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Is this year salvageable?

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BHenderson BHenderson is offline
 
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BHenderson
 
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Is this year salvageable?
Old 03-16-2016, 02:17 PM
 
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I am a career teacher, almost 10 years. I have taught in a couple of different types of schools - challenging urban schools to challenging in other ways suburban schools - I have always been successful in the classroom and and effective teacher. I have always enjoyed the respect of my peers and admin. team. I have always loved what I do.

This year has been super tough professionally and personally though. We moved to a new city, so for me that meant new job, new subject, new school.

It started off great, but something just never clicked and classroom management has been a struggle for a majority of the year. Which means that we are just struggling everyday to trudge though what we need. This is something that I never have had problems with before. I know that part of it is my fault, not following though with my management plan consistently enough. Not an excuse but context, we moved to a brand new place and were trying to sell our home 3 hours away for most of this school year, we were living with relatives till we sold our home etc it was very stressful and I checked out for a bit at work because I was trying to manage our crazy move and living situation... but some of the behavior of my students is just unlike anything I have expected or experienced. I also have about 3-5/30 kids in each period that are what I will call high need, either academically or behaviorally... or both. They totally derail the whole class.

In the past I had co-teachers, and this helped with behavior tremendously. Two adults in the room was great on so many levels. I dont have this here.

Calling parents does not work, Detentions do not work, referrals do not work, in school suspension does not work... Other than that what do I really have at my hands to use?

We have 9 weeks left and I really want to make it though strong. But I honestly can't say that I have any connection with these kids and at this point I am trying my hardest just to "fake it till I make it" to the end of the year.

Can this year be salvaged, or is it just to late? Ideas to get it back on track... I feel like a babysitter not an educator.


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Off Year
Old 03-20-2016, 09:29 AM
 
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I think some years are "off" and some are "on"...I know for us, this year is certainly a bad year. However, though, I have some really difficult students, I feel that I am closer with the other kids. We still have our little private jokes and stories in each class. Even though many kids have been difficult from day one, I still try to not let it affect me with the other kids.

Although I feel like some of our main curriculum bombed, I am still trying to do some special projects. I know there are students who dislike me or despise me, but I don't even take that personally. At this point in the year, I've almost given up on contacting some parents. Some I still call and email though I get no response. One, I give a weekly report on. I agree that a lot of time referrals are useless. I have my students do a "think it over" paper when they continually violate a rule. Sometimes these are helpful as the kids will ask me to move them away from another kid. Sometimes they will apologize for being disruptive. Sometimes they refuse to fill it out. I used to send those right to the office, but now file them.

I really used to use my curriculum to boost morale at this point in the year. We used to have some stories that kids always loved that really helped. Now, we are doing a novel that they aren't really connecting with. So I feel like it is a struggle just to get through each class. I'm thinking of ways to improve this, but coming up short. I am letting kids "read" with partners and listen to some chapters aloud. I did a review game, which helped a little. It's hard though, when you just are "feeling it." I have to admit that it makes things ten times harder. Just know that next year will probably be a lot better!
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:09 AM
 
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I agree there are some years you just "get through and start fresh in the fall." This may be one of them - and if it is, try to let go of the guilt. It was a big adjustment for you all around, and next year is bound to be better!

I've only seen it done with younger ones, but you could try a "spring clean-up" sort of thing. Talk with the kids about how it's kind of a boring part of the year and seek out some ideas to perk up the classroom community. It might get them on board with some new classroom management routines.
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fresh start
Old 03-20-2016, 12:36 PM
 
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have you had spring break yet? if not, when you return would be a great time to have a class meeting about what needs to be accomplished, why it isn't happeneing, what expectations you have, etc. share some positives... give them something to work toward--all work in for month of april gets party, and same for may....no behavior issues for X amount of time...etc.

if you've already had SB, coming back on monday will work just fine. good luck.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:33 AM
 
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Thank you for being kind. It is so hard as a teacher to just let it go. This year has been so rough. Maybe I feel like it is just bad when it isn't going that badly. My admin team is pleased, and my kids are scoring well I just know it hasnt been the best.

I need a redo. I have never been so eager for summer!


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theme song?
Old 04-05-2016, 03:15 PM
 
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Have you ever thought of having each kid pick a "theme song" for what they want out of school or for their lives in general. You could do something like this and then, when things go well, reward students by playing the "theme songs" during independent work. Sometimes having some reward that they choose themselves really helps to motivate them and unite the group. Some classes will quickly earn a song a day and others will take a while. Little things like this have helped me with some of my more trying groups.
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Teacher of Excellence, you are too
Old 05-21-2016, 02:44 PM
 
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Even though I don't know you, I know that you are sincere in your work and everything that you do for your students. Half the battle is showing up. Keep doing that. For some of these students, you may be the only adult that is the stable thing in their lives. I know that you are not doing damage so keep being there for them too. You are a good guy. If you can manage to make a connection with any, count it as a positive. Your resilience with come back in droves. Keep going. It's going to be alright
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also have you tried...
Old 05-21-2016, 02:49 PM
 
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Sorry, have you also tried to open up to them in the name of humility? Sometimes showing your flawed side can win over students that may be giving you a hard time. You may start of by saying that "Students, I want to begin with an apology. I know I have been short with you... I know that you have been patient with me... Please know that not everything is your fault..."
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:58 PM
 
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School literally ended yesterday

We made it through all right...

I had the same amount of hugs and tears from students this year. So I know that I had some impact on them and it probably wasn't nearly as bad as my fears.

Next year is a fresh start! That is the great part of our job. Summer break then a redo!
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