Major Decision

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by kenyateacher, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. kenyateacher

    kenyateacher Rookie

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    I'm thinking of leaving. The students seem to behave better for other teachers but not for me, so I feel like it must be my classroom management skills that are the problem. I have tried several techniques- read Harry Wong's ideas about procedures and practiced them, rewards and punishments, taking away recess, gym, calling parents on the spot, etc. I had to put one student out three times today because she was attacking other students. Other teachers come around and the kids straighten up, but as soon as they leave they go right back to what they were doing. I can't even take them to the bathroom because they talk, argue and disrupt other classes. I have gotten tough, but I guess I just don't have that edge to make them "afraid" of me or respect me. I don't want to go to work in the morning, and yet I stay until 6:00 some days trying to get a handle on things. I think that leaving at this time of the year would be better than waiting and letting everyone get more attached. I was gone for a training and when I came back the sub said she had no problems. I've NEVER had a day with no problems. I taught another grade level for two years and did not have the same issues. It is possible to get a job at my previous grade level in the near future and I'm thinking of applying. I just think my kids would be better off with someone who is able to make them behave and do work rather than potentially wasting the year because of my own deficiencies.
     
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  3. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    What grade do you teach???
     
  4. Ms. Jane

    Ms. Jane Companion

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    Hi Kenyateacher. I felt really sad after reading your post, but I know that there are lots of teachers on this board that can give you some great advice. Can you be more specific about the things you have tried in the past? Have you talked to the other teachers at your school? Have you talked to your principal? You said that you don't feel like you have an "edge" to make them afraid of you. Do you feel like you are too soft when you are disciplining the students? I have a great article on management. If you would like I can e-mail it to you. Let me know. One more thing, have you looked at the behavior management forum?
     
  5. kenyateacher

    kenyateacher Rookie

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    I teach 2nd grade. The year started off badly, and I came back after the first four days with a new, specific plan of rules and consequences. Name on the board for violation of rules, three checks and a call home. I called several parents the first day. The same students were misbehaving the next day. I have met with the principal several times. She has already expressed concern over the chaos in the class (although she came back this week and mentioned that the students had improved some, which is true). Two parents who have visited the class complained that the kids were out of control. One parent even said I need to "get some bass in my voice" and that I was taking too long to get the kids working in the morning. I introduced a stamp chart- it worked for one and one half days. I have pulled kids out into the hallway when they were misbehaving and spoken to them sternly, to the point where they were in tears- but the same behavior reappears. Talking, arguing, out of their seats, ignoring my instructions. I have thought that maybe I am being inconsistent in delivering consequences, not giving the kids enough work to do (some of the kids with the worst behavior have excellent scores on their assignments). Other teachers have helped out with managing my class but not really offered any specific pointers on what I am doing wrong.
     
  6. Celestial

    Celestial Rookie

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    I also felt sad after reading your post... I wonder, do these kids not respond well to extrinsic motivators? Maybe it would work if you used natural motivators and pointed out the natural consequences of their actions. What kind of district do you teach in? Are the families from affluent homes? I am trying to get a better picture of your situation. You obviously sound dedicated and caring. There has to be something you can do...
     
