Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Tough Job

I have a class of fifth grade boys, they practically ruin my afternoon when I step in that classroom, a group of about 30 mostly unmotivated, uninterested, and rowdy kids. I have tried everything I can think of to get them interested and to pay attention…and every day I leave their classroom exhausted, drained, and frustrated. Many of them aren’t anywhere near a fifth grade level and a handful do not speak English.

I cannot discipline them; I can barely get them to sit down quietly. Some of the teachers here hit the kids; I can confidently say I will never. I took some extra rowdy students to the mild mannered principle and to my surprise he hit them. Then they behaved…for one day.

I know now, what will happen if I send them to the principal. I have already resolved never to hit, but aren’t I doing just that if I send them again to the principal? Even the threat of the principal will keep them in line for a short period, but that’s still the threat of violence and I don’t like that.

Easy answer is not to do that….but I’m still stuck with a group of kids and without the one tool, hopefully not the only, of discipline they respond to. Help.


Mohammed said...

You can always kick em? Or is that the same is hitting them? Kidding---you can always do what mulla mansoor made us do when we were in madresa, stand up in their chair and make them do squats while holding their ears...or something along those lines. Or something along those lines...maybe a little embarrasment will quiet them down.

Aziz Poonawalla said...

i wonder if this is cultural clash - if the norm is to punish students via corporal punishment, then a teacher who does not do that will naturally end up with rowdy kids, because they can get away with it.

I think your primary responsibility is to get these kids to learn. If that means invoking the threat of the rincipal, then so be it - but you have t move them through th ematerial one way or another.

The alternative is to let them run wild, and learn nothing. Wouldn't that hurt them more?

sourat said...

They seem to learn better on their knees. 1 week, 6 40 minute periods of kneeling. They seem to be getting the message and I have some class control. Thanks for the advice Zahra.

The problem is that too many kids in the class are not ready to learn what is taught, but english instead...I hope all the students in my class can make leaps and bounds in this area.

Sameer said...

Mr. Steak--when I was in Iowa teaching a bunch of 3rd graders we always played a game where one student finds something in the class that starts with the letter A and the next student has to remember what the hell the first kid said and then say something that starts with B and so on (so the last kid has to recite like 25 different things) make sure the dumasses go first! But surprisingly these kids would always make it all the way through the alphabet and it at least keeps them focused for like 15-20 minutes. This was my go to game and it never failed me. Try it!