Our teacher yells at us

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by jen12, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Dec 7, 2011

    Today I was in a class where I've worked several times. In the beginning of the year, I wrote off their cluelessness to the fact that it was the beginning of the year and they're still learning how things work. Based on today, they seem to be getting worse, not better.

    The non-stop talking almost drove me to jump out the window! 22 seven-year-olds managed to sound like the entire student body! The only management system in place is names on the board and missing part of recess as a consequence. I asked them what their teacher does to get them to settle down and they told me she yells at them.

    Whenever a class tells me "our teacher yells at us" I know it's either an incorrigible group or that the teacher is missing something. Based on the reason for the teacher being out, I know she's a new teacher, so I wonder if her own classroom management couldn't use some tweaking. There is no ticket reward system and no clip or color chart so that the students know that they're doing the right thing or that they're skating on thin ice. The more I sub, the more I see how well those things work, and although I'm over subbing, I think the experience has really helped me formulate a plan for my own elusive classroom.

    I'm going back to this group the next two days and I'm trying to decide how to make my day reasonable. I thought of bringing in candy for rewards, but I don't want to pay for it AND I'm not sure of the school's policy, so I think I'll use stickers. I'm just not sure of hte best way to reward them. Do I do it by row so I'm not trying to find the one or two students who do what I ask? And how many times should I let them earn stickers?

    Any suggestions?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    There's also the possiblilty that they're mistaking "correcting" with "yelling."

    My 11 year old does it all the time. I'll say in a voice worthy of Mother Theresa "Julia, honey, you had better get moving. You have to leave for school in 7 minutes."

    Her response will be" STOP YELLING AT ME!!!!!"

    I don't use any sort of classroom management system, and my classroom management isn't an issue.

    I say you give the teacher the benefit of the doubt, just as you're hoping she'll do for you when she asks how the sub was.

    Sorry, I can't be of more help than that.
     
  4. Enseignante<3

    Enseignante<3 Companion

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    Dec 7, 2011

    While I was subbing (and when I go back after my lts ends), I have a pencil case full of "prizes." Just stupid little stuff that kids love like pencils, koosh balls, stickers, etc. When I was in a class where the management system just didn't work, I would reward students with tickets for good behavior and and did a raffle right before lunch and a raffle at the end of the day. I would choose 3 students each time and they get to pull from the prize box. Pretty much always worked those days you're in one of the impossible classes!

    Obviously, this isn't going to help you tomorrow! Maybe you can do rows and individual students. "I'm looking for a group that is ready to..." and give stickers to the first group/row that is ready. The problem of course might be if the stickers mean nothing to them. It might mean more if they could earn something by having a certain number of stickers. maybe some sort of small treat for the next day since you'll be there 2 days? tomorrow you could find out the school's policy on that.

    Hope you have a better day tomorrow :)
     
  5. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

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    Dec 7, 2011

    Seven year olds usually do well with postive reinforcement. I have ran into the occasional one who has developed the "too cool for school" attitude. However, most of the kids will work hard for stickers/candy.

    Since you don't know the school's policy on candy, I would go and get a set of index cards and a thing of stickers. Choose a certain amount of stickers needed for a reward. Give each child an index card and have them write their name(or you can do that if you know their names ahead of time). It could help to break the day up. For example, you need 4 stickers by lunch to get _______. Or, you could make it a whole day thing.

    Possible rewards for getting enough stickers:
    -Free time at the end of the day.(I am not sure how this would work since you are a substitute but I feel that if their behavior was good enough and they got all the work done then you could spare some free time at the end of the day. I would just make it structured free time. Ex. coloring)
    -You can bring in candy and check with the policy when you get to school tomorrow.
    -Extra time at recess?

    I would just try to think of some reward that they could earn for their stickers. Something that wouldn't be to hard to handle or time consuming.
     
  6. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Dec 7, 2011

    I've never been a sub, but from what I've seen and heard, a lot of subs bring their own class management system with them if a teacher does not have one in place.

