How should 'non-core' teachers handle behaviour issues?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ash Inc, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Ash Inc

    Ash Inc Rookie

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

    Nov 25, 2013

    I know I worded the topic a little awkwardly,but what I was wondering is how do you handle behaviours in classes when you are not the "core" or "regular" teacher for that class?
    For example, if you are a French teacher or music teacher that moves around from class to class each period. I recently started teaching music at a new school, so I'm in a lot of different classes. While the majority of students I teach are well behaved, there's always a few in each class that can be a handful. I'm finding it a bit challenging to curb some of these behaviours because I'm only there for a period at a time. It's not like I can take away something like centre time or free time later in the day. And since I'm only there for a period, I can tell that the students get more chatty and off task with me than they would with their regular teacher.

    I like to think I'm pretty firm and consistent with my rules/expectations. I try to nip things right away (ie. send someone to their seat if they are talking while at the carpet), but a lot don't always care about things like that. If a student is having a particularly rough period I'll write a note in the agenda, but it doesn't seem to do much to stop the behaviour.

    So I was just wondering if there's any little tricks that others in this position have found useful? I realize that it may be one of those situations where kids are going to be a bit more difficult, sort of like when there's a supply. But I'd really like to get these little problems under control, especially since music can be very fun when the kids are behaved, but also very challenging when they aren't. Thanks!
     
  2.  
  3. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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

    Nov 26, 2013

    I am a core teacher, but there are several non core teachers (ie: SpEd, ESOL, lunch monitors, etc) who work with my class. What they do is keep me posted on my student's behavior and leave the disciplining to me. For instance when i pick the kids up front lunch and little Timmy was throwing food, so the monitor tells me and i reprimand Timmy by taking some of his recess time, or send a note home to his parents, loss of privilege, etc.

    I think getting the core teacher on board with you is one of the best options. Aside from that i might consider taking away from some of your lesson. Like when my class acted up the P.E. teachers don't let them do Free Play Friday, instead they run laps. In music they watch a video and play with instruments as a "treat". When they act up with the music teacher, he takes those things away and they "just sing". Maybe there's something like that you can do?

    Also calling parents is always an option. Usually there are only a few knuckleheads who rile up the group and get everyone off task. If you can identify them and squash their misbehaviors by calling home the others might fall in line.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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

    Nov 26, 2013

    I'm a high school math teacher. Like you, I see my kids for only one period a day.

    That doesn't matter. For those 38 minutes, I'm their teacher.

    I think that the most important thing you need to do is get that idea into your head and theirs. You're not a "non-core teacher"-- you're their teacher, and they WILL respect and obey you.
     
  5. LinguaTutor

    LinguaTutor Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    Very well said Aliceacc. Although you are not the core teacher for the class, you still need to show them who's boss. Most important thing is to not take rubbish from students. It's easier said than done, but just use your strictness and your already existing rules with your other classes.

    You should go in there and show them what YOUR expectations are instead of their previous teacher.

    Worst comes to worst, just threaten them with marks. I know it's not a "good" or "ethical" way of doing this, but some teachers have done it and it works for them. I know a teacher that actually threatened to drop his students' mark 1 percent a day if they misbehaved. Sure 1 percent a day isn't much, but in the long run it can be more than expected. Not sure how the parents reacted nor what kind of misbehaviour that can provoke that, but according to him it worked like a charm.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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

    Nov 27, 2013

    I think the leverage a high school teacher has during one period is radically different than an Art teacher has with an elementary school class.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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

    Nov 27, 2013

    In my "past life" as a special ed teacher, you'd better believe I'd call parents or impose other appropriate consequences as needed, whether a kid was on my caseload or not. If I interact with them as a teacher, then they will respect me. Going to the classroom teacher is an option, but it should be a last resort. If you go to the classroom teacher, then you're acknowledging yourself as subordinate to them, which you absolutely are not.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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

    Nov 27, 2013

    Also, my entire class instantly ends up showing less respect to a teacher that comes to me. Now, if a teacher comes to me with a behavior issue, you'd better believe the kids fix that behavior... but their effort drops, and you can almost hear the attitude change. They start treating the teacher like an aide, and like they only have power because I gave it to them. We go to a librarian, an art teacher, a music teacher, and two different PE teachers... the only one that faces any disrespect is the PE teacher that came to me about behavior issues. The kids listen to him, but the effort just isn't there. Going to the classroom teacher should truly be a "last resort," because it will cost you.
     
  9. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    2

    Nov 27, 2013

    I would definitely communicate with the classroom teacher about what works as far as behavior in the classroom, especially with the very difficult students. It's possible they may have their own behavior plans and obviously things will flow much more smoothly if you follow a similar or the exact system. But of course you can't change your behavior system/modification to meet each class you work with. I would have brief discussions with each teacher and come up with something that will work for you and your subject and is somewhat close to what most other teachers in the school are doing.

