I can't take it anymore- anyone have similar experiences or advice?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by giraffe326, Oct 2, 2014.

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  1. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 4, 2014

    Considering how notorious this group of students is, and also considering you've been told they appear to be showing at least minimal signs of improvement, I highly doubt you would be non-renewed. I'm having a rougher than average group this year and went on a rant yesterday against harmful gossiping and bullying, but I can MUTE THE KIDS when I want, and can even kick them out of my live sessions without incident. I'm sorry you don't have such a calming option.
     
  2. lindita323

    lindita323 Companion

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    Oct 4, 2014

    In the beginning of the year, I get permission from parents to text them when needed. I find I get much more immediate response from a text than a phone call to the home. During class if a student is disrupting the learning process, I text immediately and ask the parent to call asap to give their kids a pep talk. I have had really good response with this, the parents I am working with this year call right back. For parents who don't have texting options, I have the kid call home either during specials or during lunch.
     
  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 4, 2014

    That's a bummer. Maybe use your cell-phone?

    The calling strategy our PE teachers use, and the one I am trying to adapt for use in my classroom is to immediately have the student call home in class. They simply tell them to "dial their parents", and they continue teaching, as the student calls home, explains the situation to the parents and holds the phone until the teacher has enough time to get to the phone and have a conversation.

    During the conversation, the teacher simply asks if the student explained the situation, summarizes what happened in class, and then suggests a solution (I usually say lunch-time practice to practice whatever skill the student is deficient in, i.e. not talking in class during instruction, not getting out of their seat).

    Go Blue is right that you shouldn't just call parents and expect them to come up with the solutions. They probably don't know what to do with their child, because it's likely something that has occurred for a long time with nothing that worked. But you can call them to simply inform them of what has happened, and to suggest your own solutions.

    In addition, I think Go Blue is also right that you don't want to over do it with phone calls. If behavior doesn't improve after one or two phone calls in a short period of time, I would ask the parent if we could move to emails, which are quicker and save time in class, and suggest a more intensive solution to enact in class (i.e. loses all privileges of fun activities until they prove to you they can handle them while following the rules).

    I think starting with phone calls is better because when it happens immediately in class, the other students see that student being held accountable, and the student has to deal with a parent lecture in class in front of all of the other kids. It's not to embarrass them, but it's definitely not a good feeling. Emails become your responsibility to send, and it's just more work for you, and the kid doesn't really experience that consequence as much (which is why they occur after phone calls don't work, merely for the purpose of informing parents of progress). Also in my experience, parents tend to ignore emails.

    These are just some ideas that I'm trying to do in class lately, and that have worked in our PE department.
     
  4. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2014

    Why aren't you teaching? Are you a dean? I would have a quiet sit-down with each individual and explain what the consequences will be: YOU WILL BE HELD BACK AND HAVE TO REPEAT SIXTH GRADE if this behavior does not stop.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 7, 2014

    She's a classroom teacher, but can't teach because the behaviors are so bad that no learning takes place.
     
  6. Ponypal

    Ponypal Comrade

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    Oct 8, 2014

    I feel your pain every day. I hope that something changes for you. This is my 17th year of teaching, 13th in public school. As you said, it's only the beginning and it's awful. My boys are terrors this year. I don't have administrator support either and parents have free reign to treat us like trash.

    One thing that I have had to do this year every time a situation arises is to stop whatever it is that we are doing and bring the class to the carpet, address the situation and do a mini lesson on what behavior I am expecting. I have made them repeat my expectations and I follow up with what will happen if this simple direction is not met. I can then continue with the lesson having covered the problematic issue. I have had to do tons of "if your name is on your paper then raise your hand. Look around your table to see that everyone has followed directions. " I am noticing that the students don't want to be the only one not raising their hand or be caught by a peer.

    Would it work in your class to pair up your model students with those who need guidance to keep them on task? Take some of the pressure off of you?

    I wish you the best!
     
  7. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Oct 8, 2014

    What about extra work? I know that you can't take away recess, but what about them missing recess if they have to complete work that was assigned the previous day?

    Maybe pick a page and for every time that student causes a distraction, add a problem that they have to solve for homework. It becomes homework, and can count with whatever other homework they have. Then, if they don't get it completed, they may have to stay in during recess (or whatever time you may have) and have them do it.

    I'm sure you've done this, or something similar, but what about doing your best to keep them totally away from their peers? Have their desk completely by themselves.

    Another thing that I've been trying is something called "Blurt Alert" cards. They are little cards that I pass out when kids are talking or being a distraction. Three cards means they clip down in my 4th grade class. That means they lose some recess, and I don't have to stop my instruction. I just set it on their desk and keep right on teaching.

    If you decide to give them extra work, then each card they get is another problem they have to do. Just an idea.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 8, 2014

    I currently have 370 missing math assignments. 350 come from 12 kids. Did you guess that they are my behavior problems? If you did, you'd be correct! So extra work will not help, I'm afraid. Thanks, though.

    I've done a blurt chart in the past. This is beyond blurting. Plus I can't take away anything- recess, specials, nothing. I have 0 power. This is the biggest problem. If I had the power to give consequences, I feel like I'd have better control.
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 8, 2014

    They are already seated that way. Most of the 'good' kids are average kids who are swayed by the 'bad' kids. I only have a few (4-5) truly 'good' kids in each room. :(
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 8, 2014

    A couple facts:

    -I have 'double' desks. So I cannot put them in single rows. The desks are currently in rows, but of course, they are still next to their desk mate. I have 3 single desks that are utilized!

