HELP! I've lost control!!!

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Lisajmy, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Lisajmy

    Lisajmy Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2005

    :eek: We've been in school since July 13th (year around school). The first six weeks went well, the past two weeks have been crazy!!! I have 21 kids, no assistant and very little family involvement (about 4 families out of the 21).....I'm a mid life career changer and this is my first year teaching :eek:

    They're loud, they've stopped listening and can't stay in their seats. Where have I gone wrong??? I take away center time, send them to the "quiet zone" and with hold treasure chest.

    This week has been horrible because I've been yelling so that I'm heard above the sound of disorder! I can't do that anymore, I get so unhappy with myself and feel like a very bad teacher. Any ideas on how I can regain the control that I've lost?

    Thanks so much - you guys are the best!!!!

    Lisa
     
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  3. MR ARMS PKTEACH

    MR ARMS PKTEACH Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2005

    Well, sounds like you need to start taking recess/outside time. Have them do tasks - I have papers in a folder I call tasks and I have written on them things like "I will help others.", "I will share.", "I will speak nicely.", "I will not hurt others." and when they break a rule, they do a task, they don't do a task then they go to In School Suspenson. Am I mean? No, I taught at an at-risk elementary school. I did not let them get away with anything. Don't let them walk all over you.
     
  4. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Sep 15, 2005

    First thing to do - develop a quiet signal so that you don't have to yell. I turn off the lights and have the kids put touch their heads. That way, I know they're not playing with toys or holding a book, etc., and they are really LISTENING. Practice this a zillion times. Turn off the lights at times other than clean-up, just to get them used to freezing and listening. Other teachers in my school have a bell or a special song that means freeze, but, in my case, turning off the lights is very effective.

    Now is the time for a thorough review of the rules. Read the kids the book MISS NELSON IS MISSING as a start for that discussion. If you haven't done so, develop (with the kids) a class set of rules. Use lots of positive reinforcement for those that ARE listening, even if it means an m&m to those doing a good job. Whatever it takes to get the others to really notice they are missing out.

    There is another post here to review that's titled "How do you enforce your rules?" or something similar. I replied to that with a detailed description of my stoplight system. It's really, really effective. Read that and see what I'm talking about.
    Kim
     
  5. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    Sep 15, 2005

    I tell the kids they are wasting our time and we will make it up during recess early on and I just stop and start watching the clock. Someone always notices and will say "She's watching the clock!" Those minutes are spent inside while the other classes go out. Yes, it does take away from my prep, but I have found it to work. The time they miss is spent with their heads on their desk and I talk quietly about why they are inside and I say think about what you can do differently. If it happens after recess, I take away time from their 15 minute free time at the end of the day.
     
  6. Tbug

    Tbug Companion

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    Sep 15, 2005

    I also use the clock...if their very noisy and slow getting ready for something, I say something like - "That's one minute it's taking us to get ready. That's one minute off recess (or off a fun activity or game)." Keep counting the minutes until they're completely ready. Sometimes it's hard being tough with the little ones but they need it.
     
  7. mccwen

    mccwen Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2005

    If you feel it has gotten that far out of control I would stop teaching my regular lessons and go back to what you do at the beginning of the school year. Step by step directions, constantly reminding them of what you expect, and maybe even look into doing some character lessons on respect and responsibilty. Just an idea.
     
  8. Miss Nelson

    Miss Nelson Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2005

    I agree. I would go back to teaching routines and procedures until the class is ready to move on. I moved into curiculum too early last year and I had the year from hell. This year I am spending the first weeks of school on routines ( this is the second week of kindergarten). I am adding some curriculum this week ( phonemic awareness and learn to read), but still reminding them how to sit on the rug, raise a silent hand, walk in the hall etc...
     
  9. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Sep 20, 2005

    Go back to basics like all previous posts have suggested.

    Tell them you want to help them earn a reward. Popsicles perhaps? Let them know you're there to help them (you're not viewed as the bad guy here). Start from the beginning-again.

    Come up with a signal to get their attention.
    A signal to get them to clean-up,
    to line up,
    to go the restroom,
    to get a tissue,
    to get a drink,
    and on,
    and on,
    and on.

    You have to have a system for everything no matter how basic it seems to you- it's the foundation of your entire success in getting these kiddos to learn.

    Do you have a mentor to talk with? Promise yourself you won't raise your voice again to get their attention. That's my promise to myself- I actually have never "yelled" or raised my voice to the level of out of control. Save your sanity and your vocal chords.

    Sprinkle in some treats here and there to get their attention- I know you're using treasure chest, but how well are they really earning it? I find myself reviewing procedures daily. Even when I feel I can't say it again, I do. Don't be afraid to reinforce your expectations over and over and over......

    Good luck.
     

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