In a message dated 10/29/00 12:40:43 PM Eastern Standard Time,
<< Perhaps I'm answering my own question, but do you think playing soothing
music and limiting movement and talking (on the high school level) would
benefit these kids (as well as make my life a lot saner) >>
Dennis, I feel for you. I've been there and am precently experiencing the
same as you are with some unruly classes. I teach high school art too. I've
taken away music in the classroom this year since it turned into such a
hastle last year. Whatever I played was greeted with moans and groans. The
varied ethnic groups were never happy with each others view of music.
My solution to getting the class in better working order is to get rid of the
major trouble makers. If you can't have them removed permanently then keep
sending them to the administrators for the class. Let the administrators
know what you are doing. Is this a basic studio foundation course? I then
remind the unruly class that their work is being graded in with my other
productive classes (if you teach more than one of that class) and I show
some examples of what that class is doing.
Group discussions or group instruction does not work. Write out instructions
and hand out sheets. Come around and individually speak to small groups. I
sometimes sit at the worst group table. I have the kids come up to me for
help. You must be firm and not allow any disrepect and allow the good kids
to come up to you for individual help. Also I suggest limiting them to
pencil until and if they can act appropriately. And most of all....bring
Excedrin with you and take a walk directly after class if at all possible.
Best of luck. I feel for you. Eileen in Westchester, NY