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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 31 2009

I think I won. I know it’s sounds silly that I feel like I have been in an epic battle for control of my classroom between J.C. and myself and I won. Today she wrote on her assignment (after she finished it early, by the way) “Ms. D is my best friend!” I was so happy that she has gone through the hating me stage and into her role as the student and she actually likes and respects me. Now I just need to keep her at this stage.

S.P. pooped his pants for the 4th time today. I’m just at a complete loss for what to do. I truly feel like I have had more crazy situations in under 3 years than any other teacher in the world. It makes it worse that I don’t realize it has happened until I smell it. I ask him discreetly if he had an accident and he always lies to me. I have to ask him over and over until he finally admits it. Once he told me without me having to ask him and I praised him for coming to me. I thought since I was so positive about it he wouldn’t keep it a secret. I mean, I understand that he is embarassed, but doesn’t it add insult to injury when he sits in it for undisclosed amounts of time. If anybody out there has had a student with this problem, please let me know what I should do about it.

I’ve begun literacy centers and they are going over well. I’ve been observed many times by administrators and they are very positive about what is already going on in my classroom. I feel like I am still practicing management in my classroom, but they said that they can’t even tell, it seems completely under control. I guess that is a good sign, that my struggles aren’t even visible to administrators, maybe the kids don’t notice either.

I think this year will be a fine year, it’s just a different group of kids that I have to adjust to. The dynamic in my class is very different because 2/3 of my class is male when I’m used to a female heavy class. Last year my male students’ test scores improved significantly more than my female students test scores. This kind of breaks my heart as I feel like somehow I didn’t reach my female students, but I am hopeful that I will be successful with this class of mostly boys.

One Response

  1. laurieestilette

    How are things going with S.P.? If he’s still having difficulties with pooping his pants, perhaps you can attempt to put him on an individual daily reward system.

    First, you’ll have to sit with him to explain that you realize that he is having problems with self-control and that you want to do everything you can to help him. Next, explain that together the two of you can work through this. It could be that he is afraid to ask permission to go to the restroom if it’s not the class’ designated bathroom break time.

    So, make a deal with him that at any point in the day, if he needs to go to the restroom, he should politely request permission and you will allow him to go. You may be hesitant at this idea because you may fear that he will start abusing this privilege, but for now, it’s really important that you gain his trust in your word. In a few weeks, if you think he’s taking advantage of the situation, you’ll know, and you can make changes to your agreement then.

    Each day that passes that he doesn’t have an accident, give him some type of sticker or gold star on a special “self-control” card. At the end of the week if his card is full, reward him by giving him a small token of some sort. Once he has a month full of stars, then you can reward him with an inexpensive reading or coloring book from Dollar General or some other discount store.

    This is just a suggestion, and you may not even be having problems anymore. However, keep this in mind for future students. Good luck!

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An Elementary School Teacher in the Show Me State

St. Louis
Elementary School
Elementary Education

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