Power Struggle with Students

Discussion in 'High School' started by love2teach_art, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. love2teach_art

    love2teach_art Rookie

    Apr 15, 2010
    Likes Received:

    Sep 24, 2010

    Anyone else struggle with this issue?
    I don't know what happened this week, but it was the worst week ever! It was like never ending nightmare! :(
    Monday, I passed out the grades and a student got upset and thought my grading system is unfair and basically cursed in front me.
    Tuesday, the same student comes back with same disrespectful behavior, talking back and questioning my authority as teacher.
    I write him a referral, his parents get contacted and he serves detention.

    I thought the nightmare ended.
    Wednesday comes, I wanted to review the classroom expectations with the students and give them new seats bc obviously some of the students thought it was acceptable for them to act however they want in my class. The student who cursed, after getting a talk from his dean and his parents, he's gotten much better.

    Instead, my two seniors got upset and was questioning my authority. They did not hide their emotion and got real upset.
    The senior guy expressed his anger and threatened to drop my class, and without a pass, he stormed out to see his counselor. (which i reported him for that)
    His gf, whose also a senior complies but complains the whole class period about my teaching style to students at her table.

    And of course, I dealt with these two seniors the rest of the week.
    On the same day, I find out the girl has an IEP and her case worker contacts me asking to get some info about how she's behaving in my class.
    Not realizing the case manager would later share the email with her, I went ahead to explain her behavior in my class--her being disrespectful, her walking out of my class before bell rings, etc.
    On Friday, she comes in flushed with anger because she just met with the case manager who read my email out to her???? (Why would she even do that??? isn't that not professional at all?)
    The girl blames me for going back behind her to talk with the case manager even confronting her! (My guess is obviously the case manager did not have much nice things to say about me to the student)
    Now, the senior boy was ignoring me ever since he stormed out of the room. He is very well-liked by my younger guys. I could hear their convo talking about me, but I couldn't make out what they were saying.
    Later that day, at my meeting with the girl and the girl's counselor, I find out there's already 4 students whose meeting with their counselors to drop my class??? But I don't know if I can take the student's word. The senior boy is definitely have power struggle with me and getting together his group of boys.
    It's really difficult when the seniors accuse me of demanding respect from kids and that I'm not respectful to the kids. (Hence not worthy of their respect) But I can't be lenient and have the kids walk all over me, right?
    What am I going to do with these 2 seniors? They definitely have power over some of these younger students and they would do anything for them!! Would they ever gang up on me as a group?
    Would they succeed in dropping my class as a group?
  3. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

    Feb 13, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Sep 25, 2010

    Contact other teachers and see if they have problems with these kids. They might not be as bad with other teachers, but they probably still act out. Then talk with the councilors and see if you can start to set up success meetings. These are meetings that the student, his teachers, a councilor, and an admin attend. The point of the meeting is to help the student to succeed as a student. These can be very effective because you realize that you aren't the only one who finds this child difficult, the parent is usually on your side and the kid is confronted on his/her inappropriate behavior. As an added benefit, if someone is having success with the kid they use their authority to tell the kid that they need to be good in your class as well.

    Good Luck :)
  4. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

    Sep 21, 2003
    Likes Received:

    Sep 25, 2010

    As for the senior girl who was upset that you were "talking behind her back..." don't let her off. Make her own up to her behavior. If she comes back to you, or it happens again, explain to her that the case manager asked how she was doing, so you told her. Explain to her that you are sorry that it upset her, but you are only reporting how she is doing in your class. Explain that what you report to case carrier is completely dependent on her behavior, so if she doesn't want you to report "bad" behavior, then it's up to her to act appropriately in class. If she claims that she is not acting out in class, calmly explain what you told the case manager, and examples of the behavior in question, and don't let her off. She's old enough to be responsible for her behavior, so I would hold her to it.

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