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Mrs.Stressed 05-06-2019 11:22 AM

Classroom Management
This is my first year teaching. As a science teacher, I really like to keep my class hands-on and engaging, but I struggle to manage a classroom when the kids are bouncing off the walls. I am not really supported by my administration, so classroom management has to happen in class. There is no "go to the principle's office" at this school, because this principle doesn't discipline or even give a stern lecture. I feel so powerless when the kids entirely disregard me. I have already tried assigned seating - they crumbled up the post-it notes I used and threw them away. I tried group work - nothing gets accomplished. I tried assigning less homework and doing it in class, and we just don't accomplish what we need to because I'm constantly having to get on to kids for getting up out of their desks.

I don't want to be the grouchy teacher! I love teaching and I love these kids, but the classroom management thing is really getting to me. Please help!

geoteacher8 05-06-2019 03:13 PM

Let me get this straight.
They crumpled up the seating chart notes? You need to curtail the more fun hands-on activities until the students are ready to behave. Make things individual until they demonstrate that they are ready to listen to you and stay in their seats. This also sound like a class where you need to be constantly circulating to maintain control.

IcyPeppermint 05-10-2019 07:11 AM

High School
Certain strategies depend on what kind of school you teach at: urban or rural? If they are crumpling up the seating chart confidently, I am going to assume a big school in the city? If you're allowed to assign after school detention or lunch detention, I would start there. This year is my first year as a high school teacher and although rural, the kids were very mouthy, would NOT take direction from me, and didn't turn in assignments. So, every time a kid was out of seating chart, I assigned after school detention. Every time a kid was talking during warm-up, I assigned after school detention. Every time a kid got rude and mouthy, I sternly, but not sarcastically, reminded them of my expectations on respect. The issue I see in high school is that teachers argue with the student. DO NOT DO THIS. When a kid gets mouthy or disrespectful, state your expectations sternly and then walk away if the kid keeps arguing. Students eventually learn to respect you and know that the expectations aren't up for debate.

As for your classroom assignments, I decided this year that this is MY classroom and we will run things the way I want. I no longer say "my kids don't do well in stations." Instead, we're doing stations and you can either engage appropriately or deal with consequences. Consequences for engaging activities can be after school detention or sitting back at a desk with a boring packet that covers all of the same standards.

Grades are important in high school. So, here we're discouraged from failing students, which translates to don't fail students. If work doesn't get done, I immediately put the grades in the gradebook with a note that lets parents and students know what the assignment expectations were and that the assignment cannot be made up. Kids now turn stuff in...for the most part.

I agree, I don't want to be a grouchy teacher either! In the beginning, you have the be the grouchy teacher. It three months for me to get kids to follow expectations, and once they start, I begin to be funnier. My rule of thumb is: speak sternly, but kindly. Let the kids know that you care but that you have a line. The kids say I am their nicest teacher, but they know, I have classroom expectations that are non negotiable.

bagano1 10-16-2019 05:45 PM

Been there, done that. Dealing with it now.

Gonna be honest, this sounds grim. Ask other teachers what they do. All I'm going to say is, it's not you, it's the school and the types of students there. No matter what people say, the school lets them get away with this sort of behavior. Go to other schools in the area and you'll see some are better, others are worse. If you're trying your best, it's not you.

I managed a restaurant where we employed the same kids from the high schools I sub at now. They gave us trouble too. They were basically unemployable and uncontrollable. However, unlike teachers, we had apps and we had power. One girl didn't show up for work, didn't call in and got the shock of her life when she was informed she no longer had a job when she came in for work! And that was that. No games, no scoldings for not controlling my workplace, no PD meetings on how to deal with workers that can't behave, they were all replaced with better kids.

These kids just aren't learning this in school and it's sad. You can't function in life without consequences.

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