Question Detail

I work at a low income school that is 80% Hispanic. I have great relationships with many of my students, but the mix of students in my 4th period class is just plain toxic. It is almost all boys (in a class of 30, I think I have 6 girls) and they are all high-energy and need the class's attention, even if it's negative. I took the Tools for Teaching course and tried standing expressionless until they are silent and ready to move on. I did this for a couple weeks, and I spend over 50% of my lesson doing absolutely nothing but standing there. My higher achievers began rolling their eyes and the class fell behind. . I tried calling home. I tried sending them to the office. I have tried rewarding them. I have tried "get to know you" days. I tried to build relationships and be positive. I tried sending them to the hall. They continue to make disrespectful and immature noises, shout, and be continually disrespectful. The same students are fine in my other classes but think 4th period is a joke. Please help!

Jan 6, 2016 2:53pm

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    • Jan 14, 2016 1:39pm

      Wow. This is a tough one for sure....Have you tried student contracts with your worst offenders? What subject is your 4th period class? One option could be to try two versions of the same assignment. One version could be independent (maybe book work or similar) and then the other could be a group activity (something perceived as more fun). The handful of trouble makers could be spread out on islands across the room whereas the better behaved students could enjoy learning together. Perhaps activities such as this would be enough of an incentive for those particular students to tow the line.

      • Jan 25, 2016 10:08am

        In my district we use a positive support system at secondary called Safe and Civil Schools. You make and set up expectations (CHAMPs)for every activity you have in your class and you use your quiet signal to go from each activity to the next. I support new teachers, and even in some of the worst classes I have seen this work, as long as it is used consistently. Behavior and/or academic contracts do help with those students who are less motivated, as long as you have support from an administrator and/or counselor. The book, Discipline in the Secondary Classroom, by Randall S. Sprick is super helpful! One of my best investments as a coach! The other piece I tell my new teachers is that a well planned, engaging lesson is also one of the best deterrents of bad behavior. Active lessons that get students out of their seats and involve talking will work wonders with these types of classes!