Thursday, August 24, 2006

Classroom Management, Part Four

More excerpts:

Classroom Management

What is currently your biggest classroom management challenge? Why?

• Kids who all of a sudden want to do work and don’t understand why it is they have been failing. My 5th period that I only have 12 kids in just talk when class work is being given and not paying attention to what they are supposed to be doing. I don’t want to set rules with them because I have not been doing it the whole year.
• I don’t know what to do with 2 students who are always suspended. Last year they were suspended for beating up a teacher, and they were recently suspended for beating up a pregnant girl. I think it’s a success if they come to class and sit down, but my assistant principal thinks I should be doing more with them. Last week, 11 of my 95 Geometry students were suspended.
• Right now I am challenged by forces outside of my classroom. Kids run down the hall and yell and throw stuff in other rooms and make my kids all crazy!
• My biggest challenge is more a school-wide challenge. The students always fight or try to fight. I suppose this is something that will take time (and more than one person) to fix, but I’m trying to do what I can by discussing the importance of good decision making with them.
• I don’t know if this is a management issue or not, but how do you get kids to do their homework? I give them class work, a lot to encourage work! They almost always have classroom time to work on homework but then they won’t turn it in!
• Maintaining the progress I have made is an issue. Many days fluctuate between success/failure. I have been a bit lax with my better behaved students and I have noticed the control straining. I still need effective firm consequences!
• One student is particularly challenging. He refuses to work on anything and constantly is disrespectful. He has a rough home life (both parents are dead) and he is emancipated. Other than that, everything has really improved!
• I now have students who refuse to let me help them. That’s fine as far as it goes…all they’re hurting is themselves in the long run. However, occasionally they just spout off what I consider blatant disrespect. Conferences don’t help, and the couple of writeups I’ve issued have made the situation worse.
• I sent Lequentin to the office every time he became a problem. This proved effective as the office is the only leverage I have with him. I got 3 amazing days out of him and was going to reward him for getting right answers rather than just behaving well. We were developing a rapport wit the beginnings of respect. Then, I broke up a gang fight in which we was involved. This got him suspended for 4-5 days and shattered what we had built before because I was the one who turned him in. So, I’ve had to start over with him again this week now that he’s back, and its been a rocky experience, otherwise, no major problems.
• I don’t usually want my classrooms to be silent. I like the class to get into the lesson, and enjoy themselves. They are still learning and being productive, but, sometimes they have too much fun. This is really applicable to my trigonometry class, full of intelligent seniors who know each other a little too well. I have a good, friendly relationship that I want to maintain, but I need to be more strict and firmer to keep the class a little more in control.
• Everyone is talking…..Does a lot of failing kids constitute a classroom management challenge? I think it may. They cheat on small assignments.
• 7th period. We are moving so slowly and are behind the other classes. I am constantly throwing the same kids out of class. Called a couple of parents, worked for a day. The same kids are causing the same distractions day after day. I’m tired, they are tired.
• Four periods of mine I totally like but the other two are way out of control, and I don’t know how to throw them out of class and give detentions and what not. I also find myself arguing with students too much and giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are rational creatures.
• I had 2 things to write for this, but I can only remember 1 of them. How to do an adequate closure for 7th period without them packing up to leave before the end of the class?
• Persistent cheating, which I catch. I really like the kids who do it, and I’m so annoyed!
• Right now, I am struggling with making a fair decision when to kick kids out. I feel I have different behavior expectations for every student and I don’t know if I hesitate too long in getting some of my more troublesome students out of the class. My other problem involves students who I send to the office….they don’t actually GO to the office!!
• Students acting tough after they receive a consequence. When I add to it, they say they don’t care. Other than escalating punishments to even larger dimensions, how I deal with their bitching/whining/acting tough?
• Chatting and disrespect after lunch….I use the consequences with severity; and sometimes implement class-wide consequences. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. They protest bitterly, to the point of semi-chaos, at class-wide discipline. I am particularly tough one day, I will hear claps and snaps and whistles whenever I turn my head. Only keeping them full of busy work works reliably.
• Keeping the pace up….I refuse to teach to a room of students who haven’t completed their homework. So, I teach slower and quiz often
• Taking my B-Day 3rd Block class to lunch
• The only management problem that I have now is that I’ve been out of my room for a week giving the DRA. Because of this, my students have had a substitute and they are getting worse by the day. I already have one class on a severe punishment but the others are catching up and the punishment that I came up with won’t work for everyone.
• Motivating some students to work. I’ve gotten some to, others I still can’t reach
• Losing control of classes. Good classes are now becoming tougher and tougher.
• 7th period…..Still talking, disrespectful, don’t care about office referrals of suspensions. They are a big class.

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