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teachr017
 
 
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teachr017
 
 
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Am I the problem?
Old 09-27-2017, 12:56 PM
 
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I am working at an alternative school after 15+ years of working with primary age children. I taught a year in a high school setting and LOVED it, so I wanted to give this job a try. The kids that I work with range from 16 to 19 and are in a credit recovery program. They are at the facility for six months, 24/7 and in the classroom for seven hours a day. We do have staff who is in the classroom with me, however, there is NO DISCIPLINE at all. I did try to establish rules in the beginning, but the truth is the truth, I wanted these kids to like me so I caved in.

These kids are so disrespectful to me and nothing is done. I write them up, tell what I want the punishment to be, but it is never carried out and these kids know it. Today was a TERRIBLE day--I really don't know if I'm cut out for this. I have talked with some staff and they all say that they think I'm doing a good job and that they wouldn't be acting this way if I wasn't doing something right. But right now I just don't know. I know I need to put on my big boy pants and grow tougher skin, but this is hard. I feel like I am the problem and that if I resigned then they would be okay. Any advice????


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Mikhail Mikhail is offline
 
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Don't let these doubts
Old 09-27-2017, 02:05 PM
 
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creep in! I hated those thoughts! It also made me feel how I wasn't cut-out for teaching. Don't listen to them. Since they are in a credit-recovery system I would clarify the rules again and lay down the law! Let them know that you're here to help but they gotta earn their keep otherwise you will award them with a grade that they truly deserve. Get that heart-to-heart talk going and give them that fear! Don't let these juveniles step all over you.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:55 AM
 
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I agree with Mikhail! Who is responsible for carrying out your assigned punishment? I think you need to have a serious talk with them! The reason those kids are in there is a lack of respect for other people. Without backing you up the admin (whomever they might be) is just reinforcing the behavior that got the kids there in the first place!
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Why kids misbehave
Old 11-22-2017, 07:27 AM
 
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You sound like a kind person who doesn't enjoy throwing your weight around. This is a good thing because I think these kids have experienced that already, and it has not been very successful in changing their behaviors.

My instincts tell me that your students disrespect you because they see you as fairly removed from their lives. You're not entirely real to them. I'm guessing many of them have arrest records or at least some advanced chaos in their home lives. They are mistrustful of anyone in authority--not without reason--and don't automatically acknowledge the power of your title. Respect is given to those who prove themselves worthy.

The question to ask is, "What do these kids respect?" You probably can't legally do any power or strength move that is more intimidating than what they've already survived. What might work better is to attempt to forge an alliance. Privately ask for help from the most disruptive kid in the class. If you can get that person on your side by acknowledging his/her leadership, you may find the rest of the kids fall into step behind him/her.

Good luck!
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