    For instance, my friend who subs for a k - 12 school writes the word RECESS(sp) on the board. Each time the kids get out of hand, she erases a letter. When all the letters are gone, so is their recess. It works well for her, but depending on the class, it may not for others.

    I love the color chart myself and if I were a sub I would try to figure out some kind of way to make a portable one that can be used in different rooms. If you arrived a little before the kids, maybe you could have time to write each child's name on a piece of paper or clip.

    I don't know.

    Sorry I wasn't able to be more helpful :eek:
     
  7. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I recently subbed in a class room that was very......unstructured. It was obvious pretty quickly the regular teacher didn't have the discipline or management style as the other teachers. The kids were loud and rowdy.

    I remained calm and told them I didn't accept that type of behavior. One of the kids said "Mr. Regular Teacher just yells 'SHUT UP' when we get to loud...oh, and he calls Johnny an idiot." :eek: (Johnny had already proven he was going to be a handful in the first 10 minutes of class).

    I looked at the entire class and said "Well, I don't use that type of language and I do not call students names. I treat each of you with respect and I expect you to do the same for me." Out of 5 classes, I only had two students that continued to be disruptive after my talk.
     
  8. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Honestly, I think you should do whatever you have to do to ensure you have a good, "easy" day. If that means paying for it, I say do it. "Experts" will tell you that a "good teacher" wouldn't resort to those tactics. My response (after many years of distinguished service sub teaching) is that I would never set myself up with that type of situation. Furthermore, it's not my job to clean up someone else's mess... especially when it's only for a day.

    Use treats, stickers, any sort of bribe, to get the job done. That being said, it's something I've never used. But it's not because I disagree with it; I'm just set in my ways, and am too lazy to buy stickers I guess. :p
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    This. :)
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I would be incredibly careful about giving ANY food to a child unless I knew about allergies-- information that, as a sub, you may not have access to.

    For example, one of my daughters seems to be developing an allergy to one of the red dyes. She had a semi-scary reaction to a Shirley Temple over the summer (As in: do you think we should call 911??), and a lesser one to red hand soap last week. I've told her to be careful with red food, but she's 11; she might forget. Fortunately she's in middle school, and our district is getting away from the whole food in class thing.
     
  11. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Oh...one student gave me a demonstration. I'd categorize it as yelling.
     
  12. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    I like this idea a lot. And I found some leftover pencils and toys that I bought to give out on Halloween. I'll use those as prizes. The candy idea will likely backfire...guess who will eat any that is left over? :lol:
     
  13. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Forgive me, because I don't and wouldn't teach under third grade. But I've never been a fan of extrinsic reward systems. Especially by subs. My problem is it is never enough. They always expect "stuff".

    AS for the tales from the classroom, what do we tell parents?...you believe half of what you hear about school, I'll believe half of the stories from home? I think the same could apply here.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    It could be true but it's not necessarily true. I'll leave it at that.

    As far as classroom management goes, I have a lot of classroom management strategies but rarely do I have systems. I never thought about it affecting subs if I don't have a external system for them to follow. I did have an aide comment on it one time until I showed her why I didn't need or want one. She saw my point.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Students have a way of embellishing. It's just the way it is. I've covered classes for teachers right next door to me and the kids will tell me that their teacher lets them to XYZ or that their teacher always screams at them or that the teacher is late for class every single day. I know for absolute fact that those things are untrue. Either the students are trying to manipulate me or they are remembering things wrong. In either case, I try to take everything they say with a grain of salt. I think you should do the same.

    I also think that what works for one teacher in a classroom isn't necessarily what works for another teacher, even in the same classroom. If that teacher's system doesn't work for you, find a system that will work in sync with what the teacher has set up. It's always a good idea to try to tweak your management system so that it works for you. It's not a good idea to be especially critical of other teachers, especially when you have no idea what really happens in their classroom.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Right-- it was HER demo. Not the teacher's version.

    I would love to hear the same child's demo of your classroom management-- I would imagine you would be shocked and appalled at the child's version.

    Why was the child allowed to explain to you how her teacher yells?? I can just imagine how that story will come across to the classroom teacher-- and rest assured, it will.

