How important is student behavior...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherguy111, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    31

    Feb 21, 2014

    How important is student behavior as it relates to how happy you are in your job?
    I have overall well behaved students at my school. I rarely have to discipline the students in a drastic way. The school is a pretty far drive ....but I think it might be worth it to have students that behave well and overall do their work.

    How important is student behavior to job satisfaction for you guys?
     
  2.  
  3. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Messages:
    899
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 21, 2014

    Student behavior is 90% of what is currently making me strongly dislike my job. When I say student behavior, I am using it to encompass not only traditional misbehavior, but overall attitude toward learning and toward me/my class.
     
  4. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Feb 21, 2014

    I agree with this. Several years ago I had a very difficult class. I didn't really realize it until the following year when I had the new class and it felt like I wasn't even working. Things were just so much smoother and easier.

    Classroom management and environment is so important. The more I teach the more I realize that instructional strategies and activities take a backseat to student self esteem, classroom environment, and classroom management.
     
  5. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    31

    Feb 21, 2014

    As I think about looking closer to home…. maybe the extra gas is worth being pretty happy overall.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    572

    Feb 21, 2014

    I think student behavior and admin support are equally important to my happiness at a school. If I have awesome, wonderfully behaved students I am so much happier for sure. But if I have challenging students with an administration that fully supports me, I can be really happy too.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    1,146

    Feb 21, 2014

    I think student behavior can be part of teacher's happiness, but you can't let teenagers define your happiness, or make you choose where you work.
    Yes, ideally the students are awesome, and life is good. But what happens if you work at a rough school, does it mean you'll be unhappy? No.

    The way I look at it is what defines my happiness is if I'm handling my business. If the students are having a rough day or rough week (or even just a few of them here and there, but are very explosive, or manipulative or annoying) I am still happy if I'm holding them accountable, trying to work with them and providing consequences.
    What will make me unhappy is if I get frustrated and they see it (and things get worse) or if I'm letting them get away with things and then I'm seen as a pushover (that's the worse, I hate that feeling), or that I'm starting to feel that maybe admin is looking at me for not handling it.

    I feel that I'm in total control of my happiness and students do not a make it or break it for me.
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    17

    Feb 21, 2014

    It's the main stress of my job and 100% of the reason why I am unhappy.

    I often hear teachers say, "I love my students, but I hate all the paperwork, writing lessons, dealing with parents, Admin, the emphasis on testing, the common core - but, yeah, I enjoy the kids." Honestly, all those things wouldn't bother me if I had well-behaved kids that were enjoyable. It's a daily struggle for me; the daily disrespect, academic apathy, hostile attitudes and similar behaviors make me dislike my job. I spend 90% of my day dealing with the students and they are my major stress - everything else I could deal with/ignore.
     
  9. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Feb 21, 2014

    If I were asked to rank my years teaching from best to worst, I could do so in a heartbeat, and it would be almost entirely based on which students I had that year.
     
  10. Ash Inc

    Ash Inc Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 21, 2014

    To me, student behaviour is a large component of how much I enjoy going to work.

    I could be teaching my favourite subject to my favourite grade level, but if the students are constantly misbehaving, being rude, not doing their work, etc. then I know I won't enjoy it nearly as much as I could.

    I'm currently a specialist teacher, so I teach several different classes a day. There's some classes that have very well behaved students, and I genuinely enjoy my time there and look forward to doing those lessons.
    However, there's also a few very challenging classes. There's days where I find myself dreading doing my lessons with them because I know I will probably spend a large portion of the time dealing with disruptions, defiance, outbursts, etc.

    I think in general it's hard to have a high moral in any type of environment where you don't feel respected or appreciated.
     
  11. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    143

    Feb 21, 2014

    My $.02...most people in this career love to teach. That's what they "signed up for". However, a significant % of people do not like "herding squirrels" or "classroom management" or whatever.

    Student behavior determines whether one spends one's time teaching or managing. If you like teaching, you abhor poor student behavior. If you like managing, you are comfortable with it.

    My daughter in law taught for 2 years and gave it up. She was honest with herself and realized she wasn't able or willing to do the things necessary to manage the classroom. She wanted to teach only. I respect her decision because it was an honest one. I admit, I love teaching. I do classroom management because I have to. It is not something I enjoy.
     
