New teacher here- Freaking out some, need advice, support

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Kippers, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Sep 7, 2008

    Hi

    I'm doing better on week three into the school year but I'm starting to freak out again on Sunday night. There are so many nights I come home thinking, "what on earth was I thinking?"

    I teach special ed. learning handicapped, grades 2-3. I have 18 students and two aides. Several of my kids are violent, two have been arrested. The vp called the sheriff about one child last week.

    This boy returns tomorrow, he's been suspended for three days so far this year. It sounds awful, but I was glad he went after another teacher in the front office so they could see the behavior.

    All of the children in my class have attention issues, but with this small group of boys stirring the pot, I'm just dying- they bring it out in everyone.

    I'm attempting to do the positive reward system- stickers on the individual sticker chart for staying on task- prize box for a full sticker chart- and a class party for 100 charts filled- I'm stapling the sticker charts to the front wall. I send good news postcards home daily with two students.

    I feel so incredibly inadequate. I have the wee ones who still need help remembering to take the pencil out of the pencil box and they're pretty much getting ignored at times.

    I've made such an awful first impression with the principal and administration. I've requested assistance from my program specialist. So much of my aides' time is taken up in calming these boys, and I need them to run centers. When they do go to the office, they are sent back to class, and it has been made very clear I am to contact the parents first. But one day I had two aides chasing down a raging boy, 17 other special needs students in my class, and the office calling me to ask if I'd called the mom yet. That would have meant leaving the 17 others without teacher involvement.

    The academic skills in the class vary dramatically from non-readers to grade level readers.

    I'm so overwhelmed and feel so incredibly inadequate. Some of these children are tough inner-city little kids who said "crack whore" when I asked (stupidly) what names can't be used in my class.:dizzy:

    We've made dramatic improvement since the start of the year. But I'm sick to my stomach at the thought of this student returning and our little ordered world falling apart.

    Any advice?
     
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  3. doubletrouble

    doubletrouble Companion

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    Sep 8, 2008

    Why do you think you have made an awful first impression with
    principal and administration? I am confused.
     
  4. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    Sep 8, 2008

    I don't really have too much advise, but I do want to send you a virtual hug. They've put you in a really difficult situation here. A class like this shouldn't be larger then 10 or 12. Have you thought of involving the school couseler/psycologist? Maybe when you see the boy potentially getting upset and violent you could immediately call someone in for help so you and the aides could continue working with the others.
     
  5. reverie

    reverie Companion

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    Sep 8, 2008

    Wow, I agree with the above poster. Your class shouldn't be that big. I don't really have any advice but I hope things get better for you.
     
  6. Turtle321

    Turtle321 Companion

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    Sep 9, 2008

    Kids arrested in grade 2?? Wow. I don't have much advice but I'm sure administration KNEW they gave you a difficult class to begin with. Shame on them.
     
  7. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Sep 9, 2008

    You are in the state of California public school (not charter) and you have a class that big? Contact your union now! I don't know what the limit is but the largest I have heard of is 12 kids in a mild to moderate disabled class. Even that is considered a lot. Usually it is around ten. Double check the class size limits according to contract for your district. If you haven't signed the form asking to be part of the union for your area and CTA, go do so now. You are paying for the union whether you sign up or not might as well put it to use.
     
  8. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Sep 11, 2008

    Hi everyone-

    Thank you! The state legal maximum is 18 kids and I have it. I do have an instructional assistant as well as a one on one aide and they have been my lifesavers.

    One child is likely going to be placed in a more restrictive ED environment very soon- but he's such a danger to the much younger, much smaller children in the class. He's 10 (in third grade and was retained) and many of my students are 7. I tried to write a referral for him this week and requested administrative intervention since he hurt two girls (twins) to the point of throwing them down on the ground. Instead, there was a planning meeting using him as a case study and he now gets to pick 9 alternative activities a day whenever he feels like he needs to opt out. It would be okay, but he's being loud and obnoxious about it "suckers, I don't have to work."

    Today another boy called all the girls whores and offered to kick my behind while walking in line. Again, I sent a note asking for appropriate intervention since I've called home three times and did recess detention- he met with the school psychologist and came back wearing a big star. I want to support positive interventions but I can't have chaos in the classroom and I have one child with gastrointestinal illness whose doctor says is related to stress. She wants to not be called a whore at school! Luckily, she thinks she's being called a horse!

    I feel so completely inadequate with this group. Each child has such extreme needs and there are just so incredibly many of them. I can't teach basic reading skills when one boy is turning around and spitting on the girls behind them, clutching his genitals and swearing and another boy is charging out of the room.

    I'm so incredibly new. It seems like contacting the union would be divisive and trouble making. The contract says no more than 18 with a six hour assistant, which I do have.

    Thanks.
     
  9. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Sep 12, 2008

    :hugs:

    Do you have established rules that are posted? Are there rewards/consequences for completed work?

    My classroom is an ED unit. If my boys do their work they get half an hour of free time. It is a huge, huge, reward that they work hard for. If they don't do it, they miss out on free time until it is finished.

    Also, they get paid with a token at the end of the day if they aren't on "Red" on the behvaior wheel, and they completed all of their work. On Fridays they get to spend tokens at the classroom store. They see this as another huge reward and work for it.

    Of course they do have their days. Yesterday they all went home on "Red" on the behvaior wheel for fighting on the playground. :|

    Good luck! There are days when I go home wondering what on earth I was thinking trying to be a teacher. But then, one of my kiddos will give me a picture of Batman or a hug and it makes it all worthwhile. :thumb:
     
  10. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Sep 14, 2008

    If the contract says 18 then there is no reason to contact the union.
     
  11. KAM

    KAM Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2008

    I am sorry to hear you're having such a tough time starting out. I can empathize with you completely; I am brand-new to the profession and I am having somewhat of a difficult time at my school, but for much different reasons.

    I don't have much advice unfortunately, but I hope things get better for you.
     

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