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ssalazar7
 
 
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Tired of Being a Drill Sergeant
Old 10-25-2018, 06:33 AM
 
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Hi, I don't ever post on here, but I look on here OFTEN. I am concerned that I am the only (or part of the few) teacher who feels this way. Teaching is exhausting me not because of admin demands or the paperwork, I can do that, but the behaviors that I have to battle daily! Even with proper procedures in place, everyday, I am fighting some kids on the same behaviors that they have had since elementary school. I feel like education babies these kids because of too much fear of the parents and community. I know teaching isn't for the delicate, but lately I feel like we have to have a thicker skin for this than in the past or what was taught in college. I understand that school has always been about getting kids to work, or redirecting their behavior, but now we have to deal with cussing teachers out, violent behavior, prodding and poking of doing the work, and overall, being tougher on them and ourselves. I moved districts, and although the kids are VERY different from each campus, there are still behaviors of entitlement, violent behavior, cussing, and shutting down instruction to deal with a behavior. When I first started teaching, I had one violent behavior, and maybe three entitled behaviors (cussing didn't happen), now I have students who are very confident in cussing the teacher out, at least one violent behavior per class, and a whole grade of entitlement.

Does anyone else feel like they are now required to be as thick skinned and tough as a drill sergeant to teach, or am I exaggerating? I don't mean we feel the need to yell at kids, or anything of that sort, but I feel like waking up and putting on a thick armour like what a policeman or parole officer would to deal with the behavior and shutting down class time, is now what is expected of a teacher. I was called to teach, and some of these behaviors will shut down at least 15 minutes of class time.


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Can only speak for elementary, but...
Old 10-25-2018, 09:46 AM
 
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I definitely see behavior declining. I taught in an affluent district with children who had many advantages, but in the past few years, even the primary children I taught would think nothing of arguing, talking back, and totally ignoring a simple request such as walking quietly in the halls. They would turn and talk right in front of you after you made the request and even explained that there were others working in other classrooms as we went by that needed quiet. I had one boy last year who would actually laugh at me if I had to talk to him. When I called his mother after trying to work it out with him, she made excuses for him, and even with the parents supposedly involved, there was little improvement in his behavior. I know respect for teachers has declined in society, and I am thinking that at least some of the kids may be picking up on that, especially if the teacher is discussed at home Many of my students were not even worried if you said you were going to contact their parents. That would have been an entirely different situation in my home growing up.
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Old 10-25-2018, 03:32 PM
 
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I absolutely feel like a drill sergeant. I honestly start the year off pretty mean and ease off gradually. I feel like one of the only people in my grade level who now can use most of classtime to teach and not redirect because they know I mean business. I wish I didnít have to be that way, but if my job security depends on test results, I have to maximize teaching time. I donít waste any time snapping at them as soon as they do one annoying thing. If I let one thing slide, they escalate ridiculously fast. Iíve decided I canít worry about them ďliking meĒ immediately. They grow to like me as the year progresses, they start to see how they are improving, and that thereís a method to my madness.
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I worked in a district that had
Old 10-25-2018, 05:31 PM
 
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a very unusual overall demographic. Schools varied between "from hell" elementary, middle-school, high school to "leave-it-to-beaver-I-can't-believe-it-is-this-great." Most of the buildings were really nice, new in the recent past or well-kept older buildings. It was considered inner city, but parts of it definitely were not. Hard to explain. I have seen it all. There is still a huge variation in behavior. But it is on a downward trend and some districts are just not dealing with it, mostly because they do not know how. The whole notion of how students pick up information and why so many are so not set up to be able to learn is the key.
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Thick skin...
Old 10-26-2018, 09:56 PM
 
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I remember my dad telling me I needed to grow it probably 25 yrs ago! As for the kids, yes, their behavior has gotten a lot worse over the years!

There are times we are told to do the opposite of what common sense natural consequences would be. We have been forced (sort of, cus I still silently protest/ resist, ) the use of ridiculous behavior plans.
Plans that seriously reward bad behavior!! That is part of why these kids are getting worse.
All of the new data, testing, collecting of evidence, documenting wears on me really bad. I have kids w/ such severe behaviors this yr that 15 minutes lost class time looks like seconds. The more severe kids you have, the more paperwork you have.
I do not feel the need to put on thick armor, but Feel like thumping a few kids...lol (I would not do it.) I am afraid I'd get sued. ( Joking!!!) Kind of....


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behavior & respect
Old 10-27-2018, 05:49 AM
 
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Behavior and respect are definitely declining, for tons of reasons (in no particular order):

Parents don't have the energy to be consistent with their kids behavior at home, so they don't take rules seriously.

Parents don't respect teachers as professionals. They see themselves (instead of society) as the "customers" of schools .

Kids don't automatically respect adults anymore (an unintended consequence of trying to protect them from abuse).

Kids aren't getting enough sleep, or exercise, or time to just "be".

We're pushing some expectations earlier than they are ready for, while ignoring more appropriate ones.

Teachers are not given the autonomy that would help them do their jobs better (and be happier as well, which would transfer to the kids).

Ridiculous behavior programs that give kids more power than they know what to do with, while taking away security.
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:33 AM
 
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Well said, Lakeside!
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Wow Lakeside
Old 10-28-2018, 06:46 AM
 
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Yes well said. I especially like your line about parents being customers. Some think they are the owners because they pay taxes to support the school. And administration does little to change this. We have a new principal this year and I am hoping for change because the last one constantly caved to parents just to avoid confrontation.

As for behavior programs, I have four thus year on behavior plans. I find the whole program pointless. It is just more work for me. I have been told I am too strict and then not strict enough. Most of their behaviors are no worse than the other 120 students in fourth grade. Some days I think they all need to be on a behavior plan. Can I just teach?
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Old 10-28-2018, 07:24 AM
 
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Y
Quote:
es well said. I especially like your line about parents being customers.
. We do an online PD every year district-wide that basically says this and tells us how to act like they are customers.

I agree with Lakeside. My community, for the most part, is full of awesome kids and even better parents, which makes it harder when suddenly from out of the blue, a parent slaps you in the face with one of these attitudes. Gotta always be on your toes.

Not to say there aren't problems. There are those parents who try to tell me that it is their problem that something isn't in their kids backpack and that gets them the stink eye. Give them responsibility now and expect them to live up to it. Do it now while you still have some input on how to get things done.
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