  7. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I teach 2nd grade also. I think that you might have to reverse your way of thinking and start with classroom management all over again. I would definately do it TOMORROW!!! I would do a few community building activities and discuss how they are responsible for their classroom community: which includes respecting others, respecting the teacher, being courteous of others etc. Then I would tear down the classroom rules, and have them agree on the classroom rules. Tell them that the rules you established are obviously not a right fit for them so you want to make things fair for everyone. This might help you gain a few fans in the end. Have them sign the classroom rules like a real important document or a classroom "declaration". Then I would have them decide on consequences for violating those rules. Maybe the name on the board and things like that does not phase them. Incorporate a color card system or something like that that will allow them to keep track of how their day is going and make them accountable for flipping their own cards. Kinda makes them see that THEY caused the negative consequence, it wasn't anything YOU did to them. Post what happens after each card is flipped so they know and are fully aware. BUT the most important concept I like about the color card system is that you have to explain to the children that they have an opportunity to fix their behaviors if they flipped their card. Explain to them that flipping their cards is not the end of the world, they can correct their behaviors and earn their way back to green or whatever colors you choose to use. You have to be consistent with this or you will lose them and they wont try to earn their way back.
    Also, incorporate some kind of intrinsic and extrinsic motivator that will give them a reason to behave. I try to give positive praise all day long and I give table points to a table that is listening and following directions. This will instill a sense of togetherness for each group and make them responsible not only for themselves but for their group. I also use a marble jar which I drop marbles into everytime they get a compliment from another teacher or principal. Anyone who notices good behavior in my class, whether its in the hall, in the lunchroom etc. This makes the whole class responsible for itself. Lastly, each child also earns tickets for each day they stay on green. So at the end of the week, our goal is that each child will earn 5 tickets which they can use to buy prizes from our classroom store. And I do take tickets away when a child misbehaves or is not staying on task.
    One more thing. I've also incoporated a "Caught Beeing A Class Act" board where the children nominate a classmate that they feel follows all the classroom rules or showed kindness towards others. They write that child's name on a bumble bee and what that child did and they tape the bumble bee to our wall. At the end of the week, we sit in Morning Meeting and read about everyone who was nominated. This encourages other children to want to be nominated by myself or their classmates.
    Sorry so long, but I wish you the best. Let us know how it goes.:love:
     
  8. kenyateacher

    kenyateacher Rookie

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    I work in a major city, urban area. From what I understand some of the students have had trouble at their other schools and the parents have decided to try this charter school. Most of the students are lower SES or low middle SES. The school is fairly new. I did try pointing out that the time they spent talking and playing around would be taken off their recess and/or game time because the work had to be done. This did not seem to faze them (have lost recess several times already). I pointed out that with their behavior we might not be able to take a field trip. No real change in behavior beyond the few minutes directly after it was said. When I taught at my former school I loved going to see my kids everyday (it was the adults that I couldn't stand and eventually left because of). Now I'm starting to wonder if teaching is really my calling. After all, if a bunch of 7 year olds can get the best of me and make me want to give up then how effective can I really be?
     
  9. kenyateacher

    kenyateacher Rookie

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    Those ideas do sound good. I had heard of turning cards for behavior management but had not tried it yet.
     
  10. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    That's why I wanted you to think about whether those consequences are really effective for your group of students. It sounds like to me if they had problems at their other schools, they are used to being "punished" and they know that people expect them to misbehave. So that's why I suggested that you take a different route and try getting them to basically love you to the point that they wont want to misbehave. I read a book called "Teaching With Love & Logic" and one thing I remembered from reading that book was to get the kids to love you so that if they can't find it in themselves to do right for themselves, then just maybe they might behave for you....if you gain that trust and respect from them. Not being able to go on a fieldtrip seems to vaugue for them because 7 year olds cant think about a consequence that is so far away. They think about the now. And at those moments, you can use other techniques to get the behaviors you want. Maybe some kids don't really care about recess. So that would tell me to find another way to get their attention.
     
  11. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Try the color card system. I actually bought one that works well for me from like one of the teacher resource websites but any one would work. Make it a big deal when they earn their way back to green so that they will work harder next time to stay on green. In observing diff. classrooms, I noticed that we as teachers sometimes just hand out the punishments but there is no room for improvement on the part of the student. I think that this system teaches them a lifelong lesson of: "If I mess up, I have the chance to fix it".
     
  12. Celestial

    Celestial Rookie

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    I think that your kids are feeling like they've already lost everything they could, so what's the point? They are already at rock bottom, and still more things are being threatened to be taken away. I agree with the previous post... you need to start anew. Tomorrow. Personally, I would be frank with them... tell them how you feel. They need to develop a positive rapport with you. I would definitely do some fun community building things. They need to learn RESPECT. I think (not to generalize) that because of where they came from, and their family backgrounds, they may not be the easiest to develop a trusting relationship with. Do you have a few kids that can help you out? I would also start pointing out the positives. Catch them being good, and point it out enthusiastically. I would not point out any more negative behaviors, unless they are extreme, obviously. Good luck... don't worry, you'll pull through. You've been successful before. This is just a tough group...
     
