Fed up with behavior(long)

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by luvs2teach0708, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. luvs2teach0708

    luvs2teach0708 New Member

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    Dec 21, 2008

    Hello. This is my first time posting on this forum. I am at my wits end with my school and hoping that some of you will provide suggestions for how to best address these issues.

    The behavior in my school has reached an all time low...or should I say high? I teach elementary school in a suburban area, but my coworkers and I feel like we teach in the inner city based on some of the things that go on. Students who yell at teachers, are physically violent with other students, or outrageously disruptive in the classroom rarely see any sort of consequence from the administration. In fact, we are strongly encouraged NOT to send our students to the office and handle these issues on our own. A great deal of instruction time is being lost, and the students who need the most attention are suffering because of these "looked over" behaviors. Not to mention how much these children themselves miss out on due to frequently being asked to leave and go to a "buddy room." (We are apparently very big in the "buddy room" idea.)

    On a daily basis I feel like walking out of the building and just dealing with the consequences later. I so badly want to make a difference in the lives of children, but I feel that so much of my energy is being consumed by classroom management and the teaching goes out of the window. My lessons are planned the morning of because I am so drained in the evenings and all I want to do is get out of the building. I basically just do what I did in previous years without much change. I really feel like I am not doing my best to gear instruction to the needs of my students because there are so many other needs that should be addressed.

    Some might say "go to a new school." But I honestly chose this school because of the challenge of teaching students on the lower end of the totem pole. Let's face it, kids with supportive homes and average abilities will learn no matter what...they don't desperately need a teacher who is so dedicated to them like these kids do...although recently my lessons don't feel like those of a "dedicated" teacher.

    Our school has no real behavior management plan in place. Each teacher is pretty much on his or her own to decide what strategies they will implement in the classroom. Behaviors that I am sure students would normally be suspended for (or even expelled for) in other schools go without so much as a phone call home from the principal...although I am not sure how supportive most of the parents would be anyway.

    I honestly believe the lack of support is seen by the students and they in turn do not respect us teachers as authority figures. I have been yelled at, had children knock things over, seen children attack one another for looking at someone the wrong way, and the amount of hostility between students is unbelievable. Now, of course, this is not true of all children, but the problem kids make up a good 30% of each classroom or more.

    This doesn't even touch on the amount of laziness and lack of work effort we see from students in general. I am simply amazed some days when I watch students speed through assignments and simply stare the their papers when I encourage them to check over their work. Since when did receive a failing grade on a test prompt anyone to simply shrug and say "oh well." Appalling.

    Are any of you experiencing this? have you in the past? If so, what did you and your coworkers do to help solve the problems? Hope someone can provide me with some ideas, or this is going to be a very long rest of the year. :-/
     
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  3. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Dec 21, 2008

    This totally sounds like the school that I was at last year. The principal was awful in the area of discipline. Some kids will get a candy and sent on their way whereas other students would be suspended for the same behavior. It was a tiny school (about 60regular ed. schools), so there was no excuse for the principal not being able to handle the behaviors. I taught a class for students diagnosed with severe behaviors and mild to moderate cognitive delays and my students were better behaved than the regular ed. students.

    I was grateful to leave the school, but unfortunately the principal followed me. Can you believe that although she couldn't deal with the behaviors of regular ed. students, now she is the principal of a school for 48 students with severe behaviors. She has no special ed. training and the assistant principal who has the training was sent to another school (by her and is not allowed to talk to us in regards to our students).78% of the students are returning students and the teachers (and even the psychologist who comes in to do testing) says the behaviors of the students are way worse than last year. Our program hires behavior counselors from an outside agency and the principal sat by while this agency hired inexperienced and inappropriate consellors to work with our students. They worked for 2 months without being trained to restrain the students so the students pretty well ran wild for 2 months as they couldn't even touch the students without this training. Out of the 12 counselors they hired in August, only 3 of them remain...they are all quitting b/c of administration and b/c our students take a lot of energy.

    Personally, I am looking to fulfill my contract (1 more school year) and then I am out of there. I may stay longer if a new principal is hired or the assistant principal is brought back to our school.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Dec 21, 2008

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, take a look at Power Teaching. :)
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 21, 2008

    I was actually going to suggest the same thing. While I don't use power teaching myself (and only because I managed to get my own system in place and working well before I ever heard of it), I think that it holds great potential for the OP.
     
