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hiker1's Message:

No more art lessons. Give them lessons on an artist. Make it boring. Read the paragraph, answer the question on the artist. Give them a word search on artists. If they come prepared with their own pencil, give them a mini ( bite sized candy bar) No pencil? Then give them a golf pencil. Next time they come in, give candy again to anyone who comes in with a pencil. I'd be tempted to play quiet music of my liking. Such as show tunes or folk music. They want better music? THen the room needs to be cleaned and next time the music is better. As for grades, give them the minimum. Good luck.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Tawaki 03-30-2019 07:09 AM

I think Kushkumen has burned all the goodwill of these homeroom teachers, and probably would a huge push back on the homeroom teacher "waiting". What happens is the homeroom teacher cracks the whip, and undermines the Specials teacher with a comment or a look.

The homeroom teacher has stuff to do. Where I worked, Specials were never allowed to hold kids back for behavior issues EVER. It's also April. I've had some kids mutiny, but never a whole class.

Personally, if it takes 30 minutes for the Cherubs to un-destroy the room, then it's 30 minutes for them to pick up. I have had to cut things short because some classes decided to get an wild hair up their collective behinds. It was never the wholesale screw you Kushkummen is getting consistently

April is save yourself mode. Especially if I wasn't planning on coming back.

I had a latch key supervisor who had a similar issue. The kids flat out ignored her. It was stunning. She was a very lovely person. She'd take the kids into the gym, and it was a dumpster fire. No amount of home office visits and added support ever turned it around. And I couldn't even tell you what she was doing wrong. I'm sure someone studying crowd/large group psychology could pick it apart.

1totravel 03-29-2019 08:05 PM

Readworks is a good site for articles. You can search topics and grade levels. I agree with previous posters that said defiance must lower their participation grade. Figure out by what percent for each time it happens before making them aware of it, ASAP. I think 10 minutes is not too long for the next class to wait, while students ABSOLUTELY DO NOT leave until cleaning. Talk to the next teacher who is picking them up and ask for their support in waiting it out. It will likely only need to happen a few times. It is strange to hear of a school that allows no negative consequences for negative behavior. Best wishes to you!

tyrex 03-29-2019 02:29 AM

Use NewsELA for articles. You will have to sign up but it's free. It has the same article written at multiple text levels, all the way from 2nd or 3rd grade to high school. It has a lot on art.related topics. Just be creative with your search terms.

Kishkumen 03-28-2019 07:06 PM

This week I've done "fun" activities, which is folding a piece of paper into a narrow box, drawing a face, and then cutting the eyes out. The pupils are drawn on the back side of the box, giving the illusion the eyes are following the viewer. It's worked for almost all classes except for a few dedicated problem students. It did result in more paper scraps on the floor, though. Students K-4 were willing to clean them up.

Yes, I'm letting the students walk over me. The question is HOW do I stop that?

I've been helped many times by admin, coaches, and other teachers. I've attended workshop classes, which simply told me about things I've been doing for years. I've observed successful classrooms, which is the equivalent of teaching car repair by driving new cars and saying "make the broken car work like this one". I have never received new information or techniques; Those have already been in place but simply didn't work.

What's really frustrating was the classes were well-managed during the first quarter of the year. Procedures and expectations were established during the first few weeks of school and maintained. Everyone was enjoying the art lessons, and I got compliments from teachers and parents. Then students started ignoring procedures. Not being able to determine who was talking meant I could no longer enforce quiet, which means I kept getting interrupted. When I could determine who it was, I applied the school PBIS system. And applied. and applied. and applied. and it only got worse. I talked to admin that the system was not working. I was told to "be consistent" . Apparently I was "too consistent" because they told me to stop. The disruption turned into defiance, followed by contempt and insults.

All we've done all year is pencil drawing on half-sheets of paper. I've not dared to do anything else with the behavior problems. Using golf pencils would be the only change. We've done logo design, self-portraits, shading, composition, fashion and car design, and a poster contest, but these have been with pencils. Cleanup is minimal, but grades 6-8 won't do it.

