Archive for the ‘Classroom Management’ Category

The Scariest Day of the Year for a Teacher

January 30, 2020

 

Tomorrow is my first day of the new school year and I am petrified.

It’s nothing new. This day torments me every year.

Whilst you can lose your students any day during the year, if you lose them on the very first day you are in a world of trouble.

I’ve done it all. Nailed my first day and botched it.

And there’s no script that one can follow to guarantee success. Every class is different, just as every individual is different. This uniqueness gives us great variety in our job but also challenges us to make a quick determination of what their needs are and how they want to be taught. Some are looking for more room to grow creatively whilst others want a more uniform approach.

And this determination has to be worked out on the first day.

In the first lesson, actually!

Wish me luck.

 

How Restraint in the Classroom Can Transform You as a Person

January 6, 2020

In the classroom, we are tested beyond comprehension. It can be quite a challenge to keep one’s cool and it often involves sucking in some pride.

But, if you can overcome the urge to lose it and maintain a calm and considered approach to dealing with bad behaviour, disruption and rudeness, think about what you have achieved! And the respect that you are likely to get from your students cannot be understated. They realise when they have given as good as they got and haven’t been able to break you that they have a teacher who possesses self-control and resilience.

But it goes beyond that.

If you can withstand a hectic and unruly classroom situation, resisting all temptation to blow up and completely lose it, think about how much easier it becomes to deal with stressful situations at home. If you can leave the classroom with your voicebox intact and your reputation restored, you should surely be able to duplicate the act when it comes to dealing with your partner, children and mother-in-law.

Keeping your emotions in check in the classroom is as challenging as it gets. If you can achieve it, you can do just about anything!

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

My World Famous Teaching Brain Fart

August 12, 2019

You know those times when you think you have worked out the solution to a nagging problem?

You think you are a genius. If only everyone was as creative as you.

But then you discover that there is a great reason why no one else would tackle the problem the way you did – because it is a horrible solution, one that will end up biting you on the proverbial.

And that’s exactly what happened to me.

My students, like every other kid their age, have no control over their bowels. Farts are a common fixture of my classroom. One fart I can tolerate. Two is unlucky. Then there are those days where the farts roll along in a continuous tirade. Death by a thousand squeaks.

Worse than the smell, is the ensuing laughter and embarrassment from the custodian of the said fart. And then there’s the sweater over the nose ritual and the exaggerated, “that stinks something awful!” It is a very disruptive force for the the teacher and it is very hard to get the kids back on task.

The worst are the quiet ones.  That’s when the self-appointed CSI forensic squad feel they have to investigate the owner of the smell and lay as much blame as possible. This turns into Law and Order as the accused always denies the claims and calls for a lie detector to back them up. This scene always finishes in tears.

After a number of these incidents in the one calendar year, I had reached the end of my tether. I couldn’t do it anymore. It was time to take control.

So I did.

Kind of …

I told my students that passing wind is normal and natural and everyone does it. I advised them that this shouldn’t be disrupting class and that the investigations were unnecessary. I suggested that from now on, whenever someone farted they could just blame it on me. They can pretend I did it and have a small chuckle at my expense. They all liked the idea.

This wasn’t an easy thing for me to try. There are 2 nightmare scenarios I have in teaching. I am not in the least bit embarrassed about making a spelling mistake or mucking up a math sum in front of the students. It doesn’t worry me if I can’t answer a student’s question. The only two things that would cause me immense shame is farting or vomiting in front of my class.  But I was desperate and was prepared to give it a go.

And what would you know, it worked like a charm. A kid would let one go and they would all turn to me and say “Mr. G! You did it!”

Then they would quickly calm down, no formal investigation, no feelings hurt and carry on with the lesson.

How could this brilliant idea go wrong?

A few months later, my class, together with a number of other classes and their teachers met in the music room for a meditation lesson conducted by a visiting expert. I was impressed how well the instructor got the kids quiet and they seemed to be following her directions without cynicism or immaturity.

The room was completely silent. That was, until one child let the trumpet out of the bag.

