This Stress is Ridiculous!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Bumble, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 19, 2009

    First off I want to say I'm sorry for complaining, but I feel as if no one will hear me out with this bs. This site is the ONLY place that I get support.

    I started working at the school I am at in the beginning of January. I has been extremely tough. I thought it would get easier, but is hasn't at all. In fact, it has became more dangerous. For example, I had 2 students kick me and a few students break thermometers in half and threw them across my room. One of them nearly hit me. I constantly have students punching, choking, and biting each other. I write them up and NOTHING happens. I get told that the students are suspended, but in reality they are not.

    A few of my classes do not do anything fun. We read articles and complete worksheets. It is too dangerous for the other kids and myself to do experiments. Plus, the students totally disrespect me.

    I told the school that I am transferring next year. I could work with the kids, but since the administration doesn't have any consequences for behaviors (inappropriate/appropriate), the behaviors are getting worse.

    As a teacher, what are my rights if a student assaults me?

    I love teaching, but this school is driving me crazy! :dizzy:

    Again, thank you for all of your help! :)
     
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  3. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Feb 19, 2009

    Geez--- if that were me I wouldn't return after being kicked. If you're a part of a union, talk to them and see what rights you have. I know one teacher had to punch a kid cause he was trying to hurt him--- since it was self-defense the teacher didn't get in trouble at all.

    Be careful though and feel free to vent all you want--- I think alot of us new teachers feel like this right now. I know I do. I usually walk into school thinking that I'm the worst teacher alive :)

    Instead of allowing students to do experiments, is there a way you could demonstrate an experiment and collect data while they observe you? If there's 1 or 2 good kids you can even let them assist you.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 19, 2009

    You could always file an assault charge on the child.

    I'm sorry that you are going through this.
     
  5. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 19, 2009

    I let that happen in some classes. I usually say, "where are my smart students who are doing the right thing? I will call on you to come up to the table to help with the experiment." Some classes I can't do this because students push their way through until they get what they want. I hate to say this, but the ONLY thing that works is embarrassment. I tell them that it will stop when they respect me. I tried the power teaching and it doesn't work. I tried incentives, but they only work for some kids.

    I will talk to the union. Thanks.
     
  6. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 19, 2009

    Thank you. I will look into that.
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Feb 19, 2009

    Yikes, I'm so sorry! I would file an assault charge, as well. Call the police. NO job should allow for physical abuse (unless maybe you were a Special Ed teacher who was trained to deal with children who were physically violent). I don't care who you are, you can't get away with assaulting another person.
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Feb 19, 2009

    Document, talk to your union, and talk to the police. Hang in there, you've taken on a herculean task, you're doing better than most would be doing in your situation. That's something you can be proud of.
     
  9. OnlineTeacher

    OnlineTeacher Rookie

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    Feb 19, 2009

    I hear ya

    My first year of teaching i had a class from hell that made me want to quit. I had a student who decided he liked lighting other students on fire, and eventually - once he was out of my class unfortunately he got expelled for pulling a knife on a kid. um.. yeah i'd go home each night and want to either sleep ...or cry... and i'm not sure how i pulled through til the end of the year but it definitely made the classes after that seem a lot better.

    The only problem is that now before the start of any new semester i get a little anxious. The good thing that came out of it all was that it gave me the drive to do something different on the side from teaching so I can quit the moment I stop liking it...or if i get another class from hell.
     
  10. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Feb 20, 2009

    "Managing the Cycle of Acting-Out Behavior in the Classroom"
    Geoff Colvin

    I just read this book. It's short and easy to read. It talks about how to proactively prevent and how to interrupt escalating behavior cycles.

    By the way - if a student assaults you call security and have him/her removed.
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 20, 2009

    One of our female students pushed our female teachers this year, and the principal instructed the teacher to call the police. She did, and the girl was arrested. I hope you did not allow that student back in your class...
     
  12. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 21, 2009

    The thing is that the administration doesn't do much at all. I call and ask a student to be removed because he/she is a danger to other students or myself and the school police officer never comes. Yesterday I had a student who threw a box at a child. She cried and latched onto my leg because she was terrified. Then the student continued on his rampage by punching other students. I held him back and asked him to sit in a chair that was isolated from the other students. He threw the chair nearly hitting a child. Then he pushed a child and he really hurt his head. The other students ran out of my class in fear, which to be honest, I don't blame them and I would have done the same. The school police officer never came and I called the office 6 times. I documented EVERYTHING.

