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I have no idea what to do


New Member
This is my first year teaching and I feel like I am going crazy. I went to college for elementary education and here I am as an 8th grade reading teacher (definitly not certified for this). I can handle the book and the ideas that i have to teacher but I can't seem to handle to kids. My school is considered an inner city school and they are definitly hard kids. They come from hard backgrounds and some of them don't have homes. I feel for them but they also do not have respect. I can't come up with a good disipline system in my class room which would allow me to complete a 30 minute lesson without someone yelling across the room or getting into a fight. I dont want to give up and I plan on sticking it through...but I just can't see myself happy here. I want to figure out a way that my students and I can both stay through a lesson with out me getting angry and without them getting into fights. If you have any ideas I would be forever thankful.


Senior Member
Watch freedom writers

I really don't have personal advice. Sorry:( My only suggestion is watching the movie freedom writers, or reading the book. The real teacher came and spoke to our district and it was a good inspiration.


Senior Member
You are me....

last year. I got my degree in elementary education but was hired as a 6th grade language arts teacher in a "hard" school. I went into the school year with all kinds of great ideas and they all went out the window. I could not get through a lesson because the kids were so disruptive. I had people throwing paper and crayons constantly, a boy throwing a desk at the wall and screaming, 1 boy "touching" other students in the class...all while I was "teaching". It was a difficult year and I wanted to quit many times. I just kept telling myself that they were not going to win! They woud not get the best of me. I changed my behavior plan many times and nothing seemed to work. Your best thing to do is be consistant and do not back down to them. They will push you as far as they can. Show them that YOU are in charge and not the other way around. Whatever your behavior plan is you need to BE CONSISTANT! They will see that they can not get away with stuff and will start to listen. Also making your lessons interesting and splitting them up into small parts will keep their attention. If they are bored they will find things to do ie. throwing things, fighting. Also they love playing games. If you can make anything a competition that will help. They love competing against each other. Lastly, do not spend all your free time working on school work. I did this the beginning of the year and I drove myself crazy. Towards the end of the year I tried to stay a little later and come a little early to get all of my work done at school. I did not let myself bring school work home with me. You need a break and you deserve it! Do not overwhelm yourself.
Well I hope some of this helps you. Good luck!!


Senior Member
Love and Logic

You might try Love and Logic, by Jim Fay. You also might try conferencing with the whole class, see if they have suggestions that will help them learn and you teach. Try to get them to buy into school -- why it's important to have a good education (better job choices, skills for success, more money...) Does your school have a school-wide discipline plan? Are you being supported by your fellow teachers and principle? If not, it's probably not a great situation and you might want to consider getting out as soon as you have another job lined up. It's not worth the stress and grief! Good luck.


New Member
Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. I went out and borrowed the Love and Logic book...I am eager to see what it says. It is also nice to know i am not the only person that has faced this problem.

Polly J.

Full Member
This may be far-fetched...and I teach 3rd grade at a school that is not "hard," but my kiddos like to choose their own rewards. I have a tree they pick an apple from. The apple has a specific reward (a privilege) that they can turn in to my on Friday. Anyhoo, my kids respond to choosing their own rewards, so I wonder if this idea can be vamped up for 8th grade.

Hang in there. Oh, just a question, how are you "involving" the kiddos in every lesson. How are you "activating" their learning?


Senior Member
You poor thing! Keep it mind that you won't be in this position forever!

It must be really difficult to teach a room full of kids who act like they don't want to be there. I can't imagine not getting through a lesson without someone fighting. I would definitely have a whole class conference. Let them know what is bothering you and how difficult it is. Sometimes when you show that you are human, they seem to respect you more.

What would interest them? Are there books you are required to teach? Can you steer away from the "required readings" and use something that would be of interest to them? Or incorporate their interests more?

I agree-watch Freedom Writers. There's a teacher in my district who teaches at our alternative school, so she has some tough kids too (she teaches English). She has recently won a top teaching award for the work she does with her students. She follows what the Freedom Writers teacher does. Her students WANT to come to school now. It's pretty neat.

Stick with it this year and hopefully you will get something else next year. My cousin taught middle school reading and LD, and she did NOT like it, but she was desperate for a job. She taught in that position for one year, and then the following year a first grade position opened up. She was offered that position immediately. You never know what your position may lead to.

Hang in there! :)