gaining respect back after it is lost

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Blanche, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. Blanche

    Blanche Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2007

    Ok, so I have posted before about this but wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I am to the point where I am so stressed it is hard to be positive each day. Let me start from the beginning...
    I am a Pre-K teacher in a full day program and this is my first year actually starting the year off myself. I was hired in December last year so have never had to begin a year with my students. The year was starting off ok. My students were learning routine, and building community, and really getting a feeling for the rules. The TA (who was very seasoned) who was with me in the beginning of the year was replaced with one who has never worked in Pre-K here before. She had no training from administration and was very overwhelmed when she saw what our program entails. She also had no transition with the girl that I had first. They simply took her out and put the other one in. At that point my class started to fall apart. I tried to help my new TA understand what her role and responsibilities are and administration finally gave her a "Welcome to Pre-K in service" to help her understand what we do in our classrooms.
    Well my classroom is chaotic and I have many strong personalities and defiant behaviors that are turning my classroom upside down. I have been assulted by a handful of students and there is no course of action that I can take so they understand that this behavior will not be tolerated.
    I recently talked to my boss and she is obviously very upset with the way my classroom is running and is giving me three weeks to turn it around. I just feel frusterated as a new teacher that instead of working with me to come up with a way to gain respect back she is hanging me out to dry and leaving it all up to me. My TA's performance is also on my shoulders. I understand that as the teacher in the classroom I need to be in charge but I can't build community, break up fist fights, give each student one on one that they desperately need, with 18 students and have to tell my Ta what to do every step of the way.

    I have tried many things such as role playing how to handle situations, being really over dramatic and excited during circle to quiet them down, and I try to incorporate a ton of music to keep them engaged but nothing is working. Everytime we come to the carpet I have fights, and I have several students who flat out tell me no and refuse to come and sit or do anything else that is asked of them. My boss told me that I am no longer aloud to use a thinking chair or time outs because of these students who refuse and create power struggles and says that I just need to redirect them. But they need to understand that fighting is not ok and that there are consequences for their actions. I feel helpless and on my way to no job and burn out. Can anyone help?
     
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  3. hp123

    hp123 Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2007

    What type of program do you work in?

    Can you share with me what type of program you work in? I teach in an Montessori environment, but would be happy to help in anywayI can.
     
  4. Blanche

    Blanche Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2007

    I teach for a school district and my classroom is considered a TPK. I have 18 students and like I said before many strong personalities. I think that part of the problem is that we had a daily schedule that has been reworked 4 times now and my Staff Development Facilitator has given me many suggestions to use with my students but at this point my head is spinning. We have a curriculum that we follow, a reading program, a math program and lots of develomental testing that we have to do. I work in a very economically low section of the city in which I teach and the kids come to school with a ton of baggage. Many families are on welfare and from single parent homes so even though I am considered a TPK, my students are so far from being typical. I am just not sure how to get them to listen and respect me since all of these changes have happened. I am not sure when I lost it because it was there in the beginning of the year. My meeting with my boss was horrible. She basically told me that she does not think I can regain control, and that the personalities that I am experiencing are not the child's fault, it is because of me. I told her that last year when I had a seasoned TA with me it was much easier and that it is hard for me to control 18 students and have to tell my TA what to do at every moment of the day. I have students who fight, kick, scratch, and bite, not only each other but I have been hit by a few myself and there is nothing that I can do. The thinking chair is a joke to these kids and now my boss is telling me just to get rid of it and redirect them. They have no respect for the materials or eachother and when I try to do some community building activities such as a good morning song, or just turn and say hello to the friend sitting next to you, they refuse and all hell brakes loose. I have students who refuse to sit down, clean up, etc when it is time, they do what they want, when they want and I have until mid January to turn it around or I am on my way to losing my job. My boss told me that they can't give me anymore suggestions because I need to pick one that they have given me, make it my own, and make it work. So basically I have no help and no one to model any of these strategies for me so I can see how it should be done. I just feel very alone. As a first (going on second) year teacher, I know that I am going to make mistakes, we all do, but they are not supporting me and giving me what I need to succeed either. Sorry that this is so long, I am just frusterated :( and really need to turn my classroom around so we all can have fun the way that Pre-k is supposed to be.
     
