Classroom management

Avatar for guili12737
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-1997
Classroom management
Thu, 01-08-2009 - 8:22pm
I'm almost embarrassed to ask this question but here it goes........I am currently teaching a 15 day mini-course to 6th and 8th grade. It's research class and I'm a librarian. I don't have a lot of classroom teaching experience. I started out my career in education as a teacher of the deaf and did not teach in a classroom. I pulled kids out and worked with them individually. I taught another class like this one 6yrs ago to MS kids as well. I had trouble with classroom management then too. For the past 6yrs before this I was in a HS and did not teach except to work with kids individually or when their classes came down for research.
Now I teach 2 classes a day and I feel like I need eyes in the back of my head. I feel like I can never turn my back on the class to write on the board. The kids call out. Talk when I'm talking and are unruly. I have a system where if they misbehave I write their name on the board. For each subsequent infraction they get a check next to their name. If they get 2 checks then they serve a lunch detention. Sometimes I have so many kids being noisy that I can't even write down there names.
I'm at a loss as to how to handle this. I have them for only 15 days. The class is pass/fail and a lot of them just don't care. The 6th grade is better but the 8th gr is awful. I just got observed and got slammed on my classroom management.
Any suggestions?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Thu, 01-08-2009 - 8:44pm
being for such a short timeframe, i'd go straight to group work and group projects, if it fits your subject matter.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Fri, 01-09-2009 - 11:05am

I agree with nenana. I always teach research in context and allow them to select their topic and final product if possible



iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-2006
Fri, 01-09-2009 - 9:26pm

I think you have gotten some great advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Sat, 01-10-2009 - 12:35am

I am a 4th-yr teacher and this is my first year without a discipline referral so far (knock on wood). I am considered to be very strict by students, other teachers, and administrators. But I know I look as young as some of my students, so I feel that I have to be demanding. And it works for me. This advice may not apply to you, but here are my thoughts:

Unlike PP, I have always found that group work is a reward for kids. It gives them a chance to socialize. So I offer it because I teach languages, but then the FIRST time it gets out of hand, that's it. Depending on the situation, I will either isolate the individual and make him do the entire assignment by himself, or the whole class does the assignment individually (which makes them angry with the troublemakers--peer pressure). I have also taught MS, and what usually worked for me was having the student write a note to their parents (in their own handwriting) explaining why they got in trouble in my class. They had one night to get it signed and bring it back or they got lunch detention.

IMO, by putting their name on the board and allowing 2 more checks, you're saying that it's okay for them to misbehave 3 times. I assume that writing the name on the board follows verbal warnings. I would give the students a verbal warning first, and then lunch detention next -- nothing in between. However, if you are going to change your policy, it is my recommendation that you spend a couple minutes telling students exactly what you expect and what the consequences will be. And set an example the FIRST time.

I hope I don't sound harsh or preachy, but my first 2 years were awful, and I had terrible classroom management. That's something that I believe requires practice and lots of it. Have will get better!

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Edited 1/10/2009 1:49 pm ET by newmadre2008