The wheels are falling off...

Discussion in 'High School' started by Ms.H, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Nov 18, 2014

    I taught a high school core class for several years at a small private school and was generally successful.

    This year, I began teaching in a public school setting and things are going very poorly. I'm not here to complain about the school or the students...I'm pretty sure it's me.

    Most students seem to have started the year ready to give me and the class a chance, but now, mid-second quarter, I've lost them. There's no respect or rapport, classroom management is out of control, work quality and completion are low/poor, my classes are seen as a joke, and students aren't learning. I've been inconsistent, my routines and expectations haven't held up, and students either don't care or feel frustrated. (And, not that this is the main concern, but I am miserable with frustration, guilt, and embarrassment over how poorly things are going.)

    My question is how (or if) I can start to redeem a situation where it feels like everything has gone wrong.

    (I have tried to talk to a few people at school, but they generally try to tell me it's probably not as bad as I think it is, that it's all part of being new, or that the students are just testing me because I'm new here (they are, but I am failing the tests). I've had a couple of observations, which have been mediocre, but haven't demonstrated the extent of the problems.)

    I would be so thankful for any words of advice on where to begin in a situation like this.
     
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  3. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Nov 18, 2014

    One thing that I have seen across the board (I'm a 2nd year teacher, but know this to be true no matter how long my neighbors have been teaching), grades tend to trend downward in this time of the year. The kids do their best in the beginning, and tend to slack during this point. I just sent progress reports home today, hopefully this is a wake up call: don't short-change answers and just because you do the work doesn't mean I can telepathically grade it--turn it in!

    As far as behavior, I would go in and be quite frank. I would say things have gotten out of hand and I will not tolerate it anymore. Come up with a behavior system, and enforce it consistently across the board. Hold them accountable, they will comply. And for the ones who aren't willing to comply, there is a special place they can go for insubordination--the principal's office.

    Basically, tell them you are pushing a reset button. It's your room. You're in charge, go in there believing that and acting the part--they will fall in line.
     
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  4. Nichole906

    Nichole906 Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2014

    Classroom management is still something I struggle with, but I've gotten much better over the years. I agree with the above poster - reset the class. New day, fresh start, new rules.

    Some tips that have helped me:
    - A new seating arrangement (not just a new seating charts but moving the physical arrangement of the desks) seems to help "reset" the class in a way. It sets the tone, from the very beginning, that things are different. I know it seems like a small thing but it has helped wonders with some of my classes when mid-year behavior gets to be an issue.

    - Start next class with a discussion about new expectations and consequences, and what you (and they should expect) form here on out.

    - Make your lessons for the next few classes very structured and attainable. While I love activities that require deep thought, group discussions, etc, these sorts of activities often lead to behavior problems. Simple instruction/practice/well-timed independent practice time makes things clear for students.

    Good luck!
     
  5. TonyBalonga

    TonyBalonga Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2015

    None of you teachers should be struggling. This has been going on since the 1960's, but continually getting worse.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 17, 2015

    Wonderful advice :eek:hmy: What do you mean?

    By the way, this thread is quite old.
     

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