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Don't quit!


Date: Sun Sep 12 2004 - 16:14:35 PDT

These kids are riding herd over you and want to know who will be the ultimate

First of all, get Harry Wong's book "The First Day of Class" and read it.
Borders or Barnes and N. will have it. Lee canter's "Assertive Dicipline" is
another gem.  You MUST have class rules in place. Go over them again with the
classes. I make a list of infractions and logical consequences with the kids. I
can send it to you if you want. You may have to put your own spin on it.

I would grade them on production every day until they learn you mean
business. Walk around with your grade book even if you make believe you are entering a
mark. Make calls to parents before school ends, maybe on the spot.

If I have a troublemaker, I have them call their parent right on the spot
with my cell phone (I made each kid fill out an index card with their name,
address,etc and a parent's cell phone number. Document it. One or two of these
calls, does the trick. I taught K-12 at my last several schools and it is a very
hard adjustment. I am now in HS.  This my 11th year.

The best advice I can give you is: Always Remain CALM, & soft spoken (even if
you have to bite your tongue). Some kids (especially the ADHD kids need
stimulus and will make their own if it is too quiet and try to get a rise out of
you). WARN them clearly what you expect.I usually ask a disruptive student to
step outside the door and I never cut them down in the presence of the
class.Otherwise the kid will react to save face.

 ALWAYS be fair and warn first. Kids will respect fairness. ACT if they
continue. If the kid is disobedient because he didn't know any better- he needs
instruction as to what is expected (review the rules). If he continues, THEN it
is rebellion and this calls for a dicipline to fit the crime.

I give my students certain steps and requirements for each lesson. It is
called a rubric. They need to fulfill certain requirements, not just draw. Keep
anecdotal records- date, what happened, how you responded, what the kid said.
Comes in handy later if you need a parent conference.

Find out if you can send disruptive students out of the room to a designated
place. If not, set up a system with another teacher to take a kid for a short
time. I usually leave it open-ended and say when they are ready to return and
obey the rules, they are wecome back. Then call the parent BEFORE the kid gets
home. They are always "innocent" and will say they were picked on.

I once had to tell one 8th grade that they were going to have art one way or
another, their choice. One way was by the book -research. Another was by
experience. That one was an earned privilege.

You may need to bump up the lessons for a higher degree of difficulty and
challenge them.
If you have a team leader or Principal, ask for a conference and get the
schools twist on how they dicipline the kids.

Hope this helps. I know you frustration. The first year is the hardest. Hang
in. There are kids there that will love art.