This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.
Hi, My name is Linda and I've been teaching at a sixth grade campus for eleven years now. I make sure that I have procedures set up at the beginning of the year, but it seems like things just fall apart pretty fast. We now have a new curriculum that was bought from another district and I now found out that that district is looking for a new curriculum. My problem is lack of motivation, enthusiasm, interest, etc. I teach social studies and we use History Alive for some of our lessons. The students know that I have expectations of them. Some of them include sitting up in the chair, feet under the desk, coming into the classroom and take out their agenda and folder first and to quickly start writing what I have up on the screen for the objective or lesson for the day. We are getting ready to start our third six weeks and I still have a lot of students that come in and sit down with backpack still on their back and act like they have no idea of what to do. Some of the students say "Oh my God" when I remind them to get things done. Some students say "I just got here." I have been teaching for seventeen years now and most of those years have been in Title I schools. I talked with the principal who is a new principal this year. She has a doctorates degree. She told me that she has taught in Title 1 middle schools before. She told me that she used an apron with several pockets with many different slips of paper. Like: "Good job for participating" etc. She also told me the importance of making connections with the students. All of the teachers are complaining about the behavior of the students and it seems like it's worse than ever before. I want good behavior, but I'm just stuck. I know that the home lives of many of these students are not very good and I know that most of them have not seen their parents or parent working on goals. If there is a goal, many times it's just survival. I am feeling very emotional at this moment of writing. I really do want to be a good teacher in being able to making a change. I need the tools, but I don't know where to go. I don't think it's as simple as a class managemment class. I am begging for any suggestions. I care about these students a lot!!! I also have all of the information on Whole Brain Teaching or, as it's called now "Power Teaching" Please help me with the tools that I need. Thank you, Linda