Scared to face my students on Monday

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by justfluttering, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    Mar 27, 2009

    I have been on Spring Break for 2 weeks. I go back on Monday.
    I have been teaching 3 months at a high school. I teach 9th grade students Earth Science and Physical Science. The administration told me that there is no such thing as a disruptive student and that any behavior problems are caused by my lack of skills. True enough to a point. I took my 160 kids from swearing, yelling, throwing things across the room and failing class to about 4 kids in each class that still do those things and about 5 kids in each class of 30 that are failing. I am terrified to back on Monday. I'm already shaking. I never felt this way about school before. I used to enjoy working with kids. Now I just dread it.
    I don't know what to do with my kids. I have one girl so out of control that every day it's a challenge to even talk to her. She was written up for insubordination once already. One young man constantly talks out, he is either suspended or in school suspended, so no one has been able to reach him. I think he is brilliant but bored. Yet, he is a huge disruption.
    Monday is going to be a zoo, if I let it. I was planning on meeting them at the door and having them write 10 things they did over Spring Break quietly (school apropriate). Then having everyone trade papers and then reading one response from each paper. Then we can get to the science. I was also going to bring my digital camera and take pictures of the kids that work well and put them on my screen saver.
    I also need a positive song that is well known to teens that I can download and play to get a good feeling going. Any ideas?
     
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  3. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    How can they be suspending these kids if they don't believe there's any such thing as a disruptive student?
     
  4. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    Good question. I send students to other classrooms from time to time. I had one kid calling out quiz answers, so I had him pack up and go take the quiz in another teacher's class. In a different period, I had two boys talking to each other across the room, so I sent one out with his work to a different class. I spoke the boys individually first to no avail. I got lectured by the AP about not being able to handle my kids. I was told "how convienient" for me to "get rid" of the students I can't handle.
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    This is why I'd never want to each HS. Good luck w/ it all.
     
  6. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    I have a friend that is leaving teaching because of her kindergarten class. So it's not just high school...
     
  7. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    To a certain point, yes, your management skills are the focus of how the kids behave. but there's always a few - whether due to personality conflicts, personal issues, home life, etc - that are almost impossible to reach.

    I know it's difficult time-wise in high school, but have you considered conferences either with the child and parents or the guidance counselor and child? It might help you resolve some of the issues still lingering with those few kids.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Yeah, I stopped teaching high school because I discovered the kids already knew everything.
     
  9. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Um, alright that's just nuts that EVERY disruption somehow has to do with your lack of skills. So if you catch a student sending a text message in class during a test and you take the phone away and the student curses at you or disrupts in some way, that's your fault? Or if while two students are doing a group project they start fighting with each other, that's also your fault? I mean seriously, sometime students do stuff that doesn't have a thing at all to do with our classroom management abilities. Sure, a well managed classroom with engaging activities will have less disruptions, but sometimes things just happen.

    I'm sorry your administration sees things this way. It's not like this everywhere though. I've been cursed at twice this year and both times the students were suspended for three days.

    I like the idea of a "welcome back" activity. Sorry, no advice for a song though.
     
  10. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    Mar 27, 2009

    Nice..:lol:
     
  11. SoCal_Sub

    SoCal_Sub Rookie

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    Some kids need to be thrown in bootcamp, not school. That's just the reality.
     
  12. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    Mar 27, 2009

    How about Umbrella by Rianna. It's very positive and I like the message. I think your ideas are really good.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Just curious: why have them write about their spring break in science class?

    Won't that just get them talking?? I think that, if regaining control were my top priority, I would get right to the subject matter. Maybe you can find some cool development or something, as a pleasant lead-in to the material. (Didn't a volcano erupt the other day?? Could you show clips of that? It's cool and it's appropriate to the classes you teach.)

    But I wouldn't start high school students with "what I did over my vacation" if I were concerned about setting the right tone.
     
  14. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Show the kids a video about rock climbing or something else interesting and link it to your curriculum.

    Sounds like you just don't have the support you need. I have some classes that any teacher would have trouble with. It is simply the sort of students who are lumped into that class.
     
  15. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    I agree, having them write about their spring break is just opening the door for all kinds of idle chit-chat about stuff that doesn't matter in class.

    I try to stay away from asking the kids how their weekend was; I just say "hope the weekend went well," and we're off. In my opinion, 80% of classroom disruptions can be prevented in a structured, engaging environment.