  6. luvs2teach0708

    luvs2teach0708 New Member

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    Dec 22, 2008

    I do

    The funny thing is I do use some of those techniques because I had heard of it from a colleague. I like them, but a lot of the students still won't bite. Any suggestions for that?
     
  7. robin0103

    robin0103 Rookie

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    Jan 24, 2009

    Can you at least get your grade level to work together as a team to come up with a consistent plan that you will all follow?
    It would be helpful...especially if you have to send them to a "buddy teacher" when the student is being especially disruptive if they see that each class has the same standards and no one is bending the rules. If nothing else...it sure helps to know you have the support of your team!
    Our grade level has even created our own recess detention. Our students know if they are sent out of our class for being disruptive...the buddy teacher is not going to be a friendly, welcoming face + they will have extra work to do.
    Remember to make the student take responsibility for contacting mom/dad. If they choose to make a poor choice...they can explain it to their parents! (Nothing like pulling out your cell phone & asking if they'd like to explain to their parents why they are disrupting the learning to make them think twice!)
    Try to focus on the positive students :)
     
  8. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Jan 26, 2009

    Do we work together? Do I know you?

    Joking aside, my school is experiencing total chaos the last two weeks and today was the worst I have had it or seen it all year. My consistent behavior problems were relatively tolerable compared to students who normally stay in the lines but today decided overall to have a bad day.

    Ohh.... I need to make some phone calls.

    Student 1: phone number 1: disconnected; Alt #: disconnected.
    Student 2: phone number 1: disconnected; Alt #: Strange gospel sounding music.:huh:
    Student 3: phone number 1: disconnected; Alt #: busy.

    That was a bust.

    Anyways, so I've tried everything I can think of from positive reinforcement to negative reinforcement, ignoring, calling parents, writing parents, write ups, writing lines, etc. I'm totally opposed to corporeal punishment even though it is allowed at my school so that's not something I ever intend to use. I've tried to bore them to death with assignments so that when I put interesting material in front of them I can use its removal to counsel them to behave. I have exhausted my toolbox and now I'm becoming increasingly frustrated and intolerant of even the smallest infractions.

    I begin to wonder if this isn't, in part, a trickle down reaction to the economy. Higher anxiety levels create some wild behaviors. I've no idea how many of these student's parents are struggling or who has home security. When needs aren't met, kids misbehave. I do know, I'm loosing my patience.
     
  9. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jan 26, 2009

    Contact PowerTeacher by PM, or post in the PT forum.
     
  10. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Jan 26, 2009

    What scares me is the number of teachers whose schools are so out of control.Is it because principals are scared of parent complaints.or are our schools so worried about test scores that nothing else matters.A large majority of the students in my school are wonderful.but over the years I have encountered more children who don't care or show little motivation.Parents have less control over their children,and don't seem to know what to do.Principals today seem younger with little actual classroom experience and knowledge of how to support and improve teaching.
    Can you and and fellow grade members set up a discipline code of your own?I work with fifth graders and we set up students rights and responsibilities.We then set up a behavior code of rules for the entire grade,as well as consequences which is enforced on the grade by the teachers.WE have rewards for those who follow the rules and punishments for those who break the rules. We trade students when necessary with a fifteen minute detention at the end of the day for those who break the rules. Special rewards trips,extra gym, parties are given to reward those who follow the rules..
    The administration is happy if we leave them alone and the parent complaints are kept to a minimum.
     
  11. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Jan 26, 2009

    I feel exactly how you feel. At first, I blamed the students, but it is the administration. Where I teach the school police officer is always MIA or doesn't do anything, which opened the door to the students controlling the school. If a student is completely out of control we send them home. I tend to believe we're reinforcing these behaviors.

    As for the disconnected phone numbers, I mailed letters home. I got a phone call from a parent first thing this morning. It may be a pain to dish out the money for the stamps and whatnot, but at least you'll get a response. You need to set up parent conferences so that the parents know what is expected from their children. This makes documentation a lot easier.

    Good luck. I'm in the same boat.
     

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