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View Poll Results: What is your opinion of classroom behavior monitoring systems?
It reinforces postive behavior. 3 75.00%
It reinforces negative behavior. 1 25.00%
No Opinion 0 0%
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2004, 08:42 AM
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Classroom Behavior management

My son is in first grade in a small rural school which clumps 1st & 2nd together, 22 students total. Usually the classes are both fairly small, but 1st grade has had up to 15 in it at one time. The teacher is young and inexperienced but she does have a full time aide. My problem all along has been that she seems to want
total order but doesn't seem to be able to maintain that status. Every time I talk to her she comments on the size of the class being so large, the chaos, how overwhelmed she is, etc. etc.
When I'm there she is constantly trying to yell over them, etc. It is my belief that these students are:
1]Having trouble adjusting to work, work, work(she uses a lot of worksheets and very little hands on learning.
2] Knows the teacher doesn't really expect their behavior to be good(This is evident in her card turning behavior system. Yuk-this is negative reinforcement instead of postive).
3] Are stretching their boundaries...because they can!

I have spoke to her and to the principal after the teacher made comments about being afraid the students weren't going to learn much this year if the chaos didn't settle down. The principal says she is informed of the problem and that the administration and teachers are putting a plan into implementation.

I hope some teachers respond to this because I believe most teachers have 22 students or more. I believe this will either make or break this teacher's career. My problem is how do I make sure my son doesn't suffer and how can I help?
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Old 11-06-2004, 02:19 PM
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I'm not sure about the meaning of the question in your poll so I didn't answer it.
I am a "former" teacher (though it never really goes away) and I can tell you that it sounds like this teacher is in way over her head. I don't think it's EVER a good idea to put an inexperienced teacher in a multi-age group. As for 22 being a large group, that depends on whose standards you are following....it's on the "small end of being big" if that makes sense. Most public schools around here (NJ) are happy if they have 22 in a first-grade room.

Unfortunately there may be a wonderful teacher inside this person, just waiting to come out, but that can't happen if she is stressed, afraid and overwhelmed. If it continues she will become angry and disillusioned and either quit teaching (doing herself and her future students a great disservice) or keep teaching but failing (doing herself and her future students a great disservice).

She will need lots of help from all sides if she is to turn things around at this point in the year. She needs to reward the good behavior she wants, so the kids get the hint. She needs to use her aide effectively. She needs a mentor to give her practical advice and encouragement. That last one is a SERIOUS need. The best teacher in the school should be advising her every step of the way.

It may be a lot of worksheets because she doesn't know how else to get 2 classes' worth of work done. Worksheets alone are not a great idea but I can understand why she is falling back on them.

Find out the principal's plan of action and find out how YOU can help. If you have the time and energy, please help this teacher. It will be good for her and for all the kids.
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Old 11-06-2004, 03:17 PM
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I think it quite unfair to the young teacher to give her first graders and on top of that, another class of 2nd graders.. that's 2 cirriculums!........

It would be nice if some of the mothers would volunteer to go into that classroom to help her out.

The behavior of these children directly reflect the behavior these children exhibit at home. Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children.... perhaps the parents of these unruly ones should take a look at how their darlings are behaving.

I'd better quit now ...*chuckle*
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Old 11-06-2004, 04:01 PM
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I suggest we turn Jeannie loose on the superintendent who assigned this poor unsuspecting young teacher a multi-age primary classroom!

GO JEANNIE!!!!

I know you have more to say! Please do say it! The member who asked the question asked it for a reason. She needs information, so she can do her best to help in a bad situation.

But, Jeannie....wink wink nudge nudge....don't you know that in this day and age, children are NEVER responsible for their own bad behavior, and parents are even less so? It's all the teacher's fault...or the bus driver....or the other kids in class....or society...or red food dye...or the manufacturer of the paste these kids eat at Art Time....yes, that's it....

(Yeah, I should know better than to get Jeannie started but I just can't resist! She has such GOOD stuff to say! Even if it's something I disagree with, it gives me food for thought. So GO Jeannie!)
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Old 11-06-2004, 07:31 PM
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Barbszy...I had no idea!... *hugs*

I wrote several things, but decided not to print them here...
I will say, responsibility starts at home. Parents firstly and ultimately are responsible for their children's actions....for they are their first teachers.

I was in the first grade in 1946..I was six years old.
( Personally, I think kids start school way too early)
My teacher had FIFTY TWO STUDENTS in the class.
There was total order. .. why? because parents demanded and got respect. There was no question that your actions resulted in certain consequences.... and they were carried out....

