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I need help!!!


New Member
I am a student teacher in art at a small, rural elementary and junior high. I am just finishing my third week, and I have already pickedup 4 grade levels (out of 8 that we teach every day). My cooperating teacher expects the kids to be in complete silence during class--they come in and put their heads down immediately and "counters" count to see how many seconds it takes for them to completely stop moving--even their legs! From then on, she expects silence and yells at the kids if they talk. I don't think that this is how a classroom should be run--especially in art! The grade levels that I have taken and begun to teach are 1,2,3, and 7. I let the kids chat a little as long as they stay on task. However, now my ct has said that I don't have good classroom management skills. She said that "no noise is good noise" and she expects me to teach like that as well. I feel horrible raising my voice with the kids, and I don't want to threaten and keep them in for recess like my ct so often does. She has made it clear that she wants me to make them work in complete silence, but I just don't know what to do. Anyone have any suggestions??? (I'm desperate...)


Student teacher in Maryland

Well I am assuming that your teacher is OLD... and therefore does not understand a students need to communicate withother students as well as you the teacher. What i do is i have a system of the five hand rule.. five your seated, four your eyes are on me, three your mouth is closed, two you are paying attention, one everyone is ready for directions.
Also, i would reward those students who are working quietly for example... i give out tickets. They have numbers on each side .. kind of like raffle tickets. I tear them and put them in a bag labeled with their teachers name. As students are working quietly and effectively then they get a ticket. It really works. At the end of each session or every two weeks. i pick a few names and they get to come up and get a prize.. It gives the kids something to work towards.. and since you are an art teacher you could give away coloring books.. and colored pencils.. things that have to do with art..

hope this helps.


you know the saying...

walk a mile in someone's shoes (or something like that...you know what I mean). Anyway, this is only temporary for you so you might just have to follow your ct's lead. When you get your own classroom, you know you don't have to behave the same way. I've been teaching over 5 years and I agree with you. HOWEVER, this year, I have turned into an evil witch at times. The kids I have this year are absolutely horrible! I find myself raising my voice above what I would normally do just to keep them in line. AND, they need constant reminders. Just hang in there, I know I am...!


Senior Member

I feel so bad for you!!! BUT, I guess you really do have to comply, so here's an idea that will work for a bit.

Play the Secret Person Game. At the beginning of the period choose one secret person-- announce that you're doing, but don't tell who it is. (The first couple classes, pick someone you know will be successful) At the end, if that person was successful, they get a prize or whatever it is that you can use for a reward. If they were not successful, don't embarrass them by giving away their identity, just say, "Today's secret person did not get it because _____" It STINKS that you would have to do this, but good luck anyways!

BTW: The way I use this game is for hallway behavior.


I would say that for now you'll have to run the classroom the way your CT expects you to. This will ensure a good reference and smooth sailing with her, even though you feel it's not the best way students learn. At least you'll know what NOT to do when you get your own room. Sometimes that's just as important as learning what you should do.


To Artgirl519

You are now a full-fledged member of the Adult Students of Cooperating Teachers from Hell Anonymous. If you read my story, you will know from hence I speak. I am not one to give suggestions, but you need to follow her lead. That need to control....even you, now. I do take offense at Alexandria's comment about OLD teachers. Ok I am a very OTA student teacher and I am mellow but not a pushover. Old teachers are not always cranky, unrealistic or overbearing and rigid. Its possible we may be moreso than not. Many of us have some depth to us.
I don't know if there is a way to be strict like her but nurturing too. I will be thinking of you. Maybe you are done now? How is it going? Whattodo.