Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ifightaliens, May 4, 2009.

  1. ifightaliens

    ifightaliens Rookie

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    May 4, 2009

    A teacher came up to me recently and told me this story. It's his first year at my school, and my first year in general. We've been kind of confidants in terms of our problems. One thing we both see is that the administration isn't really supportive in disciplinary issues.

    The other day he told me he turned in pink slips for kids who were throwing things at him (paper, coins, pens, etc.). The disciplinarian said "These are not pink slippable offenses, they're classroom management issues."

    To me, that just doesn't seem right. Is that normal?
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 4, 2009

    Honestly, I'd need to know more information. Sure, it immediately seems completely ridiculous for the disciplinarian to respond in that manner, but perhaps there are reasons to support it.

    Yet, I can tell you this: if I sent referrals for students throwing things at me, even if it was due to a complete lack of classroom management, administration wouldn't just tell me that it's my problem. I'd like to hope they'd start working with me and offering help. But first start by disciplining the students...whether I have management issues or not doesn't make students throwing things at anyone acceptable.
     
  4. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    May 5, 2009

    I think it is classroom management.
     
  5. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

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    May 5, 2009

    I think it's classroom management only to a certain extent. It really depends on the situation. If the teacher does nothing to try to correct behaviors and the kids see that, they're going to do what they want because they know they'll get away with it. I can see where that would be a classroom management issue. If a teacher has a system set up, makes calls home and requests office support to no avail, then no.

    It doesn't matter how wonderful you are as a teacher, you still really don't have control over a student's actions. What happens when someone throws something at you in the hallway? Is that a classroom management issue? Kids are being coddled way too much and are not being held accountable for their actions.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2009

    I agree that it's a classroom management issue, but even so the admin should be helping him.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2009

    :agreed:

    Throwing stuff at the teacher is an issue that should be handled by the teacher in the classroom. If the teacher has gone through the steps of progressive discipline (conferencing with the student, calling home, whatever), and the behavior persists, then the issue can move up to admin--because at that point it has turned into insubordination and failure to comply with a teacher directive.
     
  8. ifightaliens

    ifightaliens Rookie

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    He told me he's called numerous parents, and has found no change in behavior. As far as other interventions, I'm not certain.
     
  9. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

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    May 5, 2009

    I would agree there are some teachers out there who don't do a thing with their kids and then wonder why they're so horrible. But I also know that sometimes, there's just not a whole lot you can do. Several may remember reading my husband's situation with kids who threw things at him, hit him and made threats. He was given this class 7 weeks into the first semester with NO warning. They showed up for general music and he had only done band up until that point. He had no time to get things established with them. He spent the entire semester being harassed. He called parents to find disconnected numbers. The ones he did get a hold of didn't care. He'd talk to the kids, try to reason with them, offer them rewards for good behavior. He'd threaten them with their grades or detention. They didn't care about any of that. He'd call the administration down and nobody would show up. Security would take a kid out and let them right back in.

    I am a little sensitive about this issue. :/ I know his situation was probably on the extreme end but I just hate when it has to be so black and white... YES this is classroom management or NO it is not. There are usually more factors playing a part. If a teacher is set up for failure to begin with and is not supported on a daily basis, how do you blame the teacher?

    I hope your colleague gets this figured out. There is NO reason a child at the secondary level should be throwing something at anybody.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2009

    ifightaliens-do you share students with him? Do they act this way in your room?
     
  11. ifightaliens

    ifightaliens Rookie

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    May 5, 2009

    I have some of the same. While they don't throw things at me, they are far from angels in my class. They will often have loud conversations or be off task. I call parents, have given private detentions, offered rewards, yelled, been nice, and tried every trick I can think of. Half the phone calls I put in are to disconnected numbers, or I get parents who say they'll "take care of it," with no results.

    He is not the only teacher I have heard who has these problems, but he was the first to tell me that discipline said that. Several teachers have said they get things thrown at them or have had various threats, and numerous others complain about the behavior of the kids in general.

    I have one period that just absolutely doesn't try at all, but my other classes are about half and half (I teach mostly "regular" or average level kids), where I have bad days and days where they're ok.
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 8, 2009

    I think what makes the situation be a clasroom mgmt issue OR cause for a pink slip is, has this become a HABIT. Of course, a teacher should handle as much as possible themselves & hopefully the kid will stop, but if the kids continues a certain behavior, administration should be notified to get involved along w/ the parents.

    If the teacher has tried every tip, trick, strategy, etc. & it's been unsuccessful, I don't believe they should have to fend for themself all year long w/ the recurring problem. The teacher should be documenting the dates/situations of these occurrences, so that when it's time to bring in admin, there's proof of recurring behavior to show admin, parents, counselors, etc.

    Also, the teacher should definitely ask for the P or VP's advice on how to handle it before taking it to the next level or actually making a full-blown complaing to the admin.
     

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