  13. elem_teacher3

    elem_teacher3 Companion

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    Oct 4, 2006

    I think you need to find a plan and stick to it. Always changing your behavior system is probably part of the problem. Kids need consistency. You are going to have to be consistent. They know they have control. You will need to take that control away from them. Do not allow any kind of misbehavior or disrespect...when it happens make it be a 'heads down, lights out kind of thing' Spend a couple of days enforcing the rules. Don't worry about the kids liking you. You are the teacher not their friend. They don't have to like you but they do have to respect you. When they line up noisily...sit them back down until they can do it correctly. If they are noisy in the hallway...march them back into the classroom and have them try it again...They need to see you firm and in control. Once they realize there is no room for misbehavior things will smooth out. I wish you the best. Be firm, be tough...and then be loving. :)
     
  14. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    You don't have to be their friend, but there is nothing wrong with the kids liking you. My kids love me and that is why they behave for me. I don't have any behavior problems and the problem behaviors I do have are minimum. The reason for this is because I gained that respect and liking from them on day1. If you get the kids to understand that you care about them, they will care about you. Be firm, but be compassionate. I believe that when you teach in an urban area, you don't always have to be a drill seargant. They probabaly get that at home and everywhere else in their lives. Give a mixture of both and be moderate.
     
  15. kenyateacher

    kenyateacher Rookie

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    All of these ideas sound good. I think I do need to work on consistency and on pointing out the positives. I'm thinking of giving out Best Table Awards, Hallway King and Queen (with a crown), etc. for those who are doing the right things. I have a few days to regroup (professional development) so I'm going to take all of these ideas and find some that work for me. Today I had a little sucess with having them walk in the hallway at dismissal time- the girl in the front of the girls line likes to run so I told her to match her steps with the boy in the front of the boys line- they both loved it! I was surprised.
     
  16. vsimpkins

    vsimpkins Comrade

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    I started a long term sub position for 1st grade in September thru March. I taught for 6 years with 1st and 2nd graders in my own classroom. I had a brain tumor and had to resign due to my emergency credential expiring. I have my Clear Credential/CLAD and I am waiting for a permanent position.:) Back to my advice.

    I am using the color card system that the teacher was using and I brought in plastic money (pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters). The students received pennies for coming to school on time, completing assignments, etc. On Fridays I have a storage box called The Classroom Store and the students have a opportunity to purchase items I bought at 99 cent store, party items, book marks, erasers, pencils, etc. I start the pricing at 3 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, etc.

    The class is really motivated and are learning money also.
     
  17. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    That's a great idea. I originally wanted to use money when the school year started, but I got so overwhelmed with my school's curriculum and just feeling my way as a first year teacher that I just decided to use tickets. I bought a big roll of tickets at Walmart so it just seemed easier for me to implement at the time. But I did want to use money to reinforce money concepts. So I decided instead to do a Daily Deposit activity in our Morning Meeting where we add money to our deposit for every day we are in school. So far we are up to 20 cents!!! We trade pennies in for nickels, nickels in for dimes etc. they love it.
    I think next year I will plan early and start the money token system for sure. I told my kids that one ticket equals 25 cents and they seem to understand to aim towards earning 2 dollars to shop at the store every other friday. :D
     
  18. vsimpkins

    vsimpkins Comrade

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    So glad that the money idea would help you next year. I also use tickets (students receive daily when no tickets are pulled) On Fridays I pull out 5 tickets and those students are selected to choose from the treasure chest. It's nice to hear from other teachers and what they are using. We teachers need to make changes according to our different classes every year.
     
  19. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oct 5, 2006

    Get a copy of Teaching with Love and Logic asap. View the tapes if you possibly can. I think it would help.

