Drowning

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissH225, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. MissH225

    MissH225 Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 22, 2010

    So if you haven't read my previous posts I am the 4th teacher my students have...however we've been together a month.

    Things are starting to get worse I feel. They are so disrespectful and don't listen to me. I have a lot of difficult students and I am struggling. Last year I taught in a totally different atmosphere. It was definetly day and night comparing the two.

    My principal and some co-workers at a recent meeting brought up the situation and well she wants to talk about what we can do it get it under control b/c it's not. She said I can observe people, have a teacher come in to work with me, etc. but whatever happens with me this year will make or break it for me as a 2nd yr teacher.

    I seriously cried when I got back to my room. I'm suppose to come up with a list of suggestions/ideas to help. I am a good teacher and I also know some schools aren't for everyone but I want to succeed and I want to do well for these kids.

    Any ideas for what I , the principal, staff etc could do to help me. I feel like my kids respect everyone except me...and last week and the week before they listened/behaved for me better...:-(
     
  2.  
  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 22, 2010

    Did you do anything differently last week, or was it your first week with them?

    Start a positive reward system, sticker charts, a jar to fill up, tickets to hand out....
     
  4. MissH225

    MissH225 Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 22, 2010

    This was my 4th week with them and we digressed back to week one. They really don't listen to me or respect me.

    Students start the day with ten minutes and they can add or subtract minutes to have free time at the end of the day. I also have a star chart for them to fill up (50 stars) to get a prize. That was working but not as well as before....
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Oct 22, 2010

    So very out of my league here. So this is stream of consciousness, OK??

    What are you teaching next week? Are there any particular topics coming up that you could really have fun with, kind of reel them in with a great topic or unit or something?

    I think my first step would be to talk to another teacher on the staff that I admired. I would ask the teacher to do an observation of my class from the hallway; to just listen in on what was going on. That way the kids wouldn't be showing off their company manners.

    Then you spend some time observing other teachers. It doesn't really matter what's being taught. Look at the teacher's organization, how she handles transitions, how she quells minor disruptions with a look and heads off the major disruptions. Look at how she organizes her time, at the way she introduces new topics.

    As most people here know, I'm all about the content. My classes tend to be well behaved because they're so busy they don't have time to fool around. They're doing a problem as I take attendance and check the homework; they're copying notes then we segue right into the first example. Transitions and dead time are your enemies, so work on both of them.

    In my building, every single year is a "make or break" year-- we don't have tenure. And I'm delighted with the way we do it. I'll never forget the words of our first principal, back in 1987, when the school opened: "I don't care how brilliant you are, or how much math or Physics or Latin you know. I don't care how many fellowships you've had or how many awards you've won. The very first time your students realize there are 40 of them and only 1 of you, I'll have to let you go."

    Try very hard to relax. It sounds as though they're being supportive, trying to work with you to make you the type of teacher you want to be. Take advantage of that support-- ask them offer concrete suggestions. Ask questions: "Do you think it would go better if I did ____ ?" Observe them and have them observe you, then try very hard not to get defensive with their suggestions.

    Best wishes!
     
  6. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    Oct 22, 2010

    I personally think 50 stars is too many. I typically reward after 15 points the first time, 25 points the next, 50 after that, and I cap out at 75 (no class has ever gone that far!)

    Notice the ones that listen and are respectful. Give them tickets to earn a prize of some sort...I prefer non-tanglible, like sit at my desk or computer time.

    Start over from Day One. Have the kids draft a list of what a cooperative, respectful class looks like and sounds like. Keep the list posted. Be firm.

    One thing I did this year was type my expectations onto a VistaPrint banner and have the kids sign it. I can PM it to you, if you want. I refer to it a lot!
     
  7. MissH225

    MissH225 Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 22, 2010

    Thanks! I think I needed to hear it's ok to need help.....People have been supportive so that's good.

    In terms of the 50 stars I give them out constantly...I've already had most kids in the class fill up at least one chart. My best kids probably get between 10-15 stars a day. Some of the not so well behaved get about 5-8 because I try to recognize them more for little successes.

