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Challenging Classrooms

March 15, 2017

I love hearing from former students. Often they are asking for help with challenging classroom situations. I also love hearing about celebrations and everyday triumphs, so feel free to send those too. Depending on the classroom these can vary tremendously.

This year, I have heard from several educators who have taken new teaching positions or long-term sub positions in the middle of the year. No matter what kind of school you are in, these can be challenging.

The first thing to remember is that you are dealing with students who feel abandoned. Even if logically they know their teacher is sick or some circumstance forced their move, they still feel abandoned. The new teacher has to prove him/herself as a teacher AND as a committed teacher that will not leave them. They don’t want to invest time in you, if you are not going to stay.

Remember it is all about relationships. Start over and treat it just like the beginning of the year…..clean slate. Go back to your management plan and use those beginning of the school year lessons. Include students in creating classroom norms and really start over. Begin each day with “morning meeting.” if you teach middle school, consider beginning each class with a class meeting like “morning meeting.” Involve the students. Talk about respect and teach it. Talk about relationships and community. Use a different relationship activity every day.

Consider having students keep a journal on community. Use it at the beginning and end of class daily for reflection.

Teach problem-solving and conflict resolution.

  • Previous blog on Problem Solving.
  • Previous post on Conflict Resolution.
  • If you teach problem-solving think about having a place in your room. where students can remove themselves to if they are upset or need to settle down.

For the most challenging students consider working with them to set individual goals. Remember to give positive reinforcement when they make good decisions.

Connect with parents. Start making positive phone calls home! Build relationships with parents. Previous Post on Positive Phone Calls.

I realize you are busy and  you do not have time to read, but I highly recommend these two books:

Go to Pinterest for more resources:

Be persistent. It will not be quick, but it will happen if you keep at it. Remember to take care of yourself and stay positive!

If you have advice for these teachers who are beginning in new situations, please leave comments below.

 

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