I'd love to keep students in until they clean up. Unfortunately, there is another class waiting outside at that time. Should I make the teacher wait 5 or 10 minutes? That's a lot of time out of a 40-minute art period.

Today I had 8th grade refuse to clean. Lunch is afterwards, so there is no class waiting. They simply stood around in groups chatting with each other for ten minutes. The teacher arrived halfway through and just waited outside the door until one or two responsible students cleaned up everyone's mess. The result was students got ten minutes of socializing time instead of instructional time.

I've tried speed drawing, and the students simply refuse to do it. They just sit and talk loudly. I've been grading on participation, which is why half of students in some middle school classes have had Ds and Fs all year. The majority of my parent contacts is when a student has done zero work for two classes in a row. For example, one student held a colored pencil for the first time in five weeks, but he used it to pick gum out of the bottom of his shoe.

I've tried lots of music from ambient, soundtracks, J-pop, weird electronic music, and heavy metal. The students are so loud that the music is drowned out and becomes another layer of background noise.

Actually, I don't complain to the other teachers. The only time I've complained to admin was in the last three weeks when I was so frustrated I almost just left the classroom. This was after doing everything suggested to me but finding it only got worse.

What are some alternatives to callback signals? I was told not to start instruction until students were quiet with eyes on me. If they didn't do that, I was instructed to wait. After five, ten thirty seconds, one minute, five minutes, if they're still talking, then what? Remember that I can't determine which individuals are talking (audio or visual), due to a sensory issue, so I'm limited to whole-class procedures.

Friday fun time would only work for those classes I have Friday. A reward day would therefore have to be all week to get all the classes. What about having a reward class for one week after three weeks (three classes) of good work?

I've been looking for articles about artists and just have students read and fill out questions, but have been unable to find anything. Anyone know a good source? If something was written at a 5th grade level then it should work with 6th-8th grades as well. If I had several weeks worth of articles, I could pass them out to students and then reward the well-behaved students with opportunity to do actual art.

Lakeside 03-28-2019 04:55 PM

Your words mean nothing to these students but your actions still can. Make your actions louder than any of their talking.
I like the way you put this, Juiceboxes! I'm going to remember it the next time I feel like a class isn't listening.
Tawaki 03-28-2019 02:16 PM

Would have backs of recycled paper and golf pencils ONLY. No erasers

3 minute time figure drawings until their little paws fall off from their wrists.

Get a high studio chair. Draw names out of a box or random number generator. 60 minutes means you can get most of the class in the hot seat during that hour. You dodged the seat due to time constraints. Terrific! We are doing this again next class.

To the ones that decide throw paper? Stack of recycled paper and started folding paper in half, then fourths, etc. As small as they can get the paper. Send it all home to have the parental unit initial each folded unit. I had a charmer do airplanes instead. I upped the amount he had to fold by the end of the hour.

I could justify either activity as a "worthy learning experience."

The only thing you can't do in B/W is color theory. Obviously that is beyond your group, so B/W only isn't a big deal.

My reading skills are crud. You can't call home? EXCELLENT. That means you have a captive audience. Oh, I'd be getting those recycled papers in stacks. You probably grade on class participation. Refusal knocks the grade down by so many points.

The thing with the above activity, kids going into art will be doing timed drawings anyway. You aren't depriving them. Ms/Mr Furture Social Media Influencer will hate it. Considering how they treat you, *shrug*.

No way would I play doormat/scut maid to that crew.

I only had to do the above 3 times. Then word got out that Ms. Tawaki DOES NOT PLAY.

Sending you a virtual case of adult beverage.

I might be tempted to have them look at their hands for 60 minutes with Zen meditation/Spa music going. With a little luck some might fill asleep. #winning. The others can learn to be truly bored. See, another life skill you need to learn. How to handle truly being bored.

Good luck. <3

UVAgrl928 03-27-2019 06:24 PM

Ok, I knew I had read one of your previous posts, but I just went back to skim and noticed this has been going on for years for you. I noticed you said you’ve had the same problem at 4 different schools- sorry to be blunt, but obviously you need support with behavior management. What trainings have you attended to fix this problems? What are you doing to fix it? Personally, a lot of the ideas you listed in your posts (such as callbacks), are extremely cheesy to me- I wouldn’t do them with 3rd grade, and I can see why middle school would basically laugh in your face at them.

