Classroom management

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mr.history, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Aug 31, 2014

    Hello everyone,
    Have you ever tried to help another teacher who was having a rough time with classroom management? My school hired a new teacher who is having a rough time with his classes. I think a lot of his problems come from his "presence" in the classroom. Hes a smaller guy and kinda timid and apparently the kids (high school) have been giving him a lot of trouble. I actually feel really bad for him, its his first year teaching, we are only a few weeks into the school year and I've heard others say hes already talking about quitting/not liking his job because of it.

    I'm only in my second year teaching but I don't really have this problem. When I'm in the classroom students generally just listen to me but I'm kind of a bigger guy with a much more authoritative presence. I haven't watched him teach to see if he looks nervous/intimidated but just from speaking with him in the halls I could see where his demeanor might make him seem like someone the kids could take advantage of. I hope that doesn't sound mean or judgmental but its just the impression I get. I talked with a few of the other teachers to see if we could come up with a way to help him but I didn't really get much advice.

    The thing is that we don't really work in a bad school. Its pretty rural and the admin is pretty strict and supportive of teachers. At the same time they don't want teachers turning in stacks of referrals every week either. Not really sure how to help the guy. Have any of you ever seen someone almost run out of the classroom a few weeks in? Where you able to offer any helpful advice?
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 31, 2014

    I offer advice where I can when asked, but generally some things can only be figured out on their own and through their own personal study. I think demeanor and presence are one of these things.

    For developing those, you can suggest Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones if he's looking for help with it. He has good advice in his book about body language and presence.

    But last year there was an older teacher who really struggled with CM. When she asked for help I offered what I could, but I didn't feel comfortable offering it where it wasn't asked for. She ended up leaving this year, but I think it was more due to scheduling and personal life problems.

    There was another older teacher who was also struggling a little bit with CM last year in the same department, except she had many years of experience as a High School teacher. She was a fantastic teacher and simply needed reminding that what she was doing was great. She had little confidence about returning this year, but she ended up staying and she's adapting much better this year.

    Sometimes the only thing you can or should give is encouragement.
     
  4. lilia123

    lilia123 Companion

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    Sep 1, 2014

    You could try by asking him some leading questions to get him to talk about the problem and allow you to give some suggestions. How have the kids been treating you? Is everything going okay? Need help with anything? Letting him know you are available to help and are not trying to intrude on his classroom many times will make him more willing to ask for help and advice.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Do you have mentor teachers at your school? You could offer to be one for the guy.
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I usually try not to butt in unless asked, but if he is talking to others about quitting you might be a lifesaver. I would casually start a conversation and see if you can lead him in the direction of CM.

    It is very nice of you to notice and care!
     
  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    His small presence might make it a challenge, but shouldn't stop him from succeeding in classroom management. We had a teacher who looked 18, was small, and talked very gently. I thought she would get walked on by the students. She was the best I have ever seen in dealing with classroom management. She had the most organized classroom and she enforced her rules with a consistency unlike anyone I have seen teach.

    First, you need to believe in this teacher. I wouldn't give any advice until you do. If he sees you don't believe in him, because he is smaller and weak in his delivery, you will only do more damage to him.

    Be patient...wait until there is an opening. Then, possibly share an e-mail with an attachment saying, "Hey, I found this YouTube video on Power Teaching. I kind of liked it, but was wondering what you thought about it?" Be very subtle as he isn't asking for advice.
     
  8. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    You can leave openings for conversations about management and share your strategies. Once he opens up, you can invite him into your class so he can see how you do things.

    I floundered terribly with management my first year. My principal said he'd have to fire me at the end of the year, but I figured out management before then.

    I'm a big guy with an imposing presence, but that didn't mean anything to my first class. Physical size has nothing to do with effective management.

    Here are some directions on how to get control over a class.
     
  9. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Sep 1, 2014

    No one "butted in" when I struggled mightily with CM last year. What helped me the most was just accepting the fact that I needed a ton of advice and admin support (of which I got lots of both). They did not come to me offering suggestions. Whenever I had issues, I went during my planning period and asked a lot of "How should I...." questions. I wonder if this new teacher is doing this. If anything can help, you can remind him that "We're all here to help!" That would give him an opening to ask for the advice. I wouldn't give unsolicited advice unless someone asked. He probably needs reassurance as well. I certainly remember last year and wouldn't wish that on anybody.
     
  10. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Many times my first year teachers would walk by my door and not intervene. I resented that, because I so wanted a quiet classroom where we could get through a lesson without interruptions.
    I read that if another adult comes in and shushes the class, she is taking authority away from me.
    But honestly, I had no authority by that point. I remember one time quite vividly. I looked up from my textbook and literally nobody was paying attention.
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Milsey, most teachers don't want anyone butting in, even if they're doing badly, and your teachers at the school probably just wanted to respect that.
    Even if you have absolutely no authority in your classroom, and there is a chaos (but students are still safe), another teacher coming in getting them to be quiet will only solve the situation for those few minutes, but will take away from your authority even more.

    IF someone needs help, I think it's their responsibility to seek it.
     
  12. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Sep 1, 2014

    Thanks for the replies. I definitely acknowledge that I don't want to "butt in" to his business. I had a great year last year(and this year so far) and I just feel bad that this new teacher is pretty much in the same situation as me but is having a terrible time so far.

    I get that size/presence isn't everything, but that has definitely been an aid to me(maybe personality is a better word for it). There are definitely other strategies I use to command respect, maintain a productive environment, but I definitely think my personality/presence in the room helps. Again I'm still new to this and still learning, but I just heard some teachers talking about what was going on and I wanted to help. I also acknowledge that everyone has their own teaching style and not everyone can do the same things but I would like to think I could offer some kind of support.

    My school does have mentor teachers but unlike the department I joined that is pretty young, the one he works in has some lets say advanced members. When I started last year I felt like I could go to these members and ask any question and I'm not sure hes getting the same support. One of the members in my department started with me last year and we really helped each other work things out a lot. In fact we still have been working together pretty much the same way so far this year.

    I think tomorrow I'm going to just go to his room in the morning and talk with him a little/introduce myself again/offer any help if he needs anything. I spoke with him briefly during preplanning but the first two weeks have been nuts and I haven't really been keeping up with any of my coworkers since school started. Maybe that will give me the opportunity to offer some support.

    Thanks again for all the advice.
     

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