  12. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    17

    Feb 21, 2014

    Exactly. This is exactly how I feel and why I detest classroom management.:thumb::thumb:
     
  13. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    572

    Feb 21, 2014

    Things that make my working day easier add to my happiness. Working technology, interruption-free class periods and yes, well-behaved students all make my day run more smoothly. Which means less frustration. Which in turn means more happiness.
     
  14. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    3

    Feb 21, 2014

    For me, poor student behavior is the sort of thing that can cause me the most stress and displeasure at work. Right now I am fortunate to work somewhere where student behavior is pretty good, but I have also worked where it was horrible.
     
  15. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 21, 2014

    Those who are actually teaching understand that you can't separate "teaching" from "classroom management."

    They're inextricably connected. This weird dichotomy of "I'm either managing or I'm teaching" doesn't really exist.
     
  16. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    1,146

    Feb 21, 2014

    My thoughts about classroom management:
    1. you can detest it or hate it but you gotta be able to do it.
    2. no, you can't really teach while you're managing the classroom, but that's only if you are reacting, disciplining or handling issues that already arose.
    3. great classroom management cannot be seen. It is done while you're teaching, it's sort of invisible and it just looks like you have super wonderful students, because you don't have to handle anything. What is not showing is the all the work you put in enforcing everything and make sure they know you mean business.
    This is why it's not helpful to observe a classroom where there is an excellent teacher, there is really nothing to see. Maybe if you observe this teacher on the 1st 3 days of school, you can see everything that it takes to set up the management system. However, you can also learn from a teacher who has a really bad class, you can see some things that are handled well, and some things that are not. It can be an eye opener.
     
  17. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 22, 2014

    I agree with everything you've written except #2: my teaching IS classroom management. Developing engaging curriculum and lessons, building relationships with students, and setting clear expectations for the classroom improve both the students' academic performance and classroom behavior. There's not a moment that I'm not both teaching and managing my classroom during the day.

    I also agree with the idea that good classroom management looks like you just have "easy" kids when peers come in to observe/ask about discipline problems you should be having. However, it's easier for teachers who struggle with classroom management to look enviously at "the composition of your students" (an external attribution for someone else doing well; 'you got lucky') than address the flaws in their own management (an internal attribution for not doing well yourself; 'I'm just unlucky with the kids I've gotten').
     
  18. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    66

    Feb 22, 2014

    I don't think that there has to be two separate categories. I consider both to be part if my job, and an important part. I like both, and feel like they're almost enmeshed with each other most of the time.
     
  19. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    143

    Feb 22, 2014

    I am aware that you are framing your response in the context of your own experiences but to state things in absolutes or with such certainty makes me think that you are relatively young and/or inexperienced.

    I teach in a small rural school. I teach math from special ed classes to the highest level offered in our school. I also teach algebra 2.

    In my senior level and sped classes I rarely have more than 12 kids. I spend my time teaching content and helping students learn. Maybe 1% of my time and energy goes towards classroom management because the kids don't demand or require it.

    Contrast that with a 'normal' algebra 2 with 25-30 students in it. A heck of a lot more effort/energy/time is spent dealing with management issues. Why? Because those kids require it of me AND the consequences available are not a sufficient deterrent (grades, ISS, detention, etc.) to a certain % of these kids. So I deal with management issues because I do understand it is necessary. Do I enjoy it? Not really. The classes where I spend this energy aren't as enjoyable to me as the other ones I mentioned. Interestingly enough, the students themselves also see the difference (and comment on it). I tend to behave differently with each group and its in accordance with the teaching/management ratio that each group requires.

    So I disagree with your last statement because that doesn't align with the realities that I have experienced. I also disagree with the idea that you or anyone else could or would speak in absolute terms on this board. I have come to believe that each of us has a unique situation depending on geography, admin, student body, etc. I read this board to gather ideas/ share strategies/etc. but I struggle to take any post seriously whenever I encounter dogma. Just my $.02 again. ymmv.
     
  20. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 22, 2014

    The fact that you think that the way you teach content has no impact on classroom management makes me think that you are either young or very inexperienced.

