I'm 24, originally from Texas, went to the northeast for college at Vassar,
and am now back in Texas teaching 10th and 12th grade English and
coaching tennis (I played tennis in college).
I was really worried about classroom discipline given my young age, the
fact that I went to an all girls college, that I'm soft spoken, etc. So I
gave it a LOT of thought and a lot of planning, and I've been shocked,
overall, at how well I've been able to control and manage a classroom.
For my "regular" classes anyway, the ones I was most worried about.
The problem, ironically enough, is my honors class. Filled with honors
students, predominately girls, and students who don't seem to get in
trouble in ANY of their other classes. Yet they walk all over me.
Constant disruptions and, honestly, bad teaching/learning environment
because of it.
Over the course of the year, I've tried mixing up my approach. I went
from the nice but firm, to the super firm, to the super laid back cool
young one. None of the approaches worked. I've tried rewards to
encourage, I've tried detention, I've tried ISS. I've done a few office
referrals, but there is a stigma on those in my school, especially for new
teachers, like you can't handle it yourself, and I can't rely just on that.
I really am at a loss for what to do. One of my tennis players said that
she thinks the only thing different is that I'm one of the few teachers
who doesn't utilize corporal punishment (which is fairly common at my
school). Its hard for me to imagine that is what is causing such a big
change of behavior, when this is the class with the best students,
students who aren't getting in trouble in other classes..... I'm not
necessarily anti-spanking, and I in fact got pops in 11th grade at this
very school, but I just tend to think corporal punishment decisions are
better made by the parents, not in school. So I resolved to not give
Meanwhile, I've been able to maintain classroom order jsut fine in my
other classes (including with some tough students) without using pops.
Its hard to imagine that my honors class is the place I need to start
I really don't want to go against my decision to not use them, but I have
tried everything else, and my student/player isnt wrong when she points
out its really the only thing that makes me different from other teachers,
and the only thing I haven't really tried.
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