    Besides that, it's not up to you to worry about the teacher's effectiveness. If you think the kids are being abused,you have a legal responsibility to call CPS. If not, it's up to the administration to help this new teacher deal more effectively with her class.

    For what it's worth, I don't yell. It's when I get deadly quiet that they have to worry. But the guy across the hall does, constantly. He's one of the most amazing teachers I've ever met, but his normal tone of voice is yelling. He'll yell about the Yankee game, a bill just signed into law, some minor error at the Battle of the Buldge that changed the course of the war, the fact that February will have 29 days next year, or anything else that crosses his radar. He's universally loved, and one of the most brilliant people I've ever met. Yet I know that doesn't come across in this paragraph-- it's one of those things you need to experience to understand. Any kid I've ever heard imitate Kevin has gotten it right, except that they can't replicate the brilliance or the spark that makes those "yells" so fabulous.
     
  17. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 8, 2011

    I have to admit I'm rather amazed at the number of people coming to the defense of the teacher and automatically assuming the kids are exaggerating. :confused:

    Yes, kids do exaggerate sometimes, but there are other clues here as well. The teacher is new and the entire class is talking non-stop. They've been acting like this since the beginning of the year.

    All of those things do point to the conclusions drawn by the sub; that this group is incorrigible and the teacher might need to tweak her management skills. It sounds like she does have a challenging group this year and I can easily see any teacher resorting to yelling when all else seems to have failed - especially a newer teacher.

    I've subbed in dozens of classes from elementary school to high school, including the "alternative school" in our county. I've NEVER had an entire class be out of control, loud and/or disruptive. One of the closest examples I've had to that was the class I subbed in last week where - surprise, surprise - the kids said the same thing about the teacher; the method of classroom management used was to yell "SHUT UP" when they got too loud. Comments from the other teachers AND from the teacher himself (when I was at the same school for a different teacher) confirmed this is what he does.

    I'm still a new teacher myself and admit I've still got a lot to learn, but it was very easy for me to see there wasn't much regular structure in the classroom.

    However, I will also say that when the kids told me the teacher yells at them, I didn't allow any demonstrations. I just stated matter-of-factly "That isn't the way *I* do things" and then explained what MY expectations would be of them that day.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, the kids could be totally right. But still:

    a. They could be totally wrong.

    b. It doesn't matter. What works, or doesn't work for the classroom teacher isn't the sub's job to determine.

    c. Kids have been known to misinterpret "loud" or "corrected" for "yelling." The other day I used volume to make a point. I forget what I was teaching, but I came up to a mistake that half of the class ALWAYS makes. So I asked a questions along the lines of "are the slopes equal?" And answered with a very loud "NOOOOO!!!!" Anyone walking by my room probably would have assumed that some kid was in big trouble. Instead, it was me making a point by being uncharacteristacally loud.


    d. In any event, the sub needs to come up with a system that will work for HER with these kids, and with the kids she'll see next week and next month. I'm glad yelling won't be part of it; I'm not normally a fan of yelling myself. But it's sometimes a lot easier to see what doesn't work than what will.
     
  19. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Lately I've been seeing a trend on this board where posters explain a situation, ask for assistance, and then are torn apart and blamed for the very problem they're asking how to solve. It's getting old. I think I'm done here for a while until the board attracts a new mix of regulars.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't think that anyone has torn you apart. I think that the posters here have tried to give you a gentle reminder that you don't know as much as you think you do. At least that's what I tried to do. You can take or leave my advice; it's totally your call. But I offered my comments with the best of intentions in an attempt to help you maneuver your way through what can be a very political field. If you begin to develop a reputation as a person who thinks she knows everything about everything, when really your experience and point of reference is pretty limited, you will not find success as a teacher.
     
  21. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I don't understand where the tearing apart and blaming occurred?
    :confused:
    Disagreeing is ok. If we all agreed on everything, we might never solve any problems.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    If my remarks were part of what you interpreted as "tearing apart" please let me offer my apologies. I didn't intend for anything I said to be taken as a criticism, merely as a point of view you apparently hadn't considered. No one here criticized your actions; we merely offered an alternate explanation for what the 7 year old told you.

