Let's get strict here!

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by cindyw625, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. cindyw625

    cindyw625 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2007

    Ok. This one is for me and anyone else who is starting a new teaching position or just can't find the "strict" streak in them.

    My problem is I'm too nice! :eek: I can't get strict enough like the other teachers to make these children mind me. I think if I (or anyone who reads this in the future) become strict enough with the students misbehavior, then all will be well.

    Please post some ideas on how I can find this streak in me (or for anyone else that comes across this thread). I need to pull it out. That's all that is not working. Tongiht, I keep telling myself over and over: 'I'm the adult. I'm the adult. I will not let anyone get hurt. I am to protect. I'm in charge. I'm the adult.'

    If there's anything else, just post! I won't hesitate to apply it to the class! What have I got to lose???

    PS: This is a very very tough first grade class.
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Go back and review all of your rules and expectations. Be VERY specific--ie, stay in your seat, etc. (or whatever you expect). Post these expectations on the board. Tell your students that whenever they do not follow those expectations, x will happen (x being whatever consequence system you use in your room). Then, be extremely consistent and stick to your guns. It's probably going to take a few weeks for your students to believe you are serious, but eventually they will come around. Just remember that it's always easier to loosen up then toughen up.
     
  4. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    ...not sure what you mean by "strict." Everyone's definition is probably a bit different. Start with the things YOU can control. First, and foremost, that is YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR. Have you clearly identified the kinds of expectations that your students need? Have you communicated them clearly? Have you TAUGHT your students how to behave in the ways that you expect? Are you keeping them engaged, with little to no down-time? Are they having fun? Are you helping them gain a sense of belonging to the community? Are you providing them with opportunities to be successful and to be responsible? Are you getting to know them...showing a genuine interest? All of these things will help you to minimize the potential for problems.......but remember, classroom and behavior management starts and ends with us...our behavior. If you realize that the problem is that you need to say what you mean and mean what you say, then you simply have to do that. The kids don't deserve anything less.
     
  5. cindyw625

    cindyw625 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2007

    Response to both posts.

    Agdamity:
    Yes, I have done what you said. I restate time and time again the rules. They are constantly busy, plus they have a schedule so they can't say that they don't know what is next. We hop from one activity to the next. Transitions with them are horrible: I do everything from Simon Says to yelling! Token economy just makes them go crazy and then slip after they receive the token :2cents:.

    As for the above questions: I have done almost everything. I cannot let the fun side of me show yet, but I can allow them to have fun during activities such as Centers. We have talked over and over and demonstrated over and over again how to behave appropriately. They just don't get it. I had them in groups with buckets full of readers and their pens and pencils in baggies. This one boy didn't get it: go to your own bucket and take out a glue stick. Don't go to another group's because it's closer. NO.

    I also have an offensive, talkative, wanderer. He wanders and wanders and talks and talks until something comes out of his mouth that offends another child. He's wild, ill-mannered, and bahaves poorly overall in all occasions. I have done everything with him including what I expect and he does pay consequences by going to the Head Teacher's classroom, getting timeouts, and I have sent an interim report home too. Nothing's happened.

    So, where am I going wrong or what more can I do?
     
  6. newkteacher

    newkteacher Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Read Fred Jones, Tools for Teaching. He gives excellent management suggestions. Also with the out of control student, if you have tried everything you might want to invovle a guidance counselor if you have one available.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 28, 2007

    You have to remember you are not there to be their friend. You are there to teach. It is also not a requirement for them to like you. It is helpful so they enjoy learning, but when the going gets tough...the important thing is respect and the ability for you to do your job (teach).

    You do have to have good consistent rules that you catch and nip in the bud early and consistently. You have to be able to identify when a behavior is going to spiral and how to stop it.

    There are many techniques at your disposal from positive to negative. Just don't be afraid to do what needs to be done because you are afraid they won't accept you anymore. They will. Why? Because you care. You are their teacher. Do, however, be sure to have a balance. Kids need our affirmation.

    Keep in mind not every approach works for every student. Be observant and use what works whether you really enjoy that approach or not. If you do your job, the rest will fall into place. The number one tip...have engaging lessons so they are eager to participate.
     
