Don't give up on "that" class

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BioAngel, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Feb 6, 2012

    My students taught me a really good lesson today. I've had this one sixth grade class (they're my oldest students that I teach) who drives me up the wall. It's my second year having these students, so I get them, but when you put this particular mix together-- its attitudes and attention getters, so they're basically trying to out do each other. Some are so incredibly disorganized and could honestly care less about learning and are there for the social aspect of learning. I constantly butted heads with one student and was ready to throw up three boys because of their crude, sometimes sexual, joking around. Their other teachers were fed up with them and I was actually dreading having them for the rest of the school year-- individually I adore them but they're a train wreck together.

    I out right refused to compare them to the other six grade homeroom which are a wonderful bunch-- no problems with them. Honestly. Apparently their other teachers keep telling them that the other homeroom is soo much better than they are. I keep reminding them that its not that the other group is better, but there's less misbehavior in the other class-- I tell them this in a non-judging way, just matter of factly and they agree with me.

    Today the ones who drive me up the wall told me "you're our only teacher who likes us-- thank you!" I think my heart stopped for a moment. What also stopped was any annoyance I had for any of those children. I didn't realize I had such an impact on them and now I'm just hoping they're telling the truth because of how awesome it made me feel :love: (Though I'm bummed if too many teachers are putting them down like that)

    If you're having a difficult class, don't give up on them! You might be the only teacher who tries to work things out with them, praises them, and makes them feel good about themselves.

    Now the rest of my school year looks that much brighter for me... :)
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 6, 2012

    Thanks for sharing! I think that there are so many teachers who needed to hear this!
     
  4. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Feb 6, 2012

    Wow...that's wonderful to hear! I've always heard that you just need to believe in the students and not pre-judge, but this is a real life example.
    When I was in high school, I had a nice English teacher, but our class was really badly behaved. She had issues with our class, and constantly said that we were the worst class of seniors she had ever taught. She was only 25 weeks pregnant, but had to go on bed rest because our class was causing her so much stress. I wonder if it would have made any difference if she had done what you did.
     
  5. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Feb 6, 2012

    I had a class when I was student teaching just like that. Any time I have a bad day I think of those kids and it makes it a little bit better. :)
     
  6. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    I needed this today. Thanks :)
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Feb 7, 2012

    That's wonderful!

    Kids recognize so much more than we realize. It does impact their every day, not just the class they are in.

    I'm happy to hear that they told you how they feel.
     
  8. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Feb 7, 2012

    Things can work similarly, I think, with individual students. It's why I don't go over new class lists with colleagues each semester, as some do, getting the heads up on "bad actors." This helps me to treat each new student as if things are going to work out just fine. It frees them of the baggage of past perceptions, gives them a chance to start over, and they really appreciate it (well, most of the time).
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 7, 2012

    Knowing how tough this year has been for you, this post honestly made me tear up on your behalf. You needed to hear that as much as they needed you to keep fighting for them. LOVE these kinds of teacher moments. :2up:
     
  10. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Feb 7, 2012

    And today the same class drove me absolutely CRAZY. Go figure...
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    At least you know they appreciate that you keep trying and haven't emotionally given up.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Absolutely! I agree- I do NOT go over those class lists to see who the "troublemakers" are. I assume there won't be any, and I'm frequently right, in spite of their past performance.

    How very sad for those kids-- not only do the other teachers outright dislike them, but they're unprofessional enough to let it show.

    As so many of us have said-- it's those rough groups and rough kids that can really steal your heart once you connect with them.
     
  13. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Sometimes it's hard not to get information on students before you see them in class. Our social workers like to connect with us before school starts to go over our list (or at least they always seem to connect with me about a few kids).

    Your class will have another good day soon enough. Hopefully those good days are growing more and more frequent.
     
  14. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Feb 8, 2012

    I was wondering about that BioAngel, if they would continue their annoying ways, and you knew that they would. But at least they let you see their tender side for a brief moment. They are just kids and not responsible for the class dynamics, just their individual actions. Don't give up on them. Never, never give up. That means that you treat them as you would any class. I bet at the end of it all (when they are long gone), they will be in your heart forever...
     
  15. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Feb 8, 2012

    PS, this quote got me through some rough times last year and this year; maybe it will help you too:

    "I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn." by Albert Einstein. It's all we can do...Good luck and keep trying.
     

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