Setting arrangement and sharing a classroom

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Purplegoby, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. Purplegoby

    Purplegoby Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 14, 2012

    since the moment I changed the seating arrangement in my classroom, I am having a lot of trouble with my classroom management. I did this three weeks ago. The desks in my classroom are set up in groups. I have a total of 7 groups, 4 to 6 students each. I am wondering if changing the desk back into rows will help with classroom management.

    the classroom is mine, but during my preps the room is used by other teachers. This is the main reason why I am hesitant about changing the seating arrangement.

    do you think it would be a good idea to change the seats? should I just leave it in groups? how should I approach this topic with the other teachers.
     
  2.  
  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    1,157

    Oct 14, 2012

    Exactly what student behavior do you have trouble with?
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Oct 14, 2012

    When you say it's "used by other teachers" does that mean they have classes in that room?

    If so, then you should be checking with them before you change the arrangments of the seats. Changing the arrangements of the seats in the room in which they've also been assigned to teach isn't fair. It changes their seating chart with no input from them. It effectively creates a huge disturbance in their class for your convenience.

    I agree that rows are probably the way to go for you. But clear it with the other teachers first.
     
  5. Purplegoby

    Purplegoby Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 14, 2012

    I am very hesitant with changing the arrangement. I'm a new teacher and the other teachers who have classes in my room have been there for years. I do not want to offend anyone.

    The students are constantly talking, not doing any work, ignoring me. Even when consequences are given to some students most student continue to talk. For example, in my class after the fifth warning the student is sent out of the room to the dean's office, I'm sending three students everyday and the class is still not paying attention. After three warnings it's a phone call home. I am making at least 10 phone calls home every time I see the 8th graders. The phone calls home worked when they were in rolls.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Oct 14, 2012

    Just talk to the other teachers in the room.
     
  7. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,033
    Likes Received:
    237

    Oct 15, 2012

    Talk to the other teachers - definitely! But I will also add that you are giving too many warnings. I can't imagine giving five chances in one period. You need to make your rules clear, and then stick to them.
     
  8. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    20

    Oct 17, 2012

    I would definitely change the seating arrangements. If they are off task, they are not learning, and interfering with others' opportunity to learn. If something as simple as a different seating arrangement helps them learn, then it should be done. I would let the other teachers using my room know, however, and either let them know that they will need to arrange the desks in their preferred format when they get into the room (have the kids do it) and rearrange it when they leave, or your kids could rearrange it when they get there if it doesn't cause too much disruption. Seems to me that any teacher using your room would be happy to do this to help you out with a difficult class...we've all "been there"!
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,004

    Oct 18, 2012

    It's easy to get locked into your warning system. You don't want a rigid consequence system because you will be bound by the rules of it as well and it's not you you want to bind.

    If students are misbehaving, and its their first time, by all means, give a warning. Second time it happens, give them a minute after class or whatever it is you do. If it becomes the same characters skip the first few warnings, implement an IMMEDIATE consequence. It's hard to get past the feeling that everyday should be a new day for them and that they can improve the next day.

    Kids will take advantage of that and use the warnings they know they'll get. It's better for your consequences to be unpredictable but hit hard. The main thing that they should take away is that you DO address misbehavior and you will react if they push too far. Be consistent in tackling it always.

    If a student is truly contrite you will know it and you can make adjustments as necessary and work with them towards a solution. But the main take-away I guess is make your discipline plan flexible.
     
  10. Purplegoby

    Purplegoby Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 27, 2012

    anxiety

    I spoke to my mentor who also teaches in the same room and was told not to change to arrangement of the desk. My mentor said that changing the arrangement of the desk will not change the behavior of the students. I am at a lost as to what to do.
     
  11. TeacherTori

    TeacherTori Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 28, 2012

    That is annoying!! Desk arrangement can most defiantly change the student behaviors. Since changing the desks is not an option have you thought about rearranging who sits where. Did the mentor give you any hints on what might work instead?
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    573

    Oct 28, 2012

    What is your chief concern? The absolute number one thing that worries you the most.

    The principal will come by and see the class in chaos?

    The students aren't learning while they are in class?

    The "good" kids are getting the least of you?

    You losing it in class one day?

    The kids won't like you or enjoy your class?

    The other teachers will think less of you?

    You'll have to deal with parents?

    Or something else?

    Think about what you really fear the absolute most. Whatever it is, it's okay. You're human and you're learning. After you figure that out, though, remember that you're number one priority is student learning. Outside of any safety issues, of course, but it didn't seem like that was an issue in your post.

    Everything else is secondary. And if student learning is taking place, then everything else will fall into place.


