Thursday, January 29, 2009

i feel like an a-hole

i yelled today. real loud. so loud, another teacher opened the door and peeked her head through to check if everything was ok. i forgot that when i have a loud voice, i really have a loud voice. my problem is, when i get frustrated out of my mind i yell. it takes a lot to get me to yell. i haven't done anything like that since teaching in santiago. i guess it's almost a repeater. i won't do it again, i'm sure. but something's gotta happen with this class. they're so unruly and the idea of controlled chaos as opposed to utter chaos is unknown to them.

one of the teachers suggested an entire class detention. if they can't do anything on my time, do it on their time. they have to learn as a class who's in charge. does that work?

what works for a class that has adhd/add problems as well as a general uber-hyper sense? how does discipline go? i've already done student contracts. tossed out the window, that thing. any tips? i'm puttin this out to the general republic.


Alison Fincher said...

That's tough. I'd advise against a whole-class detention. That will just cause resentment. I don't know what you should try, though. Hmmm...

Since you asked, here are my thoughts, for what they're worth...

You have more troubled students than I've ever worked with, but my successes have usually been one on one. Maybe you could pick a few unruly students and work on developing a relationship with them. If you can earn their respect, it might be easier for you to earn the respect of their classmates.

Also, maybe you should apologize for losing your temper--not grovel and beg for forgiveness, just frankly state that you screwed up. It seems to have an amazing impact on kids to see an adult struggling to be good.

"I'm sorry I yelled at you guys. I know that doesn't help. I just lost my temper because I was frustrated with you. Can you think of anything I ought to do instead next time that happens?"

Could work. Worth a try. Every little thing that might earn there respect is a step in the right direction. And explaining why you yelled is the only way I've ever seen teacher yelling turn into something constructive.

Good luck! I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

tinesabeans said...

Man, Andrew. I totally admire what you're doing. I'm horrible with kids, so I can't really offer any sound advice. But I can say, sometimes the harder you try, the farther away you get from where you're trying to get. You're trying to be a teacher, but maybe try not being the teacher for a minute. Put yourself into the position of the student. Maybe that will help you relate to them and get inside of their heads. As someone who is trying to be a good health provider, I try to stop and put myself in the position of the patient. I don't know if this makes any sense, but hang in there. You will be a fantastic teacher.

Alison Fincher said...

Are you okay? You haven't posted in a while.

Andrew said...

i'm actually fine, thanks! i'm on vacation now, and don't feel like an a-hole anymore, hah!

the class moved on, and things went as they went...i yelled again, but more like a big stern voice, even in spanish (to an ELL student), which was kind of disheartening. i apologized to him the next day, and told him what it was all about, etc.

anyways, i'm in NY now and heading to philly to go to see johannah!