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ElleC's Message:

Hi,

I am writing on behalf of my sister who just rejoined the teaching world as a 6th grade teacher this year. She was teaching online but needed to return to "brick and mortar" for more pay in addition to teaching online. She previously taught kindergarten and loved it. So, it's only been 3 weeks and she is crying every day saying how awful her students are and how disrespectful they are to her. She's tried so many things and taken tips for online sources but hasn't looked into a forum of teachers, which is why I did because I think it is most helpful. Anyway, she has spoken with other teachers who have had this class in previous years and they state that it isn't all 6th graders, just this particular group of kids, from their own experiences. But, they have no helpful tips. There is just too much to write. Anyone have this problem? Any tips? Leaving isn't an option as she doesn't want to ruin her chances to work at other schools. Thanks.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
ElemSped13 08-23-2018 05:13 PM

I teach 6th grade and agree with all of the above. Post directions for each activity. Set tons of expectations and have a procedure for everything. Get to know them. Ask them lots of questions.

Right or wrong, many kids at my school operate by a system where you have to show them respect before they show it back. Hard to say specifically without knowing what she's done but emphasize and praise the positives and build class community. Try to talk to a few of the ringleaders privately one on one. Talk about their leadership potential and get them on board.

apple annie 08-23-2018 04:35 PM

I totally second the Tyler Hester suggestion. Go to YouTube and search "classroom Management Day 1", "Classroom Manangement Day 2", and "Classroom Maknangement Day 3". I teach second grade and have used some of his techniques, just adapted for younger kids. The videos are of a real teacher in a real classroom with real kids for a full class period each.

jady_marie 08-23-2018 02:22 PM

I found the material posted on Agape Management to be very helpful. Tyler Hester has some videos that show the methods he used the first three days of class. This is with 9th grade but I teach 6th grade and used many of the techniques and found them helpful. He also has classroom management materials on the site.
http://www.agapemanagement.org/

Another resource is the Cornerstone by Angela Watson. She is amazing and has lots and lots of tips.
https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/

Last of all, Whole Brain Teaching has many great ideas. I use this with 6th graders. It is a great way to gamify learning.
https://wholebrainteaching.com/

Gifted 08-23-2018 12:09 PM

Tips for handling middle school, from someone who just transitioned out of it after a decade:
1. Pick battles. Is someone going to injure himself or someone else? Let it slide for the moment.
2. For the less minor but still irritating things that need to be addressed, do it in private. Calling out behavior in front of the whole class just empowers the student who is misbehaving, because bucking the system is "cool" at this age.
3. Explain instructions in a ridiculous amount of detail and in numerous ways. Their attention spans are short, so have multiple activities in a class period.
4. Do not repeat instructions once given or answer questions that have already been answered. Train them to listen the first time.
5. Natural consequences are fantastic.
6. Be open-minded and hear them out before jumping to conclusions. Kids this age want to be treated like adults, so it is important to make them feel like their opinions will be taken into consideration, even if the decision does not end up in their favor.
7. On a similar note, bring behavior issues back to maturity. Reminding them that some behaviors are more appropriate for little boys than strong, independent young men often resonates.
8. Have a sense of humor! These kids are hilarious. Some of the same stuff that would have made me irate as a new teacher had me laughing along with them as a seasoned veteran.
9. Explain the reasons behind what is done in class, whether it is procedural or academic. This is the age when kids will stop doing something if it seems pointless or counterintuitive.
10. Be equipped with a few good responses or comebacks. They can handle it. Don't try this one until you've established some trust, though.
11. Communicate with other teachers. If the behavior is constant in all classes, then the student needs redirection. If it's just your class, do some hard reflection.

I hope this helps!

Juiceboxes 08-23-2018 11:07 AM

Without knowing specifically what she has tried and how it was implemented, it will be difficult to offer useful suggestions. Also, encourage her not to fall into the trap of thinking its just the kids.

ElleC 08-23-2018 09:01 AM

Hi,

I am writing on behalf of my sister who just rejoined the teaching world as a 6th grade teacher this year. She was teaching online but needed to return to "brick and mortar" for more pay in addition to teaching online. She previously taught kindergarten and loved it. So, it's only been 3 weeks and she is crying every day saying how awful her students are and how disrespectful they are to her. She's tried so many things and taken tips for online sources but hasn't looked into a forum of teachers, which is why I did because I think it is most helpful. Anyway, she has spoken with other teachers who have had this class in previous years and they state that it isn't all 6th graders, just this particular group of kids, from their own experiences. But, they have no helpful tips. There is just too much to write. Anyone have this problem? Any tips? Leaving isn't an option as she doesn't want to ruin her chances to work at other schools. Thanks.




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