Discipline for 11th & 12th graders?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by DallasLady, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. DallasLady

    DallasLady Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2010

    For those who teach the upper grades, how do you deal with discipline? I taught 8th graders for 5 years and there were a lot of behavior issues to deal with. We used 30 minute and 1 hour before or after school detentions primarily and then office referrals. But now with this new age group, I don't know what's appropriate. I don't anticipate having a lot of issues (4 of my 6 sections are 12th grade AP) but I still want to go in with a solid plan.
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 18, 2010

    I teach mostly seniors, though not AP. I tell them they know how they're supposed to behave and that I'm giving them the opportunity to demonstrate that knowledge. If I have an issue with a student, I ask them to stay after class for a talk, then ask them if they want the long version or the short version, and the long version is considerably less pleasant. They invariably choose the short version, which is "You know how you should behave in my class. Knock off the silliness and let's have a better day tomorrow." I think I learned that from Whole Brain Teaching.

    Of course, any serious infractions of school policies get written up and sent to the AP.
     
  4. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 18, 2010

    That's pretty much my style, too, Mrs. K. I teach 11th graders, and I certainly don't post rules or procedures or anything like that.

    For most minor situations, it's usually enough just to say, "X... what the heck are you doing? Stop it."

    If the behavior gets worse, I still do everything I can to handle it with the student privately. I call them out in the hall or have them stay after class. Generally, if a student this age is acting out, it's almost always because something else is going on that they can't handle (parents/girlfriends/friends/gossip/work/etc). Once you find out what's really bothering them and let them know that you care and are willing to help them however you can, they calm down. Then you just explain that we can't take out our frustrations on the rest of the world whenever we have a bad day...

    If it's a super serious situation (putting the students or me at risk or something that is *clearly* a huge violation) then I just send them to the office. That almost never happens, though.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jul 18, 2010

    I just went to a Capturing Kids Heart training this past week. In the training, the presenter has the students come up with a social contract (how they want to be treated by the teacher and each other, and how they think the teacher wants to be treated). The social contract is then posted along with consequences. There are also 4 questions that are asked regardless of behavior (what are you doing, what are you supposed to be doing, are you doing it, what are you going to do about it). It seems to work in our school where a lot of teachers use this.
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jul 18, 2010

    Ditto on MrsK and BandNerd.
    Juniors and Seniors are AwEsOmE (btw).
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 18, 2010

    I agree with Bandnerd and Mrs. K.

    My kids know perfectly well what's acceptable and what's not.

    A "TOM!" will ususallly stop any bad behavior. Or a pause as I stare at the offender until I catch his attention.

    Either one usually results in a "Oh, sorry!" and it's over.

    If I do have an issue, I ask him or her to see me after class or after school.

    It's incredibly rare that I have to resort to an hour's dean's detention.
     
  8. DallasLady

    DallasLady Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2010

    Thanks! 8th grade is pretty much all about managing behavior (one of the reasons I'm making the move to HS). My students are just a year away from college, so things like consquence lists and behavior contracts seem a bit out of place, but I don't want to be unprepared for handling behavior either, you know?
     
  9. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jul 18, 2010

    I can't think of a teacher in my building that uses consquences lists or behavior contracts (except our resource teacher).

    Besides agreeing with everyone else, I think the best way to get a handle on behavior problems is to be proactive. If I might steal a phrase from Barney Fife "nip it in the Bud" before anything happens. I can tell from the moment my studests walk in the door if Johnny is having a bad day, or Mary and Susie are going to continue their lunch fight and my job then becomes to keep all students on task, involved and engaged so these things don't implode in my class.

    Just a FYI - in the past 10 years, I have written up WAY more students for hallway behavior issues than I have in my classroom. And since this year we will have the freshman hall, I am sure this will be the case again :D
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 18, 2010

    Inteacher, you are right about keeping your eye on drama/fights among the kids. You'll know right away if two people are about to explode on each other, but if you keep them busy, it rarely happens in class.

    I tell all new teachers that the best discipline strategy in high school is to teach from bell to bell.
     
  11. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2010

    So, what would you do with the kids who have acute senioritis?
     
  12. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jul 19, 2010

    I don't buy into senioritis, I push until the end. Students will usually step up to the expectation. If someone is really slacking, I get parents, coaches, counselor involved. We have a secretary that knows all the kids, she can work wonders with slackers.
     
  13. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 19, 2010

    Same here, KU. I just keep pushing and pushing. We're vicious task masters at the end, and we get *everyone* involved when we need to do so.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 19, 2010

    Yep, here too.

    And it helps that the last few chapters are always the interesting ones (matrices in Precalc, I forget what in Calc.) It's the kind of topic that has to be understood,not memorized. So it requires little time outside class. (As opposed to, say, conic sections, which has a zillion formulas to memorize.)

    So they're not being set up for failure.

    And they know that every single year we have seniors in summer school. Summer school ends the day before graduation. Anyone who doesn't pass the summer school final does NOT attend graduation; they can take another exam after another summer school session after graduation-- and,yes, that's happened before too!
     
