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Does anybody get to just teach?

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Does anybody get to just teach?
Old 01-30-2020, 06:22 PM
 
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I'm so. freaking. tired. of disciplining children!!! I'm in my 34th year of teaching. I LOVE teaching! I LOVE looking for fun activities for my class to do as we learn our standards. I LOVE creating art projects and trying new things and integrating the subjects. BUT....I have to spend so much time dealing with disruptive behaviors (kids out of seat, being silly, interrupting, not focusing on instruction, playing in their desks, bothering others, etc.), that it feels some days like very little gets done. In reality, it's just 5 out of my 23 students, but they just suck the life out of me!

Does anybody have a dream class this year and gets to have fun teaching?


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I am in the same boat
Old 01-30-2020, 06:27 PM
 
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I don't get to do as much as I'd like because I'm also dealing with daily discipline problems. The kids aren't interested in learning and it's an uphill battle! I'm in middle school and plan to move down to elementary. Like you, I find so many creative and enjoyable activities/projects that never come to fruition due to the behavior of my class. I am hoping next school year brings a welcome change.
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Iím with you!
Old 01-30-2020, 06:34 PM
 
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Last year, I had the dream class! We had a blast and I did so many fun extra things to enhance the learning. I look back at last years plans and I am so behind this year. I canít get the bare minimum done without being interrupted and having to deal with behavior issues. Like you, itís just 5 or 6 out of my 24 Kinders, but they take so much extra time. Itís so frustrating. I miss getting to do the extra stuff. Although today I just went for it and did a rotation activity where we dressed as doctors! Kids loved it and did surprisingly well. I was proud of them, so maybe I am getting through.
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Old 01-30-2020, 06:46 PM
 
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Even the fun activities are such a challenge! I covered a 1st grade earlier this week that had a fun art project at the end of day. I handed out materials one step at a time, gave instructions, but thereís just that 6 or so that make it miserable for every one else.
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Old 01-30-2020, 06:47 PM
 
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I was thinking that today! I teach 2nd and there are 4-5 boys who disrupt constantly. Only 1 is on purpose. The others are unmedicated ADD/ADHD. I posted below about it and got some good responses. However, what works for one, doesn't work for another, so, that still leaves me frazzled and trying to juggle SO many needs.

As I walked out today, I actually asked myself...

"What if I just left those 4-5 boys "behind" as they were fiddling in their desks, moving about, etc. and kept going with the lesson. Then, when we finished and handed in our papers, I'd just collect theirs and send it home "incomplete" in Thursday folders. How would that make me feel? How much more could I get done? How much less of my nagging voice would the kids hear? How much smoother would things go? I already know...it would be AMAZING! And how shocked they would be when I collected their incomplete work and told them they'd be doing it at home. As it is now, I slow down, wait, nag, etc. on these 4-5 boys, which slows the rest of us down.

I may try it tomorrow. I imagine it will be very freeing for me (and for the 17 other well-behaved/on task kids).

Thanks for your post! Good to know I'm not alone.


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Old 01-30-2020, 08:40 PM
 
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Short answer. No.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:00 PM
 
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I had the dream class, and now the nightmare class. The difference is astounding. I HATE just teaching the standards. I donít care that it takes more time. I want to do projects and make the kids love learning, but itís just not possible when 90% of your time is spent on discipline.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:24 PM
 
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Been subbing longterm for a bit and just wanna chime in.

Hell no. It's always a small handful that ruin it. In a perfect world, we'd be allowed to just kick them out of the room and send them away. Where to? Who knows! Not with us, though. God that'd be nice. There are so many days where I've wished I could just tell them to leave if they don't want to be here. I know when you're a kid it's hard to see the big picture sometimes, but I still feel like compulsory education is a mistake. So many kids would be better off in basic job training programs instead of being disruptive in class and ruining it for everyone else.

But yeah. Nope. I feel like when I'm not putting out fires, I'm doing paperwork. And when I'm not doing either of those things, I'm grading. And when I'm not doing those things, I'm meeting with students and parents. I feel like a tiny fraction of my day involves being in front of kids and teaching, and even when I am, it's just a battle to get them off the phones and caring about something they don't give a #### about anyway. It's really disheartening. Like, it's so discouraging that it makes me worry about the future of America. Some of these kids don't seem to care about anything but their phones, and most aren't willing to put effort into anything even when it affects them directly; then they all turn around and expect good grades at the end. It's so bizarre. I'm not sure where it all went wrong.


edit: And this is to say nothing of district bloat and administrative policies that make it that much harder. God forbid we let the teacher decide how to run their own classroom. I mean, I'd like to think at this point that I have more rapport with my students than some admin in an office ever will, but no please by all means climb down from your ivory tower to tell me how to do my job (a job you've never even had by the way).
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:07 AM
 
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Quote:
In reality, it's just 5 out of my 23 students, but they just suck the life out of me!
Right. And they suck a lot of the fun out of school for those other 18 kids who do behave. And they probably impact how much the other kids get to learn.

