New high school teacher needs advise on classroom management

Discussion in 'High School' started by Lillian, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Lillian

    Lillian New Member

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    Dec 10, 2013

    In one of my classes, students are using their cell phones to make noises in the classroom such as birds chirping.....It's very annoying and hard to catch the person doing it. Any suggestions on how to handle it? I don't want to give the entire class detentions for one or two persons inappropriate behavior.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Dec 10, 2013

    Are they allowed to have their cell phones on in school? If that was happening in my class, I'd call security and have them do a bag search. They'd confiscate any phones that were turned on. When classmates who weren't involved also lose their phones, they may turn on those that screwed it up for them. Even just the threat might work. And either way, the phones would be gone.
     
  4. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Dec 10, 2013

    Yes. But in addition, plan ahead by speaking to the Dean to let him/her know that you will be calling for a search and the reason.
     
  5. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Dec 10, 2013

    If it is constant interruptions maybe you can say, "What ever I don't finish in class will become homework." A lot of teachers at the school I attend say this.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jan 7, 2014

    You won't ever catch the kids doing this. So you need to use negative peer pressure to your advantage. Just like the student above suggested, make it inconvenient for the whole class to have this continue.

    I would plan extra homework problems for a few days and wait for the issue to arise. When it does I'd stop what I was doing and ask the person who caused the noise to step forward. You won't get anyone. I would wait a couple of minutes. Then I'd state "Ok, we've wasted three minutes over this nonsense. That is three minutes that I cannot cover XYZ with you and you will now have it for homework. If this continues I will have to start each day confiscating everyone's cell phone at the start of class." It will probably happen again that day. Pause again. But do not get angry or visibly upset. That's what they want. They might also want to get out of doing work and think the distraction will cause that. It won't. It will get them more work. So wait and add more to their homework list.

    Then the next day, when everyone comes in, have them turn in their phones and electronic devices. Give them a homework quiz. And if the chirping happens again, call for security/adminstration and have them do a bag check.

    If this happens again with your next set of students, do not get upset at all the first time. That is half the battle.

    I had issues with students doing the chirping in computer lab. That class simply lost the privilege of doing work elsewhere in the school. On computer lab/library days they had to stay and do book work.
     
  7. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    Jan 30, 2014

    I have a policy of "I see it... I take it! No matter if you are using it or not" When I confiscate a cell phone, I take it up to the principal and the parent has to pick it up from him. But if the student refuses to give up the phone, I call an AP down and they take ALL the phones from ALL the students in the class. Your school may have a different policy but I love it. Also, don't have your phone out in class, leave it in off and in your purse and in the drawer. Put it on the syllabus at the beginning of the year also. If students see you enforce that rule, they are less likely to have their phones out.
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jan 30, 2014

    You must go to a school where the students actually do homework so that this would be an actual threat.

    My high schoolers would laugh at me if I threatened that.
     
  9. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jan 30, 2014

    You might check out some of the resources at Whole Brain Teaching that utilize peer pressure. They might work for you.
     
  10. MrSSTeacher

    MrSSTeacher New Member

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    Mar 5, 2014

    At the school I teach at, we're not allowed to take their phones. Even if we were, I wouldn't.

    Here's my point of view, if they're not distracting the rest of the class, then I really don't care. If they want to be on their cell phones in class, that's their choice, but when it comes time for a quiz or test, they'll pay for it when they don't know anything.

    I don't keep this a secret either, I let them know my stance on cell phones. Usually it only takes 1 bad test grade to get them to stop and pay attention. Of course, you do have those that don't care about their grades and use their phone anyway, but in my opinion, if they want to make that choice, I'll let them.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Mar 6, 2014

    You must be in one of those awesome states where your evaluation isn't tied to student performance. And one of those awesome districts where students are held accountable for their own failure, not their teachers.
     
  12. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I'd have a basket and all phones would go in there before class started. Our math teacher does that.
     
  13. bbelton60

    bbelton60 Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2014

    General rule of thumb I've learned is is to not get the administration involved unless absolutely necessary. I would casually look about while not making it obvious to the students that you're trying to find the culprit. When you do, politely ask a few times for him/her to put it away and if they refuse, threaten to call security.
     
  14. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    Mar 13, 2014

    mmm i would laugh and then act like its their way of effectively getting my attention and volunteering to answer my questions. then i'd stand really close to their desk for most of class and that tends to work with some students because they don't want to be actually caught and written up.

    However, you probably have three or four students playing you off and covering for each other.

    eventually some of the students who really want to learn will rat out the others because they get tired of it.

    Focus on teaching those who want to learn and tell the others to stop being a distraction. then ignore them like you would the birds outside.

    our policy is no phones visible during instructional time and we are allowed to take phones and give them to the office.

    if a student refuses to give us the phone we call the front office and they send an administrator or SRO to escort the student out of our classroom to ISS.
     
  15. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    Mar 13, 2014

    i would not hesitate to get administration involved if you have tried all you can do to handle the problem (such as calling all parents and reinforcing the rule of no phone out during class and maintaining a positive learning environment)

    I actually tell my Assistant principals about problem students I might be having and get their suggestions on how to handle it.

    also I don't make threats, i make promises.

    I clearly state if they refuse to follow the classroom rules, I can have them escorted out.

    I'm there to teach not babysit.
     
  16. donald

    donald New Member

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    Aug 29, 2014

    Gosh, I’d probably wait them out, act peeved and disappointed but not say anything, just tap my fingers. Most of the kids there, if you’re not wasting their time, they’ll be bugged at whoever is. Look around and the kids who are on your side will make eye contact. I’d probably wait till the next day to address it, and even then, obliquely. I’d say something like, "I get paid a salary to be here, so if you disrupt the class it’s not really wasting my time. But if class stops because one of you is acting like a child, it’s you guys who’ll have extra homework, who maybe won’t get enough practice to do well on the tests and pass the class. I have other classes to teach and I won’t slow this one down, won’t put the tests off, because one or two of you can’t act responsibly."

    But if the kids feel like their time is being wasted in class, that they’re not getting anything in return for their hour in that seat, they’ll never be a great respecter of the classroom. Still, you know your students better than I! If you think my approach would cause a riot, don’t do it!

    Maybe make your own soundtrack, something with Beavis & Butthead-style grunts & inanities: “Derrr, duh.... hhhhuh huh huh...” and bust it out when challenged.

    Or, you don’t say what subject it is, but if it was social studies I’d drop everything and play one of the less popular Schoolhouse Rock videos, loud, and sing along with it. They get tired of that real quick.

    I also once received a CD, “Cruisin’ for Traffic Safety” which is golden.

    Make your response a procedure, not a rule, so it’s in your control. The only written rule I had in my classroom was Don't Touch the Thermostat. The most important rule, though was unwritten, and it was for me: never waste their time.
     

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