    I'm not sure of your management skills, but that is a downer that admin traces all distractions back to you. Stuff happens sometimes, and the fact that you've drastically decreased the chaos speaks volumes.
     
  16. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    I concur..when I read that I thought..is this an English class? I definitely would walk in with a "This is MY classroom" attitude and the focus that things are NOT different from before SB..you will need to almost start from square 1 because they will 'forget' the rules. I would start out with reminding the classes of what your rules are in your classroom and then break right into the classwork.

    I hate that your admin thinks that way..because its not 100% your fault all the time. We do have a responsibility to maintain control..as a 2nd year I'm STILL learning that process and am doing a ton better than last year-however, I have much more growth in that department.

    I like the idea mentioned to show a video of the volcano or something appropriate and have them take notes or some sort to keep the talking down.
     
  17. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I agree that it's not just HS. I'm just stating what I won't do. :)
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    If you want to ease back into things (and I'm not absolutely sure that's the way to go) how about starting with this:


    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hcWJaxwgurm_TV9AVcObQBWbS25QD977CV3O0

    I know that at this point in the year, I have my eye on exactly how much material I need to get through, and how few days are left till the end of the year. Personally, I wouldn't lose a class period on "extras." For me, it would be "hi everyone, welcome back. OK, let's get started. Today we're going to talk about..."

    Also, you may want to re-think the policy of sending the troublemakers to another class. While it does buy you momentary relief, it causes two problems. First, it gives other teachers your work-- that's not exactly great for your reputation with the teachers. But, more importantly: it sends the message to your kids that you need help maintaining control. That situation spirals downward quickly. Be very, very hesitant about ever giving away any of your authority. Authority is a limited commodity; the more you give away, the less you have yourself.
     
  19. glen

    glen Companion

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    I haven't read all responses, yet, but I did think of an inspirational song you could use. The artist's name escapes me right now, but I LOVE "I Believe I Can Fly". It's from the fairly old Space Jam movie, high school students would definitely know it. Also, David Cook's American Idol song from last year is inspirational.

     
  20. glen

    glen Companion

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    Mar 29, 2009

    "I Believe I Can Fly" is by R. Kelly

    Here are the lyrics:
    "I Believe I Can Fly"

    I used to think that I could not go on
    And life was nothing but an awful song
    But now I know the meaning of true love
    I'm leaning on the everlasting arms

    If I can see it, then I can do it
    If I just believe it, there's nothing to it

    [1]
    I believe I can fly
    I believe I can touch the sky
    I think about it every night and day
    Spread my wings and fly away
    I believe I can soar
    I see me running through that open door
    I believe I can fly
    I believe I can fly
    I believe I can fly

    See I was on the verge of breaking down
    Sometimes silence can seem so loud
    There are miracles in life I must achieve
    But first I know it starts inside of me, oh

    If I can see it, then I can do it
    If I just believe it, there's nothing to it

    [Repeat 1]

    Hey, cuz I believe in me, oh

    If I can see it, then I can be it
    If I just believe it, there's nothing to it

    [Repeat 1]

    Hey, if I just spread my wings
    I can fly
    I can fly
    I can fly, hey
    If I just spread my wings
    I can fly
    Fly-eye-eye
     
  21. historygrrl

    historygrrl Rookie

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    Can I come work in your school? Please? It's a good day if I don't get cussed out at least once. And I teach middle school.
     
  22. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Like usual, I agree with Alice. It is great to have fun with the kids. HOWEVER, content based fun is the fun that you need to focus on. Treat your class as seriously as possible. I am a strong believer that classroom management stems from good content management (aka good teaching).
     
  23. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I, too, left HS because the kids know everything. If you don't believe Sarge and I, just ask a teen ager. They know everything.

    Seriously, I wanted to teach people who wanted to learn. That is why I became a PK teacher, and now teach adults.
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    High school is absolutely the right place for me to be. I love working with teenagers!!!

    Thank goodness there's a niche for each of us!
     
  25. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    I am sorry about your classes. I remember how rotten some of my classmates in high school were. I am happy to be a kindergarten teacher, it is what I love. Alice is right we all have our niche.
     
  26. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    My sentiment exactly! I LOVE my high schoolers, even the Freshman I teach.
     
  27. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    I can handle my freshmen, but they DO aggrevate me. Give me Juniors and Seniors n I'm a happy camper.


    On that note, can I buy a classroom set of shock collars with my BEP money????
     

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