    -My good kids are fed up with the others. They've dealt with them for years and they are over it. They beg me to send the other kids out. Breaks my heart.
     
  11. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Oct 8, 2014

    You're making me so sad for you! I cannot imagine how frustrating this must be!!!!!! I know it's time consuming, but maybe give each of them a behavior chart and mark it each day for their parents to see?

    Or how about a sticker chart, and when they get 15 stickers or something (after being good in your class the whole day they get one), then they can participate in some type of reward or something? Maybe make them write an apology letter? (I am not sure how you would make them, since there is no real consequence...)

    Tell them if they refuse to write it, that you will call home. I don't know if that would help...
     
  12. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 8, 2014

    Slight update:
    I decided that I was going to pick one rule/routine/procedure to focus on each week. We were going to practice, practice, practice and they would have to copy the procedure 5x for homework if they do it incorrectly. My first routine- entering the classroom. I have had several who had to copy it. I saw some improvement today. Hopefully we will get there. (Of course the improvement only lasted during morning work, but, hey, it was something.)

    Today my morning class was the worst they've ever been. When I got my afternoon class I told them over and over "We're going to have a great day!" Their compliance lasted 30 minutes. 30 minutes is better than nothing. I knew a few of them were making simple mistakes on their homework from the night before, so I made sure to work with them a little. Today was literally the first time I sat down next to a student and explained something all year. The rest of the room was in chaos. My P walked in. She didn't say anything. A few light bulbs went off. It was the happiest I've been all year. (The 10 minutes I worked 1:1 with a kid.)

    Now I have a parent bullying me. He is sped and his parents are going through a separation. He broke my entering the classroom rule so I sent a note home saying he had to copy it 5 times. She came in to say that he wasn't doing it because he is having a hard time. He does nothing in my class or with the sped teacher. He has an 8% in my class with modified assignments. Why, you ask? He won't even get a piece of paper out and write his name on it. That is why. Yet she says she is 'fighting for his education'. Please. Coddling him and hindering his education. I tried to point out that I understand but that he is not exempt from rules and consequences because of his home situation. I am more lenient with some things, but he is not going to break rules- especially rules I'm focusing on and we practiced. She had some choice words for me. And a few threats. She then said that she is putting ME on a point system since I have her child on one. (She is referring to Class Dojo.) My P was busy today. I have a meeting with her tomorrow, per my request, to discuss this. We'll see what she says. :rolleyes:
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 8, 2014

    I'm using Class Dojo with some rewards. It has helped a few. But more than anything it is documenting their behavior, which makes it worth it.
     
  14. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Oct 8, 2014

    Giraffe, I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. The sped student sounds as if he/she has some learned helplessness! That's a hard one to fix:(
    As a sped teacher I wish I had a quick fix for you, but from reading all your posts I know that you've tried the best you can. Good luck.
     
  15. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 8, 2014

    They sure do. And a mother who 'advocates for his education'. Basically is the cause of the learned helplessness.

    I don't coddle. I am sympathetic and caring, but I will not coddle. That is something I've always been adamant about!!
     
  16. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Oct 8, 2014

    Good for you! I don't coddle either. It doesn't do anyone any good. The mother needs to wake up soon. Doesn't in make you wonder sometimes how in the heck a kid can just sit all day and not do anything??? That's got to be so boring. I have one this year (just had a due process hearing today) and he's driving me crazy too.
     
  17. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 8, 2014

    I have several who sit all day and just cause problems. But this one is the only one with a parent who 'defends their education'! The rest have parents that don't care. And, in this situation, this may actually be the better alternative.
     
  18. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Oct 8, 2014

    One thing that's helped my class is reading through rules twice (or at least once) per day. We have hand motions that go with them and the kids enjoy doing it.
     
  19. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Oct 8, 2014

    You may have stated this in an earlier post, but what age are these kids? Just curious.

    I think that seems like a good thing to do! I cannot imagine not having literally anything to use as a consequence!!!!!!! I'm all for rewarding positive behavior, but there has to be a repercussion for the negative.
     
  20. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 8, 2014

    6th, but several (6 or 7) are already 13 and will be 14 before June. Plus some that are 12 turning 13. (They should be 11 turning 12.)
     
  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 9, 2014

    Looking forward to hearing the outcome of your conversation with your principal.
     
  22. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 9, 2014

    My P canceled on me. Again. We'll see if I ever get to talk to her.

    Classes were terrible again. These last two days have been horrendous. Maybe the moon? I don't usually put much stock in that, but something is going on!
    My afternoon class ended up old school. As in you may not make a sound or get out of your seat without raising your hand first. I was able to answer questions, so that was a plus. The few who broke the rule got a longer assignment. They all hate me, but wait, they hated me before. Guess it doesn't matter.
     
  23. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 9, 2014

    SOME of them hate you. Those who have been exasperated about those folks are quietly grateful for your actions, even if they feel like they're getting punished for what their classmates are doing.
     
  24. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 9, 2014

    I know that. I know the ones who needed help were grateful. Especially because they could actually hear me.

    It is exhausting to run a class like that though.
     
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