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Is it too late to start over w/ classroom mgt.


Junior Member
egement? I am a first year teacher teaching 5th grade in a school that does not have alot of parental support, where many of the kids come from poor backgrounds, not only in terms of money but also in terms of parental attention and discipline.This is a culture where being nice is considered a weakness. I have found each day becoming more stressfull due to talking out, constant chatter and students coming up to me all day instead of raiisng their hands. I know it is my fault because I was too nice in the beginning and not consistent with discipline. I am getting tired of my kids already and it is only November!
What can I do to remedy this situation? I am thinking of going in on Monday and having a class meeting and saying something along the lines of " The atmosphere in the class room these days is becoming too stressful for me and it is making it hard for me to teach and for you to learn. I want to give you more freedom but your behavior during the past few weeks has shown me that you are not ready for it. So here are a list of things that you will get debits for in this class." Then go through the list.
I don't want to come across as inconsistent but I need to summon the mental strength to get this under control.
Any other suggestions?


Senior Member
Better late than never

If your class is out of control, then you need to do something. I think that doing what you explained would be appropriate. It will take them time to catch on, but be consistent and strong, and they will learn. It would be better to do it now than to wait until around March...Then it's a lost cause.

I've changed things in the middle of the year before. I explained to them that what I planned just wasn't working, so we're going to try something new.

The fact that you identified the problem and want to fix it is good. If you just sat back and did nothing, there would be an even bigger problem later.

Mrs. G

Senior Member

I think a meeting on Monday is a terrific idea. If you have the time have the students tell you what some of the problems have been with the classes behavior over the past several weeks. List their ideas on the board. Then have the class come up with another list of ways that these problems can be solved. If there are several good ideas you may want to let the students vote on the one they think is best. Then write the plan up and go over it with the students again and be very consistent with it. These children sound like they need support and need to feel valued. Maybe listening to their ideas and putting it into an action plan will make them take ownership in it and you will have a smoother running classroom. ;)

c green

Give it a try

I am in the middle of doing something similar. I know consistency is the big THING in C.M., but I think being inconsistent and getting the class under control is a LOT more important than being consistent and having it be out of control.

Good luck!


Never To Late

I think it is a great idea to revamp. There should be no hesitation in wanting to go in and try to change. You said you were nice in the beginning, remember the saying that it is easier to be tough in the beginning and then lighten up than be soft in the beginning and get tough later. Come up with a plan before you walk in. Maybe think of a few alternatives that you can propose to the students. If you go in and tell them this is what is going to change and they have no say in the matter, than they may be reluctant. Coming up with a few possibilities and asking them what they think will work better because they feel they have a say. Be very consistent and be firm with the plan that you come up with. When the students see you are not going to tolerate their behavior, then they will know you are serious.


Senior Member
I don't think you mentioned what grade you

teach, but this might help as well. When we go over classroom guidelines in the beginning of the year and other class requirements, I give it to them in writing. I also give them a sort of outline/summary to fill in with the key points from the handout. So as we pause to explain, discuss my handout, they fill in their outline. Their homework that night is to study their outline because the next day is a quiz on that material. They think it's great, though, because they are guaranteed to get a 100 on this quiz because they must continue taking the same quiz until they have all of the information correct on it. There is a place to sign their names at the bottom right beneath a little note that says I have read and understand all of the information in this outline. Once they get their 100, I put their outline on file (The handout I gave them stays as page one of their binder.) Any time I have a problem with a child, I can pull out that signed outline where they have clearly stated that they understand the expectations and consequences. It is great for parent conferences or if I have to write home, I include a copy of this document. Just a thought. Either way, I agree, you have to do something now. What's really key is that you keep it simple and basic. The less complicated, the more they will remember and be able to do. I don't think I would go into the whole bargaining thing that they would get more freedoms if they behaved better, etc. as you said in your post - again, too complicated. I would just tell them, the class atmosphere is preventing me from doing my job effectively, so that has to change - period. If they argue against your expectations, I would tell them, I'm very sorry if this upsets you, but I'm not being paid to make you happy or be your friend. My job is to teach, and this is what has to happen so I can do my job. HOwever, the benefit to you will be, you will hear less nagging and complaining by the teacher and you will see a happier teacher as long as we all do our jobs. Good luck - keep us posted. Oh, I don't know where he is, but there is a poster who goes by the name of Ghengis Khan. He seems to have a great handle on classroom discipline. I don't know how far back in the posts you can go, but he tends to post in Sept. with some great info. His Sept. post might be on the old board if you can get to that.


