At My Wit’s End

It’s only the middle of October, but I am already losing it!

I have twenty-six nine year olds in one of my classes and it is quickly becoming the class that I dread. The majority of the students are great – but it only takes a couple of, for lack of a better expression, “bad apples” to turn a regular afternoon into chaos.

It’s the talking out of turn, shouting random things, getting out of their seats, kicking other students – in every single class! If I were not on the brink of losing my voice a second time, I would’ve actually screamed today. Nothing I seem to do works – I’ve tried a seating plan, a point system, doing games that involve movement, quiet work, positive reinforcement, pulling students into the hallway to speak with them – nothing! One teacher gave me advice to write names on the board as a warning, and after three warnings, that student would spend a detention at lunch recess with me. I gave it a shot today and I’m going to make sure I’m consistent with it – even if it means I lose some prep time.

The sad thing is, 90% of the class is ready to learn, but they can’t because they are constantly being disrupted.

The only good news is that the two homeroom teachers came to my classroom at the end of the day, after I had sent out an e-mail to them about the situation, and they gave me the support I needed. They told me to separate certain students from the rest of the class, to not be afraid of sending them to the office, and they shared the strategies that they have been using with these kids. I think the thing that helped me feel a lot better was knowing that they had problems with these students too.

For now, I am just going to slowly gather what little strength I have left, piece myself back together, and hope that tomorrow goes a lot better.

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