I hate to say it, but you’ve become “that” teacher. The one that has a complaint everytime you come to pick up your class, and teachers are going to just tune you out. 27 parent phone calls before break? Excessive. You allowing the kids to leave without cleaning up after themselves? Not ok! My recess is at the end of the day- we don’t leave the room until everything is clean. If we waste half our recess time, so be it- I am not their maid, I’m not their mama lol. Like others have said, minimize supplies. Begin clean up far before time is up. Door should be shut and locked for safety- you stand at that door. Their teacher does not come into the room, nor do they leave the room until it is clean. Just my two cents- they are being super disrespectful, and you’re allowing it to continue.

Juiceboxes 03-27-2019 06:22 PM

As a newer teacher myself, class management had been a struggle. Here is what finally worked (VIA my AP) - it was suggested that I find a way to include some sort of incentive ; free play, tech time, etc. Then? Decide the parameters for earning and STICK to them with ferocity. I think lovelabs advice is amazing; golf pencils and a paper for all until they learn to clean up. Then add some sort of hot commodity as incentive for behavior. Your words mean nothing to these students but your actions still can. Make your actions louder than any of their talking. Just because teachers and admin do nothing, doesn't mean all is lost. Time to take back the power and be the one in control, and you will never do it by any word out of your mouth at this point. Actions, actions, actions. Good luck!

hiker1 03-27-2019 04:34 PM

No more art lessons. Give them lessons on an artist. Make it boring. Read the paragraph, answer the question on the artist. Give them a word search on artists. If they come prepared with their own pencil, give them a mini ( bite sized candy bar) No pencil? Then give them a golf pencil. Next time they come in, give candy again to anyone who comes in with a pencil. I'd be tempted to play quiet music of my liking. Such as show tunes or folk music. They want better music? THen the room needs to be cleaned and next time the music is better. As for grades, give them the minimum. Good luck.

12and3456789 03-27-2019 04:07 PM

I have read some of your previous posts as well and let me tell you those classes are getting on my nerves too. They are absolutely running over you. I understand why administration asked you to stop calling the parents and writing them up. However, it is their responsibility to continue to support you in every way they can until the end of the year. An out of control class is safety issue for the school.

We understand that you are still trying to teach because you have high expectations for your students. However, this is not going to work because in order to teach you must be able to manage the classroom first. It has been demonstrated that this is not going to happen anytime soon especially since administration is seemingly not being supportive anymore. The last time, I advised you to play a movie. Please do it. Don't give them anything else not even a pencil. If you assign anything let it be a reflection and not a big assignment. Just play a movie pg 13 like Nemo. Even if you feel this is beneath you as a teacher, you will accomplish a lot more. They will relax, settle down, pay attention to the movie, be quiet, respectful of others that want to watch the movie. No offense intended but that would be a heck of a lot more that you'd have accomplished trying to teach them. I am not trying to hurt you with those words. I think you are a superv teacher. The goal in your classroom right now is not learning but to get the class under control.
Don't worry about grades, just use the ones they already earned the last nine weeks period with opportunities to improve on it. The students know you can't write them up, their parents, administration and other teacher's won't support you. You lost the battle, play the movie. I would not go as far as giving them actual rewards: candy bars, cookies and so on. I would let them bring pop corn on Fridays and assign someone to clean up the mess. Let their parents foot the bill. Approach a group of students as they watch the movie and ask them to be the clean up crew for that Friday. Put the movie on pause 5 minutes before the bell rings and ask the crew to do their job. Tell them they get extra credit.

Please take care of yourself. Keep us up to date.

Lakeside 03-27-2019 12:51 PM

I think ElizabethJoy is right that this particular battle is lost. Short of having an administrator join you for every class, I think your goal now is to survive until the end of the year without a major incident.

