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Home : 2004 : Mar : 3

    Frustrated
    By Tyanja

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    I am a first year teacher who took over a 5th grade class in January.

    I have been struggling with classroom management from day one. It seems that the teacher I replaced "checked out" long before I came in. The class is very noisy - the minute I turn my back they start chatting. During lessons I have students who call out without raising their hands and more often than not they say something inappropriate or off the subject. Transitions are a nightmare! I spend more time trying to get the class ready to learn than I do teaching!

    I have gotten advice from veteran teachers ranging from you really need to crack down (take away recess and other fun activities) to let your guard down a little (show them you can have fun with them) to be honest with them and get some dialogue going to fix the problem together.

    I had a class meeting this week and let the kids know that I was disappointed with their behavior and that this was not what I had in mind when I took the job. I also said that at the end of the day I am exhausted and frustrated and it sometimes interferes with my family life. I asked the children for suggestions on what I could do to help them learn and achieve and for suggestions on how we could make changes in our classroom. I felt it went fairly well and we have been having a better time this week.

    Today I got called into my principals office because a parent called to complain because I told the kids that were so bad that they made me come home and be mean to my own kids! She told my principal he had better take care of me or she would take it over his head. Luckily, I had another adult in the room when the class meeting took place so I have a witness to the whole thing.

    I am not sure where I go from here and how I should deal with this student. Should I just let the matter go and spend the rest of this year scared to death to say anything that might be miscontrued?



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