As I'm sure you know, it hasn't always been this way. There was a time when you could get those kids out of your class if they were preventing other kids from learning.

Two years ago my grandson was in a class with two difficult kids: one autistic child whose autism wasn't being managed well at home, and a child who had experienced trauma and was a "runner." He'd leave the room and hide out. Way too much of my GS's school time was wasted in evacuating the classroom because furniture was being thrown or in being sent to go find the "runner" and talk him into coming back to class. I feel for both of those kids, but they shouldn't have been allowed to impact the learning of other kids to that extent. GS is happy this year because it's the first year that he doesn't have any monumental time wasters in his class. He's in fifth grade.

It just makes me angry when I hear about declining test scores and how bad schools are in the US compared to other countries, but NEVER any discussion about how teachers have had to become policemen in their own classrooms.

Dream classes do still exist but I think they're becoming few and far between in public schools. And they're not a given in private school, either. I teach in a private school now and since I'm a music teacher, I see all the classes. We currently have three "dream classes" - classes where some students struggle to learn and some students struggle to say on task but no single student disrupts the entire class all day. But then we have one class that truly is the worst class I've ever had to deal with in all my 30 years of teaching. And, because it's a small private school, this toxic mix of kids will stay together through 8th grade. I can't imagine how they're going to handle high school.
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:10 AM
 
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This was how I left work feeling yesterday as well-we cant get anything done because 1/2-2/3 of my class will not follow a simple direction, get started, and stop talking. I have 5 that try to wander the room "getting stuff they need"...these are fairly easily dealt with but they still eat my time. I have 4-5 that wont stop socializing whispering, passing notes, drawing pictures to show their friends, making faces at people for attention-even when I move them to sit right by me, even if they are reading a book of their choices the feel compelled to tell a friend about it. And I have 3-4 that stay at thin air rather than work. Then add in the 5-6 who need a lot of help to complete anything because, even though they are willing to work hard they need a lot of help to complete even the simplest things.

And Lord forbid I give most in this class a consequence-their parents are up in arms. This ties my hands and makes me less effective in dealing with the issues since the kids know that they can do what they want and mom will bulldoze anything I do to try and curb their bad behavior.

IS IT JUNE YET

Its odd because I usually had 1-2 or even 3 kids with severe behavior and I dont this year but all these little behaviors together combined with their parents tying my hands at every turn-geez I'll take my ODD/severe behavior kids back in exchange for having more kids who can just get through the minimum.


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No, Wait! I don't understand...
Old 01-31-2020, 08:09 AM
 
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A couple of months ago I had a class that had difficulty following the simplest of directions; write your name on the paper (at the top where there is a line labeled name) and use colored pencils to rainbow write your spelling words. Some of the students had no problems with these directions, others? They were like.

No, Wait! I don't understand...

Me: what don't you understand?

Student: What I'm to do.

Me: Write you name on the paper.

Student: Where?

Me: On the top where it says "name"

Student: I still don't see it.

Me: (pointing to spot for name) Right here, write your name on the line here.

Student: Then what?

Me: Rainbow write (use three colored pencils to write spelling words) your spelling words on the paper.

Student: I still don't know what to do.

Me: Look at what the other students are doing

Student: (stares at paper, never looks at classmates)

Me: (walks away from student)

Student: (5 minutes later, holding paper, interrupts small group reading instruction) I don't know what to do. Can I do this for homework.

Me: No, you can do it at recess.

This was one student of about 9 who were doing the same thing. All. Day. Long.

Aide in the room said they do it with their regular teacher all the time. I don't know how she deals with it.
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"Ask 3 before me."
Old 01-31-2020, 10:32 AM
 
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"Ask 3 (other people) before me."

I saw that mentioned here before and I've been using it ever since!
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Me, too!
Old 01-31-2020, 10:40 AM
 
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32 years of teaching....this class is draining. I have never seen such inattention, adhd and add, and immaturity. I have some really hardworking kids, but they get lost in the sea of misbehaviors. I really hope this group is an anomaly, but I don't know.....

I feel like teaching is the smallest part of my job anymore.
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:37 AM
 
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Aillya, I can relate to your comment 100%. Many of my students just don't care about learning and are more interested in their phones, even if it lands them in detention. They don't want to do work but expect As and Bs. I just don't get it.
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