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Classroom Management NIGHTMARE


New Member
I am a first year kindergarten teacher at a Title I school in MS. We are in our 14th week of school and until about the beginning of October I felt like I had things under control. I started the year with 16 studnets which was AMAZING but now I am up to 22. My classroom theme is beach so my children change their fist color instead of a light, card, etc. and it has worked really well, although I get extremely sick of hearing myself say, change your fish :) Anyway I have a few boys who don't understand the concept of yellow being a warning, I have talked to the whole class, their parents and them individually about how yellow is just Ms. Ellmer's way of reminding her students to be on their best behavior but for some reason they just don't get and got BALASTIC when their fish changes to yellow. ONe of the cried for forty five minutes the other day, and had the principal, assistant principal, 2 other kindergarten assistants and myself in the room. It was awful......Ok so now to the real problem I got my last new student on Oct. 1, a Monday, and I knew from the beginning she was going to be a challenge, on Thursday of that same week she was suspended from school for throwing a crayon and a student and attempting to hit me and it has only gotten worse from their. She is extremely smart, but when she gets in one of her moods thats all she wrote, last week she climbed under a table just because she didn't want to sit in her chair and refused to come out, the schoolr resource officer had to come in and physically carry her out to the front office which she then ran from and had to be chased around the school. I am at a lose because my administration is no help, after the last incident she was suppose to have 2 days out of school and a week of inschool, but my principal talked with her and decided to give her another chance so she was back in my room after only one day of staying in the principals office. (The whole point of suspending her is to try and get her into a district program that has several behavior classrooms that you can send children to, this is where there are behavior specialist and teachers trained for this type of behavior) I dont feel that I am trained for this type of behavior and there is no one in my school that really is either. She is also causing the other students to lose it, I can slowly see them pushing the limit to see what they get away with and even other teachers have noticed. I just feel like I am against a wall and have cried every day lately because I am so hopeless. Any suggestions would be great......


Help is on the Way!!!

Hang in there!! First of all you must not give up. Believe it or not things will get better. The children in your class have bought into your frustration. They now know what will send you up the wall. You must learn to anticipate what will happen. There is a book I recommend you read, it is Disciple with Dignity by Curwin and Mendell. Begin by bringing your children to a meeting atomosphere, on the carpet or floor. Ask them if they think there are problems with the class without pointing finger any one child. Ask each one what he or she can do to make it better. Believe or not you really have only two to three childen to work out problems. Think about it, most of your children will do as they are told. Do not buy into the wants and needs of your pepper seeds. Learn more about your students. MAny times it not you they have problems with. children act out because it is their way of asking for help. Remember, do not get into power suggles with children. If you administartion is not helping,find yourself a strong teacher to be your mentor. Learn from that person. There are tricks to this profession. Good Luck!!!


Senior Member
Hi - I teach kindergarten in West Philadelphia where my class size is on average 30 students. I'm now in my 3rd year, but my first year there was a nightmare. I had about 5 boys who were very angry and aggressive and set the tone for the rest of the classroom. What worked best for me was to really try to form individual bonds with the children who I was having the hardest time with. I started using the Morning Meeting book this year in my class which is great because it allows us time each morning to talk about character traits and things that aren't covered in our very strict curriculum. This time at the beginning of the day lets me review rules, role play situations and talk about what to do when problems arise. Try to form a relationship with this girl and find out what her interests are and use that to your advantage. Use her to model situations with the class - role play what to do when problems arise. Get her as involved as possible and then perhaps she'll feel more accountable to you for her behavior. Hang in there - I've definitely been in your shoes - things will get better!


No End in Sight

I am coaching a third grade teacher in her first year in our district. This is the worst class I have ever encountered. It is complete chaos all the time. What's worse - this teacher really is on the ball. She's doing her best. It takes an aide and several volunteers to keep the class from exploding. Of the 29 kids, 9 are significant behavior problems and 10 are more or less out of control most of the time. The self-regulated ones are getting lost in the shuffle. We are love and logic, we embrace Ruby Payne, professional learning communities, Morning and afternoon meetings, etc. Nothing is working. What do you do with a class like this? My goal is to help the teacher get through one lesson without interruption (screaming, slamming things around, talking, etc.). So far, no good. Please help!


Senior Member
I can't believe you started with 16 and are now at 22! That's enough to throw things off. It can be difficult getting 1-2 new students, but 6!?!

My friend teaches kindergarten (after having taught first part-time for 2 years). She was having a really tough time with behaviors too. A few students were making it really difficult for her to teach everyone.

Now she gives a warning, and then if they misbehave again (she picks and chooses her battles) they have to call their parents on the phone right then and there and explain to them why they are calling. She said that it has helped immensely. She has seen a definite decrease in behavior problems. Of course she is very positive with her students and doesn't resort to the phone calls quickly, but a couple students have made phone calls. Other students have realized that she is serious, so overall things are going better.

Just an idea. Don't know if it will work or not.

Make sure you document this child's behaviors though. If she ends up getting tested, etc, they will ask for documentation.

I'm sorry you are having a tough time. It's not fair to you!