Mutiny in my music class...help please. (long)

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by ILoveMyCello, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. ILoveMyCello

    ILoveMyCello Companion

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    Aug 18, 2009

    I need help....please!

    I am a new teacher in a very poor, 98% African American district. If this year keeps up like it has been, I will leave at the end of the year and go back to substituting at home, which is much less hassle than this.

    Our second graders come to the arts at the end of the day. The second grade class I had today had 27 kids in it. They have each special 35 minutes one day a week. Due to the contract, we take them to the busses at 3 instead of the teachers (so they get 45 minutes of planning time like everyone else).

    To make a long story short, the kids came with their bookbags in a mutiny, instead of a line-running in a group with their teacher behind them. The mutiny was about 7 boys-which made the rest of the class disruptive. I turned around and the teacher was gone.

    I had two boys punching each other, one screaming, three kicking the walls, and one running around the room. This made the rest of the class disrupted. I didnt get through attendance, or half of my lesson. I made the boys punching each other go to the office with a note and the principal let them come right back-just signing the note!

    The special ed teacher next door and the principal came in and yelled at them twice. Nothing helped. The classroom teacher told me it was those 7 that hindered her as well. I just do not want to be put in the situation where I cannot get ANY instructional material out without having to stop every 20 minutes.

    So what should I do? I've already journaled everything that happened. I am also going to observe them in another related arts field tomorrow when I have a planning period. It doesn't help that I'm new, but I have been a sub for a year. I have LOTS of behavior management tools-and NONE of them worked today! Also, I have seen some of the teachers manhandle the kids (grab their arm-sit them down) and I am uncomfortable with doing that-I don't want to get sued! Thanks :huh:
     
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  3. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Discipline must always come before instruction. If kids are running in the hall and nothing happens your first rule has just been taught - you can enter my room any way you want. Since this rule (no running in hall) means nothing expect the rest of your rules to mean nothing as the dominoes start to fall.

    The first week(s) of school should be devoted to teaching rules and routines. Curriculum is put on back burner. Why? You are not going to teach much to a bunch of kids goofing off and staring out the window. So... either you train the class early on or chase after them everyday until June.
     
  4. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2009

    If you're not going to get help from the teacher for the procedure of walking in the hallways and entering your class appropriately (and really the teacher should be practicing this, but i digress), do it yourself. Yes, it "wastes" a class period of yours where they could be learning music concepts... but if you get thme under control now, the rest of your year will go better.

    So yes, I mean, have them practice walking the right way, or at least entering your class appropriately. Then practice it again. Model what you want, have a few students model it, practice it... explain WHY you need them to come in quietly (we have so many fun things to do and there are so many really cool songs i want ot teach you, but we can't do that until...)
     
  5. BerniceBobs

    BerniceBobs Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2009

    Can't the principal break up the Terrible Seven?
    That is, they should not be in the same class--it being an elective, I see no reason why the principal can't break them up.
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Aug 19, 2009

    I'm confused too as to why these 7 boys are always together???

    I agree with Loomis, you need to spend a good deal just on behavior management. I went to a very intensive workshop and we were taught that there is actually 150 instruction days. The other 30 days is devoted to procedures and classroom management.
     
  7. ILoveMyCello

    ILoveMyCello Companion

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    Aug 19, 2009

    This EXACT same class was sent out of art today as well for the same behavior.
     
  8. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Aug 19, 2009

    I understand where you are coming from. You are a new teacher just developing your classroom management skills, and you have teachers whose classes are out of control dumping their wild students on you.

    My suggestions are:

    Do not let them enter the music room until you have them quiet. Have them line up by the wall next to your room, and tell them that they will stand there for as long as is necessary until they are quiet. While saying this I would walk up and down the line with a mean nasty teacher look. Get that mean teacher voice going. "You will NOT come into my class like this. You will WAIT OUT HERE until you are quiet." If some of the boys are still out of control, say "You. Over there", and point to another place in line so as to separate them.

    Do not feel badly about being loud in the hall (other teachers can close their doors). You are clearly receiving little support from administrators, so you will need to take the situation in hand.

    Have them walk into class and put their heads down. Don't even worry about starting your lesson. Tell them there will be no music lesson until they are quiet. I would not have them practice coming in again quietly at this point. I would give them paper and have them write down the rules of your classroom. Let them know that you have lots of fun music lessons for them, but if they would prefer to write, that's fine with you.

    If they get quiet, then I would discuss procedures and rules. Maybe do a small part of a lesson.

    When it is time to leave, allow plenty of extra time to practice lining up. Explain how you want them to get in line, and demonstrate it for them. Then show them the wrong way to get in line, and ask them what you did wrong. Have one row demonstrate. If they don't do it correctly, send them back. Let them know that you will not take them out until they do this right. Then let another row have a chance. Make sure that line looks very good before you take them out.

    Next time they are scheduled, wait at the door. Be the drill sergeant and make sure they look good before they enter. This class may never be easy for you to handle. But they will be manageable if you insist that they meet your expectations.

    You can do this. Good luck.
     
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  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Aug 19, 2009

    Have you read Fred JOnes? He described a scenario in his book where he went to visit different classrooms at this junior high, I believe. He noticed that in one class, this group of kids were out of control, yet in another classroom, the same group was very well behaved. He said that in this class, the teacher had clear expectations and procedures in place. So, it IS possible to have them under control in your class, even if they are out of control in another class.
     
  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Aug 23, 2009

    I agree with the above posters. Go over the rules & procedures. I had a tough class last year & we went over and over the rules & procedures. We practiced all year long. If they didn't come into the room the right way, we went back out, waited until they were quiet & tried it again. I know a couple of the specials teachers also did this with my class.

    The worst part? They did very well until February! That's when things fell apart & we had to practice even more.
     

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