My class is really wearing me out. Help. :(

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Feb 24, 2010

    For the first time in my short 1 1/2 year career, I wake up in the morning not looking forward to work. When the bell rings and my students come in the classroom, I'm not excited to see them. I have a difficult time pretending to be enthusiastic.

    I have some difficult behaviors this year. About 13 kids in my class are EXTREMELY well-behaved. As in, I have never had to discipline them for anything. With the other 8 kids, every day is a constant battle.

    I have two kids on behavior mod plans where they are constantly checking their behavior. (I'm talking every 15 minutes.) Neither one of these plans seems to be working, even though I am being diligent and consistent.

    Their behavior problems are CONSTANT and with every little task. For example, when their name is called to line up, they run to the line. Every time. I have them come back and do it again the correct way every time. When I am teaching they are shouting out and talking over me. When working independently at their tables, they are talking. Every single little simple task is becoming exhausting because they exhibit negative behavior with almost everything they do.

    They are also doing violent things, such as pushing and shoving on the playground. My principal has had to be called out to recess just for my class. Almost every day when I pick them up from lunch, one of the supervisors is waiting to tell me something that a child in my class has done.

    I give tons of praise for positive behavior. I have individual short-term and long-term rewards (prizes at the end of the week, lunch with me at the end of the month), rewards for tables who are working quietly, and whole-class rewards (we vote on a fun thing to do when we reach a goal together). I also give random rewards to children who are behaving well throughout the day.

    For consequences, I try to make them as natural as possible, but I usually end up taking away free choice time, because that upsets them the most. I have a clipboard with me in which I mark inappropriate behavior, and then I write a note home in their responsibility log.

    I don't know what else to do. :unsure: I just can't go on like this for 67 more days (not that I'm counting).
     
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  3. 1stGradeRocks

    1stGradeRocks Comrade

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    Feb 24, 2010

    It sounds like you have a really tough group. As hard as it is, focus on those 13 kids that are well behaved. It will help you get through the rest of the year. With the others, as hard as it is, you might have to pick your battles. Have you tried focusing on one very specific behavior to try to target? What about parent support? Are there consequences for them at home?
     
  4. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Feb 24, 2010

    Wow, first a big hug to you - it sounds like you're trying a lot of strategies and are feeling VERY frustrated. Do you have a 'Take a Break' seat in the classroom? This is something from The Responsive Classroom philosophy I have found VERY useful for difficult students. I've found that 99% of kids, if taught, modeled, and given an opportunity to practice, will go to the seat and remove themselves from the situation.

    Here are a few links that explain it better:

    http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/bookstore/rp_timeout.html

    http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/multimedia/timeout_overview.html

    http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/multimedia/timeout_reflection.html

    http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/pdf_files/10_2nl_2.pdf

    http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/pdf_files/qa_11.pdf

    http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/newsletter/16_1nl_1.html

    Good luck and keep your chin up! :D
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Feb 24, 2010


    I basically picked my battles all year up until a few weeks ago. I've realized that if I give them an inch, they'll take a mile. I have been giving them a consequence for almost everything lately.

    Parent support is good for some, but I have a few parents who tend to baby their child. One parent in particular I have met with 5 times, and I just hear excuses about the child's behavior every time.

    I'll check out the Responsive Classroom information. Thanks!
     
  6. mrsleapfrog

    mrsleapfrog Companion

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    Feb 24, 2010

    I totally understand what you are going through, my class is exactly the same this year. I will keep checking this to see if anyone has some good suggestions.
     
  7. gottagoodgig

    gottagoodgig Companion

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    Feb 24, 2010

    Just think "This is another opportunity for professional growth!" I often say this and laugh in tough situations, but it really is true. You are growing and learning. You are becoming a better teacher. This too shall pass. Good luck!
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Feb 24, 2010

    I really feel for you & wish I had the magic answer to tell you what to do. 67 days may not sound like a lot to some, or maybe it does. My district still gets 1 more vacation & that's a wk off for Easter aka spring break. Do you get that too? If so, please really relax& I hope you don't have to bring home any school work.

    It sounds like you're doing all the right things & I applaud your dilligence w/ discipline consistency. I'd say hang in there, but I know that's the last thing you want to hear.
     
  9. NoviceTutor

    NoviceTutor Companion

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    Feb 24, 2010

    Good Post! I can relate to you 110% -- all and more.
     
  10. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Feb 24, 2010

    I don't have much advice, but thankfully some others do. I just want to say I TOTALLY sympathize with you and I've been there.
     
