Question Detail

I teach in a juvenile detention center. All the grades 6 through 12 are in one classroom at the same time. Does anyone have any suggestions so that I don't drive myself crazy with 7 different lesson plans every day?

Jul 17, 2014 12:41pm

Students do not want to be here so they are disruptive, disrespectful, and disobedient. Classes are not controlled by a bell...guards bring the students late and remove them early. My class enrollment changes daily and behavior management is a challenge. It is hard enough to keep up with I have CAST and Common Core to worry about.

  • English Language Arts
  • 6-12
  • Behavior / Common Core


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    • Jul 21, 2014 6:52pm

      So why assume they don't want to be there? Maybe if you go into the situation daily with your obvious caring attitude, they might respond very positively to you. You are without a doubt a true loving and caring person or you would not have posed the question on this site. Over the past three decades, I have incidentally scene crossover between my classes across age and grade barriers. When things get hectic, you could consider teaching the same particular framework or strand to classes of different grade levels. In other words,using the same specific subject matter across varied grade levels but at the appropriate depths and intensity levels. To put it musically, lower level questioning might include simply a composer's date birth and place of origin: and possibly a few listenings of some of their iconic pieces. Higher up the Blooms ladder, questioning and projects would include the social, political, and possibly psychological reasons for composing in their particular style and genre. For instance,Chopin and Liszts composed and performed in an era paralleling the Civil War and industrial revolution. Therefore, teaching the same subject at different depths could ease some of the pressure of teaching and planning without compromising our promise to do our best for the students for whose education we have been charged and willingly accepted the responsibility. Never let yourself be fooled into thinking you can't help them.I believe God creates teachers from the best material humanity has to offer.

      • Jul 27, 2014 6:34am


        I agree with Michael. Think about what they need to be able to reenter society and then provide it for them. Instead of creating numerous lessons, you can universally-design one lesson, with choices that vary in rigor, so students can choose the learning experiences that are most relevant to them. If you can make the connection between education and a better life, you have an amazing opportunity for authentic learning. I would also recommend Lost In School, by Ross Greene, which delves into the population you are serving and provides insight on the executive functions these kids require to be successful in the classroom. It's a great read.

        Keep at it!

        Katie Novak

        • Jul 20, 2014 8:28pm

          Honestly, I'm surprised by your post. I've known several teachers who taught at detention centers and/or jails. All of them said there were absolutely no behavior issues...that the guards, who always stayed in the room, immediately pulled out any student/inmate that did anything even remotely wrong or disrespectful. None of them ever returned to a school setting, preferring the jail.