how to get middle schoolers to be quiet
September 22, 2011 11:49 AM Subscribe
[TeacherFilter] Advice needed on getting these inner city middle schoolers to be quiet.
posted by anonymous to education (37 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
So after being out of work for two years, my SO finally got a public school teaching job. Yay! While he's not a new teacher he's only taught high school in the past -- this is a middle school assignment (6-7-8). Okay, fine. Inner city. Okay, fine. He's done that before at the high school level. He has had excellent reviews before - he was only out of work due to budget cuts. His new district was very slow in hiring, so his classes had a rotating list of subs for the first two weeks of school. Now he's there and his classes are out of control.
Two of his classes have over 30 students in a classroom with only 20-some desks, so some kids are sharing tables and some are sitting at his desk. Extra desks are "on order."
The students talk and yell the entire class period. Even if the lights are flickered. Even if he falls silent and waits for them to be quiet. Even if he yells. The principal and assistant principal have been hiding in their offices and are unresponsive to requests for help/guidance. The security officers don't do anything unless there is an incident report. Which he doesn't have time to fill out during class because it's a zoo. Fellow teachers laugh and say the kids are horrible this year.
Today's incident of note:
Him: Please take your seat.
Student: F**k you!
He's in a bad place right now -- three days after the thrill of finally getting back in the classroom, he's fearing that he'll be let go in June (or before) because these kids don't listen and all of his usual tactics to their attention have fallen flat. And we don't want to walk the unemployment path again anytime soon.
He wants to teach these kids. He does not want to quit. But first he needs them to be quiet.
(we are in the USA, previous questions I found were about teaching abroad)
If you've taught in an overcrowded inner city classroom, how did you get control of the class so that you could engage them? Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anonymous because if you know who I am it's easy to figure out who he is.