Without hesitation, my class turned to me in front of a number of my colleagues and half the primary school and shouted. “That was Mr. G! Mr. G farted!”

All I could do was squirm in my seat. Red as a beetroot.

From then on, I happily allowed my students to blame each other all they wanted for any farts that surfaced. Go for your life. I am staying out of it!

Teachers Should View a Sleeping Student as Feedback

March 29, 2017

What a horrific act and a total and utter overreaction. I’m sure this teacher felt disrespected that his student fell asleep in his class, but to assault her by biting her hair is astonishing and unforgivable.

As rude as it is for a student to sleep in class, a teacher should see it as crucial feedback and consider changing their style accordingly:

A strange clip of a teacher biting a students hair in order to lift her head off the table has emerged.The odd incident happened about a year ago but has resurfaced online. Jaws wide, the teacher approaches the snoozing student across a classroom. He then pounces on her, chomping her ponytail between his teeth. As she’s pulled from the desk where she was sleeping she looks shocked and worried. She gasps and grabs her hair and the creepy teacher relinquishes his grip. It isn’t known exactly where the weird incident happened but the 27-second clip has been shared widely on social media and other internet sites.

This teacher has a lot of explaining to do.

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

Click on the link to read Watch a Teacher Go Berserk Over the Most Trivial Thing (Video)

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

Click on the link to read Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

July 31, 2016

behavior-cartoon

 

Written by Josh Work courtesy of edutopia:

 

1. Set the Tone

I firmly believe that a student’s misbehavior in the past does not necessarily equate to future indiscretions. At the beginning of the school year, I would walk down to the sixth grade teachers with my new class lists and ask questions. I would inquire about who works well together, who probably should not sit next to each other, and who caused them the most grief. Not surprisingly, teachers would share the names of the same students that were their “tough kids.” If I had the privilege of having any of these students in my class, I looked forward to it instead of dreading it.

Usually during the first week of school, I would try to have individual conferences with these tough kids. I’d take this as an opportunity to clear the air and wipe the slate clean. Often, these students can feel disrespected because their teachers already have preconceived ideas about how they are the troublemakers. Explain that you respect them and have high expectations for them this year. Lay the foundation for the student’s understanding that you believe in him or her, because you might be the only one who genuinely does.

2. Be a Mentor

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that some of the toughest kids to teach come from very difficult home situations. Inconsistent housing, absentee parent(s), lack of resources, and violence are only a few examples of what some of these students have to face every day. Kids that are neglected at home can act out in school to receive attention, good or bad. They want someone to notice them and take an interest in their lives.

Don’t forget how important you are in helping your students develop not just academically, but also socially. Make an effort to show you care about them, not just their grades. Be proactive instead of reactive. The key to being a good mentor is to be positive, available, and trustworthy. One year with a great mentor can have a lasting, positive impact on a tough kid’s life.

3. Make Connections

Part of being a great mentor is your ability to make connections with these tough kids. Since these students sometimes don’t have anyone encouraging them or taking an interest in their lives, have a real conversation about their future or dreams. If they have nothing to share, start talking about their interests — sports, music, movies, food, clothing, friends, siblings, etc. Find a way to connect so that they can relate to you. Start off small and show a genuine interest in what they have to say. Once you’ve made a positive connection and the student can trust you, you’d be surprised how fast they might open up to talking about their hopes, fears, home life, etc. This is when you need to exercise professional discretion and be prepared for what the student might bring up. Explain that you do not want to violate his or her trust but that, as an educator, you are required by law to report certain things.

4. Take it Personally (In a Good Way)

Teachers need to have thick skin. Students may say things in an attempt to bruise your ego or question your teaching abilities. Remember, we are working with young children and developing adults. I’m sure you said some hurtful things that you didn’t mean when you were growing up. Students can say things out of frustration or boredom, or that are triggered by problems spilling over from outside of your classroom. Try to deal with their misbehavior in the classroom — they might not take you seriously if you just send them to the office every time they act out. These are the moments when they need a positive mentor the most.

