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mrteacherguy mrteacherguy is offline
 
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Horrible 6th grade group
Old 12-09-2017, 04:58 AM
 
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I've had it with this year.

Since almost day one, we knew that this was a difficult group of sixth graders, but things just seem to getting worse. Our team (two other teachers and myself) have tried implementing both positive and negative consequences, and nothing seems to make much of a difference. It doesn't help that admin does little - if anything - about their behaviors, except in extreme cases.

I was out sick the last two days, and while it sounds like things went okay on Thursday, the instructional assistant (a classified staff member who usually helps with particular classrooms throughout the day) that was watching my classes on Friday let the kids run amuck. She let them into my science lab (a converted classroom next door) without supervision, and they trashed both rooms. Students smashing snails that we had been using for science investigations into the carpet, sticking crayons in the microwave, playing with and breaking at least one student's cell phone, and taking materials/things that were not theirs.

I have no doubt that when I return on Monday, that I will find some of my personal items are missing. And that items I had bought for our weekly raffles (one of our team-wide incentives) will be gone.

The consequence for all of this? The assistant principal said that most of the sixth graders will be losing their lunch recess on Monday.

I've had it with the constant disrespect, defiance, and utter lack of consequence for these kids. I wish I could quit and just try my hand with a different district next year; but I know that my family depends on this income and that quitting will make it very difficult to find a new position. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.


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Old 12-09-2017, 05:41 AM
 
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Where is the consequence for the IA who allowed them to do this? I hope you Let her know all the effects her allowing them to do this has had.
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boot camp
Old 12-09-2017, 05:44 AM
 
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consequence for the IA who allowed them to do this?
Pinning the blame on some adult with no control is definitely not a solution. As you can probably tell, there's no consequence. Just turns into another witch hunt. I'm pretty sure that the supervising adult has done everything possible to keep them in line but if you're overrun and short staffed the inevitable happened.

Not that this is a solution but adults in schools should get training in running a boot camp. Relationship building? Total hogwash. Schools need to begin to overhaul systems because the norm is not working.
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If nothing else
Old 12-09-2017, 06:17 AM
 
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the smashing of the snails is animal cruelty. The moral compasses of these students are missing. I would be bagging the hands on lessons that you have planned. I would call in local animal shelters to present information about animal abuse. Students would be doing individual research projects on animal abuse that they would then be presenting to their parents. I would also call in the police to talk about the legal ramifications of animal abuse. Yes, these were snails. However, if you have no compunction about killing snails, you probably have no compunction about killing frogs, cats, dogs or bullying humans. They should be missing lunch recess for the indeterminate future. Recess privileges should be earned back one student at a time. I would also make them pay for cleaning the carpet and for any materials that were lost or destroyed. Until everything was paid for in full- no recess.

They would also be writing a lengthy essay detailing what happened, why it happened, what their role was and how they are going to ensure that something like this never happens again.
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6th graders
Old 12-09-2017, 06:30 AM
 
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I agree with the previous posters on taking a “ no more Mr. Nice Guy” approach to this class! and I agree with making them aware that although it was only snails, it is animal cruelty and should regarded in that fashion.

Since the students did damage to your science lab, isn’t that considered destruction of school property? Can the admin step in at this point?

I would not blame your IA. When kids get the “gang mentality” there’s little you can do to stop them.

Is there a way your team of teachers can meet with the entire 6th grade class Monday morning to talk to the group as a whole? For the safety of your teachers, you should reconsider field trips for this class. I would not take kids who act that way on a field trip.


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Wow!
Old 12-09-2017, 08:30 AM
 
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Totally agree with rana712! I would also talk with your team and see if they would agree to completely shut everything down meaning, nothing fun, just come into class, sit down, and work. For earlier finishers, have packets ready for them to complete.

If there were innocent students, which I’m sure there must be at least 1, their assignments, of course would be different.

