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    too strict?
    By Carolyn

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    I can't believe that your principal said you were too strict!!! Most principals think the world of you if you are tough. I also find it hard to imagine that you are too strict.

    I taught in middle school for a few years. Personally, I think this is just the age group where they just want to try you, no matter what you do. I remember my seventh grade class having a negative climate. Parents would even come in to yell at me about my "treatment" of their children. It bewildered me, because all I was trying to do was my job. I was trying to help the kids learn and not act like jerks. (Sorry I said that, but that's how they acted.)

    I don't know what the solution is, except I want you to know that this happens to others. One thing I can share with you is that the teachers I knew at the middle school who had great control were those who did show a liking toward their kids. They were firm about the kids' behavior, but they approached the issues with a sense of humor and sensitivity. Kids of this age seem to want to get into a power struggle with you. I'd avoid the power struggle and never argue with the kids.

    Maybe there is somebody out there who has ideas for class meetings for middle school kids? We have books and websites for the elementary kids, but I am not even sure if they have them for middle school kids. I think it would be worth looking into.

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