Reply To: Winning Them Back

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I also sympathize with you; most of my career has been with K-6, but there have been a few years when I’ve had to teach 7th grade and it never went very well. I think that even in the best of situations it is a difficult grade to teach, and as you explained there are several other negative factors on top of it. I don’t know if you will be continuing teaching 7th grade, but for this year, if I were you, I would probably just give in to whatever it is that will make your year more tolerable (and will keep the morale of the class up so the kids don’t end up quitting). Maybe that means programming mostly pop songs with just one or two “serious” pieces. Or maybe instituting a reward system so that if they have good behavior they can earn a class party… being a morning class they would probably think it was the coolest thing if you brought in doughnuts for breakfast. Or planning some kind of field trip just for the 7th grade.

Good luck!