SOL 3/22 Why Do They Have To Be That Way?

 22 of 31 for the Slice of Life Challenge from Two Writing Teachers

I was gone Tuesday for a school field trip. A select few students went to the literature festival and had a  great time.  Just like always, I left very detailed lesson plans and warnings of who to watch out for, who to rely on as the helpers.  My classes have not had a great track record when it comes to subs, so I always leave PLENTY of work for the students to complete.  This day in particular was MAP review...which is coming up way too fast. I'm sure they were completely engrossed. For the most part I don't worry about my 7th graders.  They do okay.  My 8th graders however...they are whole other story.

I purposely did not go into the school when the bus arrived home at 5 pm on Tuesday night.  I did not want to see the note that the sub left on my desk.  I did not want to face the news that it was a bad day again.  The track haunts me.  Instead, I went home and watched Dancing with the Stars, and pretended life was peachy.  I knew that I would see it soon enough.

Sure enough, Wednesday morning I walked into my classroom and found the note.  The usual suspects were named.  Yep, could of guessed that one.  Oh, told you he'd do that.  I'm glad that student was absent.  It made that hour much less of a worry. But the best part of the note came with my last class, the class that I have struggled with all year.  "Complete chaos by 2:30"...this group fell apart completely.

This group...I'm frustrated beyond belief. The class that was horrible the day that the principal came to observe.  They have no fear.  They care about nothing.  Juvenile delinquents have nothing on this group.  Heck, this group probably has a couple JDs in their midst.  This is the same group of kids I had in my last hour class last year.  Maybe that is where some resentment and frustration lies. I'm not sure...I know that this group has challenged me to research classroom management articles.  I try to be as consistent as possible.  Consistency is key with this group.  I use the BIST strategies that I've been taught, even though BIST isn't consistent in my building.  Some use it well, and others don't bother.

I am tired of the lectures, because they obviously don't work. I'm tired of writing office referrals for those who can't control their behavior.  I'm tired of asking for apology letters to send to subs, because of hateful comments made.  What can I do to convince this group that their behavior is creating a reputation for next year in high school?

Have you had groups like this? Groups that can't be left, can't be trusted to be appropriate for one day?
What strategies have you used?  I have even gone so far as to ask the principal/ VP to come in to this hour when I'm gone.  I don't want subs to feel that they can't handle it...I'm not saying that all.  I don't want them to go home and be defeated because of one group.  No one needs that.  I need your help teacher friends...please send me suggestions.  I am tired.

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