I can't do anything right

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by XFruitloopsrusX, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. XFruitloopsrusX

    XFruitloopsrusX Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2016

    Hi,

    I am first year teacher and today mark the one month mark of being in school. I teach Kindergarten and it's be hard for me. I have had students hit me throw things at me and call me names. I do my very best to remember each day is a new day.

    Lately I feel like I can not do anything right though. When I reach out for support for these students I feel like my collages are not helpful. When I remove violent or disrespectful students they come back and do it again. Out of my 18 I have three that are super challenging. I have tried communicating with parents, different seating, fidgets, time outs, loss of privilege, the power of choice. I've tried reasoning with them and and noticing when they are doing the right thing. Honestly I am at the end of my rope and my school frowns upon writing referrals. I have very serious injuries this year and I don't know what else to do.
    I cry everyday when I get home. I feel like I'm the one in trouble when I reach out for support which isn't easy for me to do. Every bit of feedback I get I take and implement ASAP if it's plausible. I know this horrible but I feel like I"m going crazy and I think there might be something wrong me because I'm so emotional. I feel like a horrible teacher and horrible person. I feel worse for breaking down. Honestly I am trying to get in to therapy because I feel I can't do anything right. I guess I'm venting or looking for interventions for behavior or something. Please help.

    Signed,

    Overwhelmed Kindergarten Teacher
     
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  3. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Oct 12, 2016

    You can do it
     
  4. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    Oct 12, 2016

    Oh wow. It does sound like you are struggling. I wish you had better support in person. I can't offer that, but here's just a few things from a former preschool, now early elementary teacher.

    Have you tried Dr. Jean/Jack Hartmann CDs? Most kids can't help but get into a fun song, and she has lots of songs for transitions too. Speaking of transitions, make EVERY transition engaging for awhile. Lining up at the door? Have a song, fingerplay or competition between boys and girls.

    Model, model, model. But I bet you already do that :)

    You can't have enough fingerplays! Kids are quiet and their hands are busy. Win-win!!!

    Make a short list of classroom rules that you all "agree" on. Post them in the room and read them every morning. Look up videos on youtube of whole brain teaching. They read rules with motions to go with them. I've always wanted to try that!

    This might be frowned upon at your school, but once with a really rowdy bunch of preschoolers I used to use gummy bears. When they sat on the carpet quietly for story, they got a gummy bear. You could do a Skittle or something too. Something tiny that's not too hard on your pocketbook or spoils the appetite.

    With your tough kiddos, have you ever read Teaching With Love and Logic? My favorite part is "getting them to fall in love with you." Basically, you tell them things you notice about them (NOT behavior, something like - I noticed you like dinosaurs, etc.) You do this every day and really start to build up a relationship with them. Also, try putting them in charge of something, like turning on the music or carrying your water bottle or something little like that.

    Google Social Stories. They are used in teaching kids on the autism spectrum, but they can be very helpful for difficult behavior cases and many times the whole class. Each morning, read the student their own personal story about how to sit in the classroom, keep hands to self, etc. These really do work. Use REAL pictures of the kiddos in your classroom in action.

    Also, focus on just ONE behavior you want to change. Sometimes its overwhelming to think "they talk too much, they can't keep their hands to themselves, they won't sit down, they don't do their work, etc, etc." Decide just ONE thing to work on at a time and really focus on that. Start with the dangerous behaviors first.

    OK, I hope that wasn't just a lot of mumbo jumbo that's not helpful. Classroom Management is something I am always learning. Those are just a few of the things off the top of my head. I know it must seem overwhelming, but like you said, every day is a new day. Keep at it!
     
  5. XFruitloopsrusX

    XFruitloopsrusX Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2016

    Thank you. Honestly this helped so much and makes me feel a little better walking in today. Safety and respect are my main concern with my group of students. I think will focus on safety for the next few days and work on changing that. This is not mombo jombo to me it's helpful and I am grateful you took the time to reply I think your reply can get me through the rest of this week. Thank you again
     
  6. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    You are welcome. I hope the rest of your week is better.
     
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 13, 2016

    I hope things get better!y

    What is the students' background like, generally speaking? How much practice are they getting at just learning the ways of the classroom? In that regard, focusing first on safety is sure the way to go.

    Good luck!
     
  8. XFruitloopsrusX

    XFruitloopsrusX Rookie

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    We have high poverty. Many families are not nuclear which is I am sure is typical more then half of my students only have one parents. 4 of them have restraining orders against one of their parents. Parents are generally no responsive when I speak with them. We spend a lot of time practicing expectations.
     
  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 13, 2016

    I know this is totally out of your power, but often in high poverty kids have not yet had the chance to learn social and play skills, thus making academic kindergarten a failure.
     
  10. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Oct 13, 2016

    I have some things you can try that I am currently implementing with my super challenging 1st grade class. I also work in a high poverty area with demographics pretty much the same as you've described.

    Things that help:

    Add as much structure as possible. Many, if not most of these students lack structure at home.
    Give students assigned places in line.
    Give students assigned seats on the carpet.
    Give students assigned seats at lunch.
    Give students assigned partners for activities like Think Pair Share.
    Stick to your routine/schedule as closely as possible every single day.

    Incentives:

    Table points for table groups working quietly, working together, cleaning their area the quickest, etc. I have a small treat jar that the winning table picks from at the end of the day.

    Individual sticker charts
    I give out stickers while students are working, when they are in the hallways, when I catch them doing sometiing good, etc. Once they fill up their chart they get treasure box or a happy visit with a teacher of their choice.

    Class Dojo
    This keeps parents in the loop and students like to compete against each other for points. Many days at dismissal I will hit the random button and if a student hasn't moved their clip that day, they get treasure box.

    Positive behavior clip chart. We have a school wide clip system based on social skills. If I notice a student isn't paying attention or following instructions I give them a warning. If it happens again, they move their clip to the social skill they need to work on. It's also an automatic 5 minutes of laps at recess every time they move their clip. Being able to implement this will totally depend on your school culture and your own personal feelings on clip charts.

    Building community/relationships:

    This is so important. I do Fun Friday every week at the end of the day with my kids as a way for them to let their hair down and have fun together. They get on the computers, do Just Dance, color and play games.

    Is my class perfect? Heck no. They are still a mess, despite all of this. But it's a work in progress and they are getting there.

    I hope this helps you a little. :)
     

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