    I have a difficult first grade this year. I was having a lot of the same feelings you expressed. A couple of things that have helped

    1) there is never a down moment in the classroom. I know I must plan and over plan, then have a backup plan. Sounds like maybe some of your brightest kids might need more of a challenge - one way you could do this is with a math log - a notebook or folder where you could put math challenges, games, harder problems, etc., really tough stuff they might not get till later grades. Once they finish work, they should get out the math log and see what they can do. It is extra work for you because you have to put together the log and then correct it once a week or so, but it really keeps them hopping.

    2) I have also had to isolate kids from the group for long periods of time because they are so disruptive. One day I had 1/2 of the class isolated around the room. Everyone else got to have some choice time, because they had been making good choices. Boy did that lesson hit home. This could be a fun time when you could teach the kids to play chess or checkers or Mancala -something really fun that the isolated kids would be kicking themselves for missing.

    3) Almost daily, I plan in a lesson on listening. I explain that thinking things through and doing things on your own is a very important skill that I want them to use, but not during listening skills. At listening skills, they are not to think ahead on their own, but listen for my exact instructions. We have done some art work this way. They needed to be trained to listen and do.

    Good luck! There is a lot of good advice here. Remember, it is a child's job to test and keep checking to find out "Who is really in charge here?" It is our job as adults to have the answer loud and clear - "I am the adult and I am the one in charge. Thank you for asking. Nothing has changed since the last time you checked."

    When my class starts getting out of control - several times a day - I say "Uh Oh!" Who is the boss here?" They all stop talking and point to me. Then we go from there.
     
  20. Ms. Jane

    Ms. Jane Companion

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    Hi Kenyateacher. How did it go in the classroom today?
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Btw, subs definition of no problems and yours will be different and they don't always tell you every problem anyway. They don't want to seem incompetent either.
     
  22. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Definitely get a copy of Teaching with Love and Logic, and check the CD's/tapes out of your local library if you can. At this point, I'm not sure more external rewards are going to do the trick. They might work at first, but I think the kids a) know they're being manipulated b) learn how to work the system. And what happens when a kids doesn't care about getting a little toy? Plus, they learn they only need to behave if they're going to get soemthing for it.

    Try this technique (Love and Logic technique): take your toughest student. Once a day, for at least a week "notice" something about the student. Make sure it's not something about school, and make sure you don't say something like "That's great!" afterwards. It might be "I noticed you like to draw." or "I noticed you like to wear sneakers." Then just walk away. After a few weeks of doing this, if this student is acting up, I bet you could walk up to him and whisper to him "Hey, would you mind stopping that? Just for me? Thanks!" (Turn and walk away right away. This assume compliance and you're more likely to get whaht you asked for.) Good luck,
    Heather
    Love and Logic Forum
     
  23. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Put some M&Ms in your pocket. When some students are doing what you want, quickly put a couple M&Ms on their desk. When you are ask why I didn't some, reply where you listening or where sitting at your desk and etc.

    Oh, how nice I see Dari has her things put in her desk. Great. Paul has his things in his desk and etc. Others want praise and get to obeying. Only praise 3 or 4. at a time.
     
  24. kenyateacher

    kenyateacher Rookie

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    I was at a workshop in the school building today, but away from my kids. The sub did have some problems when I came back for a report- kids talking, arguing, and being disruptive.
     
  25. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    My principal would die if we were to do that!! She told a story at the beginning of the year about a teacher that used to work at the school who used to give the kids peds candies whenever they behaved or got an answer right and she said she was offended. She said that it was like throwing buiscuits at a dog when a dog followed your commands. :eek: I'm not saying that is what you are doing but I just thought about the story she told us earlier this year. I kinda see her point of view. I would much rather reward them on a more moderate basis instead of whenever I see them doing what they know they are supposed to do anyway.
     
  26. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    My philosophy is the less sugar the better.....:D


    sorry, just had to add my two cents:eek: :D
     
  27. Ms. Jane

    Ms. Jane Companion

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    Oct 5, 2006

    Kenyateacher, I was looking through some previous posts, and I found a recommended website that I think can help you.

    www.behavioradvisor.com
     

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