  8. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Why not? There is not much support for the "don't let them see you smile until x-mas" idea. You need to be authentic. You will get farther by developing authentic relationships with your students than by trying to hide some aspect of your personality. Plus, if you are not having fun, your students will be negatively impacted.

    He is a child, behaving in ways that he has learned. You have to teach him alternate ways to behave. Time-outs, token economies, and notes home are not effective teaching tools.

    Sure there is a difference between a friend and a teacher, but I disagree with cutNglue. If you don't "like" them and they don't "like" you, it is going to be a long year. Teaching is all about social inter-relationships.
     
  9. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Sep 28, 2007

    NObody wants to be disliked by their students,but that doesn't mean you cannot be fair. Children need a set of rules that must be followed and a set of consequences if they are not.It is not being mean if you don't let a few children ruin the activities for the majority. If they want to participate they must follow the classroom rules.Perhaps you can assign them a reliable child as their buddy to take them around and remind them what they have to do, or to work with them until they can work on their own. I see nothing wrong with giving time outs,as long as the child knows the reason for the timeout.Remember you are not there to be their buddy,but the best teacher you can for each member of your class.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 28, 2007

    You would be surprised about how these students view you if you 'lay down the law' with them. Most students like a teacher like this because they aren't getting it at home and are craving it.
     
  11. cindyw625

    cindyw625 Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Bummed out big time.

    Well, I am bummed out. Today they terminated me and wouldn't tell me why exactly. I'm stuck with no idea what I should do next because I'm afraid to mess up again!
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm so sorry.
     
  13. Christine3

    Christine3 Cohort

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    Couldn't have said it better, students crave structure.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Thank you smalltowngal. I never said I disliked my students or they should dislike me. I just mean I have a job to do and I have to be effective first and foremost (give them clear guidelines and structure so they can learn..that was a better way of saying it) and not worry about being the teacher all the kids like. Sometimes that doesn't equate with respect. I also said at the end of my post that there has to be a balance, just don't be too timid to discipline. FYI, discipline and punishment is not always the same.
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Didn't they give you any explanation at all? Had you gotten any warnings?

    I'm sorry.
     
  16. cindyw625

    cindyw625 Rookie

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    Okay - let me put this straight to those you who mentioned structure and rules for these children: I did provide structure and rules. Those few posts I must say are rather offensive to me. No one has seen how I tried my hardest to keep this class busy with activities nonstop and reminded them of the rules everyday, and if the rules weren't followed, consequences followed. So, I did have guidelines and structure.

    Thank you Upsadaisy for asking if they said anything at all and quite frankly, I was left with two things after I tried asking what I could approve upon and this is what they stuck to:
    1. That they were exercising their right to terminate me as an interim.
    2. This was not a match.

    Thank you for being considerate, Upsadaisy.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Cindy, keep in mind: none of us has ever seen you teach. We're all complete strangers. You described a problem and people tried to come up with some solutions. No one intended to insult you; the intent was to help.

    I think that everyone who tried to help was also being considerate.
     
  18. cindyw625

    cindyw625 Rookie

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    I understand that Aliceacc. There's just one or two post in here where I get a feeling of being "put down" so to speak, as, "I told you so. They needed rules and structure." I know people were trying to help, I just don't need another person to tell me again that structure and rules is what they needed and what I should've given them because it's exactly what I did. And every single suggestion in here is what I did the very next day because I had nothing to lose. I asked the teachers at the school as well as I did here and nothing suggested worked. So right now, I feel like I stink at this and it hurts even more when someone has the message, "told you so."
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oh no cindy, I hope that you didn't feel that I was putting you down. From all of your posts that I have read, you were doing some great things for classroom management! As for the reasons they gave you, I think them "exercising their right to terminate me as an interim" is a load of BS. I have also been told I was not a good match for a school, though this was as a contracted classroom teacher and the principal was asking me for my resignation.

    I hope that you know I was not trying to tell you "I told you so" because that was not my intention at all.
     