    Special-t I will check out that book. I want to buy a book to help me survive this year. Thanks!

    Friday was much better though. I got through a lot of lessons and cleaned my room. :) Yay!
     
  13. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    Feb 24, 2009

    Wow, this sounds horrible! I read somewhere (can't remember where now) that if you have a situation in your class like the one you describe, with one student acting out violently, the thing to do is to move all the other students to a safe place (in the hallway, another room, etc.) It's safer than trying to subdue the violent student-- call security for that (of course, this assumes that security will actually come. Frankly I can't believe that they aren't taking your and your students' safety seriously-- definitely talk to your union, and document everything. Good luck!
     
  14. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 24, 2009

    I had a nervous breakdown today. Yesterday I was hit by a student and my wrist is hurt. I can't even count the number of times I called down for help and no one came. During my lunch I took a deep breath and went to the office to ask for a serious incident report sheet. I wasn't even acknowledged. I lost it and demanded at least a bag of ice. Today I went to see my doctor, but she wasn't able to see me because it happened at work. I have to see an approved doctor. I got a prescription of happy pills to use "when needed". I feel weak that I asked for these. I was crying at my doctor's office. I want to call out tomorrow, but I don't want to seem as if I am weak.

    I need a vacation...:dizzy:
     
  15. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 24, 2009

    I actually started to do this. The students go out in the hallway.
     
  16. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    Feb 24, 2009

    Since administration is not doing anything go above them. If you have to, call the real police, or call the school's officer directly - not the office, they seem useless. Find out which teachers around you have planning your hours with serious issues ask them to be your back up when you need someone to go get real help.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Feb 24, 2009

    Take the day tomorrow--I know that I heard you say that you weren't feeling well after school today, and you looked like you were coming down with something ;). You need to take care of yourself first; that isn't being weak, it's being strong enough to realize that you need to step away for a minute. Take the day to do some of the reading others have suggested and to be sure your documentation of what has been going on in your room is complete and accurate. Formulate a plan for Thursday--plan (and overplan) every second of the day so that the students have no "down time"; prepare a checklist to help you easily track the behaviours of the most difficult students. Arrange a meeting with your principa to discuss your concerns--specifically the fact (that you have documented) that when physical altercations break out and you call for assistance, none comes. Ask what you are expected to do in this case and how you can get the assistance you need.

    Take care of yourself.
     
  18. Ms Petunia

    Ms Petunia Rookie

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    Feb 27, 2009

    Wow...... I feel so badly for you.
    Have you ever called any of these uruly student's parents?

    When you talk to the principal I would voice your concern that you are afraid that the school will have a lawsuit on their hands if another student is hurt. School is a safe place for students and teachers that is the bottom line.
    If I had my own child hurt at school by a violent peer I would be outraged and asking alot of questions. If a child is hurt in your classroom you will unfortunately be the first target of an angry parent.
    In an unthreatening way I would tell the principal that if any act of violence occurs in your classroom against another student you have no choice but to call the local police outside of school since the school police are not arriving to assist you. This truley is what you have to do. You and your students have legal rights and cannot be abused and bullied by a "child"!
     
  19. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Feb 27, 2009

    This is ridiculous. Your administrators should be arrested for impersonating school administrators. You must notify your union,call the police and have assault charges filed against any child who physically abuses you and try to get out of this school as soon as possible.
     
  20. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 27, 2009

    UPDATE:

    Contacted my union and I am waiting for a response, which should be on Monday. I'm going to suck it up for the rest of the year. It would be extremely hard to find a teaching job in March. I am transferring to a different school in the city; hopefully, a more diverse population. I am going to observe potential schools before I make any commitments. All I need is another horrible administration.

    I had two student teachers in my room today. I told them to not be naive, especially when it comes to administrators. Colleges/universities create positive images of education, but never the realities. It was great to have extra hands around. :)
     
  21. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 27, 2009


    I tried to call the parents, but both of the phone numbers in his file were disconnected, which is really typical at this school. The student is in a lower grade, so i cannot call the local police. Students have to at least be in the 4th grade for the police to come.
     
