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35 Student 7th grade Ceramics class!!!!!!!!!! HELP

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From: jennie schaeffer (jtschaef_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Nov 23 2001 - 04:21:47 PST


I have a real concern for anyone who has a suggestion!  I've been struggling over the past quarter with a class I'm teaching--ceramics, 7th grade.  It's an intro class that I've been doing basics and building technique.  They are now to a point where they are understanding some process and thinking conceptually designing shoes.  They seem interested and are enjoying the assignments.

This is the clincher--I have 35 students in the class.  Several, about 5 are on their own agendas. They all think I'm out to get them, and they are never at fault.  Two think I am out to get them and they have no self confidence--I worked with them1st marking period to get them to see they have potential and the ability to build.  They won't--use any excuse not to complete a project and fool around quite a bit.  They've got a terrible attitude.  I have now switched focus from helping them, to disciplining them so I have focus on the kids that need and want my help. 

Several other students are the same way.  These behavior problems take up most of my time--throwing clay, being disrespectful, talking while I'm trying to talk to the whole class, no concern for rules.  I inevitably end up yelling to get the attention of the class, or stand still quietly and wait, and wait, and wait.  That doesn't even work. 

I had my students write an evaluation of the class--they had learned, but they all said I needed to spend more time with each student--hopefully I've given you an accurate picture of the dynamics of the class--I can't spend more time with each student.  With clean-up, prep in the beginning, demos, I only have about 30 min. of actual work time and with 35 kids, that's less than a minute per student.  I feel defeated at the end of the class. 

Next week a permanent sub will be placed in my room for discipline help.  Any advice as far as how much to allow him to control and how to approach that situation?  I'm glad to have him, but not sure how to approach since I'm not even sure how to approach the problems I'm having in the class.  Any suggestions on discipline, class management?  Sooooooo frustrated!

Thanks,

Jennie

NJ




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