    If I were you and I was concerned about the management and how things might be going forward, I would give a pretest for the next chapter/unit. I'd tell the kids that this test could replace the lowest quiz of the grading period or such so they would actually try on it. Then I would go in HARD with discipline. I wouldn't warn them ahead of time ("ok guys, starting tomorrow I will expect you to behave and there will be consequences if you don't."). They've had enough of the warnings. First kid that talked out of turn would get a detention. First kid that got out of his seat would be bounced to another class. First kid that talks back after receiving a consequence gets a call home. Whatever works for you and your school. Boom, boom, boom.

    Be prepared for whining. Be prepared for "why are you so mean now?" Don't care if they do. Teachers that worry about students liking them typically have poor classroom management.

    If it takes three solid days of establishing yourself at the top of the food chain, so be it. YOu're probably wasting more than that now, just in sporadic chunks.

    After you get to actually present material, give the same test again and compare scores. Did you see actual growth? Any growth? THAT should be what fuels you. Knowing that you ARE getting through to the students and they ARE learning.
     
  13. Purplegoby

    Purplegoby Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 28, 2012

    Questions.
    I want to come down hard on the students, I am thinking of doing a written warning and a phone call home for the first offense. I know I will be making 30 phone calls a day for this. Second offense the student gets sent to the deans office.

    also, is it okay to give a student a 0 for talking during an exam? I feel awful for doing this. I fee like i need to get permission before I fail more than half my class on an exam.

    My biggest worries are that The principal will come by and see the class in chaos? The principle has never walked in to my 8th grade class. But I've been told that the principle will see the situation as my fault, my lack of classroom management skills. My next fears are that The "good" kids are getting the least of me and that The students aren't learning while they are in class? I am not teaching and I want to.

    It's not just a handful of students. I have 33 students and only 4 are good and respectful. When I try to teach I have 29 students working hard at talking over me. It's very difficult for me to be mean and I feel like they need and want me to be very strict and mean. No respect without fear :(. I am extremely softhearted. I've rearrange the seats three times. It's just so difficult to spot a few students to discipline when it's almost the whole class. When they were in rows this was very easy to do. And the students know this. I am sorry, I am just going on and on about this, it's the stress talking.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    1,157

    Oct 28, 2012

    Somehow you have to find what will work for them. Call parents? Give more homework? (not as a punishment, but as a result of their behavior). Grading their homework, giving 0 on tests, which will result in lower grades? They gotta care about something, even if it seems like they don't.
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    573

    Oct 28, 2012

    I'll be frank - I've seen lots of softhearted teachers over the years. One of three things happen to them as time goes on:

    The quit within a few years. They can't handle the situation, it is too stressful so they leave the profession.

    They have "that" class. They somehow squeak by adminstration and keep their jobs. No learning takes place in the room so bad adminstrators assign them the easy classes or pure electives. The kids go wild, it disrupts learning for the classes next door but the kids become buddies with the teacher so nothing major happens. Often these teachers are reading the paper or surfing the net while the students are on their phones and doing worksheets for the class period. Apparently this method works for some teachers although it makes it rough for coworkers.

    The teacher realizes being soft-hearted just doesn't work and changes her ways. This usually happens after a few times of being maniuplated and suckered into something by a lying student. After the hurt feelings subside, the teacher becomes firmer and gains control over the classroom.
     
  16. Purplegoby

    Purplegoby Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 28, 2012

    NCScienceTeach I don't understand what you mean by some softhearted teachers changing their ways? can you elaborate. What other ways are there. Or what other ways should I be trying?

    This is my first year of teaching. I don't see anything wrong with being softhearted as long as I am firm with my decisions. Unfortunately, I just don't know what to do with managing the classroom behaviors, therefore I shouldn't be softhearted? =( I do not let students talk me into doing anything. I have at least 15 students in this class trying to talk me into letting them do things. It seems like because I let one student ask me a question that is irrelevant, half the class feels as if they can also. Total waste of class time. And it's my fault. I don't know how to address one student in such a way that the rest of the class understands that I mean NO when I say no. It's not important to me that the students like or dislike me. What's important is that the students learn.

    My mentor says, the students are just testing and pushing me. If I stand firm after a while the students will learn to respect me. I can't even take my eyes off this class for a few seconds to take attendance in this classroom without ten kids getting out of their seats and running around the classroom. sigh, it really isn't in me to be mean and unapproachable, smiling comes naturally to me. I am trying really heard to stop looking nice. I am working hard on making my tone of voice more firm.
     
  17. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Oct 28, 2012

    That is a strange thing to say. Changing seating is considered a viable strategy by every teacher i work with!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 133 (members: 0, guests: 120, robots: 13)
test