I’m so sorry that you and your team are having to deal with this with little to no help for the administration.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:45 AM
 
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Is there anyway you can take pictures of the destruction and share it with their parents? I would be tempted to stop all type of teaching and give them worksheets. Keep them quiet and busy at least for the rest of the year before Christmas break. I would also not do anything special for Christmas and would stop buying any type of incentives for them. If they compain or whine the just show them the picture of the destruction they caused and tell them this is the reason why they won't getting any more incentives.
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Old 12-09-2017, 01:26 PM
 
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Did I read the post wrong Mikhail? The IA "let" the kids run amok. I am not saying she takes all the blame (or he) Im saying they allowed it to happen so that person should be spoken to atleast.
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Time to Learn
Old 12-09-2017, 03:43 PM
 
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I too agree with all the others - you definitely need to show the brats that there are still consequences for bad behavior. All of the above should be implemented and more! Merely talking to the irresponsible aide and children will accomplish nothing. The aide needs to clean up the mess along with the kids (NOT KIDDOS)!

Forget about going to the Dollar Tree to buy any more rewards - save your money. With only half a year left and most students with below grade level skills, I would eliminate anything fun (NO FUN FRIDAYS) and take this opportunity to turn the tables with full-on academic rigor and vigor. Take a look at the Chinese videos posted on the BusyBoard to get some ideas.
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IA are not disciplinarians
Old 12-09-2017, 05:33 PM
 
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The IA "let" the kids run amok. I am not saying she takes all the blame
As far as I know, IA's are not responsible for disciplining students. They can act as responsible adults and report the going's on without intervening. They can let the kids run amok if there's no adequate instruction or any for them to aid the student. The adult did not help any student run amok. This adult did not join in trashing or destruction. From the way it looks, there should've been a substitute while the regular's out with this IA. I am giving the IA the benefit of my doubt.


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Old 12-10-2017, 05:34 AM
 
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And thus is the difference between schools and expectations.In every school in my county, an IA is a staff member that "teaches" in their capacity of a job, thus they are responsible for disciplining and telling students not to do something they aren't supposed to do. By not stopping the students or by allowing them to go into the lab, they are by association trashing and participating in the destruction. Wow, Im just shocked that you are saying that an ADULT should not be held responsible for allowing students to trash a room. (Im not saying the students shouldnt be held responsible- they absolutely should be). Let me come sub in your classroom and let the kids run amok and have no worry of consequence. And we wonder why people feel they are entitled- they are not held accountable for their actions.
To only hold the children accountable and not address the adult is wrong. She/he deserves to be spoken to atleast- she allowed for nonsense to occur.

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From the way it looks, there should've been a substitute while the regular's out with this IA.
Shoulda, woulda, coulda- Noone wants to sub or teach anymore- no money, does not pay enough to do it. So, yeah there should have been but there wasn't. Next best thing is an IA- and "instructional" aide which means they know how to instruct.
Actually in my school, our IA's are BETTER than subs. Id rather have an IA in my classes whom I know will hold my students accountable than a SUB who is given direct specific directions and refuses to follow them. So I come from a background of IAs who are held responsible and do their job. Our subs on the other hand- nope they suck.
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In 20 years, I had two classes like this
Old 12-10-2017, 07:07 AM
 
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The first class was always a challenge, but 4th quarter turned into animals. I took down all posters, took away student supplies (paper, markers, crayons, pencils, staplers, etc.), and gave them worksheets. Parents complained. I showed those parents pictures of my classroom. They understood. No more Mrs. Nice Gal. The principal backed me. That was the easy class to contain (and that's what it was). The other class was worse.

The principal came in and modeled what I was to do. It was only one class that I had twice a day for reading and language arts. Once again, I took away supplies (they would draw disgusting images on walls and the board). Then I sat on my "throne" (high stool). I would give brief instructions, then hand out worksheets or assign reading/questions. I'd never leave the stool. If students talked or misbehaved, their name went on the board. After two checkmarks, they had a detention. This worked for all but the three worst. They ended up spending the rest of the year in the principal's office (and were moved to the front hallway after a week, because he couldn't handle them and get work done while they were there). Two eventually were put in alternate school. One dropped out. I was eventually (once they were removed) able to modify what I did in class, but still used the checkmark system. Parents were called in, but we all know how that can go.
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