Classroom Management

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Harpreet Makkar, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Harpreet Makkar

    Harpreet Makkar New Member

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    Jan 30, 2017

    Hi All!

    I just went back to teaching after 10 years in a completely different field and have been substitute teaching. Until now I have been taking day-to-day assignments with the longest being 3 days. Today I started an open-ended long-term assignment teaching 8th grade US History and it was extremely hard. The students I took over have been in limbo because their permanent teacher quit at the end of the last semester and they have had another sub in the classroom for the last month. Now I'm coming in as their third teacher for the year and understandably so, they are frustrated. However; their behavior today was not justified, regardless of the circumstances.

    As soon as the students walked in they were talking very loudly and all my attempts to get them to focus were ignored. There were a handful of students who were on task and wanted to participate and learn, but for the most part out of a class of 26, 15 of the students continued to be disruptive and many of them talked back and asked questions like, "why do I have to do this?". There were students out of their seats and I had to repeatedly tell them to sit down. There were also male students who kept flinging rubber bands across the room and I had to confiscate many of them from a number of the male students. This continued throughout the day with every class that came in.

    I felt like no matter what I did or said, I could not get control of the class and I left feeling absolutely dejected and ineffective. Has anyone encountered anything like this where the students absolutely refused to listen or cooperate and how did you handle the situation?
     
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  3. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Jan 30, 2017

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 30, 2017

    No, don't do the above advice! Do not give your power away, the kids will see you as weak who need the P to help and administration will thin you can't handle the class and could end your assignment early.
    Mr "Magoo", stop advising others to always go get the principal or security guard. Very bad advice!!!
    All of it.

    To the OP:
    Since you don't know how long this assignment is, it could be a month or more (which you would want, because it's steady work and could go on your resume). I would take tomorrow as a day to introduce yourself, go over your expectations, you could even open it up for discussion to find out what were their previous procedures, rules, consequences and reward. But ultimately it's your classroom now, so you lay down the law.
    You should've done this on the first day, but it's not all lost, do it on day 2. But you really need to make sure it's done, otherwise the kids won't know what's expected of them and how are they supposed to behave and not break rules if they don't know what they are?
    Given the fact that they're 8th graders, they need even more structure and strictness.

    You can definitely get this class under control, fairly quickly, but you have to show them you're the boss.
     
    czacza, anon55 and Harpreet Makkar like this.
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Jan 30, 2017

    I've seen some very good and some very bad long term subs. The good ones have done what you've outlined above, and have come down hard and consistently with their expectations. Follow through every time. Kids who go through long term subs often get this attitude of, "This person's not going to stick around, so I don't need to listen to them." It's a tough job but it will challenge you to improve your classroom management skills.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 30, 2017

    I can't imagine being in a classroom for any period of time without letting the kids know what I expect from them.
    Even when I would be there for 1 day, I would give a quick run down (stay in seat, no electronics, raise your hand, etc). This would be a 2 minute thing. The longer I was in the classroom, the more in depth my speech was. For a week assignment I would spend 10 minutes on what they can and cannot do, what are the consequences and reward, and what are basic procedures.
    For a month long, or undefined length, spending one class- time is an investment that will return.
     
  7. Harpreet Makkar

    Harpreet Makkar New Member

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    Jan 31, 2017

    Thanks for the follow-up. I actually did a short intro of my background and shared my expectations with all the classes on the first day. Can't imagine walking into a class and not doing this. Today was the second day and I started out each class by acknowledging that we got off to a rocky start and I wanted to make sure the students knew a little about my background and that they were aware of my expectations. In each class, students were able to recite the expectations, but there is obviously a difference between them knowing what is expected and living up to those expectations.
     
    Linguist92021 likes this.
  8. Harpreet Makkar

    Harpreet Makkar New Member

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    Jan 31, 2017

    I'd have to agree with you.
     
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  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 1, 2017

    I agree !! No one is that clueless and the writing style sounds like a kid's.
    I do respond here and there, because I don't want someone to take his bad advice.
     
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  10. Committed2DaProfession

    Committed2DaProfession Rookie

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    Mar 16, 2017

    I currently teach 8th grade Social Studies and 95 % of my students are economically disadvantaged...

    To put it simply, 8th graders are challenging.Their hormones are raging, many of them have crappy(or worse) home lives and do not value school, as a result. Building a culture of trust and respect is the best way to prevent serious behavior problems, but you don't have time to do that at this point. You need to make it clear that disruptive behavior will not be tolerated and that there will be consequences...then follow up and do exactly what you say you will do. What will you say you will do? You will give them a warning. Then you will write a referral and call their parents. It will seem like a lot of work, but nothing works better for that age group. That doesn't mean that you call parents for chewing gum or talking. I'm talking about incessant disruptions. I hope this helps.
     

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