  5. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Dec 16, 2007

    I don't teach Pre - K, ,but I do know what it feels like to feel that you have lost control of the room in first grade.... maybe we can help you to try to turn things around.

    Unfortunately, your principal is not being very supportive. It's true that you do need to choose some suggestions, make them your own and give them a chance to take efffect after consistent implementation. But has your principal helped to brainstorm some suggestions with you? Have you come to him/her with some suggestions, or documentation of what you have tried?


    Make a list of the "leaders" of the strong personalities. (for yourself, not the students to see)
    *Have you spoken to their parents?
    *Have you asked the parents what works for them at home? *Have you developed a concrete plan with the parents of each of theses children of exactly which behaviors you will work to eliminate and how?

    You need to go to these parents with documentation of what is happening and a plan in place, in case they tell you they have no idea what you should do. These children need consequences, and consistent ones. Make sure they are developmentaly appropriate consequences and don't back down in front of the kids. (In my opinion, natural consequences are best, but perhaps other pre-K specialist are better equiped to give you advice on what type of cobsequences.)


    Once you have spoken to thwe parents about your new plan you need to walk into your classroom and tell theses children that today is the very first day of school (not in a threatebing way, in a nurturing, exciting way) and introduce everything - all the rules and routimes all over again. You need to tell them the rules and routines and you MUST administer those consequences that you discussed with parents as soon as the behabior warrants it. They must see you as serious about this. No second chances.

    Inform the principal about what your plans are. Sit down with your TA and tell her EXACTLY what her jobs will be. Is it to keep the kids quitre during circle time? Than you need to give her the authority, now, to adminster consequences (agreed upon consequences) when kids get out of hand. You don't have time to give her those instructions on the spur of the moment.

    I hope some of this helps. Let us know how it goes.
     
  6. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Dec 16, 2007

    Create a behavior plan for those students who are giving you the most trouble. Let them earn rewards based on their behavior--for example, if they come to the carpet and sit as they are supposed to for circle time, then they get.... (whatever option you have for rewards). The more consistent they get with that behavior, then you remove the reward and add an expectation. Should students do this without a reward? Yes. At this point, are they? No. It seems like there has been a lot of negative consequences for certain students, so they don't see the point in behaving, maybe if you try positive consequences, they will come around.
     
  7. Blanche

    Blanche Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2007

    I have talked to the parents and even invited them in to spend some time with their child in the classroom so what we are doing in school can be more consistant with what they do at home. I use a ton of positive reinforcment by pointing out good behaviors and really making a big deal of it when my few "toughies" are making good choices. I am not allowed to use rewards but I have tried using a "brag" sticker book for each of them which was working for a while and maybe will work again. You are both right that I need to give some of the suggestions that I am trying time to take effect. After a night sleep I think that what I will do is just start the activity at circle with the children who clean up first and are ready instead of singing lots of songs waiting for the others to finish picking up what they are playing with. That way the students who are attending will not have to wait and potentially cause problems because they have been there too long waiting. I also think that some of my transiition activities need some time to take effect because they are new and exciting, but the children need time to learn them as well. I am also only going to use a quick time out for those students who get out of control and are hitting, for the rest of them it is practice in using their words and redirection. I also think that if I give a few of my "toughies" special jobs in the classroom it will make them feel special and we can build up our relationship again. I have two girls in my class that I could put in charge of a few activities with some of my lower leveled students that would make them feel important and it would also be a huge help to me for them to be peer teachers with some simple things like colors and shapes. Thank you for all of your suggestions and for letting me verbally vomit my problem to all you. I feel much more confident than I did yesterday and I know that I can turn it around.
     
  8. coffee-queen

    coffee-queen Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2007

    let me know what eventually works for you! in reading your initial post it sounds like my kindergarten classroom to a T. it is also my second year teaching, and i've never felt so frustrated. at least you have someone in your room with you...i'm alone.
     

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