Reply To: Really frustrating 5th grade

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The only advice that I can offer is to remain positive and upbeat, no matter what. I teach in a high poverty area, and the kids are used to hearing negativity at home and getting yelled at and lectured by their parents all the time, so I find that when I try to stay positive, students tend to respond very well. I admit it’s hard to do at times, especially when the weather is like this. I try to find one thing that the class is doing well (listening, singing, even staying in their seats, etc) and mention it. If there are attitude problems, I find that the best way to deal with those are to speak to the individual one-on-one so the student does not feel the need to “save face”. Even if you walk over to the person and whisper, “I need you to participate please”, you’ll get more cooperation than if you yell at the kid in front of the class. I agree with you that you need to be firm and stick to consequences. Maybe revisit those rules and consequences, have the kids act out the right way to do those (always gets a laugh). Sometimes injecting a little humor or a silly little game into class can break up the monotony and help lighten the mood. My goal this week is to be more positive and end classes on a good note (pun intended). I kind of blew it yesterday with my crazy first grade class, so I think I’ll try to take some of my advice this afternoon.