  20. cindyw625

    cindyw625 Rookie

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    Smalltowngal,
    Thank you for sharing that. I would hope that that event didn't block you of achieving another position? I also found out that the policy with a sub is for them to provide an evaluation form that describes my weaknesses and reasons of my termination that includes my signature and the principal's signature as well. They didn't abide by this policy today: they never had me sign any papers at the beginning nor today when I left. I just simply clocked out.
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Since I turned in a resignation letter, no other employers will know about the non-renewed contract. I would DEFINITELY go to them Monday and ask why you did not get that evaluation and that you would like to see it before you are taken off the pool sub list.
     
  22. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    cutNglue, I would never think that you would dislike any of your students! :p
     
  23. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    cindy, I have been teaching for a few years now. I have many people who say what a great job I'm doing. Well, guess what, one of my first long term teaching assignments- I was also let go. Why? Because my class out of control and I also was too nice. School had been in session for about a month (it was a year long school) and the teacher had only been there for a total of four days. She was pregnant and was having complications.I also wanted to add that this class had a new sub everyday and so there was no routine or procedures established. Anyways, I was hired to teach that class as a long term assignment. Well, I lasted ONE day. That class was HORRIBLE and I thought, I will NEVER teach this grade again. The principal called me in and said that they were going to look for someone with more experience. It was a kinder class. What's funny is that I was hired a couple weeks later to teach kinder and I did that VERY successfully for the next few years. Anyways, don't give up!!!! You will find your place.
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    OK, Cindy, so here's what you do:

    For starters, a weekend long pity party. Chocolate, ice cream, stay in your pajamas all day watching Chick Flicks....whatever does it for you. You've had a hard time and you deserve some time to feel bad.

    But first thing Monday morning, it ends. You do three things: 1) Decide that you're going to use this as a learning experience. Sit down and make a list of everything that went wrong, from your perspective, the school's, the parents', the kids... I mean a brutal self analysis. Then, on the other side, address each issue. (Warning: you may need more chocolate for this.)
    What you'll be left with is a comprehensive improvement plan, designed to keep this from happening again.)

    2) Put yourself back out there. Type up a resume, type up a cover letter, and get back out there. Send your suits to the dry cleaners (all but one, in case something comes up fast). Get yourself on every sub rotation within a 45 minute drive. Don't forget the private and religioius schools. But don't let this one bump get you down.

    3) Go back and talk to the princpal. Don't beg for your job or quibble about the way they terminated you; it won't be productive. Instead, tell him how much you want to do this right, and ask for his help. Ask him how you could have done things better, so that next time you will.

    In addition to his input, you'll leave with him knowing that you're determined to be a good teacher. Principals talk to each other... you want him knowing how dedicated you are.

    Hang in there Cindy. Lots of people, including some magnificent teachers, have been in the same position. It stinks but it's survivable.
     
  25. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I am beginning to hate this catch all phrase.
    As far as I am concerned it is just a lot of Bull ______
    They don't have the guts to tell you what was wrong
    . or
    there was nothing wrong they just wanted to get you out?
    Just what kind of supervisors are they?
    I think your state is an "at will" state which allows a supervisor, a thing to hide behind, because they can't manage.

    When you are thrown off a horse pick yourself up walk up to him and punch him in nose and get back on. Like Alex Karras as Mongo did in Blazing Saddles

    The scene in which Mongo knocks out a horse has a basis in reality. Mel Brooks' former "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour" boss, Sid Caesar, a physically imposing and somewhat violent man, reported in his 1982 autobiography, "Where Have I Been?" that while trail riding with his wife, her horse caused trouble and he punched it once between the eyes. The horse collapsed, unconscious. He notes that this event was Mel Brooks' inspiration for the Mongo vs. horse scene in Blazing Saddles.
     
  26. cindyw625

    cindyw625 Rookie

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    I like your approach Irish Dave. You'd make a great motivational speaker to tell the truth. I won't forget the "horse" line of punching him back in the nose. Thank you for the support.
     