    I like the idea of what a cooperative, respectful class looks like....I'm just feeling discouraged b/c while they never were perfect they did respect me a lot more and at least listen to me.

    We made a class pledge and they all signed it...maybe we need to revisit it.
     
  8. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 22, 2010

    I may be out of my league as well (I teach K)... have you tried any Responsive Classroom ideas? Those kids need RULES and BOUNDARIES stat!
     
  9. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 22, 2010

    I have been having a lot of trouble with my group this year. I have seriously cried almost every night the past two weeks (this is my third year of teaching, and I NEVER did this my first or second year). So, I I sat down with our intervention specialist the other day and started thinking about what is specifically not working. Then we problem solved why it wasn't working. Then came up with ideas for what to do to fix it.

    Can you tell what is specifically not working? I am lucky enough that the intervention specialist does inclusion for me, so she is an extra set of eyes to help me see what is not working (since sometimes it can be hard to identify exactly what it is by yourself). If you can't tell, ask someone you can trust to come in and observe your room (and do things as you usually do them, so they can see the honest truth)... then ask them to explain what they see that is/isn't working.

    Today, the kids came in to covered bookcases, empty book boxes, etc. We literally went back to day 1. We relearned how to check out at the library. We relearned how to read to self. We relearned how to line up. We will continue to learn how to do things properly. Once we do, we will begin reintroducing choice (VERY slowly).
     
  10. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,785
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 23, 2010

    I live by this plan that I found at this website. It saved my life and gave me confidence. Look at this and see if it might help you. His plan is simple and makes sense. I could not live without his philosophy:

    www.smartclassroommanagement.com

    Just look it over and see if sounds right for you. The plan is the boss and my rules rule. Parents are happy, students know where they stand, I can teach. It is a lifesaver.
     
  11. MissH225

    MissH225 Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 23, 2010

    I am definetly starting over on Monday. I think I want to observe a teacher who also has a very difficult class and/or the teacher who also had similar problems that I do earlier in the year. My principal is willing to do whatever it takes including get a sub to allow me to work through stuff, observe, etc.

    I was also thinking about splitting up the class and getting to know them/review procedures etc and half the other half workign with the sub. Then switch. It probably sounds crazy but obviously it is easier to do stuff with less kids. This past week I really saw kids who were fine before slipping..I want to pull them back up, get some leaders back.This plan makes no sense possibly...I need to think it through.

    The principal also said we could pull a buddy teacher in or have me talk to a behavior specialist.So I know people want to help it's just bringing me down....but I want to be good and that's how to do it!

    Also any thoughs on the book teaching with love and logic?
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    229

    Oct 23, 2010

    Are you consistent in your expectations and consequences? That's very important. Socialization in learning is important as well, in my opinion. You might try having them work in partners or small groups (but model and practice good work habits beforehand). Also, try rewarding by allowing them to choose where they work. As long as they behave, they can sit at the big table, or on the floor (whatever work spaces you have available in your room). Get parents involved when students misbehave. Lastly, plan lessons that are not only engaging, but truly allow student learning (investigate, study and research, etc.). If they are active learners as opposed to passive learners, they will have less time to misbehave. These are just some ideas. I wish you the best! :)
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 23, 2010

    I have to agree with Pisces on the reward front. I think maybe you are rewarding too much-they should really be earning that star. If I can get 10 stars in a day that easily, why should I go above and beyond, you know. My really well-behaved kids earn maybe 2-3 Superstars a week. If they have a superstar for the week they can eat lunch with me-I don't give them out easily. And when one of those really challenging kids gets one-you better believe they don't want to lose it.

    Love and Logic is a good book, however I think what you need is something with a much more structured management system to start out with. Maybe Whole Brain Teaching (Power Teaching). I also agree with a Social Contract of some sort-have the kids help you come up with the rules. When someone is not abiding by that it's easy to refer to. Consistency is also very important and follow-through. What are the consequences to breaking the rules. I also second Alice's advice in keeping them as busy and engaged as possible.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Iris1001
Total: 328 (members: 2, guests: 298, robots: 28)
test