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    By Yvette

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    How much of this is your principal aware of and how much is he/she behind you? I ran into the same thing. Boy, it must be strange that 8th graders are very similar creatures. Well, I told them obviously they were not happy and I wasn't either. I told them I had to teach them the subject matter but I could alter my teaching to make us both happy. I gave hem 5 minutes to write what they wanted changed. By the way, my students also were making me the joke of the school and had their parents envolved. Anyway, I took their list and made a master list. Where I was willing to make concessions I did but where there was no way I also told them. For example...I teach Science and English, they thought I was giving too many notes on the board and overhead. I told them I could cut back if they participated in class with a really good discussion and if they did the reading when assigned. The minute they started to misbehave it would go right back to the way it was. Amazing enough they had to test that too. I went back to the way it was for a whole week. At the beginning of the following week, I told them they had to decide. I went from the strictes teacher to the coolest teacher in a matter of a week. I even have some of my hardest 8th graders coming into see me at break and lunch just to talk. They just wanted to be seen and heard. Can't guarentee it will work..and I still have problems...but at least the parents are now behind me, and the kids are stsrting to recognize their short comings and are willing o try. Also be sure to talk with the parents at first about missing assignments and good stuff too. Let the kids see you talk with them and hear you talk with them. Calls home are wonderful. It is easy to get parents on your side. Just show a genuine nterest in the welfare of their child and keep them posted. Good Luck!

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