Nervous about the prospect

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by AdamnJakesMommy, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jan 5, 2015

    I interview for a high school social studies position in my district tomorrow. I have mixed feelings: on the one hand it is the subject that made me want to become a teacher---finally! I stand a good chance of getting a job offer, but before I consider it I need some input. I currently teach 7th grade and I love the middle grades level: intellectual enough to really engage but young enough to still use elementary techniques with regard to behavior management. Some things that I have borrowed that work well with my 7th graders are weekly behavior logs, table points (group points), and then consequences range: time out area, assigned seats in cafeteria, silent lunch, being sent to a buddy teacher's room, etc. I like to have a myriad of interventions so that I rarely ever have to refer. I have no clue what to use for secondary. I have no experience in a high school classroom other than own personal and to the best of my recollection 9th grade was the only grade that had any behavior issues and those kids were just sent to a chill out room (beats me if this school still has one---it used to because I frequented it myself in 9th grade). Seems like (at least if memory serves me right) my 10th, 11th, 12th grade classrooms had no discipline issues whatsoever--or maybe I no longer had them and didn't pay attention to that aspect anymore.

    I am hesitant about moving up because I don't want to lose all of the cute little upper elementary based ideas that I have adopted and modified. I almost feel like tossing those is like trashing a piece of me.

    The other thing is, take 9th grade World crammed into one semester. For middle schoolers, they get all of 6th and 7th to cover it! I'm nervous that I wouldn't be able to accomplish anything of any real depth with them! So has anyone worked both middle and secondary? How do you deal with the crunch for time (2 9 weeks per course)? How would behavior plans differ so as to be taken seriously by much more mature students? I personally would've loved things like table points in high school, but I've never heard of anyone doing them in secondary!
     
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  3. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jan 6, 2015

    Well, I'm not concerned about that for multiple reasons. Firstly, this position was recommended for me in district and my current principal is supportive albeit doesn't want me to go. Secondly, I am not in need of a new position because I will have a position at my current school next year, regardless. Thirdly, I don't need a job. I could sit at home eating Bon bons all day watching soaps- my husband makes more than enough to support my family. I became a teacher to teach history, I would do it for free! I am in a financial to be picky and have my happiness be my top priority.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 6, 2015

    As you said, every school has different ways of dealing with behavior issues. One school might be okay with taking away lunch for a student, another school might not. One school might have a chill-out room, another might not. I think the best course of action is to ask during the interview, what types of interventions to behavior the school uses.

    For this age group, things like logistical tracking of behavior points etc., is less likely to be effective. Students in this age group have become wise to the meaninglessness of these systems through their time in the school system. If you ask the interviewer, it will probably show them that you are on board with whatever school systems the school has in place.

    Students who are HS age most likely care only about a few things: grades (if you're lucky) and time with friends. You can make it clear that a grade impact will follow from poor behavior, or a loss of lunch or free time. Phone calls will still probably work if the parents are likely to cause students to lose socialization time (i.e. being grounded), but the embarrassment caused at this age of having them call during class time would probably be traumatizing; I think you have to be very careful of their pride in HS. In High School, I think some of the most effective systems rely on the school-wide system of behavior management.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 6, 2015

    A lot of the success or failure with HS is all about the school culture and expected norms. It's not unlike the real working world except they get paid with grades, so they tend to take grades pretty seriously, in my experience.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 6, 2015

    As others have pointed out, the strategies you can use will largely depend on the actual school.
    But other than that, I've found that 9th grades are students were in 8th grade just a few months before, so middle school techniques often work for them, actually they often need it.
    I wouldn't do group points in high school, but everything else you mentioned could still work.
     
  7. LovelyTee

    LovelyTee Rookie

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    Jan 6, 2015

    I just want to say that I hope your interview went well. For the past 4.5 years I've taught 9th & 10th grade LA and on Monday I'll be switching a position teaching 7th. So like you I am nervous about the switch!
    As for me, the most frequent discipline problem I've had for high school students is cell phone usage. Our school district has a positive behavior incentive program that helps with the overall climate of behavior in the school. I think some of your techniques may still work. Just tweak them to fit the maturity of your students.
     

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