Rescue me

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by sara, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. sara

    sara Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2010

    Hey everyone :)
    yesterday was my first day as a teacher , I have practice teaching this semester , I was really excited , I watched "dead poets society " believing that I'll be Mr.Keating , and that i will inspire my students :cool:
    we were asked to observe the teachers the first two weeks , then start teaching "middle school" . The students were good , but really rude , they were laughing at the teacher , making fun of her . the other two teachers controlled the class pretty good.
    Today , the history teacher was absent , so the principal told us (my friend and I ) to take over the class , and make sure they keep their voices down , we said hi , they were smiling and laughing , and talking , just a noisy class . I said , please girls be quiet , i mean you can chat , but quietly . they kept talking . the principal came in and said : keep your voices down , we have guests , miss Sara will write down the names of those who are talking loudly , and they will be punished . she went out , and as if nothing has been said , they started talking and smiling at me . I started gazing , it didn't work either , then i said ; look , i can write down your names and give it to the principal , i can shout , but i don't want to do that , i was a student once , and i hated that , all what i wanted was some respect , and i'm giving you that by asking you nicely to be quiet and you just keep talking. They stopped talking for like 3 minutes , then they started talking again , then one teacher took them to the library (thank god ) , they borrowed nothing BTW.
    Another teacher was absent , its a different class , we were three , we tried to talk to them , we asked them about a popular tv program here that was shot in Japan to show us (Arabs) why Japan is the world's second largest economy ? one girl said ; we hate that show , we know that Japanese are better and smarter than us , just let me chat with my friend . we talked about English , and its ok to make mistakes , its not your mother tongue etc . They were bored , i said o.k what do you want to discuss ? they said ; TV series . I said o.k , unfortunately , they watch the most stupid Arabic and Turkish series . Just one girl has a taste she likes (house m.d ):wub: , but the principal warned us , she said you can't talk to them about movies and music and soccer , its forbidden .:huh:
    I don't know what to do , almost everyday one teacher is absent , and i'm stuck with them , i'll teach them later , so i don't know what to do , i want to be strict , i want them to respect me , but i don't know how , i don't believe in gazing and shouting and frown face , i believe in smiling , inspiring , but nothing seems to work out with such teenagers .
    I just want the A+ so bad , i'm not considering teaching as a job , not that i hate teaching but i know the atmosphere here , i can't stand the stupid rules of schools and the many narrow minded people who dominate the schools, besides i'm not that great as a an English teacher.

    Sorry for bothering you with the details , but i'm desperate:help:

    Thanks .
     
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  3. msfeo

    msfeo New Member

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    Mar 1, 2010

    Try this...

    What if you tried to bring in a game for them to play? What about BINGO? I worked with middle school students last year, and they loved playing bingo. If not, there is an American game called Bananagrams. It's a vocabulary/spelling game. You could incorporate it into your lesson.

    Did the main teacher leave you sub plans? You could always try working through them.

    If they are too chatty try flicking the lights if they get too loud. Or if there are one or two people who are an issue put their name on the board as a warning, and if they continue to act up they get a check. Once they hit three checks, their name gets submitted to the principal. Rather then you writing their name on the list that goes to the principal, they need to write it. It might sound babyish, but it worked for my middle schoolers last year, and they were a hard nose group.

    Another strategy that we found worked last year was to write a word on the board, such as the word: TALKING. You have TALKING in large letters in the center of the board. Tell them they can chat, but if they get too loud you are going to cross out a letter. If they lose all of their letters, then ALL of their names are submitted and they *must* have a *silent* period from then on.

    I've also used a traffic light that I have. If they get too loud the traffic light turns from green to yellow, and if they get really loud, from yellow to red. It can be distracting but you can use the concept. Try making your own little version of a traffic light. If they get too loud they hit yellow. If they reach red level then they need to give you five min of silence. It might allow them to monitor their own behavior.

    One of the things I have felt working with tough students, is that if you come in and act too nice, they will walk all over you. Try to lay down the law first, then show your nice side. Tough love can be a good thing. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out!
     
  4. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 1, 2010


    Why are you in this position then if you don't want to be a teacher anymore and you don't like the "stupid rules of school" (I'm confused about this too, do you mean, no running, no talking during tests, etc??)

    To me, it sounds like you are trying to be liked by your students. You can't have that mind frame. You have to go in with the mentality that I am the teacher, the professional here. My job duties are to teach you this curriculum. In the process of teaching them, hopefully, you'll be able to inspire your students.

    But just standing there and smiling at them and talking to them about their interests, that won't gain their respect or inspire them. You need to actually teach them.

    So, I'm confused to about this whole situation. You say you began teaching, but it doesn't sound like you are teaching. You mentioned English, but are you actually teaching them about English?
     
