Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Referrals for Everyone!

7th Period has been my biggest challenge since the first week of school.  Its a perfect storm of sorts--my biggest class in a small room, its right after lunch, its the last period of the day, and then there is this lethal combo of talkative kids, obnoxious kids, unmotivated kids and generally annoying kids.  They all feed off of each other and truthfully, many days I want to slap them...

On "odd days" I have 3 sections of 10th grade English (we follow and odd day/even day block schedule).  My first two sections are no problem.  Sure they chat, get off task, occasionally give me an attitude but its manageable.  It takes an average of 50% longer to get through things in 7th period as it does 3rd or 5th.  I also have a larger group of students with D and F averages in 7th period.  I am certain the amount of talking and interrupting of instruction that goes on contributes to that.  The stickers at times help keep it down to a dull roar, but there are other days when I want to just go sit down at my desk and give up.

Last week after I yelled "SHUT UP!!!!!" in frustration, I knew it was war.  I need to get control.  The first thing I did was email an administrator and told him to expect a flurry of referrals.  I also invited him to come sit in on class (so far this has not happened).  My mentor offered to come sit it on my class and that was actually very effective.  I basically started out by saying, "We have quite a bit of work to do, so I've invited Ms. B to come sit in and write referrals so I don't have to interrupt my teaching."  There was just one referral that day.

Today though, it started again.  Same culprits as always.  Same kids I've warned. At the suggestion of  a teacher, I gave them a shot at redemption by saying "Ok, Susie, I'm putting your name on this referral form, if you shape up for the rest of class, I'll throw it away."  Of four referrals written, none of them pulled it together by the end of class.  They all deserved it.  One girl I really like--she's actually a great kid and we've connected--but SHE HAS GOT TO SHUT UP!  She was in complete shock when she saw the referral "Oh no!  Please don't!  Give me detention instead!"  In the end, she got a referral.  The time for accommodating is over.  They can be mad.  They can hate me. They can think I'm unfair.  They can talk sh*t about me to the administrator.

As long as they SHUT UP.

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