Classroom Management

I have this one little yahoo  who is having trouble making good choices.  And compounding the bad choice issue is when he makes more  bad choices after making that first bad choice.   Part of the problem might be that back in November, before we went out on break he got in trouble and ended up being rewarded for his efforts.  Not my choice, it just ended up that way.  He found himself in a situation where he was going to the office to see the Principal and so he did the boneless thing and sat on the floor in the hall.  Nobody could get him to do anything, not even talk.  After about 20 minutes in the hall with the assistant principal trying to talk some sense into him, the Autism class aide managed to get him to go into their room next door.  He  spent the next 30 minutes making a nice feathered indian headband that he then proceeded to flaunt on the rest of the class when he got back.  Not good.

Thursday,  it started out with him not even in trouble, I just told him to move away from the other kids because he kept coughing and not covering his cough.  He kept doing this passive defiant stuff where he wouldn’t do what he was told, he would do maybe 60%, but not exactly what he was told.  Wouldn’t answer back when addressed, wouldn’t stay or sit where he was told.  I tried to get him to understand that with each of his choices, he was making things worst for himself, not better.  Finally on the way to Library, I called the office on my cell phone and told them to come and get him.  The principal came and it took her an hour and a half to get him off the floor and into the office.  Mom had to leave work and come to get him.  When he comes back next week, he looses two days of recess, and if his conduct doesn’t improve, more trouble.

It’s difficult dealing with kids like this.  I’ve been teaching long enough that I’ve seen us go from using a paddle on children to basically not being able to touch them.  There’s got to be a good middle in between those two extremes.  It seems like we are getting more and more behavior problems in our classes and fewer and fewer options for dealing with them.  Meanwhile, we spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with the disruptive individuals and the kids who want to behave and learn miss out.   Every teacher I know, has at least one disruptive student and sometimes 3 or 4.

We have this “kindergarten guru” that has taught kindergarten for years, he finally moved up to first grade.  Hummm, 16 kids instead of two classes of 30, why would he want to do that?  Apparently, at his school, they hadn’t hired one of their kindergarten teachers yet, so they had gone through a series of substitutes.  Finally, when he was on break, they asked him to cover the class for a few days.  On his first day with them, the first time he tried to get them to do something, they chanted in unison, “NO, AND YOU CAN”T MAKE US!”  Class from hell.  How would you like to be a new hire, with that bunch?  I bet she’s having a wonderful year.


4 thoughts on “Classroom Management

  1. It can be an impossible challenge. I’ve had classes that make me grow discouraged. Luckily this year, even though I’ve got 31 kids, I don’t have too many behavior issues. But I’ve definitely grown “stricter” over the years. You’ve GOT to have command of the classroom these days.

    • I’m in a large urban district (easily one of the 10 largest districts in the nation), economy is really bad right now. We have a high hispanic population (78% for our school and 40% for the district)in the district and a very mobile population, the transiency rate at our school last year was 35%, it was 32% for the district. NCLB is making everyone crazy as we try to deal with all the variables. Not all schools im my district are like mine, but I’ve have spent the last 20 years exclusively working in “at-risk” schools with low income populations.

      I’d rather write about the funny things my kiddo’s do or say, and the wonderful things going on, but sometimes I just have to vent…….

  2. I am a substitute teacher. I just graduated with my Master’s last May, but the job market is tough right now and thus I am subbing. I prefer 4th and 5th grade but have somehow become a regular sub in a few kindergarten classes. I cried at lunch today. I had one child like the one you described above, and the rest of the class was really disrespectful. Mere seconds after going over behavior expectations for the 10th time today, all of the kids were up around the room and not following directions. I feel like parents are the only ones who can change behavior in the long run. It’s so frustrating. What can I do? I cannot physically make them learn. Your blog is really doing me some good today. It is helping me to *gulp* mentally prepare for going to the same class again come Monday.

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