  27. Cthdenver

    Cthdenver Rookie

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    I MADE THIS POST ON ANOTHER THREAD ABOUT GETTING KIDS TO BE QUIET - HOWEVER YOU CAN USE IT FOR ANY CLASSROOM PROBLEM

    Listen I have 31 kids. Getting them to be quiet in my mind is a war on terrorism. I use that word because that is exactly what terrorism is - distrusting a civilized structure. When a classroom is civilized with a teacher teaching and a student disrupts its called terrorism. And as the President of this country made very clear "We will not tolerate it". In my classroom I have a policy - either you are the example or your going to be one. I may have 20 kids talking - so in a loud firm voice I come up with a very harsh punishment and pick a kid randomly to be my example. Kids get very nervous when they see a harsh punishment being issued for something they themselves are doing. And if the kid I pick on complains everyone else was talking - I quote IF YOU CAN NOT BE AN EXAMPLE I MAKE YOU ONE - and your my example for today. Obviously try to pick on different students if this happens often. As far as the punishment itself goes make it harsh. Also Sometimes you will have to make two or three examples at a time before the other kids will fell like "they are the next in line".
    But I have tested this method and it can work!
     
  28. Mllezoe

    Mllezoe Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2007

    Examples please??

    Cthdenver-

    Your class situation sounds SO much like mine. I am a new teacher with 31 arrogant, rich, spoiled disrespectful 5th graders who talk incessantly and have no fear of ANYTHING. I too feel I have tried everything. What kinds of consequences do you give out? I have very little support from the parents - and they sadly almost run the school. It's a public school too.
    ANY examples would be greatly appreciated!
     
  29. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    I see a lot of primary & upper elementary teachers advising & suggesting. Do these kind(s) of tactics for behavior mgmt work on high schoolers? Particularly 11th graders..

    I kind of wrote a similar thread (without reading through the existing ones) but I'm trying to "re-do" the discipline structure. It's October, my third year teaching HS but this year a different subject. No excuse, because I had time to prepare & organize in the beginning. But i was looking for various ways to come back Monday with a new mode of attack.

    I too, like cindy have a problem with being "too nice". And i @ times want the approval & acceptance of my students. Not so much as a friend, but just in general for them to like me. I don't want them to dislike me, my class, the work, learning etc. I know they can tune you & all that make up your class if they dislike you. And I just have a complex (kind of) about ppl disliking me. Not so much strangers or people that I only see in passing or if you're doing something wrong & I have to correct you (i'm working on building up my mean muscles) but with people I have to see again. Like even speaking to a student who is not in my class. I think my fear is they'll say "you're not my teacher" or look @ me like i'm an alien for correcting them out of nowhere. Yes, these are MY issues, not necessarily teaching or what have you-but please tell me there's hope. Please tell me I don't have to quit teaching and get like a desk job because I'm a nice pleasant person (for the most part).

    I've taken 2 days off of work (because I was sick & hoarse) so I didn't want to spread germs nor did I want to use the small amount of voice I had. I sounded horrible. Anyhoo, I plan on going back Monday with a vengeance. Not so much being mean just to be mean, but because they really TRIED me the day i did go in with my little voice. And I think it's a result of me not sticking to my guns prior to that moment. For the most part they're quiet, but I tend to compromise & not fight on whether it has to be absolutely silent when doing classwork. I know, I know i shouldn't back down-but how do i work on this?

    I really appreciate the creation of this thread cindy. Sorry I :hijack:
     
  30. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Part of me feels the same way but teaching is just like the role of a parent "in loco parentis". Parents are loved and unloved by their kids all the time.
    Calling it the "approval & acceptance" made me think, maybe the word is "respect"? Do we need approval from a 14 year old? Do we need acceptance from a 5th grader? "Respect", which should be taught at home, is what we we need. We as teachers should reinforce it but it is hard to reinforce something that was taught poorly to begin with.
    You know I read some place that teachers suffer from depression more than many occupations. It is the stress and the lack of respect that causes it.

    Now on the funny side: go to school sick if you give the kids the bug they will be out in a couple of days and you will have smaller classes for a couple of days :D (but the kids that give you the most problems are never out sick!):rolleyes: also schools should not teach sex ed ... the more kids born is job security! :toofunny:
    this is just levity not a mind set.
     
  31. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    Oct 6, 2007

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL. good point! i'm not 100% better, so i COULD infect a couple.. hmmm, 10-15 student classes sound GREAT to me. At my last job my biggest class was 16 students and i thought THAT was too much. But it didn't help that my room was the size of a bedroom!

    They put all the athletes into one section, boy do i look forward to game days.. :) Oh and of course-half days.. :)
     

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