Question Detail

i am going to be a first year teacher for 11th grade high school boys with a reputation to be a challenging class, can you help me develop a discipline plan?

Aug 24, 2016 1:47pm

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    • Aug 24, 2016 2:16pm

      You say discipline plan but I'm generalizing that to classroom rules and expectations. There's at least two schools of thoughts here. Either you and these fine young men come up with your classroom norms because the popular thinking is that they have more buy in OR you come up with the norms for them. I'm the latter because I don't have much time to open something to debate.

      I would think of things that are battle ground (basically things that may annoy you or are sticking points) and these are the things I would set up classroom policies for:
      1) Turning in of homework. How often?
      2) Policy on Re-DO's. Your policy on lates.
      3) Negotiating deadlines.
      4) Bathroom breaks.
      5) General issues with respect.
      6) Attendance issues like early leaves and lates.
      7) How often do you assess?
      8) Consequences, both good and bad. This is where you have to consider the consequences of their action to discipline them.
      9) How you feel about group work? Acceptable noise in your room vs. productive noise.
      10) Their privileges and rights.
      11) How do you feel about devices in your room and general acceptable use policy of school equipment vs. personal.
      12) Extra credit work policies.

      Sorry, but I made no mention of procedures like how you might want to collect their work and when can they have the freedom to take care of their general needs. Whatever rules/policies/expectations you and/or your students come up with, make sure that they're congruent with your district's guidelines in addition to your department's. Have you talked with the members of your department? They will be more than happy to share ideas with you naturally.

      • Aug 25, 2016 3:11pm

        Per Michael's suggestion, establishing classroom procedures is going to be very important. Harry Wong's book/videos The First Days of School is a seminal classic worth consulting if you need help with this. Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, you need to get some fast, actionable intel on WHY this particular group is considered to have a "reputation as a challenging class". What does that mean specifically? Are they socially and/or academically immature? Are they distracted and disruptive because they lack skills and/or engagement? The fastest way I know to build empathy, rapport and respect at the beginning of the year is to do a Skill and Interest Inventory. Give them questions about their reading and writing skills with 1-5 Likert scale responses, ask them what their favorite music groups are, name their top three drama, comedy, action shows or movies, what do they do or like to do outside of school, ask them what's one thing they think you need to know about them, the one book they did read cover to cover and why, etc. Then bend this info. any way you can into your curriculum and instruction all the time so that you can increase the chances of their engaging with you and your instruction. If they are socially immature, look up Costa's Habits of Mind on line and find ways to incorporate those into your curriculum so that they learn much needed social skills in tandem with the content and critical thinking skills. Hope this helps...