And, the schools must make these parents responsible. How?
pass ordinances that say if you kid acts up.. you come sit with him or pick him up and take him home. You can't sacrifice teaching those wishing to learn because of unruly, undisciplined kids... let the parents home school them....*grins*

I would also centralize the schools again and put education in the hands of the professionals.....not the butcher, baker and suzie down the block.
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Old 11-06-2004, 07:46 PM
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It sounds like the principal should be helping more. Our new teachers get mentors- which usually helps tremendously.

The teacher certainly does not need to be critized ,but needs encouragement . Parents should offer to volunteer in the room or offer to bring treats to reward good behavior.

Does the teacher have class rules? Rules are needed and they should be dicussed with the children and posted in the classroom. It is sometimes a good idea to have the children read and sign that they have read and will adhere to the rules. If the rules are broken then they should be sent to principal or have a priveledge taken away. LIke I said earlier- she needs the administration's help!!! That is why they are there.
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Old 11-07-2004, 12:03 PM
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I have to say that as a mom, the teacher's carear is not your problem. I think it is nice of you to be concerned, but I wouldn't worry about it so much, she can learn from the experience and grow in ways that even she may not realize right now.
As far as what you can and should do for your child in a situation like this, there are a few things you can do. If you have the time you could volunteer to help out in the classroom. I live also in a small rural area, and my kids class sizes are 17-20. Their teachers love to have the extra hand once in a while too, so if the school would allow it, that would be a very tangible way for you to help him and the teacher. Most of all, be active- read the take home papers, help with homework etc. The more you can reinforce what is being taught in the class, the better off your child will be! And try to be positive: A cheerful heart is like a good medicine!
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Old 11-07-2004, 01:47 PM
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This new teacher is in over her head. She sounds like she needs help from a veteran teacher on classroom management. 22 is not a huge class in suburbs and cities, perhaps it is in rural schools. But it's a handful for a novice teacher who had some classes in classroom management, but not practical experience. If this teacher is to be a success, she needs some "old hands" to teach her the ropes. The problem is not the kids running wild, nor is it the class size, nor is it the split grade situation. It is that this newbie teacher doesn't know how to handle the kids.

Activity is a GOOD thing with 1st and 2nd graders. You want a certain amount of noise and motion going on. This age, you don't want or expect learning to consist of sitting quietly and listening carefully.

Part of teacher training, especially at the primary grades, is training the teacher to teach to the children's learning style. Some are audio learners, some are visual learners, some are kinetic learners. It's a challenge to manage all 3 in the classroom at the same time, but it is a must. And done properly, the room might "appear" to be in chaos, but in truth, it is busy, happy learning. Let me give an example: learning spelling words. Visual learners study the written word, use Search-a-Word puzzles, and the like. Audio learners sing-song the words, C-A-T spells CAT, D-O-G spells DOG. Kinetic learners arrange blocks or magnets, or bounce a ball, C-A-T with each bounce and then toss to the next child. Imagine a classroom with all of this going on at once. Might appear to be chaos, but when the kids are taught to their learning style, it all goes on in sync. If this teacher hasn't experienced this, a classroom of 22 kids will seem like an uncontrollable zoo. (I recommend the book "HOW Your Child Is Smart" for more on this topic)

Rani
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Old 11-07-2004, 03:06 PM
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kasparcat, you make a lot of good points!
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Old 11-10-2004, 08:54 AM
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Help, I know a teacher who is drowning!

I completely agree with Kasparcat. I felt this teacher was in way over her head for sometime; but guess I wanted confirmation. Thank you everyone!

All the classes in this K-8 rural school are multi-age except for kindergarten. So the teacher knew she was getting a double whammy when she accepted the job.(She's taught her a couple of years.)

BTW, kindergarten was a busy, happy learning place. Chaos didn't phase that gal! So it was a BIG adaption for the 1st graders to make. This year's teacher gives the impression that everything has to be completely quiet.

I DO feel responsible for my son's behavior(I homeschooled him for 2 yrs of preschool!)that is why I'm seeking advise. I talked to the administrator who assured me the teacher is being mentored by her colleagues as well as administration. (I do NOT think this is helping however, I think she only feels more pressure.) The administratior gave me the impression that if the teacher doesn't get a handle on this she won't be asked back next year. I guess there has been some parents show up at board meetings.

My husband & I have taken it on ourselves to take away priviledges and explain that good behavior is expected!(Her behavior card system has varying degrees of punishment for each color of card turned. If you get completely to black she's sends you to the office or calls your parents. Needless, to say this does NOT happen.)

I have volunteered with both the teacher & administration; but so far have only been utilized for field trips. I'm trying to help in whatever way I can in whatever method that works. I just don't want my son to stall out & lose his desire for learning with all this emphasis on behavior. After all, we could have her again next year. (BTW, the worst offender of the bunch is another teacher's child. Arg!)
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