Once trust has been established, remind these students that you believe in them even if they make a mistake. I’ve vouched for kids during grade team meetings only to have them get into a fight at lunch the same day. They make mistakes, just like we all do. It’s how we respond to their slip-ups that will determine if they’ll continue to trust us. Explain that you’re disappointed in their actions and that you know they can do better. Don’t write them off. Tough kids are used to being dismissed as hopeless. Instead, show them that you care and are willing to work with them. Helping a tough kid overcome personal issues isn’t something that happens overnight, but it is a worthwhile investment in his or her future.

5. Expect Anything and Everything!

All of our students come from a variety of cultures, nationalities, and home environments, and these five techniques that have worked for me might barely scratch the surface of how you interact with the tough kids in your classroom. If you have another method that has helped you reach out and connect to a tough kid, please share it below in the comments section.

 

 

Click on the link to read Watch a Teacher Go Berserk Over the Most Trivial Thing (Video)

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

Click on the link to read Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

Watch a Teacher Go Berserk Over the Most Trivial Thing (Video)

March 31, 2016

 

Missing rubber bands? Really?

 

 

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

Click on the link to read Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

Click on the link to read Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

August 9, 2015

tough-students

Written by Josh Work courtesy of Edutopia:

 

1. Set the Tone

I firmly believe that a student’s misbehavior in the past does not necessarily equate to future indiscretions. At the beginning of the school year, I would walk down to the sixth grade teachers with my new class lists and ask questions. I would inquire about who works well together, who probably should not sit next to each other, and who caused them the most grief. Not surprisingly, teachers would share the names of the same students that were their “tough kids.” If I had the privilege of having any of these students in my class, I looked forward to it instead of dreading it.

Usually during the first week of school, I would try to have individual conferences with these tough kids. I’d take this as an opportunity to clear the air and wipe the slate clean. Often, these students can feel disrespected because their teachers already have preconceived ideas about how they are the troublemakers. Explain that you respect them and have high expectations for them this year. Lay the foundation for the student’s understanding that you believe in him or her, because you might be the only one who genuinely does.

2. Be a Mentor

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that some of the toughest kids to teach come from very difficult home situations. Inconsistent housing, absentee parent(s), lack of resources, and violence are only a few examples of what some of these students have to face every day. Kids that are neglected at home can act out in school to receive attention, good or bad. They want someone to notice them and take an interest in their lives.

Don’t forget how important you are in helping your students develop not just academically, but also socially. Make an effort to show you care about them, not just their grades. Be proactive instead of reactive. The key to being a good mentor is to be positive, available, and trustworthy. One year with a great mentor can have a lasting, positive impact on a tough kid’s life.

3. Make Connections

Part of being a great mentor is your ability to make connections with these tough kids. Since these students sometimes don’t have anyone encouraging them or taking an interest in their lives, have a real conversation about their future or dreams. If they have nothing to share, start talking about their interests — sports, music, movies, food, clothing, friends, siblings, etc. Find a way to connect so that they can relate to you. Start off small and show a genuine interest in what they have to say. Once you’ve made a positive connection and the student can trust you, you’d be surprised how fast they might open up to talking about their hopes, fears, home life, etc. This is when you need to exercise professional discretion and be prepared for what the student might bring up. Explain that you do not want to violate his or her trust but that, as an educator, you are required by law to report certain things.

4. Take it Personally (In a Good Way)

Teachers need to have thick skin. Students may say things in an attempt to bruise your ego or question your teaching abilities. Remember, we are working with young children and developing adults. I’m sure you said some hurtful things that you didn’t mean when you were growing up. Students can say things out of frustration or boredom, or that are triggered by problems spilling over from outside of your classroom. Try to deal with their misbehavior in the classroom — they might not take you seriously if you just send them to the office every time they act out. These are the moments when they need a positive mentor the most.

Once trust has been established, remind these students that you believe in them even if they make a mistake. I’ve vouched for kids during grade team meetings only to have them get into a fight at lunch the same day. They make mistakes, just like we all do. It’s how we respond to their slip-ups that will determine if they’ll continue to trust us. Explain that you’re disappointed in their actions and that you know they can do better. Don’t write them off. Tough kids are used to being dismissed as hopeless. Instead, show them that you care and are willing to work with them. Helping a tough kid overcome personal issues isn’t something that happens overnight, but it is a worthwhile investment in his or her future.

