So I finally yelled at the kids today...

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Greensleeve, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. Greensleeve

    Greensleeve Rookie

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    Aug 30, 2008

    It's day 4 and I have finally had it with my 10th grade English class. I understood that it was Friday, but the kids were swearing and generally misbehaving, and I finally had it. I have always played it cool (for 3 days, anyway) and usually the counting thing works (when students misbehave, I start counting. The number will be the time they will be kept after class). But this time they were simply too unruly and I just let the have it. I told them that this is the last day before I will take everyone seriously and I will not hesitate to send people to the office and the whole bit.

    The kids were definitely in shock to see me lose my cool. I guess they just took me for a softie and that was what drove me to "prove them wrong." I still held back at giving referrals, because I haven't gotten around to explain the class rules yet, so it would not be fair. But after reflecting on it after school, I felt really bad that I lost my temper and lost my cool this early in the year. I have always told kids not to be bullies in class, and I can totally see that I was being a bully today.

    I guess I will start next week by apologizing to the class that I lost my temper with them, and that I do hold the no bullying rule seriously, even with myself. I hope the kids will be able to reflect on the matter and we can work from there. But most definitely next week we will go through the class rules and consequences, so I can start disciplining if I have to.

    I hope this worry is not being too unusally for a new teacher. Any advice is appreciated!
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 30, 2008

    1) I wouldn't apologize for yelling at them.

    2)It's day 4 and you haven't gone over the rules yet?
     
  4. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    I had the same thought. Day 4 and no rules? My students had a test over the rules today! Discipline before instruction. Start off on Tuesday with the rules and have them and parents sign off on them.
     
  5. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I've 'lost it' with several of my kids this week. But it was never uncontrolled. Students need to see that you can stop the class, call them on their misbehavior and regain control of the situation. As long as you're fair, even mannered and not cruel in your words, you are totally within your rights. I don't raise my voice to the level of yelling, but I do speak loudly, sharply and with conviction. Don't feel bad, but do go over your rules STAT!
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    We ALL do that once in a while. I have a feeling that the class I will be taking over will need that sort of tone from me for a while (I observed the classroom yesterday and today and they are a bit out of control :unsure:) But, the FIRST thing I plan to do is go over the rules, even though it'll be the third week of school. Going over the rules and consequences is SO important. Learning can't begin if they aren't listening.
     
  7. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I sorta yelled at my class this week, too. I made it all the way to Friday, an hour before school was over. We were trying to line up for specials, and they would NOT stop talking! After the third attempt to line up, I yelled....but the fourth attempt was so much better! We were late 10 mins to specials, though.
     
  8. april

    april New Member

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    I would not apologize to them... Just try to not yell in the future. Most people will do it from time to time. Hey who am I to advise, I haven't even started yet... Help I need all the advice and help anyone cares to give. This is a wonderful forum...

    April
     
  9. Iteach782

    Iteach782 Comrade

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    I don't think you were being a bully. If they were being unruly, it's your job as their teacher to control the situation. If that means raising your voice, then so be it. That does not make you a bully. I really don't think you need to apologize. If anything, the students should apologize for their behavior.
     
  10. interart

    interart Rookie

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    I agree with most of the above posts - don't apologize, and certainly go over the rules immediately! Please, don't hesitate to call home. Sometimes it is necessary to do it early on, both as an example to other students and to ensure that parents don't call you on not alerting them to the behavior immediately. As for yelling, happens to the best of us! It's better than having a stroke.
     
  11. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    I didn't yell at my kids but I did have to raise my voice to get their attention. Their behavior was headed towards out of control and I was tired and I'd had enough. I raised my voice a little bit above "teacher voice" and said "Okay you guys that's enough. You are absolutely to loud. I want everyone to be quiet and pay attention. The next person that talks out of turn will be written up because I refuse to put up with this." I then had to write a referral for the kid who decided to test me. Everybody else then immediately calmed down significantly.
     
  12. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    My 'stop everything' strategy is to yell 'FREEZE!' very loudly and deeply. It stuns everyone, and gets the room immediately quite. Even the PE teacher is impressed when he is in the area. All those years of choir and cheerleading has really allowed me to project in the classroom....

    In regards to rules, I was really struggling with the whole 'tell kids the rules' vs. 'have kids create the rules'. My solution was to post the four TRIBE agreements, briefly explain each on the first day, and then slowly disect them the following days. We've started with Respect, and have done 'looks like' one day and 'sounds like' the next. We'll finish with 'feels like' on Tuesday. Then it's on to Active Listening. We'll work out way through like this, and the kids spend each meeting talking about it and sharing their own examples so they own the rules. But I could come up with them beforehand so I had something concrete to go over the first day.
     
