New teacher How to set the "tone"

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by vateacher757, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Aug 13, 2015

    I will be a new teacher this year - high school business.

    How do you set the classroom management tone in the beginning?

    As an aide I have teachers who have students do exactly what they say with little back talk from day one until the end of school, and still enjoy the class and teacher :D and I have seen some teachers start off with a plan and then the class becomes uncontrollable from beginning to end no matter what.......(I don't want to be that person) :lol:

    I am pretty laid back and basically feel while direct instruction is going on no talking and/or walking around, you should be focused listening or taking notes.

    Group or partner work, as long as you are working, there can be chit chat amongst you, softly perhaps even listening to music through your phone, I know many kids work better that way.

    How do you handle phones, eating etc in the classroom?

    TIA
     
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  3. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Aug 13, 2015

    The school I teach at is super strict. I have fantastic admin support and if I write a kid up there is always consequences. (usually 3 days iss)

    Anyway the first thing I always do is give the kids a syllabus with my rules and expectations. We go over it together, I don't necessarily read the whole thing I just hone in on the things that I really care about. I'm very stern the first 3-4 weeks and I seem to be able to loosen up a bit after that.

    My school doesn't allow cell phones, if I see it we take it and parents have to come up and get it after having a meeting with the principal. I can see the benefits of it but I can also see a lot of off task behavior because of them.

    I don't allow the kids to eat, chew gum, ect. As mature as they think they are it always leads to ants, messes, and complaints about a dirty room. I do allow water bottles.
     
  4. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Aug 13, 2015

    ^^^
    Thanks, see our division is big on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) but I see phones being used to text, instagram, tweet, play games against each other etc.
     
  5. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I sometimes with my school was a little more open to BYOD. However when I see videos of kids fighting at school on youtube, or stories of kids posting inappropriate stuff from school, I'm glad we don't have to worry about it much.

    I just noticed you said your a business teacher, do you have your classes in a computer lab or classroom setting? If so I wouldn't even allow water bottles.
     
  6. teachinjax

    teachinjax Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2015

    This is a great question which I will try to give you some ideas in accomplishing. First off, as a business teacher I think this is a great opportunity for you! Tell your students you expect them to demonstrate "professional" business behaviors- which I will describe below :)

    First, you have to let students know it is "your room" and "Your way". Show students that you are the boss, but don't do so in a condescending way. I accomplish this by, following my words, showing students respect, and approaching it using a rationale. For example, I don't just say, "No phones in class". I say, "I do not want your phones to distract us from learning, because we will have a lot of interesting discussions. We will all be participating so I want you to be listening and engaging in the discussion!" This lets students know several things- you are the leader, you have high expectations, and you are interested in hearing their ideas. You have to show students you are a person, yet you are a professional. It's a delicate balance. You have to have them work "with you" by showing them respect, giving them choices, and having them make their own decisions, with your guidance. I say no phones as I've had students listen to bad songs in class. I usually play instrumental music in the background to tune out white noise and keep students minds relishing. As for food, I always said water and snacks are ok as long as you pick up after yourself and you have my permission. Good luck! :)
     
  7. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Aug 13, 2015

    Thanks to both of you and to Mr.history (I love history by the way) I am not sure yet if it will be in a classroom or computer lab. I hope to find that out next week along with my classes I will be teaching.
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Aug 14, 2015

    Read through the threads on Classroom Management. There are different ready-to-go systems that work for different teachers and their students. Personally, I prefer aspects of Love and Logic, but it's what works in my peculiar arrangement. Good luck in the upcoming year! You'll be great.
     
  9. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    One of my favorite things to do Day 1 is give them my syllabus and then tell them they have a test on it Day 2 and I will call all their parents and tell them their grades. They get that I mean business. So the students get nervous, in a good way.

    But then, the test is so easy EVERYONE makes a good grade. Then I get to have a positive first contact with all my parents. "Hello this is Mrs. Lucybelle from such and such school, I'm your child's science teacher this year. I wanted to call and let you know we had our first test today and your child got a 96! I'm excited to have your child in my class this year. Please contact me any time you need to." Parents love it. And then when I call because their child isn't doing great they take me seriously.
     