  22. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Feb 28, 2009

    I wonder if it would be possible to discuss with a lawyer a possible lawsuit against the school for not providing you with reasonable protection or sue the parents for the behavior of their children.Just reading about what is going on at your school makes mr sick to my stomach and makes me worry about the future of our country!
     
  23. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Feb 28, 2009

    I wouldn't want to sue the parents because most of the families are living in poverty as it is. I want the child removed from the school and placed in an alternative school. I want the school district to observe the administration via video cameras.
     
  24. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2009

    I lasted 9 months in my first school, it was a comprehensive school with about 1,000 boys. A nasty place. I faced similar problems. At the end of the day I gave up because there was no parental support. With their support there is very little a teacher can do. Some parents simply refused to accept that their little boy had done anything wrong since he had never done anything like that at home. On parent attacked a teacher. I packed my bags and moved to Thailand. It's been a joy ever since. I didn't sign on for all the stress that you are facing, I signed on to teach.
     
  25. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Mar 11, 2009

    This is what happened today:

    Student A got mad that student B ripped up his paper. Student A picked up a chair and threw it at student B. Student B ran out of class. I got hit in the leg and injured. It hurts. I'm trying not to internalize any of this or I will go insane. I have doctor orders to stay off my leg until Monday. Student A received the necessary consequences that he deserved. Why on earth do I feel bad for being out for the next two days even though I would not be able to stand all day?
     
  26. Historygeek

    Historygeek Companion

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    Mar 11, 2009

    I agree with filing assault charges. I had to once in my nursing career file charges against a patient I was taking care of in a nursing home who was 44 after he threw his meds and hit me in the face. He had no mental health problems and was completely sane. He was just an overgrown kid whose family didn't want him living with them because of his behavior. God only knows what he was like as a kid!

    I am sorry that you are going through this. There have been several instances in our school district where students hit or pushed a teacher and were arrested. Since our school changed to zero tolerance it has helped a lot. Whether they hit teachers or other students they are arrested.
     
  27. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Mar 11, 2009

    You feel bad because you care about teaching and try to do the right thing. But you can't put yourself in harm's way. Your school appears to be dangerous because the kids are out of control and the admins don't do anything. I can't believe you've lasted this long...I wouldn't be able to.

    Please take the next two days off. Let the kids be someone else's problem while you rest your leg!!!
     
  28. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Mar 12, 2009

    I called out. I couldn't even go in. I can't stand for long periods of time. I'm taking it easy today and tomorrow. I only have 65 days left at this place. It pays my bills. I'm soooooooooooo out of there.
     
  29. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Mar 12, 2009

    Bumble, I'm glad you're taking care of yourself. I'm REALLY happy you gave these kids a chance. I clearly remember your first posts about these kids. You've come a long way, and I'm absolutely positive that you've reached most of your kids. It's unfortunate that a bad admin is preventing a teacher who so obviously cares and wants to do right by an historically under-served population from doing her job and reaching them long term. Hopefully, for a few of those kids, their time will you will be enough and they'll go on from here and do well. I'm sure, a few years from now, some of those kids will tell their friends, "you know, that Ms. Bumble, if it wasn't for her in the 4th grade, I don't know if I'd have ever finished high school". That will make it all worth it.

    I'd like to urge you to find a different position in an urban school, but make sure that the admin is supportive of the teachers. You seem to be a perfect fit for these types of schools, but as you are all too aware, you MUST have administrative support. The inner city desperately needs teachers like you.
     
  30. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Mar 12, 2009

    thanks. :) ALL kids can learn. We have a lot of smart kids. The kids who like to cause chaos have learned that they can get away with it. This sets a lot of the other students off. I have had students thank me for doing fun experiments with them. It is a wonderful feeling. I'm staying in an urban setting, but at a school where the administration is more "with it".I have students who always want hugs; even the 5th graders!

    I have better behavioral control, but issues still happen that are completely out of my control. I've accepted that and don't internalize it at all. My leg is starting to feel better, which wouldn't happen if I went in.
     
  31. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Mar 12, 2009

    I feel your pain! Yes, document everything and stay close to your union rep, the police, school security, whatever. But I'll say this. My situation was very similar after I came to this school in Oct. of 07. I think the other teachers dumped their challenges on me when my class was formed because of oversized classes. But this year is a world of difference! So hang in there! It came to pass, it didn't come to stay!
     

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