5. Expect Anything and Everything!

All of our students come from a variety of cultures, nationalities, and home environments, and these five techniques that have worked for me might barely scratch the surface of how you interact with the tough kids in your classroom. If you have another method that has helped you reach out and connect to a tough kid, please share it below in the comments section.

 

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

Click on the link to read Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

Click on the link to read Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?

Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

March 23, 2014

game of thrones

Well here is a novel way of getting rowdy students to quieten down:

A maths teacher apparently decided to up the ante by threatening to reveal Game of Thrones spoilers to his misbehaving students.

One day while teaching in a noisy classroom, the educator asked who watched Game of Thrones, to which the majority raised their hands.

‘Well, I’ve read all the books,’ he told them. ‘If there is too much noise, I will write the name of the dead on the board. They are enough to fill the whole year and I can even describe how they die,’ reports nieuwsblad.be.

Those troublemakers who took it as an empty threat soon found themselves living to regret it when the teacher proceeded to write the names of those killed off in the third series on the board.

Unsurprisingly, the class got back pretty sharpish to working on long division and the like in silence after that.

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

Click on the link to read Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

Click on the link to read Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?

Click on the link to read Worst Examples of Teacher Discipline

Click on the link to read Why Students Misbehave

Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

March 5, 2014

class photo

It is apparent that teachers are struggling to cope with classroom misbehaviour more now than in any other time. This often brings panic influenced, knee-jerk reactions to help pull students in to line.

The award for the wildest and most needlessly over the top reaction to student misbehaviour goes to this headmistress:

In a bizarre case, a strict headmistress of a UK primary school allegedly called police to thwart a students’ plan to not smile and spoil a school photograph.

Ann Hughes, the headmistress of a school in Anglesey, North Wales, found out some children were planning to “spoil” the picture and telephoned police, a professional conduct hearing was told.

It is alleged that an officer was invited into the village primary school to reprimand the pupils unwilling to pose correctly, The Mirror reported.

Hughes faces a catalogue of complaints including repeatedly calling one student “stupid” and favouring children whose first language was Welsh.

The committee of the General Teaching Council for Wales heard yesterday that she failed to investigate the bullying of two pupils, shouted excessively in the classroom and unnecessarily criticised children’s mistakes.

One pupil watched as Hughes tore his examination paper in front of him when he had spelt his middle name wrong, the hearing was told.

The school was engulfed in crisis in May 2011 when five of the six teachers simultaneously called in sick after earlier threatening industrial action following a vote of no confidence in Hughes.

Staff claimed there was a climate of “fear” at the school before the headmistress was suspended in July 2011 and later dismissed. The case is still continuing.

 

Click on the link to read Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

Click on the link to read Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?

Click on the link to read Worst Examples of Teacher Discipline

Click on the link to read Why Students Misbehave

Click on the link to read Being a Teacher Makes Me Regret the Way I Treated My Teachers

Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

December 23, 2013

In University we were instructed not to smile until Easter. That way our students would never feel close enough to us to treat us like a friend. It is this kind of rubbish that infiltrates many teacher training lecture rooms. They tell you not to become emotionally involved with your students, but what they are really saying is become emotionally distant.

Students need to see the human face of their teacher in order to respect them. Remember, that there is a big difference between a dictatorial teacher that demands respect and a caring one that commands respect. The best way to manage student behaviour is for them to WANT to behave for you. They must want to gain your approval and respect. The only way to achieve this is to believe in them, set fair expectations for them and be prepared to share a laugh at times.

I stumbled across this wonderful answer to a science question which shows that the student in question had absolutely no idea what the correct answer is, but didn’t want his teacher to think less of him because of it.  The teacher’s response to the answer is simply brilliant!

science

Click on the link to read Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?

Click on the link to read Worst Examples of Teacher Discipline

Click on the link to read Why Students Misbehave

Click on the link to read Being a Teacher Makes Me Regret the Way I Treated My Teachers

Click on the link to read Useful Resources to Assist in Behavioural Management


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