  5. sara

    sara Rookie

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    Mar 1, 2010

    thanks msfeo , I'll try to to bring some games , and apply your techniques to control the class , I liked the traffic light thing .

    thanks agian
     
  6. sara

    sara Rookie

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    No you didn't get what i mean , thats not what i'm trying to be , today for example , some history teacher was absent , i was told to take over the class , I said ; o.k you can talk but quietly , and i just sat there reading a novel , they tried to joke around , chat with me , but i shut them down , one told me , you look like someone i know , i said ; o.k . She said your arrogant , I said ; i'll be teaching you English , i promise you , you will have fun, but for now just do whatever you want without making a noise , and i continued reading till the bell rang.
    It worked with one class but it didn't with the others .

    look . I'm a training English teacher , practice teaching is a course just like phonetics and linguistics , etc , so i must practice teaching this semester in order to graduate . I choosed to study English in college , not because i wanted to be a teacher , no , but because it opens many doors when applying for any job here , it is a requiered language when applying for most of the good jobs here.

    and its not the (no talking , no running ) that i call stupid rules . NO , u have no idea about the stupid rules here, and stupid mentalities . let me give you some example , I love soccer o.k , It was the 2004 European Football Championship, and I'm a huge fan of the italian soccer team , so I hanged a small italian flag on my uniform when italy played their first match , one teacher so the flag , and asked me why i'm wearing it , when i told her , she said ; take it off , I can't believe you , I never knew that our girls watch soccer , and you support italy , the center of Christianity :mad: ?
    I refused to take it off , i said , i don't hate people just because they are not Muslims , i hate those who kill innocent people even if they are Muslims .
    Another teacher was lecturing us about modesty , she said ; you cover your faces when you come and leave from school cause its obligatory , but I saw some students in the mall yesterday who didn't cover their faces . I said ; its o.k , you can be a modest person without covering your face , it is a personal choice , Even in Islam some religious figures said you must cover it , others said you don't have too . She called me a secularist .
    Today , the principal said , u can't wear a sunglasses here in my school , you can't sit cross-legged, you can't wear a skirt with a certain cut ,,etc do u know why ? it is a temptation :haha: for god sake not a single male is here !!
    and i'm a person who can't stand such STUPID RULES, and STUPID MENTALITIES , That's why I'm trying to be nice to the girls , cause i know that most of our schools sucks .
     
  7. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Mar 1, 2010

    You cannot be a teacher and have the mindset that you will be nice and they will do anything you say because you are in charge. It doesn't work that way. You have to prove you are in charge and then they will respect you. Respect is earned. I know it is a great thought that you don't want to be stern because you hated it when teachers did it to you, but that is what teachers do. There is a reason teachers are stern. You can still be friendly, but you can't be their friend.
     
  8. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 2, 2010

    I'm still confused. When I was in university studying to become a teacher, and I had to do my field work, I never sat in class reading a book. I was up and about observing the teacher teach, working with students, taking notes, etc. Are you the only one in the class? Is there a teacher in their teaching them? I'm just a little confused about your assignment. Sorry. I'm just not getting a clear picture here why you are sitting and reading and they are expected to sit at their desks and talk.

    And, in regards to the rules. Do you mean they don't apply to you but to the students? Or do they apply to you?
     
  9. sara

    sara Rookie

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    Mar 3, 2010

    HeatherY

    thanks for the advice , I'll try to be friendly , they actually kind of hate me now , cause I don't chat with them , but I promised them that I'll teach them English in a way that they will learn and have fun .
    thanks again
     
  10. sara

    sara Rookie

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    Mar 3, 2010

    Hey Peachyness , I know its kind of confusing .
    look , I do observe and take notes the first two weeks only when it is an English class . But when I said i just sat there and read , it is not an English class , their history teacher was absent , so they have nothing till the next period , so the principal send me to that class to keep the students quiet till the end of this period , in this case , whenever there is a teacher whose absent , they send me to the class just to keep them quiet , so i'm not teaching them , and i can't chat with them , so they have 45 minutes of doing nothing but chatting , only 2 or 3 would read a book , I told them , you have 45 minutes , read a book , do something useful , I talked to them about (tuesdays with morrie) but they just want to chat with me , asking me about my name , if i'm going to teach them , and that i look like some tv star , am I married or not , so I try to avoid that so , i just ignore their questions and read my novel , and let them do whatever they want as long as they are not making a noise . And I hate this , its a waste of time .
    and about the rules , yeah they apply to me actually , the principal saw my friend and I setting outside in the garden wearing sunglasses and she yelled at us saying ; get inside , what are you doing there ? setting crossed-legged wearing sunglasses tempting the students ? I was pissed off ,I mean what a psycho , she said , if u don't like my rules I'll throw you out of my school . I can write an endless lines about such stupid rules and mentalities that I'm forced to deal with till the end of the semester .
    I hope you are not confused now .
    greetings.
     
