Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Belum, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Belum

    Belum New Member

    Apr 1, 2006
    Likes Received:

    Dec 8, 2007

    I have been hired by a private school to teach mostly grade 7, but also alot of 8th grade, 1st grade Geography three times a week, and one ESL class every day. The teacher I replaced left NO lesson plans, no monthly or yearly plan. My degree is for k-6, so I've been scrambling for curriculum-based lesson plans for the older kids.

    Also, the school is Muslim. The problems I've had is that the girls sometimes listen to their MP3 players in class (thinking I can't see them under their hijabs). I cannot remove their scarves, and when asked to remove the MP3s, they lie and say they aren't wearing them. The whole class is totally out of control, and I'm having no luck in this matter. Sending the kids to the office does nothing, and some of them are basically begging to be expelled. One mother will call up the principal crying if her son gets into trouble, so she's no help at all.

    How can I teach unruly kids with no lesson plans? I've been trying desperately to come up with at least enough work to get us through until winter break, and I'll get the last half of the year done while I'm on holiday. But I find it hard to teach Canadian History (bo-ring!) and Geography.

    This probably makes no sense because I'm braindead right now....

    any advice (or curriculum-friendly lesson/unit plans -- I'm in Ontario, Canada) would be much appreciated!
  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

    Aug 3, 2007
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    Dec 9, 2007

    Sorry you have taken over such an unruly group of students. But - if the teacher left, you are now the teacher and you are responsible for lesson plans. I am not from Canada but many posters on this site are. Hopefully they will read your post and respond. If not, try reposting directing our post to Canadain teachers.

    Try the internet - google "elementary Canadian History lesson plans" - does your dept of ed have a website that has a lesson plan bank.

    Your first order of business should be classroom management. If ipods are against the rules, they should not be wearing them. Ask other teachers if they are having problems with these girls - how are they dealing with this issue. In our school, that's why students are not allowed to wear the hood to their hoodies - they hide their ipods under them.:) Find a teacher that is helpful and ask a lot of questions. Good Luck
  4. applecore

    applecore Devotee

    Sep 12, 2006
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    Dec 9, 2007

    Wow! It sounds like you're a Teacher-of-all-trades for the school that hired you. Nice!

    I'm still a student-teacher, but I agree with finding a mentoring teacher that will help you get through the classroom management.

    I would also add that making your lessons student-centered might help more with the classroom management. If they're having to work together in groups (that you put them into), they have to pay attention and consider what they are learning. And as you probably know, group work, using visual aids, and manipulatives are also a big help with ESLs.

    Best wishes!
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Aug 23, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Dec 9, 2007

    Hiding ipods under hijabs is a very typical problem with Muslim students in western countries, so that doesn't surprise me... but the office shoudl have someone (a Muslim woman) who can "check". If they don't, I'd say don't worry about trying to enforce the rule. You can't enforce rules if the adminstration won't back you up.

    I understand that some students seem to think they have the right to listen to music, but most schools ban iPods because of the cheating that takes place with them. You can play "cheat sheets" on your mp3 player just as easily as past-generations of students used crib-sheets.

    As to the lesson plans, as the new teacher, it is up to you to develop all of the lesson plans. I can't imagine expecting a teacher who is leaving to have done it.

    Welcome to the world of teaching -- scrambling to make lesson plans for sometimes not-to-exciting topics.

    Good luck with your new position!
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Aug 8, 2005
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    Dec 9, 2007

    Hi Belum--welcome to the site!

    For some curriculum ideas, lesson plans and activities check out:
  7. Researcher

    Researcher Rookie

    Sep 9, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Dec 9, 2007

    I teach at an Islamic school, too (5-6th grade). :)
    Strangely, I've never had any problems with behavior, whether with electronics or getting to class work. At worst, I have a couple of students who don't always complete their HW as I expect them to, but other than that, I can't say I'd ever go back to public school. The best behavior I've ever seen has been at this school.
    Anyhow, as for the electronics, you need a school policy to ban certain electronic equipment. Any student caught with one at our school, has it confiscated, as stated in our Parent/Student Handbook.
    Secondly, lying is like totally against the basic moral ethics of the school's character expectations, isn't it? So maybe the school needs more character building classes (we have a class specifically for that purpose, in addition to Islamic studies, Qur'an class, and ELA, math, science, SS, Language, Specials, etc).
    Thirdly, unruly behavior also kind of falls into that category. The school needs more character building/religious studies programs that are aimed at action, not just memorizing cold facts. We all know lying and cheating is wrong, but what about having good role models for the students, student-led skits, etc?
    Fourthly, I started my first year coming up with my own lesson plans for 5 classes. For my second year of teaching, I needed 6 lesson plans (6 totally different classes). While I had some information from previous teachers, I felt the freedom to use my own judgment (along with the principal's advice) to work around the state curriculum was just what I worked best with. I learned as I went along (classes, workshops, mentors, etc), and I still change my own lesson plans every year according to my student needs. I can't imagine being given a set of lesson plans. :)
    Just my 2 cents.

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