And I wholeheartedly agree with the others about limiting materials if they won't clean up! For this particular class, I'd put on a video about a famous artist, or a video tour of a museum. (If you're not allowed to show videos, print articles for them to read.)

Either way, have a worksheet with questions they have to answer, and collect it it for a grade! (Tell them this up front.)

I'm unclear why 8th graders are still being picked up by other teachers, but it does really suck that they won't back you up. I'm usually in elementary here, but if kids line up without cleaning up, their homeroom teacher is just as likely as me to send them back to their seats!

MissAgnes 03-27-2019 10:36 AM

If they won't clean up, the don't get anything.

kerrysgirl 03-27-2019 09:04 AM

Limit the materials until they get a handle on cleaning things up. While some picking up is totally part of the job, cleaning a trashed room every day is.

Another strategy -- find the few who are behaving, picking up, etc. and reward with a treat for taking care of their area. ElizabethJoy had good ideas on that.

Good luck to you. You've been through the wringer this year.

Loveslabs 03-27-2019 04:44 AM

I would give everyone a half sheet of paper with a golf pencil for class. The class lesson revolves around what you can do with those two items. When they can clean up after using just those two items then you graduate to a full size sheet of paper with a golf pencil. When they master cleaning up that you allow them an eraser.

ElizabethJoy 03-27-2019 01:53 AM

I've talked to the homeroom teachers and been ignored.
What do you do when admin forbids you to assign detention or call home, no support is given from the homeroom teachers, and the class has collectively chosen you are a nonentity?
I've read some of your other posts and I'm thinking you've lost this battle. Game over Red Rover. These kids don't respect you.

If I were you, I'd do as your P suggested and play music while they do some mindfulness colouring or free drawing. I'd bring in desirable treats and at the end of the lesson, reward those who were respectful. Maybe those who do tidy up after themselves could use the more exciting materials, like chalk pastels and paint. Those who are lazy just get pencils, until they show they can clean up. If no one is tidying up, then no one gets paint. (Or whatever materials they enjoy.....) Save referrals for truly aggressive/voilent or dangerous stuff.

I wouldn't do that under normal circumstances, but it sounds like your circumstances aren't normal. It's towards the end of the year, you know you're not going to return to teaching, and youre killing yourself trying to get through curriculum. No matter what, it's a mistake to focus on academic content when a class isn't under control. Management comes first, for everyone's sake.

I used to be a high school teacher, and transitioned into teaching kinder. The management comes first rule is the same no matter the age. I have moments with my little ones where we need to stop and play, or do yoga, or listen to a story.
When I taught a particularly difficult class of teenage boys, I sometimes had to stop mid lesson and send them outside to run laps around the oval. Again, not something I'd have done normally, but it worked with that group.

You seem so stressed, and I think it would be good for both you and the kids if you could step back and take the pressure off for awhile. You may even find that when you're more relaxed ,they naturally begin to respond to you more positively.

I hope you're able to find some peace amongst all this. It seems like a lot of things have been out of your control.
Kishkumen 03-26-2019 09:12 PM

8th grade refuses to clean up the classroom. I try to tell them it's time to clean up, but I'm ignored. Then the bell rings and they dismiss themselves. I tell them to sit down but I'm ignored. I tell them to line up and I'm ignored. They just stand around in small groups in all corners of the classroom talking loudly until the homeroom teacher ushers them out.

The class knows they're going to leave whether or not the room is clean, so they just laugh, talk, and waste time until the teacher arrives. The mess is left for me to clean up during my lunch break. There are pencils and crayons all over the floor, art paper crumpled up and throw, paper scraps they've torn up, pencils broken and scattered all over the table. I only have 30 minutes for lunch, and I spend a good part of that cleaning up their mess.

Today the class did the same thing and I said, "you're not leaving until my room is clean" The class laughed, and one student said "we're already leaving!" and out they went, leaving me to clean up their mess once again.

I've talked to the homeroom teachers and been ignored.
What do you do when admin forbids you to assign detention or call home, no support is given from the homeroom teachers, and the class has collectively chosen you are a nonentity?

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