    I would avoid just reporting all behaviors back to the classroom teacher. Then the students get the idea that you aren't going to discipline them and you aren't completely in charge. Sort of like the mother who just reports all the kids' misbehavior to the father. I just don't think that works. And as a classroom teacher when I return to the classroom after prep I don't want to have to deal with reprimanding the 5 who acted up in music. I'd much rather the teacher just slips me a note or mentions that so and so had to be reprimanded if it was something major I should know about. If it's little things that you wouldn't bother reporting the child's parent than I don't really need to hear them either.
     
  10. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 28, 2013


    I call that outsourcing your discipline. But I will have to disagree to a certain extent about coming to the classroom teacher as a last resort. There should be constant communication between the PE teacher and the classroom teacher if there are behavior problems. If this is elementary, the classroom teacher needs to be involved to ensure the consequences are carried out.

    If I was the PE teacher, I'd first set the boundaries and exert my presence as someone who is fully capable of dishing the same consequences as their classroom teacher. But in actuality, we know the PE teacher cannot keep the same level of check on the student since he/she only sees the student for an insignificant portion of the day. Hence, the classroom teacher needs to reinforce any consequences given by the PE teacher and remind the student the PE teacher is an extension of the actual classroom in that the same behavior is expected and the same consequences will be carried out.

    Often times students see different environments as having different rules and expectations (classroom, library, computer lab, PE, etc.). But they need to understand the classroom rules are actually a general guideline of how they should behave regardless of where they are. And in order for this to happen, there should be consistency. Classroom teachers shouldn't also in essence be offloading their students to the PE teacher and say "Deal with it unless I'm a last resort."
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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

    Nov 28, 2013

    You expressed that far better than I did.

    I very firmly believe that there's only so much authority in the world. Every single time you give some of yours away, that's a bit less you have for yourself.

    The kids should not be behaving because the classroom teacher told them to. They should behave because YOU told them to.
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Nov 28, 2013

    It's difficult. Many such teachers teach hundreds of students a week. Think about that for a moment. Teaching six-hundred students a week. Every kid in the school. Every grade level and ability level. And usually while the aids for the youngest and special needs students remain in the regular classrooms to cut crap out and stuff folders. And educators can do a horrible job of communicating important things. Um, it's important to pass along to the music teacher that Kayianna's father just died! Or Caleb's meds have changed. Or that Brandon and Landon physically fought yesterday. But, yeah...

    If you use a consequence such as losing the use of jump ropes next class because of inappropriate use, that student may not see you for a week...or in some schools with different rotations, a month or more! If the music teacher takes away an instrument because of improper banging or whatever, now the student can't work toward mastering the standard. It's common for many teachers to take recess minutes away or make them walk during recess depending upon regulations. Nope. Not an option for all teachers. It. Is. Complicated. If you struggle with classroom management in general, do not teach in a "non-core" class. Please. I say this in general, not to you, OP. :)

    To help:

    DO talk to the teachers and feel them out. Some teachers want to know about behavior issues. Others do not. You'll learn quickly.

    Incentives. For each class, make a chart award the class a letter for each overall good day. When the class spells MUSIC or whatever, they get a free choice day perhaps. If you see them once a week, this equates to one or two per quarter with perfect behavior.

    Call home.

    But, really, it's mostly matter of just managing a classroom effectively. Have good plans, engaging activities, lots of praise, be proactive, etc.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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

    Nov 28, 2013

    I think you may have misunderstood. Specials teachers know my classroom management system and are welcome to participate in it. That only makes sense. However, if a PE teacher comes to me and says, "I can't handle Billy, can you make Billy listen?," then yes, Billy will start listening, but he'll be listening because I told him to, not because a PE teacher told him to. If the PE teacher is having difficulty, it should be HIM calling home, it should be him telling him to do laps at recess, it should be him taking away a letter... and then him telling me, "I had to take a letter from Billy," etc.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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

    Nov 29, 2013

    My kids only have me for 45 minutes a day. In addition to that they're in small groups, which makes the environment already seem more "relaxed." I've seen other intervention teachers in the past send kids back to class if they can't behave in small group. I think that's an absolutely horrible idea. The message you're sending to the kid is that you can't handle them but their "real teacher" can. I make every effort to communicate to my kids that my class is a class just like any other. I have my own classroom management system which includes rewards and consequences. Every reward or consequence is something that I can do in my own class- not something that I'm putting back on the classroom teacher to deal with. For example, at my school we have "tiger paw" charts for PBIS. Rather than telling the kid's teacher that they earned a sticker for the tiger paw in their classroom, I put up my own tiger paw charts just for my class. If kids earn a sticker in my class, they put it up in my class. If I have a more serious issue I'll make sure the classroom teacher is aware of it, but I don't ask her to deal with it. For example, I had a 4th grade student last week who was using her ipad (all kids have them in my school) to videotape me teaching for a good 10 minutes. I handled it myself but warned the classroom teacher about what she was doing so she could look out for her possibly doing that in the regular ed room as well.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. waterfall,
  2. bella84,
  3. multiplicity,
  4. Ima Teacher,
  5. Backroads
Total: 392 (members: 12, guests: 360, robots: 20)
test