    But if you're waiting for me to leave, I'm afraid you may be in for quite some wait.
     
  23. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    be careful... What you say to those kids may come back to haunt you. Kids might go back to their teacher and say, "The sub said that she would not talk to us like you do." It may be that her "yelling" is not a true assessment and that might have the teacher speaking with a principal about how unprofessional it was that a sub would come into her classroom and speak to her students about HER when you don't even know the particulars of the class or the situation. I am just sayin' it could happen. It happened at my school just this week. The sub will not be asked back and she had even done a long term sub job and had done a good job....
     
  24. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I have substituted in inner city schools with some tough classes.

    I have an excellent way of managing elementary school classes that does not involve giving rewards.

    Instead, I give recognition. For the younger grades, I write the word "Superstars" on the board. For older grades, I write "Rock Stars".

    I would size up the class and immediately zero in on the most challenging student. As soon as I saw that child doing something right, I'd tell the child to go to the board and write his/her name. I'd wind up getting all of the childrens' names on the board. Many would put checks next to their name to show they were superstars 2 or 3 times over.

    Everyone craves recognition. Capitalize on that and try this technique. You'll hear a hush fall over the room as the students watch a child approach the board and put their name on it. They will be eating out of your hand.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Differing viewpoints are not tearing apart. There's been no finger pointing or name calling or derogatory comments...just a possible "other side of the story".
     
  26. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    The number one thing I would like to see on this board is teachers supporting each other.

    We all have lots of great ideas to share.

    People are reaching out for help and support. Let's offer them that.

    We don't all have to agree. But in a post like this, it's essential to ask yourself, "What can I do to help?"
     
  27. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I agree!!!
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It might be helpful to the OP to consider the possibility of the other side of the story. Kids do try to manipulate subs, can exaggerate how teachers (and parents) manage behaviors, and sometimes kids behave in ways to seek attention.
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Best wishes OP.
     
  30. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I think that subs do have to make some judgements on what the teacher they are subbing for is doing. I have subbed for a few teachers (not alot) that I will never sub for again. Their plans were thrown together, the room was a mess, there was no set management system, and in one classroom the teacher didn't tell me when I had duty and I had to be told by the principal after missing part of it. I guess she had traded with someone but never let me know. Days like these are horrid! I realize that sometimes the teacher might have become ill or had to leave in a hurry but that was not the case for these few teachers. I have had to fill in for teachers that left nothing because of emergencies and those days still were better than being left with this kind of slop! All that to say that just like how the regular teacher will decide who gets asked back to her room, the sub can decide if she will go. I'm sure that there are a few teachers in the district where I sub that have great difficulty finding a sub!
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 8, 2011

    Best wishes to you as well.
     
  32. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm also sorry you seem to my post was aimed at you when I was actually addressing the posters that were telling you not to believe everything the kids tell and seemed to be defending the regular teacher more than your interpretation of her skills (or lack thereof).

    I also pointed out the other clues from your OP that supported your interpretation that the teacher was new, my need to tweak her class management skills and might resort to yelling when her management skills fail.

    In other words, I was actually trying to defend your original post, but I guess that didn't come through clearly enough. Ironically, the ones I disagreed with seemed to take my post as just that - disagreement rather than a tearing down. :unsure:
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I've been teaching 14 years. I have a cooperative and positive classroom climate, behavior problems are minimal and I manage them with minimal impact on instruction. I don't have a ticket system, or stoplights, or marble jars or clip or color chart or anything else that's visible...and yet im recognized by administrators and others as having excellent management. Occasionally my class gets chatty...sometimes very chatty, but easily manageable. For a sub with little experience, though, it might be difficult....for a sub with few management techniques of his or her own, any class could be difficult.
     
