, one of my ideas is to spiral (quiz them on prior information). Is that a good start? Or are these normal insecurities for young teachers?

    I get a little jealous seeing teachers younger than me (I am 28) having better luck than me (then again- could it be the subject I teach (Spanish))?



    Thanks for your help and your patience.
     
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  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Aug 21, 2014

    This is pure win. This is all you can do.

    Personally, I think you should spiral learning throughout the year. I never teach a topic and then expect students to master it and retain it. I teach a topic, leave it for a week or more and then come back to it and add a little depth and complexity to it, rinse and repeat throughout the year as much as possible.
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 21, 2014

    I think if you have a very specific classroom management system that you consistently enforce, no parent can complain, at least not in a way that a principal would take them seriously.


    As far as teaching style, pleasing students and getting to a passing level, this is what I think: as a teacher, it's your job to teach the students in a way that they will learn. If they don't like to study vocabulary words and will put it off until the last minute, then incorporate some activities as class work, and then give them quizzes 2-3 times / week to keep them on their toes.
    You do not have to make thing in their favor, but you probably want to consider what might work best for them.

    Students liking you? Don't worry about that so much. Some will love you, some will hate you, some won't even care, and often for the same reason. Some students will like you for being strict, others will hate you for it. So what? They don't have to like you. Obviously, if they like you, they will more likely to do things you ask, but you can't worry about that.
     
  5. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I read your post and it seems you are looking for a place to lay blame for things not going as you'd like...the students got their parents to complain...admin doesn't like you...the kids don't like you...etc...so what? As long as you do the job you were hired to do and you align your rules and procedures with school policy, so what? Don't worry about everyone liking you. And, by the way, students will have respect for a teacher who demonstrates leadership qualities. They don't need to like you but they do need to respect you. Set limits. Stick to them. Be firm.
     
  6. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    How do you build this in the classroom?
     
  7. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Well, I don't think I am trying to lay blame to anything not going my way... I am just trying to figure out what my mistakes are. I am looking for insight on what I can do to be a better teacher. If it is my fault, I will accept the blame at the end. I appreciate everyone's help!
     
  8. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Do you think you are directly or indirectly responsible for your students, their parents, or your admin not "liking" you?
     
  9. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    I think I see your point. It is silly to think that I can make someone like me. However, I am worried about making mistakes that would lead them to not like me. That's how I think I would directly be responsible for students, parents and admin liking me.
     
  10. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Aug 21, 2014

    Students will usually like you if they know that you are fair and have clear expectations.

    How are test scores in your district? Some schools are going to have lower scores across the board.
     
  11. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 23, 2014

    I strongly believe that study habits have to be taught. I remember my 7th grade social studies teacher explicitly teaching note taking, and I still think of her when I organize my notes. :) If you think this may be an issue, it may help to scaffold study skills... give students a specific method for notetaking, teaching active listening skills, and completing homework in class until you are sure they can do it on their own.

    Videos and practical books are great resources as well. I find it very helpful to watch videos of actual lessons being taught to observe what the teacher sounds like and what strategies he/she uses.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    As I read this thread, I believe there should not be an overwhelming need to teach in a way where there is no "blame" as the overriding motivation to how you run your class. That never enters my head. I suspect you have not adapted your teaching style to what will work with these students, creating classes of frustrated students who then resent failing. The failure rate says it all. Find a strategy that works, incorporate some UBD principles that give students varied ways to demonstrate they are learning, which should result in better grades. You would be surprised how much better parents and students feel about you when more than half of every class doesn't expect to fail. I have watched our Spanish teacher using the Simpsons on the video and white board to make things interesting and fun for students who have real problems, and they are learning. They recently went through the entire school labeling objects and colors. They would then be allowed to take a picture of themselves and the tag, for credit. I have seen short video assignments using the computers, their smart phones or tablets, posters for the tech challenged, and varied ways to prove comprehension, making the chance of being successful much higher, raising self esteem and effort. I am concerned about this concept of accepting blame - there shouldn't be that many instances of getting to that point in your school year if you have engaged and challenged appropriately the students. Just my point of view.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 23, 2014

    I think there are a lot of good ideas already in this thread. I just want to reiterate, that your job is teach students to be successful and have a classroom that protects them and facilitates learning. If that means you need to be stricter to maintain that environment to ensure that kids can learn so be it. If parents complain to the admin, make your case (that everything you do is to protect the learning of kids) and you'll be fine. Are some of the things you implement going to be wrong? Probably, but you can weigh the benefits and outcomes of every procedure and strategy you implement on your own. Don't rely on the opinions of others. My principal has strong opinions on Cornell notes and a variety of other things. That doesn't mean I suddenly run out and get rid of everything Cornell note related. I take her ideas in account, see if they hold any real weight, realize they don't, and toss her ideas out. Now if she makes it a mandate, that would be a different story, but as it is, all it is is her opinion.

    I think it's probably time to take back the reins of your classroom and run it yourself rather than let it be run by students, parents, or admin. This is your classroom and you're in charge of it.
     

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