New Member
You might want to try this

It sounds like you have your hands full but you have a good plan to take back control! I teach 5th grade also. Although, there is one thing that you mentioned on doing that I might would consider saying differently. You mentioned that you will tell them that "it is becoming too stressful for you", I might would rephrase this. If 5th graders smell fear or trouble, they will continually do what they are doing because they know they are getting to you. They will play on your weaknesses. Also, you may think about having a Discipline Journal which allows the students to be aware of their actions in writing. I use one when I have a student that gets a check for the 3rd time. On my Discipline Journal, the student has to fill out what they were doing, why they chose to do it, and what they are going to do differently. The student signs it and the parent signs it. I make a copy of this to go in their file before they take it home to sign. This seems to work for me. I hope this helps!


Senior Member
First of all I agree with Earthgirl60. I would also rephrase the part about it being a stressful situation for you.

I don't think it's ever too late to revise your discipline plan. I would definitely have a meeting right away on Monday. You can discuss the atmosphere in the classroom, respect, learning, etc. Maybe you can come up with rules and consequences together. I find that when the students develop the rules and consequences they can be a bit more responsible for them. Be very consistent and stick to the rules and consequences. There's that saying, "Give them an inch, they'll take a mile". Someone else wrote that it's easier to be tough in the beginning and then lighten up as you see fit. If you typically are "too nice" and not very tough, you'll probably have to work on being tough and make a conscious effort. Now, that's not to say you can't be or shouldn't be nice, but be tough when it's needed. At the beginning that will probably be most of the time. Definitely have a plan/take notes before you have a meeting on Monday.

Good luck!

clsrm mgr

It's not too late

It is never too late to start over. On Monday, start the class as it is the first day of the year. Explain to the students that you believe that the classroom is not running as smoothly as you think that it should. Start by going over classroom rules, explain, model and practice (roll-play). Then go over procedures the same way. Discuss POSITIVE, as well as negative consequences. By only offering debits, this will only encourage poor behavior. Positive behavior must be recognized above negative behavior. On Tuesday, review the classroom rules, procedures and consequences; this will let them know how serious you are about changing the behavior of your class.

Ced Brooks

Participation activity, Mod. 8

I suggest that you address the class first about the rules and expectation for the classroom. Let them know that you will be calling each student's parent(s) anytime he or she is not doing what is expected of them. You also can set up student/parent(s) conferences so not only the students know your expectation, but the parents know them.
It is never too late too late to start over w/classroom management, you just have to be consistent in disciplining your students when they misbehave and reward them when they show consistent positive behavior. The majority of children want structure in there life, because they may not receive it at home ; structure makes them feel safe. Explain to the students that you respect them and you want them to respect you. Make your students feel like they can trust you, because it is probably hard for them to trust anyone, living in the conditions that they are living in. In return, they will feel like they have someone that understands them, and they will begin to respond in a more positive way.



I don't think that its ever to late to start with classroom management. I have a class that it has taken me 6 months to find something that works for them. Since they are 6th graders, I could not do anything that was "to babyish" We have had several class meetings about different issues as they arise. I figured out what worked best for this class by talking to the students about thier needs and concers. It has worked out well for us, and now everyone is doing much better.

L. Sims

4th grade teacher

I have been exactly where you are! My first class of students sounds soooo similar to yours, and I had to "start over" with classroom management too. How are things going now? Just remember that whatever this class throws at you as far as their behavior, it will make you a much stronger teacher later on. Good Luck! :-)


team building

I've had this problem, and have had friends call me in to an activity in their classes called "Centipede". Centipede is a class building activity based on everybody doing their part. It is not successful unless ALL are participating.

If you are interested in step by step directions, let me know: gigglessdd@hotmail.com. Put "centipede" in the subject bar.