  10. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Aug 14, 2015

    Hi from another high school teacher in the 757! :D

    We're not BYOD in my district, so I'm a little tougher on cell phones than you may be. My policy is one warning and then I take it. I know a lot of teachers are hesitant to touch cell phones and the official policy is to call security but after multiple years of security not showing up (we have bigger issues for them to deal with), I've gotten over it. I put the phone in "jail" and they get it back at end of period (or, if it's been ongoing- end of day).

    Eating- I really don't care much as long as it doesn't make a mess (I have a mouse in my room).

    As far as general tone, I've never been a "don't smile until christmas" teacher, but I do make very clear that this is MY room. MY house, MY rules- I don't want to hear "Ms. X lets us!"- that's Ms. X's house. This is mine.

    I've also found that routine, routine, routine makes life easier. We will go over procedures over and over again for the first few weeks. Annoys the heck out of them, but I find that by end of Oct, I rarely have to remind students of what they're supposed to be doing at various points.
     
  11. teachinjax

    teachinjax Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2015

    Exactly! Don't be a jerk face but your your point across. And routines are a teacher's best friend! :woot:
     
  12. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Aug 14, 2015

    I have pretty clear expectations that I go over on the first day. I have 5 procedures/rules that are pretty straightforward:
    1. Stay in your seat
    2. Raise your hand to speak
    3. Only use your devices when you have permisson
    4. Participate in all class activities the entire time (Be on task)
    5. Come into class quietly and begin working on whatever is on the board

    We have other school wide rules that I enforce, but those 5 things are the backbone of my classroom management.

    As far as consequences go, I use check marks. First offense is a warning check, second is a 15 minute lunch detention, third is a 30 minute lunch detention, and fourth is an office referral, parent contact, and 60 minute AM detention.

    For the most part, my students are pretty compliant. I don't walk around to monitor if they are messaging on their iPad instead of reading, but I am circulating the room and I give them a check mark if they are off task. Managing BYOD is a little bit difficult, but I am trying to embrace it.
     
  13. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Aug 14, 2015

    How do you handle profanity? Is that on your list of what not to do/say in your class?
     
  14. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Honestly, I divide profanity into 3 categories mentally. If a kid slips- says a curse word in surprise, curses to a friend while talking among themselves, honestly says it accidentally- then I will just give them "the look", they'll say "Sorry, Ms HistoryVA" and we'll go with life.

    If a student blatantly curses AT someone, they receive a referral to either discipline or guidance.

    If they say one of my serious trigger words (which we do discuss on day 1)- which is derogatory language regarding gender, race or sexual orientation, then we're having a talk in the hall, a phone call home and (repeat offenses)- a referral and parent-teacher conference. I'm really trying to curtail some language that I feel is bullying this year.
     
  15. mrbooknampa

    mrbooknampa Rookie

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    Hope the year is going ok. I always found The First Days of School by Wong was good at helping start the year. It seems to be a battle for me every year however. Kids like to test and they learn how and when you break easily. Other tactics I've found useful are frowning at individual students to communicate displeasure and proximity and talking in the hall to communicate what I wanted to see and why it wasn't happening.
     
  16. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Nov 13, 2015

    Things are going well for me this semester my kids are great. I have my first formal observation soon.
     
  17. Vulcan_Klaatu

    Vulcan_Klaatu Rookie

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    Dec 3, 2015

    Hello everyone. Would you say that the classroom management strategies discussed in this thread work in tough school districts that have great discipline problems? If not, for those who have taught in tough districts (especially high school) what recommendations and tips would you give to a rookie teacher? Thanks.
     
  18. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Dec 8, 2015

    I teach in a very urban area with a good amount of gang activity and discipline issues, so everything I posted would definitely apply. Routine, Routine, Routine. The more chaotic a kid's home/street life is, the more they (generally) will thrive in routine.

    I would add, though, especially with those kids that developing a relationship with them is the best classroom management strategy. If you show an interest in their lives and try to connect with them, they will respect you and work for your approval. Go to a basketball game, ask about an interest, take a few minutes each class just to catch up- it makes a huge difference.
     

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