Joel(@sywtt) in his blog So You Want to Teach relates to the experience a fellow teacher is having in classroom: "Yesterday, almost half of my last class left two minutes before the bell rang. The chaotic clean-up process, which I will adjust, contributed to their opportunism, but I was shocked, angered, and embarrassed that this happened.", ask one of his blog readers.
In my experience ---I have been working with freshman, the most problematic group to me --- if someone decides to be a jerk and disobey all the class rules, and their parents don’t respond calls or notes, they don't care. I means there is little to nothing the teacher (or the administration for that matter) can do.
This is worst when you have to attain to the common practice that you can't fail someone in your school. It doesn't matter if I have to curb grades, I still appreciate the ability to fail students. Now they actually have a reason to do well.
When the problem of the reader's question comes down to the classroom management matters, "this is exactly the same as when a group of students starts a food fight in the cafeteria or when a group starts yelling or shoving or any other sort of 'mob mentality' problems," writes Joel.
The suggestions are simple steps of classroom management and Joel goes with this list:
- 1. Check with your principal or other school administration to see what their recommendation is. It’s always much easier to follow their advice than having to explain to parents why you didn’t consult administration before punishing their baby. This also shows the principal that you are interested in doing the right thing and being a team player, while still trying to get a better handle on your classroom management.
2. Address the problem specifically with the class. Be sure they know exactly what the consequences will be the next time it happens. Maybe the consequences need to be more severe for repeat offenders.
3. Expect it (or something like it) to happen again and be ready to not lose control. The worst thing you can do is yell and lash our in anger in front of the kids. Maintain control and a calm demeanor at all times and you will regain control.
Of course it all depends at what level you are having problems. But definitely don't be ashamed if this ever happens to you. Look for help or a mentor, they know better because the experience as a teacher is so valuable that you need to in the classroom to learn to to handle kids of all different maturity ages.
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