I give my students a list of classroom behavior expectations and
consequences, and send them home for a parental and student signature. they
can't use any classroom materials until it is returned. If it is returned
the next day it is their first 100 in the grade book. The parents can keep
the list of expectations and just return the bottom portion.
That way, when I make a phone call to a parent, I can refer to the list of
expectations and consequences they have already agreed to sign. It is just a
back-up for me.
I have found that the more I structure my classroom the more successful my
management. If I set proceedures and stick to them, they finally get it.
My first year I had no teaching or student teacher experience, and followed
a teacher the students had been able to make cower in the corner and cry
every day. They totally expected to be able to do the same with me.
They would ask "are we making you cry yet?" I would just laugh and tell them
they had no idea who they were dealing with. They vandalized my car, etc.
I am allowed to use my cel phone at school, and it has been useful for
calling a parent immediately, during class, and explaining to them that
their student is refusing to participate or is disrupting the class. I ask
them if they would like to speak to their student, and so far they have
ALWAYS said yes, and this has ALWAYS been very successful. I have NEVER had
to call more than one parent per class. All it takes is to hold up the phone
and ask if I need to make a phone call. Of course we have both home and work
numbers. I have the students put a daytime contact number on their
information sheet. If the parent complains that the phone call is causing
them a problem at work, I remind them that their student is causing me a
problem at MY work as well.
When the student tells me my phone calls are causing their parents a problem
at work I remind them that THEY are causing their parents a problem at work,
Good luck and don't give up. They are just kids and however much they want
to act like they dont, they respect structure (and can smell fear).