• Welcome! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Disruptive students

Gina TX

Senior Member
I have managed my first 6 weeks as a new teacher in 6th grade. I am very lucky to have a very nice and supportive principal and coworkers. My vice principal is a nice person, but not a very effective VP. This is his first year as a VP, having spent the last ten years as a counselor at the high school. He is the one in charge of discipline problems, but he doesn't give the students any consequences for misbehaving. Like someone said on another post here, I have nothing against rewards, but there should be consequences. What he has done is ignore the students who are working hard and doing what they are supposed to be doing and set up a reward system for those who get in trouble if they can through one day without any problems. This is a big joke with the repeat offenders. The rest of my coworkers (and myself) are at a loss. We have complained to the principal. He has talked to the VP, but nothing has changed. Rumor has it that the VP will be moving back to the high school next year. I don't know that this is true, but I do know that with the sheer number of complaints it would not surprise me. My question is how to handle the handful of trouble makers that disrupt the class for those who want to be there. Nothing works and they know nothing will happen if they are sent to the office. Calls home and parent conferences do little to nothing with these students because the parents don't seem to care either. There are only 3-5 in each class, but they disrupt a class of 25 very easily. I have tried everything I know how to do, gotten advice from long time teachers and nothing works. They are having the same problem. So, to get through the rest of this year and not have it ruined for the rest of the students what can I do? These kids will do or say anything they want. They say they don't care to anything you tell them, and they don't. We can no longer put them in the hall because they will disappear and with no consequences and the fact that they don't even care if they pass or not, nothing is working. I am exhausted and frustrated. The other teachers have told me next year will be better, we are all having the same problems, and the first year is always the worst, etc. But I am really upset for the students who do care and want to learn. Any ideas? Please?


strike where it hurts

What do sixth graders want to do the most? SOCIALIZE.

Lunch/recess detention works for me. At my current school there is a place for students to sit in the cafeteria for teacher assigned detentions. At my old school, students had to get disposable trays and come back to my classroom and eat in silence. I often escorted them to the front of the lunch line to get their trays and then back to my room. Once they were done with lunch, I made them copy a paper about disrupting my class. If they don't do it, or they talk, they get another day. They can't talk and they have to write a page of lecture!! I love it. I only had to give up a few of my lunches before they knew I meant business.

If some weeks were particulary busy and I had things to do during lunch, I assigned a specific day. I usually picked Thursdays - that's when the special snack bar was open.

As far as rewarding the good students, my partner and I give an extra recess on Friday afternoons. The students keep planners and if they have a signature for missing work or behavior issues, they stay in for silent study hall and behavior reflections. The good kids get to go outside. If you don't have a teaching partner, maybe a teacher near you would be willing to help you.

Anything you can do to infringe on their social time usually works the best. If they want to take recess in your room during YOUR time, they lose THEIR time later.

You can also assign extra homework with recess detention if they don't do it.