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Hi, Melissa.....Sounds like your biggest problem is that they are already
"trained" by the sub from last year. You not only have to trained them,
you've got to untrain them from last year. That's doublely hard. There's no
use thinking there's an easy way around this. You're really going to have
to stick it out and make your reputation. It WILL get easier later. Keep
that one thought in your mind constantly, ha! Mean what you say...and say
what you mean. When you do this....don't make a mistake of painting
yourself in a corner. By that I mean, don't make threats. Threats don't
work. Take it from the "threat expert". I've eaten my "threats" a number of
times in the past. Be flexible in your consequences. Keep a smile on your
face while you're being tough. Separate the yoyos...put them in the four
corners of the room. If you don't have a seating chart, make one now. If
you've already got one and it's not working, re-arrange your seating chart.
It's your room, you decide if it needs changing. A seating chart that's
working sets the tone for who is in charge of this classroom. If they don't
like it, too bad. Again, it's your ballgame. Take charge, plaster that
smile on your face, and dive in. If you act like you know what you're doing
with confidence, they'll follow. They might not like you at first, but
that's okay. They'll come 'round. Toodles.........
Bunki Kramer - Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd., Danville, California 94526