  11. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    Feb 25, 2010

    ouch, that does sound really really tough. And you sound like you are totally doing all the things that you should be. Maybe you could get a parent volunteer to come into the classroom to help you out?
     
  12. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 25, 2010

    It is awesome that you are sticking with it even though it is tough. I don't know where you teach, but here we can only have up to 5 kids with behavior plans. If we exceed 5, then they place the others in one of the other 4th grade classes. I had 5, but 2 of the kids moved.

    I think you should consider a daily social skills lesson. Yesterday I had to call 4 parents. One of them came to check on their son. That put his behavior in check.
     
  13. cityfrog6

    cityfrog6 Comrade

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    Feb 25, 2010

    I have 4 boys and 2 girls that challenge me everyday. I use smelly markers on their hands at every point I can for the well behaved kids and sometimes it works for the others. At least for 2 minutes of peace.
    I have an aide who is out on maternity leave - all of our routines are messed up right now. Plus, I'm recovering from an injury so I'm easily annoyed from the pain. I try to take a minute break just so I don't yell at the kids. This group we have is the toughest of our school. I feel ya and hope we all can make it to the end of the year.
     
  14. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Feb 26, 2010

    I feel your pain!! :(

    I also have a few kids that like to push EVERYTHING!!! Behaviors, attitudes, defiance, lack of respect! It's ridiculous! I can't believe how rude these young kids can be!

    For me this is my second year with some of these kids because I taught them in Kindergarten and then moved up to 1st grade. In fact, I realized the other day that by the end of the year, I would have some of the kids for a total of 360 days...THAT'S ALMOST A YEAR!! And for one of my kids in particular...that's just waaaaaaaay too much!

    If for some strange reason I have to teach 2nd grade next year, there is one kid for sure I will REFUSE to teach!! She drives me BONKERS!!!

    The only advice I can give you is to focus on the positive and the kids you have following rules and directions. It's kind of painful at times...but I can't spend my whole day consumed with a few kids inappropriate behaviors. Especially when they should know better!

    Good luck!
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Mar 2, 2010

    Thanks for the support, everyone.

    Things have been a lot better the past week. After talking to friends and reading your replies, I've really just come to accept that my class is what it is! I'm trying to just make the best of each day, and focus on the positive. So far, this has kept me in a good mood each day. :)
     
  16. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Mar 3, 2010

    I can sure relate! After 30+ years I can say I have NEVER had a class like the one I have this year!! Nothing seems to phase them, no amount of talking, rewarding, taking away centers, recess, fun extra art or other activities, it just doesn't matter. And what's really frustrating is the parents are the same way! :eek: They don't follow dress code rules, always expecting, sometimes demanding an exception should be made for their child for everything, they don't return things on time if at all... parents and children are rude, disrespectful, I'm just amazed! Hmmm you'd think there's a full moon every night! :lol: I get complaints and comments from all of the other teachers they go to. Like you, I do not look forward to going to work each day which makes me very sad because I love what I do. Our staff regularly prays for each other, that's why I haven't had a nervous breakdown and ran away screaming (though I have thought about it :haha:). Pray, pray, pray and don't give up on them or doubt yourself. I agree it sounds like you're doing the right things. Enjoy Spring break, rest, do something special for you, read for enjoyment (non-school related) and recharge for the final stretch. May God bless you for your dedication!
     
  17. demijasmom

    demijasmom Companion

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    Mar 20, 2010

    I understand what you are going through. I am going through the same thing. I have seven students who are CONSISTENTLY disruptive to the learning process and I have no support from my principal she blames the teachers for the students behavior.
     
  18. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Mar 20, 2010

    Have you tried more immediate rewards? What I got out of your post, (but I am tired, so I might be wrong and I have not reread it) is that you reward weekly- by the end of the week. I do not think that is frequent enough. Can you give out stickers?

    I try to catch them being good too. I point out those who are making the right choices and write their name on the board, if by the end of the day they have their name on the board and a check for good behavior too, then they get a good note sent home letting the family know X had a great day today! have it signed and returned- really make a big deal out of these good notes. The kids love it.

    We also tried to earn free time by getting 5 stars on the board. Stars only went up for excellence, so it was hard to earn, but sometimes we might get a teacher compliment and earn two stars- this often happened if we were perfect in the cafeteria. (Free time we tried to have at least twice a week, but it did not always happen. Yet, there were also students who might lose five minutes and have to sit with their head down at their desk- the kids never knew when we would have free time or not and because of the stars it was really up to them too.
     

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