    The fact that you think that the way you handle classroom management issues has no impact on academic performance makes me think that you are either young or very inexperienced.

    It would appear that you have a very fixed, narrow conception of both of those facets of education and their intersection. Instead of ranting against what you're perceiving as absolutes, perhaps some more reflection on your behalf is in order?
     
  21. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    143

    Feb 22, 2014

    here again...perhaps you are right. Perhaps you are not...how can you be certain that maybe you don't require more reflection. again, I begrudgingly admire your dogma.

    If you read my post as a rant then we are failing to communicate. i'm out. peace.
     
  22. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 22, 2014

    All I do, all day, is teach. I'm just not naive enough to think that classroom management and academic content acquisition are discrete and able to be separated.
     
  23. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,293
    Likes Received:
    867

    Feb 22, 2014

    I think his point is that classroom management is much different with different groups of kids. Classroom management and academic content are tied, but with some groups, the connection is much looser than with other groups. My class this year does not require the type of conscious classroom management that last year's class did. A high school calculus class would not require the type of conscious classroom management that a 9th grade algebra I class would.
     
  24. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    143

    Feb 22, 2014

    very well put. thank you. so, at the end of the day, do you enjoy teaching this year's class more than last year's class?

    I don't believe there is a correct answer here btw. Some of us dislike (or have 'less enjoyment") when we are forced to consciously use or rely on our management skills more. Others don't notice or report a difference or may be in situations where the level of management is a constant so they have no framework for comparison. Just curious what your take would be on my (and the OP's) question.
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,293
    Likes Received:
    867

    Feb 22, 2014

    I like both classes for different reasons. This group is able to do more independent work, but requires a lot more differentiation (I have kids working anywhere from third to ninth grade reading levels... I've actually had to go all the way up to seventh grade math in a couple units to find appropriate material for a couple of my boys). Last year's group made me want to rip my hair out at times, but they could always make me laugh.
     
  26. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 22, 2014

    I can handle the usual day to day stuff (teasing, not doing your work, playing in the bathroom, etc) but when I have children who despite all my best efforts, interventions and patience, are NOT improving behaviorally, it frustrates me and does effect my job satisfaction.

    Two years ago, I had three children who were like that. Some of you may recall that one of them sexually harassed a girl in my class from October until June. He would also talk to others about sexual things in unsupervised areas (like the bathroom) or whenever the teacher wasn't looking, so I received daily complaints from parents. The P and VP intervened, calls were made to CPS, we had numerous parent-teacher conferences but nothing helped.

    The second child had anger issues and would kick other children in the face, throw chairs, etc. I did my best to be patient and work with him, but by March I was honestly fed up because he continued to get worse and worse.

    Several parents complained about him and wanted him removed from my classroom or their children moved. The P refused, so all year I had to listen to parent complaints about something out of my control.

    The third child had several undiagnosed mental disorders and Mom spent the first half of the school year trying to convince herself and anyone who would listen that I was the problem. When she finally got him help, it took the rest of the school year to figure out the right combination of meds and therapy, so I struggled to deal with his extreme mood swings, never knowing if he was going to cry uncontrollably for 2 hours, run around the classroom, have to be carried from the playground to my classroom kicking and screaming because recess was over, etc.

    It was emotionally and physically exhausting and if I had had another year like that I probably would have quit teaching
     
  27. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 22, 2014

    I've also had some extreme behavior cases. The funny thing is that these kids are typically never absent. They are in school every day and rarely get sick. That's the hard part. There is never a break.

    My students are working on behavior and academics simultaneously. It's a given with the population I teach. I've had some rough years and hard behaviors. When we have the 100th day of school awards and students are recognized for attendance - we all laugh when the kids with the toughest behaviors get the certificates and lunch with the principal.
     
  28. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,293
    Likes Received:
    867

    Feb 22, 2014

    Isn't that the truth... the only time a behavior issue ever misses is if they are suspended.
     
  29. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 22, 2014

    You'll also find that these students are the ones that ALWAYS want to stop by your classroom the following year/run to you for a big hug.

    It's like they have no memory of how much of a pain they were in your class, especially the student I mentioned who had anger issues.

