Hey, hey, heyyyy!
You guys, I am SO EXCITED!
Today marks the launch of my new series: Classroom Management Mondays.
We all know this is a hard subject. It is a never-stopping-super-fast-revolving-door. It is something that requires constant change. It is something that requires flexibility. It is something that sometimes breaks us.
I have dedicated countless hours researching all different types of classroom management for myself to make sure those hard truths listed above were easier for me. I wanted to be on top of the game when it came to this area.
With more pressure and larger workloads being put on kiddos at younger ages, the socialization is the first thing that is thrown to the side to be dealt with later. The sad thing is, we never deal with it. In return, students are finding it hard to interact, and are greatly lacking social skills. This is the root of our problem and it continues on through high school.
In this series I am going to share tips that I have learned and practiced that will help with this. We will touch on behavior, time management, specific problems, resources to help, etc. The list goes on and on, and all of it will fit in your day. Bottom line is, I am here to help you. I am here to share all the research I have done with YOU.
To start us off on this first post of the series, I want you to know a little more about me. I am going to share what led me to be an extreme advocate for helping teachers with classroom and behavior management. What exactly got me to this point? Well, I broke. I absolutely broke.
The 2012-2013 school year was the worst I have ever had. Up until then I was sort of just flying by the seat of my pants and it was working for me… but that year? Nope.
I had a hard, and rude awakening.
I had chairs thrown at me. I had been bitten. I had my hair pulled. I had a child run away. I had children talk back to me. I had school work thrown at me with refusal to even try completing it. Those are just the highlights… every.single.day was a bad one… and that was just the kids. Mind you, I taught FIVE YEAR OLDS.
I had parents that didn’t respect me or my work. I was verbally assaulted. I was laughed at.
It was so bad that I would pretty much buy myself a Starbucks every morning because it cheered me up and was the highlight of my day. On my 40 minute drive home I would just CRY.
I had been fighting hard for a particular student who was having issues with academics and extreme behavior. His behavior affected my whole class. Others were following his lead. This poor child desperately needed one on one help. One on one help that I knew our district provided. From day one I was basically told to just deal with it. It’s kindergarten. Just worry about the others for now. Let the first grade teacher deal with it.
These comments were something I was not okay with. Needless to say, I made noise. I let it be known that “just because it is kindergarten” does not mean that you can forget about a kid.Or let another teacher start the grueling process of paperwork. No, I tried to fight for what is right.
After 4 months of making noise, testing was finally done. Results showed this child desperately needed help. I finally got help within my classroom until he could move to the school that contained the unit that would help him and teach him. With all of this came meetings. The principal that was receiving this student made it clear that she did not want him. This child was a whole new level of tough.
For the final nail in the coffin of my horrendous year, during our final meeting we had to sign off for the transfer. As soon as I signed, the child’s new principal (in front of OT staff, SPED staff, and the child’s parents) turned to my principal and said “I feel so bad for you that you let something like THAT teach at your school. Despicable that a teacher doesn’t WANT a child.”
I couldn’t even defend myself because I was so stunned. I just knew I couldn’t get out of that classroom fast enough. I ran to my room, locked myself in and CRIED. Cried because I was bludgeoned for doing what was right for a child. Cried because being a teacher is so much harder than I could have ever imagined.
That night I called my best friend who lived in Orlando at the time. I told her about my day and I told her I was coming out to visit her and that we were going to Disney World and Harry Potter World. I didn’t even ask her…. I told her. She is the bestest friend you could ever ask for and she was ready and welcomed me with open arms. I never take time off of work unless I am deathly ill. After that meeting I took three days off and ran around Disney World like a child with my BFF and had the time of my life.
I didn’t worry about school, I worried about ME. After that trip, I went back refreshed and am ashamed to admit that I finished the year not giving a damn. I mentally checked out. I just went day by day and did the bare minimum of what was required of me.
The day after the last day of school I started researching. I researched so many classroom management options. Hours and hours were spent making sure that I would NEVER have a year like that again. I went in to the next school year with a new outlook on teaching.
I am so happy to say that every year after that has been a dream. Sure there are some hiccups here and there but THAT at least is expected.
Due to these changes and my classroom management, I was nominated for teacher of the year twice!
I have seen so many questions on social media all focusing on this subject and thinking “man, I’ve been there and that sucks.” I try to help in any way that I can on the comments.
Since it is so common I decided to start this series.
I want to share what I did to change my outlook. I want to share my hours of research that I did (and continue to do!) with you so that you don’t have to do it.
Every Monday I will be here with a different topic all centered around classroom management. Behavior, time, school resources. everything will be covered.
Please know this is not just for lower elementary. Classroom management is every teacher’s responsibility! The tips we will discuss will be helpful in every classroom!
Don’t feel like you have to wait to read my tips though! Please feel free to leave your questions in the comments. If you are shy about that please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected]. I will do my best to reply with tips OR write an entire post about the subject.
I am here to help!
See you next Monday 🙂