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Middle School discipline problems


From: Lesley Glendenning (glendenning_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Mar 04 2003 - 17:02:50 PST

I'm hoping that someone can give me some suggestions on this very difficult
class of mine. I have one student who is naturally loud and impulsive. He
tends to set the climate for the rest of the class. I isolated him to a
table in the back of the room and now have to deal with him squeaking his
shoes, yelling out, tapping his pencil on the table, pounding his fists,
etc. I've tried to ignore this behavior but the other students complain.
The whole class has been reduced to writing outlines out of the book because
as a whole they are too energetic, noisy, and untrustworthy to do projects.
If I stop to help someone, I then see paint being slapped on someone's face,
paper towel rolls flying across the room, or the sink being flooded. I
suppose some of this is due to my inexperience but the class is such a
miserable spot in my day. I want them to do projects or at least not have
the really good kids be forced to read out of the book but I don't feel I
can help them while watching the rest like a hawk. I told them that if they
as a class could behave for the day they would get a marble in their cup and
when they had eight they could pick the activity for the day. The one
troublemaker goes out of his way to make sure that they don't get it because
"he doesn't want to do any stinking art projects." Suggestions please?

Thank you,

P.S. If any other beginning teachers want to trade horror stories and even
the successes ;) with me, I'd be delighted. I need to know how other
newbies are doing. Email me off list.