    When he saw me, he literally ran down the hall screaming my name and almost knocked me over hugging me and jumping up and down.

    Never mind that when he was mad at me for asking him to move his color, he grabbed my arm tightly and threw himself in the opposite direction nearly wrenching it out the socket. :mad:
     
  30. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    1,146

    Feb 22, 2014

    With #2 I meant the times you have to spend dealing with student behavior, in a way that stops you from teaching. When I have a kid who is repeatedly disruptive, I'm giving him warnings, then the consequence, but other kids are feeding off of him and I have to deal with that. That is time not spent on teaching, but only reacting to and trying to correct student behavior. That's what you don't want to get to, but if you do, you gotta handle it.

    The teaching and handling classroom management at the same time looks like for example during direct teaching, when students are supposed to take notes, some of off task or talking you use proximity and non-verbal reminders for them to get on task: that is teaching not interrupted by classroom management.

    Also lesson design is also a type of management. I know that taking notes and direct teaching will make them busy and more quiet and more focused, and group work can fall apart with some, or require more from my part.
     
  31. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,019
    Likes Received:
    879

    Feb 22, 2014

    To me, student behavior is very closely tied to job satisfaction. Like others have said though, a supportive administration can make all of the difference. I also find that teachers each have their own strengths and what really bothers one teacher will not bother another. For example, I have all of the patience in the world with low academic students, but really intense behaviors absolutely drive me crazy. I've worked with teachers who are just the opposite. They don't mind the management but re-teaching concepts over and over to low academic students drives them crazy. That's why it's important to find a school that fits your strengths/needs.

    I taught in an inner city school last year where behavior was completely out of control and there was NO support from admin. We were not allowed to send students out of the classroom for any reason. The admins said that they were not going to "take away our power as teachers" by dealing with behavior issues in the office. We were not allowed to take away recess, special events, or any other privileges. We could do rewards, but only whole-class. So the few kids that were constantly misbehaving always ruined it for the kids who were always good. The only thing we were allowed to do was call parents, which was extremely frustrating because most parents either didn't care (they didn't see the behavior as a problem) or agreed with me that it was unacceptable but didn't know what to do about it at home to fix it. I lucked out in that I happened to probably have the best behaved class in the building. I don't know if there was something in the water that year or what, but everyone said that the 3rd grade group we had that year was the best group of kids the school had ever seen. The specials teachers would even talk about how much they looked forward to our grade level coming to specials. Even then, I felt I had to be extremely strict all year. I couldn't do many "fun" activities because my class couldn't handle it. I had one student who was identified as EBD who would literally scream at the top of her lungs for hours on end, throw things around the room, knock over desks, dance around me while I was teaching, run in and out of the room, etc. and I was just expected to teach with all of this going on. The only thing I could do was call her mother, who was supportive but couldn't control the kid either. She moved in late fall- honestly I don't know if I would have made it through the year if that hadn't have happened. Meanwhile, other grade levels had at least 5-6 students in every class that were like her, with most of the other students being apathetic at best. In our 5th grade classes, every minute of every day was full of kids cussing the teacher out, throwing things, and being extremely violent towards each other. Ambulances were called on a weekly basis. I honestly cannot fathom how people continue to teach in that environment.
     
  32. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 22, 2014

    Like Em, I am able to deal with little day to day behavior problems without letting it affect my mood. I can make light of the situation, deal with it, and we move on. Then again, I don't have major behavior problems or issues with my students. Just normal kid stuff.

    When I have faced it, I have felt frustrated. Not unhappy or anything like that, just frustrated. That feeling turns out to be a great thing because it motivates me to dig deeper and find a solution. I love the challenge.

    Now, if I had 20/25 kids, all misbehaving... I'm not sure. I've never experienced it. I assume I'd still be happy, just more stressed. I am pretty good with classroom management though. I'd like to think that's why I've been lucky.

    Right now I am more than satisfied with my job. How the students behave wouldn't make me love it any less.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. waterfall,
  2. nstructor,
  3. bella84,
  4. multiplicity,
  5. Ima Teacher,
  6. Backroads
Total: 415 (members: 11, guests: 387, robots: 17)
test