Students always talking Classroom Management Nightmare

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by missthomasccms, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Nov 17, 2015

    I'm in my first year working as a 7th grade ELA teacher. My middle school runs on a block schedule which has four blocks a day approx. 85 minutes each. Both my first and third blocks have been pretty easy to manage, but my fourth block class has been trouble since the semester started. I have tried so many things with them and nothing seems to work. Here is a list of some of the things I've done:
    - General classroom management (seating arrangements, calling/emailing parents, talks with students, sending to office, etc)
    - Ticket system for rewarding good behavior via prize drawings
    - Chances to earn free time in class (strike system and minute system)
    - Having the principal come in and lecture the class
    - Sending kids to the office one after the other

    I have tried everything thing I know to get them to settle down but they are very rowdy, talkative, and disrespectful. A lot of the teachers that have been here longer even struggle with them but my class seems to be the worse due to the kids that got put in there together. I have 27 kids. Of those about 8 generally do what they're told without much trouble. About ten of them are the ones causing such chaos and I try to separate them, but the other 6 students will go along with them. They are unfortunately in long tables with 5-7 students at each table. This isn't something I can change.

    When I teach directed lessons, they talk over me. I give them plenty of opportunities to work in groups or partners on activities, but they seem to want more. They seem to be incapable of doing individual work when I do have it. When I offer free time and take minutes away from it, they don't seem to care. The worse blow, I think, is the fact that I can't give them extra work for talking. It's a county policy that I can't give homework as punishment (which is incredibly dumb to me because detention doesn't seem to deter them). The only time I can give them homework for talking and being disrespectful is when we can't finish what was planned for that day because I've had to stop and refocus so many times.

    Has anyone had a similar situation that can help me? I hate sending kids to the office because I feel as though it reflects poorly on me, but at the same time, this seems to be the thing that works the most. Even that is a little iffy.
     
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  3. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Nov 17, 2015

    I had a class like that my first year as a high school teacher. I can't really help but I can sympathize. We were also not supposed to give homework as punishment. My class ended up being "co-taught" by the department chair for the last marking period. She had enough room in her class to separate them, and the administration was in the room the first day of class to enforce the "new" teacher's authority. One student actually was removed from class and actually expelled from school because of his behavior. The same behaviors, mind you, that I had documented since September during regular meetings with my P.

    If sending them to the office works, then keep sending them. Document the incidents. If administration hassles you, show them the discipline chain you've followed.

    The only thing I can think of is taking away their lunch time. Use lunch like elementary school teachers use recess. It may be worth a try.
     
  4. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Nov 18, 2015

    Take away all privileges like group and partner work and rewards. No videos. No games. Go back to old-style teaching with lecturing and notes. Keep them busy and keep it rigorous. The 10 students who behave will probably appreciate the opportunity to learn.
     
    Linguist92021 likes this.
  5. Letsgo

    Letsgo Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2015

    I would switch to very structured, rigorous, direct instruction and individual work. I would start on a Monday, explain your new expectations, and immediately enforce consequences. I would probably discuss this with admin before moving forward so that they know what you are doing.
     
    Linguist92021 likes this.
  6. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

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    Dec 20, 2015

    I'm having the same problem with my 6th period class. I also teach 7th grade, but science. It's my firs year teaching as well. This class of mine sounds almost exactly like your description. I still haven't come up with a good solution. I don't want to do fun stuff with them because I feel like they haven't earned it, but it sometimes keeps the rowdiness to a manageable level when I do that kind of stuff. Part of it has to do with my lack of classroom management with that class, which is a constant work in progress. I feel like it reflects on me sending kids to the dean, but there are some things that I just can't have in my room. I've sent kids to other teachers just to get them out of my room, and in a few cases that helps a little because they hate the other teacher. Call parents, write kids up. Make examples of a few of the worst offenders, just keep cracking down on them. I don't know if that'll work for you, but it's a step anyway.
     
  7. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Dec 21, 2015

    If you are in your first year, talk to the other teacher - the ones who the kids "hate". For immature students, "hate" is usually a code word for a teacher with strong discipline and classroom management. Follow his or her advice. The kids will begin to "hate" you as well, but your headaches and struggles with this class will diminish.
     
    carolinafan likes this.
  8. Puppet Debris

    Puppet Debris Rookie

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    Dec 24, 2015

    If they are not learning in the time you give, then you should be able to give them more homework - more homework that should help them learn.
     
  9. chris duryea

    chris duryea Rookie

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    Jan 8, 2016

    It gets better. The first day of year two will feel a worlds worth of different. Hang in there!
     
    carolinafan likes this.

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