  34. Zabeth

    Zabeth Rookie

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    To add to this, as a sub, if the class's management system is too complicated to my tiny peabrain to handle, I will sometimes not use it if I'm in for just a day. Instead, at the start of the day I will lay out my own expectations for behavior -- taking into account existing procedures (such as the dreaded bathroom break) -- and have students agree to follow them. I have rarely experienced problems with students in these classrooms.

    I do my best to respect the classroom teacher's systems, but my job is to give the students and myself a successful day. If I'm trying to cope with a stoplight system, and a reward system, and a couple of other systems thrown in (and I have been in classes where the teacher has MULTIPLE systems running at once!) I know I will end up spending more time doing systems than I am teaching.
     
  35. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Again, you seem to be willing to put all the blame on the sub and none on the regular teacher, despite the fact there are other clues in the OP to suggest Ms. Regular Teacher's own class management skills are weak. I have to admit I'm disappointed to see some members (not just czacza) taking the default position that a sub must be the one with poor management skills.

    I've subbed or taught my own class for 3 years and feel I also have good management skills. I mentioned the class I recently had where the teacher DID yell at the kids when they got out of hand and other teachers in the school verified that Mr. Regular Teacher's classes were "unstructured", at best. I've also subbed at our alternative school and handled an entire class of teenage boys with behavior problems playing "full-contact/tackle basketball" without having to raise my voice or risk a confrontation.

    The one thing these experiences have taught me is that it is very easy to tell when Mr(s). Regular Teacher does NOT have good control of the class on a daily basis. I know kids are going to "test" substitute teachers and try to get away with stuff. They are also going to lie about what Mr(s). Regular Teacher lets them do. That's all part of the standard operating procedures and is the same thing I and my classmates used to do when we were in school.

    Just like a regular teacher can often tell when a kid has issues going on outside of school based on their behavior, so too, can subs assess a class and how they are used to acting pretty quickly.

    One thing regular teachers overlook is the fact they are in the same school year after year and will inevitably earn a reputation for how their class is run. So students come into their classrooms knowing what to expect and also having a good idea of what they can and cannot get away with. Subs - on the other hand - not only have to get a feel for new classes every day, they also have to prove themselves to the kids and the admins each day...and they have to do that starting from scratch, every day, unless they sub in the same school several times.

    Sorry about the rant. I'm not meaning to turn this into a sub vs regular conflict, but when I see the default position by some being "The sub must be the one that has poor management skills and can't control the class", then I have to speak up against that.
     
  36. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    No. You're wrong, Cerek. I'm saying you can't judge a classroom teacher's management skills based on a lack of marble jars or clip charts....
    And yes, Cerek, subs need their own 'bag of tricks' for managing behaviors.
    Teachers and subs alike who can't manage behaviors don't last long. There have been PLENTY of behavior and classroom mgt threads lately. It can be a difficult thing to get a handle on...but it's vital that one does, whether a sub or contracted teacher.
     
  37. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Fair enough. I agree you can't judge a teacher's management style or skills based on a LACK of external techniques. That's why I was looking at the behavior of the kids in general and the other clues that indicated the teacher was new. That made it easier for me to believe the kids and the sub that Ms. Regular Teacher probably does lose her patience from time to time and yells at the kids.

    When the regular teacher doesn't enforce solid structure every day, it can be even more challenging for a sub to control the class, no matter how good their skills are. Because of that, I agree with the PP who said they don't worry about the Regular Teacher's methods and just use their own style for the day.
     
  38. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I agree! I also think that teachers that have good classroom management have students that dread having a bad note from the sub. They know that there will be more consequences upon her return. Even though I try to handle all of the behavior issues during the day, I do leave a note for the teacher on who had to sit out for recess or any other consequences that I had to give out and what it was for. That way if a parent ever called and asked, the teacher was completely informed. I do know that when I leave a note about a student missing recess to several teachers that kid is probably in for at least a strict talking to. I know of other teachers who wouldn't care in the least if the kids were very rowdy and they wouldn't follow up on it either.
     
  39. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Dec 10, 2011

    I use smiley stickers, but only if they have completed ALL the questions in the assigned section.

    Though one principal told me I have to yell more, I almost never yell. It's productive for about 3 minutes.
     

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