  13. teach24iam

    teach24iam Comrade

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    I think apologizing sends a mixed message and is telling them you are a "softie" and don't stand behind your words....I agree...don't apologize, but do those rules and consequences so you can use them.
     
  14. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2008

    Get your rules it order ASAP. It will help a lot.
     
  15. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    As many of the other posters said I would not apologize. If you do I think you are sending mixed messages and will look like a push over. Also go over the rules ASAP. I would also start making parent contact if there are some students who are particularly bad. If you let them get away with stuff now, it will make it all the more difficult to control as the year goes on.
     
  16. Ms. Geography

    Ms. Geography Comrade

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    I'm another one agreeing with the board...do not apologize! Now take a deep breath and let it go - it's over, it happened - you are the one having issues with having yelled at them. I assure you that our students do not carry us with them over the weekend, ha!

    You start Tuesday with the rules. Have them on the board in large enough letters for the students to see, put them up one at a time, discussing your expectations for that rule as you put it on the board. Your students should be writing them down as you are posting them. Your rules need to become part of their notebook. Each day of the week following having the students write them down remind them of a rule...in this class we are in our _____ when the tardy bell rings. Do this verbally. Have all the students stand up and you ring a bell (ding, ding) all students act out the expected behavior by sitting down quietly. Practice, practice and practice some more as the school year goes by. It takes 21 days to learn a new habit. This is a skill (habit) they should know, but that doesn't mean they know you expect it. YOU set the tone for your classroom and it is well worth your time now to get the rules across to your students. Work on them this week, review them over the next three weeks and follow through when you say something. Establish your rules and you will find your entire year much easier for you and your students.
     
  17. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    I must agree, do NOT apologize! It will send mixed messages- and you are not begin a bully, you are gaining control of a situation that you rightfully should have control over.
    That being said, go over the rules right away! I understand your reasoning for not writing kids up, but kids in 10th grade should already know better than to swear and talk over you in class before you have gone over the rules...IMO. And I also agree with calling the parents- if that is what works, do it early, get the parents involved early, and your year will be much easier. Good luck!
     
  18. Greensleeve

    Greensleeve Rookie

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    Thank you everyone for your inputs. I will reconsider the apology. I knew that I kind of dropped the ball the first week and not have my rules and consequences listed outright. But I told them that I will hold them seriously this week and will definitely begin with the rules and consequences tomorrow.

    I guess I knew all the expected answers of training them procedures and rules, as they are part of my teacher training. But I just let things slide on my first week of teaching and somehow didn't get to do them. I will get to the procedure after the rules and it is also my understanding that it will take a while for them the master the procedures, though surely they will.

    I am much better now about having yelled at the kids. I have talked to many friends and gotten that well behind me. Eventually I will be more able to separate my emotions from my teaching. Thanks again for your advices and I look forward to tomorrow very much!
     
  19. mhcooley

    mhcooley Companion

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    Harry Wong says procedure, procedure, procedure. Before you teach ANYthing, you should first go over rules and procedures. I think your year will go much smoother if you start here first. :2cents:
     
  20. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Good to hear that you didn't apologize. I had a good rant today (didn't yell) but the point was made. I told the kids in simple terms that I was angrier than I had ever been with them and that they needed to act like the seniors they are. It actually felt good to do that and I would never say that I'm sorry. In fact, they should be the ones apologizing for their immature behavior. Good luck handling everything, and not to beat a dead horse- but please get those rules in order! :)
     
  21. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    If the worst thing you do as a first year teacher is loose your cool and raise your voice, you're well ahead of the rest of us. I made a couple of doozies last year. Live and learn. You didn't like what happened when you yelled at them...okay, now, what do you need to do in order to prevent the class from getting to that point again? I must agree with everybody else. You need to firmly establish the rules. Even at the high school level, you will be much better off by spending a fair amount of time at the begining of the year establishing rules and procedures. Yes, in the short term, you will loose some instructional time, but you will gain it all back, and then some, when you're not wasting time getting the classroom under control all year.
     
  22. brigidy

    brigidy Comrade

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    I agree, don't apologize. Try to decide what you should have done instead of loose your cool, and next time do that. Although, you should have went over the rules, truth is...they should already know expected classroom behavior by now. Don't feel bad about yelling (as far as being a bully - you weren't, I am sure they deserved it), but, everytime you yell you give them the control...and give yourself a headache.
     
  23. Gwen

    Gwen Companion

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    I agree with everyone else. Don't apologize (I might be late on this one). Also, don't feel bad. I yelled yesterday. They are testing boundaries and need to know where yours are. Forgive yourself for losing your cool and move on.
     

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