Resetting the tone in my class

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Mister Peter, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Mister Peter

    Mister Peter New Member

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    Sep 17, 2008

    I'm a first year teacher with some classroom management issues (novel, I know). I have a great relationship with my students, I feel comfortable joking around with them and they feel comfortable joking around with me, etc. However, I feel that I wasn't clear enough with my behavioral expectations in the first couple of days, now most days students are very talkative to the point where it's difficult for those who wish to listen to even pay attention. I am having some difficulty laying down the law, I don't want to come off as a cop or some other negative authority figure and lose the good relationship I have with my students now. Any advice for resetting the tone to make up for my inconsistent start?
     
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  3. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Sep 17, 2008

    I don't think losing your good relationship necessarily follows from being perceived as an authority figure. Why would being an adult whom they respect and listen to be a negative thing?

    So my advice is . . . watch an episode of SuperNanny. No, really. She means what she says, she follows through, but the children know she loves them. The same goes for teaching.

    In my experience, you'll have a better relationship if you demand their attention and don't allow them to be so noisy that learning isn't taking place.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 17, 2008

    You can always reset the tone of your room. I would start out by gathering the students together and telling them that the way things are right now in the room aren't working. They might agree with you! Then tell them that from now on this is the way it is going to be and that you are going to hold them to it. Make sure that you are consistant with your consequences.

    I wouldn't call a cop a negative authority figure though.
     
  5. FirstYear

    FirstYear Rookie

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    Sep 17, 2008

    I totally agree with you wunderwhy. Super Nanny is a great example to follow.

    Classroom management is all about setting boundaries and is not a negative thing. It's great to build a good relationship with your students, but it is more important that they understand who is in charge.

    I clearly explain to my class my expectations. When they cross the set boundary I explain to them how they have made the choice to cross that line and now there is a consequence. Even though I have strict boundaries I still have a great relationship with my class. Once your students adhere to your expectations you can relax a bit. When they start to ignore the expectations, then you tighten up again.

    Last year was my first year and I really learned the importance of this. I had a tough group and had a horrible start to the year because I wasn't stearn enough. This year I have another tough group and started out riding them about behavior. We are still working on it, but I haven't laxed up yet. I still get hugs from them, joke around, and share fun times, but they know when I mean business too.

    Keep working at it because it is totally worth the work it takes for you and your students.
     
  6. Mister Peter

    Mister Peter New Member

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    Sep 17, 2008

    Super Nanny, huh? Okay, I'll look into it!

    Didn't mean to offend the profession of law enforcement - my comment came about from the fact that I teach in a Chicago public school, many students have had very negative experiences with police (several have been in jail). The negative authority figure comment was meant to be from the students' perspective. That being said, I do appreciate the advice on having that conversation, I'll try it out.
     
  7. Jade0480

    Jade0480 Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2008

    Having trouble....

    I am a first year teacher, and I am having problems too. Instead of not being strict enough - I am too strict and I feel that I have lost the students. I teach 9th graders. It feels as though the kids have ganged up on me. They won't do their work, wont turn in the assignments, and I really don't know what to do about it.

    So much of everything takes up my time to where it is difficult to call home to parents. My school requires countless meetings after school. I dont feel like I am getting any help. When I do call, some of the parents aren't available, the phone numbers don't work, or the parents speak Spanish and I don't.
     
  8. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Sep 18, 2008

    Suggestion for both of you, and I keep making it, but I really think it's valuable - check out Power Teaching.
     
  9. smilingteacher

    smilingteacher Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2008

    Hang in there. Students willl gang up. Be clear and consistent regardless of their opinion of you. I would focus on the lesson plan and making sure you follow up. Kids love to get attention in any way possible. They will come around. You just need to continue to do whats needed. I think making parent calls are great and can really help. Parents want to know about their child.
     
  10. Jade0480

    Jade0480 Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2008

    Thank you.... one more question

    Thank you for the advice. I did make a bunch of parent calls yesterday and I have been going through my school's policy of warning, 30-minute detention, and then office. Hopefully that curbs some of the behavior. I am also glad to know that what I am going through is fairly normal.... however, I found out from one of my better students yesterday that these kids don't act this way for other teachers. Could it be the time of day (last period) or is it most likely me?
     
  11. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2008

    I did not start out stern enough, either. I went back in and changed the rules and the plan and it works pretty well now. You have to hand them out as they come. Don't back down. But, you can still be "nice." If someone gets in trouble, I talk to them about it and we come to an understanding. They still have to pay the price so to speak, but they don't feel like they are getting in trouble to just get in trouble. I also do a letter writing each Friday, where they can write to me with concerns, and I write them back. This way, even if I have to be more stern in the classroom, I still have the chance to learn more about them and keep a line of communication open. I have moved several seats due to requests in the letters, and it has worked. I also have about 100 students because we have block schedule. So this is a good way to talk to ALL of them, not just my homeroom.
     
  12. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2008

    Since you already have their love, it will be hard to take that away. You have that relationship, so that is a VERY good start.
     
  13. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Oct 4, 2008

    I just wrote a really long post - maybe I should have read this first! :)

    I'm also having difficulty with one of my mostly freshman Algebra classes. I was strict at the beginning in all my classes, but it seems like this one class in particular decided to use that as excuse to "rebel" and they behave much worse than my mostly sophomore Geometry classes, with whom I've been able to relax more and joke with, etc. I don't want to loosen up with this Algebra class yet, but I feel that the more I try to enforce my expectations, the worse their behavior gets!

    I briefly tried introducing the "class-yes" strategy from power teaching, but it didn't go over so well, with half the class thinking it was fun and liked it, but the other class thinking it was dumb and childish and refused to participate.

    All my other classes are very smooth, it's just this one class that I feel helpless with and I don't really know why.
     
  14. charlie251

    charlie251 New Member

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    Oct 6, 2008

    I understand how things can become difficult but I to feel that you can have a great relationship with your students and still have a managed classroom. I remember when I was in school and I had several teachers that were very friendly but still had their expectations of the class. Reiterate the fact that you can still have fun in the classroom but there still has to be rules. At the end of the day, the students will show you great respect for your rules and expectations of them. Students, at any age, want to have rules and guidelines set and they will greatly appreciate you if you enforce the rules.
     
  15. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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