Newbie with one of those classroom management posts

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MsMartin, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. MsMartin

    MsMartin New Member

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    Nov 27, 2017

    I did a bit of browsing beforehand before posting this, but I'm not quite finding the help I need.

    I am in my 11th year of teaching. I've always done pretty well in the department, but this year's class has thrown me for a loop. It's at a school I have been at for five years, yet I've never had a class even close to the behavior of this one.

    Grade: 3rd. I have 8 students diagnosed with ADHD, 2 with autism, 2 with sensory processing disorders, 1 with EBD, 3 with more general developmental/learning disorders. And mind you these kids are listed by their chief diagnosis and are not necessarily limited to one category. There are 25 students total in the class. I don't know how they all managed to be in my class, but it has been the hardest year for classroom management.

    I can't even speak to the class. I'm sure most of these kids truly want to listen, but by the time I have the entire class listening to me (roughly 20 seconds), many of these kids are pushing their focus limits. I say two words and I've lost half the class. I have turned to mostly doing small groups for everything (in order to avoid the whole class attention issue) but the same problems exist in these groups at a smaller scale. 2 of the kids have one-to-one aides, but I still find myself bawling every night. If I'm teaching one group, no matter how well trained the rest of the class is, there are still several kids literally crawling on the floor or terrorizing others. I have worked myself to the bone teaching procedures and expectations, but I have yet to have the entire class demonstrate perfectly due to at least one kid having a meltdown a couple of practices in.

    I don't know what else to do. I'm in trouble with administration for not having the "perfect classroom of model students". I am struggling to find that balance between actually teaching, respecting the different needs of these students, and teaching them just how to perform basic classroom behaviors.

    None of my past strategies are working. I need something new.
     
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  3. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Nov 27, 2017

    Sounds like you in dire need of some serious help. I have some radical ideas that I would like to share with you. I was hoping to send you a Private Message, but have no clue how to do this! You're welcome to contact me via my personal email: intellintervention@gmail.com

    Hope to hear from you.
     
  4. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Nov 28, 2017

    I don't really have to time right this second for a long drawn out response but I do have two cents to say. Your admin is crazy for a two reasons. 1. For putting all those issues in one class. I have one little kindergartner whose is unofficially diagnosed on the spectrum and its tough to teach with just this one I can't even imagine with all your students. (his reeval is soon so I know he will be diagnosed) 2. Then if they did put those students in your class why on earth would they expect you to have the perfect model of classroom students. Even when we don't have kids with official needs there are always students have bad days, No classroom is perfect. I have been teaching 12 years and never once have had a perfect class.
     
  5. Kyle Spearin

    Kyle Spearin Rookie

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    Nov 28, 2017

    This is a very difficult situation to be in. I would advise that you contact the parents of each of the main culprits and develop behavior plans for them that make sense in your classroom. If they have incentives, perhaps the behavior will change. Another suggestion is to try to incorporate as many visuals as possible to catch their attention. I hope that this is helpful, good luck!
     
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 28, 2017

    My worry is that 15 different behavior plans would be near impossible to implement correctly and fairly.
     
  7. Kyle Spearin

    Kyle Spearin Rookie

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    Nov 28, 2017

    You make a solid point, but it could be a behavior plan where the entire class is accountable. They agree to do or not do certain things and based on their behavior they can earn more recess or lose it for instance.
     
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  8. allaphoristic

    allaphoristic Companion

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    Nov 29, 2017

    I have much less teaching experience than you, but a similar class this year (just with 31, oh boy). Have you talked to the second grade teachers who had this group?

    How are you managing behavior so far? I've found that having a simple incentive and consequence system has worked well with my students, especially those with autism. My system is visual so that the kids can keep track of how they are doing during the day. I am also pretty militant about when I expect focus. Talking while I'm teaching or we are having a class discussion or reading is a total no-go and it receives a consequence every time, no exceptions. This felt crazy strict at first, but most kids aren't receiving the consequence at this point because they aren't talking when they're not supposed to be in the first place. I balance this with A LOT of turn and talks and group work.
     
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  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 29, 2017

    Except this is extremely common. If she's been teaching for 11 years, I'd wager she is comfortable with a few different management systems. The trouble seems to be not that she doesn't know various classroom management systems, but that the usual go-to ones aren't working for this rather class of a rather high-needs population.

    I'd wager they need something more than the usual clip/mark chart system and prize box.
     
  10. MsMartin

    MsMartin New Member

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    Nov 29, 2017

    I've run the gamut from a highly detailed and precise check and prize/consequence system to a more informal here's the expectations, depending on the students that year. Some of these students do have more precise behavior plans, but as a whole, the class doesn't yet have the skills to work together, all together, to pay attention as a class.
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Dec 1, 2017

    She already said she had worked herself to the bone teaching and drilling procedures. The trouble is that doesn't necessarily work with this kind of group, where the repetition isn't "breaking", it's going beyond what they can actually handle.
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    OP, I"m sorry, but I actually don't know what to suggest here! You have the aides... has the SPED department offered suggestions?
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Dec 1, 2017

    Not when the kids with issues who are doing it correctly all along freak out after the class does it 20 times.

    The point is, the post made it sound the trick was getting and keeping attention.
     
  14. allaphoristic

    allaphoristic Companion

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    Dec 1, 2017

    Chiming in again - is there another classroom that any student who has a meltdown can go visit to cool down? Again, I have a very similar third grade class this year - I so feel you! I text my students' case manager when a meltdown happens and he is normally pretty quick about pulling the student out for a break.

    Are your aides able to take any of your students on a motor break? I find that that helps a ton to quell potential outbursts before they happen.
     
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  15. mathematicalanomaly

    mathematicalanomaly Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2017

    I don't have any advice, but I empathize. I have the same class this year. All of the EC students and below grade level AND behavioral students were placed in my class. Our grade level was intentionally and openly blocked into above grade level, average, and low performing students. I got the short straw this year. I teach 3rd grade math and science...sort of.

    Giving simple directions alone is misery.
    "If you are at the PINK table, bring me your acorns."
    "No, Jimmy, you are not at the pink table sit down."
    "No, Sarah, those are snowflakes, not acorns, sit down."
    "EVERYONE SIT BACK DOWN."
    "If you can hear my voice put both hands on top of your head and freeze"
    "Tommy, did you hear my direction? Both hands, on top of your head, and freeze"
    "If you are at the pink table stand up."
    "Megan, you should be standing"
    "No, Jimmy, YOU ARE NOT AT THE PINK TABLE, please sit back down."
    "Okay, pink table, bring me your acorns."

    ....absolutely exhausting. Imagine trying to teach grade level curriculum to that hot mess express???? that's just trying to collect materials... I am doing very little academic teaching because all of my energy is spent on whack-a-mole like behavioral procedures.

    My goal is just to simply...stick it out, stay alive, and leave this school for next year because blocking kids like this should be illegal. It's not fair.
     
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