Strategies for Classroom Management-For the Most Challenging Classrooms (Part 1)

Strategies for Classroom Management-For the Most Challenging Classrooms (Part 1)

I have worked in alternative high school settings in Southern California for 8 years.  I have seen it all.  I know what works and what does not work.  Control does not work; psychology does.   Part One will discuss What Not To Do and Part Two will discuss What To Do     I was a Teacher’s Assistant in one of the most challenging alternative schools in San Diego County while I was going to college.  During that time, I was able to learn an immense about classroom management as I saw substitute teacher after substitute teacher fall flat on their face, cry, and leave defeated after a classroom of rebellious students, mostly gang members, ate them alive.  I saw the manipulation tactics in full force.  The students switching names, seats, convincing the teacher of made up rules, and overall just taking over the classroom (the kind of classes the Substitute had taught in the inner cities, I’m sure). I have seen students cause teachers to cry and then the students play the victim and blame the sub.  In my experience, I have had a student throw a desk across the room in frustration.  I have kicked students out daily. I have been called every name in the book in front of the whole class and have had a few of them get so close to my face that I could feel their breath.    I have also lost control over my own behaviors that the class was unable to resume. I have tried my hardest to regain some normalcy or control but failed daily.  I have tried everything for...
How Much?

How Much?

  How much am I willing to give AND to give up to get what I want and am feeling called to?     Most people are okay with ONLY being comfortable.  They want a comfortable job, with a comfortable family… a comfortable paycheck with a comfortable retirement. Oh, the idea of being rich is wonderful to everyone but is not worth the discomfort involved for most.  The idea for more is too scary.  We want to do the same things that we do every day and hope that fortune comes to us in a miraculous way.  We want to hit the lotto the 1 or hundreds of times that we play.  We want our blogs or YouTube channels to build followers and magically turn into money makers.  We are willing to do the same things every day and hope that someone notices us.  Sometimes though, we are willing to put in a few uncomfortable steps into the process.  We pay money for an at-home business that we will put some time and effort into until it takes too much out of our lives or hasn’t become as easy a money maker as it claimed.    We pay for our blogs or YouTube channels in order to build our market, consistently create for a while until the followers diminish, or we don’t have as many clicks as we once had and lose motivation. Every once in a while I ask a new class, “Who do you think is the most successful celebrity?”  Many of them say the newest rap or hip hop star that I’ve never heard of so...
The Problem

The Problem

I have decided that if I am going to move up in the field of education to eventually be a leader in this school choice movement, then I need to address the issues as a business with a education focus.  These are the problems with public education that I would like to be addressed once I enter this level of leadership: If school choice is going to be pushed through the nation, including California, then I want people who are educated or have experience as teachers building this movement, not business people.  School choice is a chance for schools to fix what is broken and will NEVER be fixed through public education.  Allowing parents to choose schools WILL force even public schools to rethink their strategies and become better at what they do.  My current school district has seen a drop in enrollment for about 10 years in a row because when parents see consistent problems, they choose other options.  And, yes, common core has a great negative influence on many parents.  My school district has actually made improvements to be more competitive in the past few years.  A few years ago we were forced into program improvement and only then have we begun a movement into using scientifically proven educational strategies.  Many people would agree that we were stuck in the dark ages and were forced into this change.  Many teachers who love their craft and constantly move towards self-improvement have made school better for their students.  Others, though, have stayed the same because, you know, tenure.  Tenure allows crappy teachers to stay crappy teachers because after they...
Too Many Options

Too Many Options

I have not been an official teacher for long, only 5 years, but I have worked in schools as a teacher’s aide, substitute, and a student teacher for about 10.  Teaching is my life. I’ve always known I would be a teacher, and I know I will always be in the field of education in some way.  But like many Millennials, I am discontent with doing the same thing each year.  That is why I don’t.  I will never be a teacher that repeats the same lesson or unit each year. I am an introvert at heart (even though my students balk at the idea that I could be an introvert), and so I thrive on creativity and thoughtfulness.  Honestly, I have never been much of a creative writer (fiction writer), but I have always been a writer.  My favorite types of writing have always been simple journaling or critical thinking-like picking apart bias and general academic expository writing.   Just recently I have realized my passion for curriculum writing, grant writing, and now blogging. The instant gratification part of me needs feedback NOW!!  But the logical part of me realizes that I need to continue to write, after a few dozen posts, I may pay the extra money to start getting more readers, and continue to trudge through this difficult process while learning from each and every post and mistake. As much as I don’t relate to most of the stereotypical millennial thinking, I have to admit that I am one. I fall on the earlier side of Millennials, and I was raised by my father who is...
Problems

Problems

Let them shape you but don’t let them define you. I’ve already said a few times that I am not a typical entrepreneur.  I was not born to speak in large crowds; I am actually an introvert by nature.  I have never sold anything in my life and would die of embarrassment before I would become a salesman, at least in the typical sense of the word.  I am so bent on being myself that I fail constantly.  I say the wrong thing, I am not a perfectionist, and I am continually dwelling on what I am not.   Even saying the word entrepreneur when referring to myself makes me shake as I type. This desire to do more has sprung out of me mostly out of necessity.  I need to make myself indispensable.  I need to make myself successful so that I’m not stressing about money every month.  I am creative and constantly have ideas but have the problem that most of us have, follow through. FOLLOW THROUGH I live my life constantly reminding myself what not to do and who I don’t want to be.  I don’t want to be a person who needs instant gratification.  I don’t want to be content with the minimum.  I don’t want to get to the end of my life and realize that I was capable of so much more than I did.  I don’t want to waste my life on Facebook.  I don’t want to give up after any mistake no matter how large it may be.  I don’t want to be stressing over money forever. I don’t want to...