How do middle school teachers deal with their students behavior that have been forced into an elementary school setting? I am the Instructional Coach in a new building and need to offer these...

How do middle school teachers deal with their students behavior that have been forced into an elementary school setting? 

I am the Instructional Coach in a new building and need to offer these teachers some strategies before they give up.  They cannot teach in this situation.  No security, ISS, or suspensions allowed or offered.

Asked on by rudylilly

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bjs's profile pic

bjs | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

I found one book tremendously helpful, Positive Classroom Discipline by Fredric Jones (a forward by Madeline Hunter.) Although I used many suggestions in the book, the one that was most helpful was a technique called PAT (Preferred Acitivity Time.)

It also helped with class clowns who were encouraged by the rest of the class because they liked the break in routine.My class was always the quietest during fire drills because students wanted to earn more PAT.

It worked this way: I wore a stop watch. When I caught a class being good on the first day of school, I wrote on the board 1 min., 3 min., or whatever I thought was appropriate. I then explained to the class that whatever time they saved by being good and on task, I would give it back to them at the end of the class period by leading a fun language game. (I taught Language Arts.)

Conversely, if a student (or the whole class) wasted time because of poor behavior, I subtracted time based on how long my stop watch ran before they quieted down.

After a while, all I had to do was look at my stop watch and soon students were back on task.

Magic!

 

 

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think this is problem that is bigger than a few teachers or even a motivational coach. I do not mean to be offensive or pessimistic. What, I think, is needed is a community behind you. It is only when society values children and education that t thing will get better, otherwise it will constantly be an uphill battle.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

I would suggest that if you haven't already read it that you research the work that Dr. Ruby Payne has done with regard to poverty. I've had only a little introductory training, but it really opened my eyes to a few things. I've always tried to keep in mind that my most unruly of students started life out just like my own kids--happy, excited about life and the thrill of learning new things. Somewhere along the way, their lives diverged from those of my own children. Obviously with my husband being a school administrator and myself a teacher, we value education more than some other parents might. This could in a large part, however, be due to poverty levels.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As a followup to my previous post:

A local middle school in my town has an incredibly diverse population, but, sadly, no middle ground. An inner city school, it has a renowned accelerated program and allows students to enroll from other districts. Consequently, the AP program students are highly motivated and the most well-behaved bunch of learners I have ever seen. They are a teacher's dream. The other 80% of the school, however, consists of poverty-level kids with virtually NO social skills or self-discipline. Most are several grade levels below their present grade. Even those kids on their expected grade level ability show horrible disciplinary skills. The teaching and learning atmosphere in those classes is virtually non-existent. In one small class last week, one-half of the students were serving out-of-school suspensions by the end of the day. These kids pay absolutely no attention to teacher directions, school rules or normal rules of society. The school employs two full-time deputies to patrol the halls in addition to the many deans whose sole responsibility is disciplining students. A high percentage will no doubt inhabit our prisons after they drop-out of school. What is the answer now? I don't have a clue, but until parents of all social levels teach their children even the most basic manners and behavioral expectations, things won't change.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I totally understand rudylilly's problem. I taught for nine years in a rural middle school where the principal ran a "loose ship" as far as discipline was concerned. We had ISS, OSS, after-school detention and detention during recess, however. None of it really worked, though it did serve to rid the classroom of students so unruly that they restricted the learning of others. Most of my paperwork dealt with disciplinary actions--not grading papers or creating lessons--and most of the parents (again, from a rural area--many parents were dropouts and hated school themselves) were more concerned with what they considered the teachers' unfair treatment of their kids in handing out discipline. Most of the parents believed their kids' tall tales, wild explanations and excuses over the teachers' documented, detailed discipline reports. Failing was acceptable, but making their kids sit in detention instead of having recess: unforgivable.

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archteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Can you clarify what you mean by an "elementary school setting"?  Are they in a literal elementary school?  Does the lack of disciplinary resources make it elementary?  Is it the students behavior elementary level?  Is this a sudden, mid-year change, or did the change occur at the start of the year?  The more specifics you can provide, the more suggestions we can make!

lorettamarie's profile pic

lorettamarie | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Can you clarify what you mean by an "elementary school setting"?  Are they in a literal elementary school?  Does the lack of disciplinary resources make it elementary?  Is it the students behavior elementary level?  Is this a sudden, mid-year change, or did the change occur at the start of the year?  The more specifics you can provide, the more suggestions we can make!

"Elementary school setting" most likely refers to a middle school where students are babified/treated like they are still in elementary school.

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pattieann | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I understand your frustration. I changed grades after school started. I began the year as 1st grade and was transfered to 4th almost 3 weeks into the year. The original teacher was "involuntary transfered" to a different school due to low enrollment. My current kids has 2 weeks of various subs b4 I was assigned to the class. It was a big adjustment on all sides. My school is Title1- over 85% free lunch- My kids are either really high or really low

What you need to find is the "carrot" that works for the kids. In my case  I have a tally on the whiteboard awarding points for both student and teacher... I total the points after recess, lunch and the end of the day. If they win- I add it to the "game time" tally, If they loose, I subtract it. Game time is awarded on Friday afternoons for however many minutes they earned, they must have at least 15 minutes to "spend" the time or it rolls over to the following week. I made sure they were successful the first few weeks- rewarding by name- great job Sam- a point for the class.... and a bit more general in debiting- table 3 is talking, my point ..... It seems to work. I figure that the small amount of game time is much less "lost teaching time" than what I was loosing trying to gain control of the behavior.

I also give 1-2 min brain breaks when they get 2 fidgety. they can get a drink, sharpen pencils, talk to friends, anything w/o leaving the room. I set a timer and they have to be back in their seats when it beeps.

 

 

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shannadowd | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I honestly don't think anyone can give a definitive answer at the moment.  I believe this is one of the many reasons why America's schools need to be reformed.  Teachers have been expected to battle and overcome so many things that are out of our control (home, neighborhood environment, etc) for so long that its ridiculous.

rudylilly's profile pic

rudylilly | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

So, as an educator, what can I do to fix this?  What a terrible unfairness to those that want to learn and to those that want to teach!!

rudylilly's profile pic

rudylilly | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

We are in an elementary school prek-5 and now 6,7,8.  The change was at the beginning of the school year, I just was reassigned to this school last Friday.  Any suggestions would be most helpful.  Thank you!!

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