  11. Michael S.

    Michael S. Companion

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    Mar 3, 2010

    You should try to follow the principal's rules (even if you disagree with them). A skirt may excite pre-teens and teens (I know it would have been a topic of discussion when I was in school). Whenever you are asked to "keep the students quiet", maybe you could try to incorporate an activity that keeps them quiet and engaged. It will show your principal that you care about the students learning and are putting forth the effort. The only time I ever sat in a classroom reading a book in the two years that I have been subbing was when the children were at special (gym, art, music, etc.) or when I was in for a behavior interventionist was waiting for children to get sent to me.

    If you are asked to fill in for absent teachers frequently, try to find an activity for every subject that you can do (and when you use that activity, find another). Noise isn't a bad thing (as long as learning is occurring within the classroom). You just need to make sure you aren't disrupting the other classes.

    If I was a student in that class, I probably wouldn't give you any respect either (no offense). When I was in school, I was very quiet and shy. However, if it appeared that you didn't care to give us your attention, I would be very upset (and definately wouldn't read for 45 minutes). Children need (and want structure). There are ways for you to give them their attention and teach them. You might struggle at first with this, but you can always use the internet as a resources, the teachers, or your principal. Try explaining to them what you are trying to do, and hopefully they will support you. You need to get teaching experience outside of English. You never know when you may be asked to fill in for a teacher, and you can't just sit there and read a book. Also, it might be a good idea to look into grammar rules for the English langauge.

    Please take everybody's advice as constructive criticism and learn from this experience.
     
  12. sara

    sara Rookie

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    Mar 3, 2010

    Hey Michael S.
    look I'm trying to do my best , yet I do feel awful , I feel like I have some personality disorder , one day I'm strict , the other day I'm nice , one day I talk to them about a book or languages , the other day I ignore them , I'm really lost . I want to be in between but I just don't know how?? I barely slept this week , I just keep thinking what i'm supposed to do tomorrow if some teacher is absent again , and why did I behave like this today , I really don't know how to deal with teenagers , they are(13-14-15) years old .
    I'm easily irritated , I was walking today minding my own business , one girl , I don't even know her looked me in the eye (intense look) she said , Hey anything u want ? anything ? something , I was pissed off , I gave her the same look she gave me . I know its the wrong thing to do . I'm awful . I'm not ready for this .
    I'm good with people , I'm really good but only with adults I guess ,I love people , I know half of the college students and Doctors , and they like me I guess . I have a great GPA so far , but with this practice teaching course I'm totally lost .

    I'll try to find an activity for next Saturday in case some teacher is absent . I'll exclude anything related to books , they told me they hate reading .

    I'm really grateful for every single person who took the time to give me a piece of advice .

    wish me luck :(
     
  13. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    In my opinion, I feel that the school is taking advantage of you. I mean, you are there to learn how to become a teacher, not to be used as a baby sitter. You should be in the room with your master teacher, watching him, learning from him, not in other rooms watching the kids.

    I agree with the others in that you need to find activities to do with the kids.
     
  14. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Mar 6, 2010

    You will inspire them! It won't be as dramatic as standing on desktops and yelling a barbaric yawp. It will be through daily little 'aha' moments, of building good habits and reliable character. Patience and perseverance!
     
  15. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    How old are they? I know you said middle school, but that can be anywhere from 4-9th grade, so that's quite a widge are range? And why can't you have them study or read instead of chatting.

    I've made 6th graders put their heads down before when they refused to clean up or quiet down when it was time to put materials away. you can bet they listened immediately the next time i had them
     
  16. sara

    sara Rookie

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    Mar 9, 2010

    Hey Peachyness , I do feel like a baby sitter , but Now I did it my way , everything is under control now , I downloaded the human rights ads , I played the videos , then I started discussing these videos with the students , It went well actually. I also talked to them about Randy Pausch , they were really listening , they actually asked me about the book , and If they can find it in Arabic . I think I just need some experience .
    thanks for your help again.:)
     
  17. sara

    sara Rookie

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    Mar 9, 2010

    Hey wrice , I agree with you , I was confused about everything at the beginning , but really this is my second week and I'm getting along with the students , "tough love" really worked for me .
    thanks for the advice .
     
  18. sara

    sara Rookie

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    Mar 9, 2010

    Hey Toak , they are (13-14-15) years old , I think it is like from 7 to 9th grade in the U.S right ?

    and It's not an English class , so I can't ask them to study or read , It's just that some history or geography teacher is absent , so the principal send me to such class just to keep them quiet till the end of this period . So , you can say I'm a baby-sitter as Peachyness said .
    But thank god , everything is under control now , I brought some activities and it went well .
    Does putting the heads down work with stubborn students ?
     
  19. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    Mar 27, 2010

    so you're going into classes of kids who are just sitting there? where is the lesson? what is the lesson? of course kids are going to talk if there's no lesson? i don't get it????? if you think you'll be put in this position often i would plan a couple lessons you can do across the curriculum so when u "babysit" you can engage the kids
     

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