  15. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 19, 2010

    Dallas Lady, the favorite "trick" of 11th and 12th graders is getting you off topic. They don't really care if they can't misbehave like middle school kids. They don't want to *work*. They'll do everything in their power to keep that from happening. They'll try to get you to talk about current events, or the prom, or some school wide gossip or whatever. Now sometimes, there's a place for that, but by and large they just want to keep the conversation going until you look up and realize half the period is gone and you've taught nothing. LOL.

    And they're sneaky about it, too. They'll say, "Oh, Ms. X, you are so cool. No other teacher lets us talk about the stuff that's really important to us... Blah, blah, blah..." They try to sucker you in with that. Don't fall for it. :)
     
  16. ms.

    ms. Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2010

    My middle school students did this as well. [I always though I would teach middle school, but I'm jumping up to HS next year. It will be an adventure. :)]I would turn the trick around. They though they were getting me off-task, however everything I said was in my lesson plan. :D It was so funny, I had one girl come up to me at the end of class and say "Ms. the boys in class were just asking questions so we didn't have to read more of the textbook." I thanked her sincerely, and told her not to worry. I reality we had read all I had planed for the day.

    I doubt this would be as easy in HS, but I always try to subtly handle attempted manipulation.
     
  17. Southern JC

    Southern JC Companion

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    Jul 21, 2010

    I give a warning first (usually that's all it takes); name on the board (student conference after class); check by name (conference/call home/ and break detention); two checks (sent to office/call home/break detention). We are not allowed to give detention before or after school so during break works great. It's only twenty minutes but students hate being in detention when they have a chance to hang out with friends. Also, during break detention, the students must complete a detention form and if they do not finish it in time, they will have detention again the next day. The form simply makes them reflect on what they did that concluded in break detention, what they could have done differently, what they'll do to improve their behavior, etc. If I have time, I discuss their responses with them and reinterate what I expect from them. I also keep the forms for documentation in case I need them for a parent conference. High school students are pretty good at keeping their behavior to a minimum so I only have to give break detention about five times a year!
     
  18. SashaBear

    SashaBear Companion

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    Jul 22, 2010


    Haha I remember doing this in school! We had one teacher that was so easy! He would talk sports or hunting the whole class period.
     
  19. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Jul 22, 2010

    I teach an 8th and 9th grade course and a 11th and 12th grade course. There is very little discipline necessary in my senior course. At the end of the year, I will encounter a little senioritis but I keep them very busy at that time. They can be exempt from their finals so they stay busy working until the last day to make sure they remain exempt. I have had a few lose that exemption at the last minute because they slacked off.
     
  20. DallasLady

    DallasLady Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2010

    Chemteach55, is there a big difference between your 8th and 12th graders? I am going from teaching 8th to 12th and I'm curious.
     
  21. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Jul 30, 2010

    HS is no different

    It is really no different in HS. If you can't get their attention and maintain it then you might as well teach the wall, and at least the wall won't insult your intelligence. Prepare for the worst and expect the best. Have a plan in place. If you have to take each minor infraction to the hallway you will lose the rest and spend the bulk of class time IN THE HALLWAY. I use the hallway method for extreme cases only. Calling their attention to the infraction quickly and semi discretely saves a lot of time CLASS time. There is a teacher down the hall that simply says "warning", then gives a strip of paper w/ detention notice if it continues. She wastes no time with a disruption and it works for her. I use the "look" as a warning, a shake of the head, or an "excuse me". These mostly work. We are REQUIRED to have a system posted w/ rules and consequences that have been approved by our Admin. A pain but works.:dizzy:
    TechnoMage
     
  22. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Jul 31, 2010

    9th and 10th graders have many more behavioral problems than 11th and 12th. As someone said, 12th graders usually just try to get you off track, or, if there's drama, sit quietly and try to avoid participating. AP kids usually don't cause many problems, because most of them are motivated and take their grades seriously. The biggest problem (in my opinion) is the phones. HS students are glued to their cells, and unless your school has a good, strict policy towards them, most of your problems will revolve around phones. Even then, I rarely if ever have to write up my seniors for phones or take them away - one warning usually works.

    I still give out my rules at the beginning of the year, and review them. It's important to have something in place, so the students know what's expected. However, rarely do seniors need anything more than a warning. As far as senioritis...in an AP class, you'll be pretty busy most of the year. After the AP Test, make sure you have an interesting unit to cover, one that meets your curriculum but also is interesting to the students. If the seniors are bored after the AP exam, that's when senioritis will kick in. Until then, "I'm doing this because you need it for the AP Test" usually keeps it away. Oh, and I kinda relax a little towards the end with them, and will give them a few minutes to be off track about prom, graduation, and other senior things. They're more willing to work at the end of the year if I give them a few minutes at the end of class to chat (or start HW - their choice). Some may disagree with me, but you'll be amazed at how many practical issues come up, like college questions or etiquette with the prom. Also, if you don't give them that minute or two, it becomes even harder to keep them from disrupting your class by talking about it!
     
  23. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    May 12, 2011

    Reasonable People Do

    Wow, but this would work with reasonable people.

    What would you do with unreasonable people?

    what are you doing?
    Nothing!

    what are you supposed to be doing?
    I don't know

    are you doing it?
    doing what?

    what are you going to do about it?
    "why are you picking on me??"

    I am glad this works at your school. Must be filled with reasonable people.
     

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