Monday, October 20, 2008

Definitely a Jungle in there


Boy, has it been a crazy few weeks!!!

First off, I don't think I am cut out to be a teacher. Not a teacher of young children who don't speak English anyway. This is THE hardest job I have ever had! As some of you know I did a jungle theme and boy is it ever a jungle in there!

I am having a REALLY hard time ladies, really hard. I cannot get my classroom under control whatsoever! I have great ideas, lesson plans, activities, but I can not even get to some of them somedays because I can't get the kids to even sit down or be quiet.

I come home wiped everday, tired, crying some days, and physically and metally exhausted! I have come so close to giving up way too many times in the past two weeks and today I was there again.

Today they wrote in crayon all over one of the tables, I didn't even see them do it, but my co-teacher was at that table! My co-teacher, (the first one quit- then I was a week alone without anyone except for a few floaters for a few periods) so yeah, my new co-teacher as of yesterday is such a nice girl. Young girl still in university, but supa dupa extra shy and quiet. The kids ate her alive.... I need someone who, like her, loves kids, but they must be able to raise their voice and be assertive when need be, which is often at this point.

So here it is.. I don't want to give up, I love the kids, really I do, but I feel if I can't get my classroom management under control and FAST its a loss. A loss and let down to myself and a loss to the kids for sure.

And yes i do have a reward/discipline system, i use a time out chair when need be, they are good for that moment when I sit them down and ask them if they understand why they are here, and say that they will not repeat this again, blah blah blah...then 10 minutes later as if nothing ever happened, back to business! I am consistent, so thats not it....what in the heck am I doing it the language? Is it too soon to expect anything better? Man, i just don't know....

Anyway, IVF number six on hold for now. Not sure if we will do this month or not, we'll see. I just can't even imagine doing IVF when I am so stresssed and you know we have to be "ready" in all ways for this too. So we shall see.

Okay, I feel alittle better now, and i left out so many details to spare you my daily horrors...but you get the idea.

I miss you all and love ya and will visit your blogs soon! xoxoxoxoxo


  1. Man, that sounds so frustrating. I wish I had some sage advice about this, but I don't. But I do understand.

  2. Being a first time teacher is hard work, no matter what the circumstances, and it sounds like you've got a tough situation as it is!

    You mentioned you have a discipline you have a very specific/tangible reward system? When I taught, the first year we had a stoplight, everyone started on green, one warning was yellow, two took you to red. Then those who did extra well made it to the gold star (yes it sounds cheesy, but it worked :) - the reward of the gold star was more motivating than the fear of punishment - I would focus more on rewarding good behavior as much as possible, and making it really special and tangible, because rewards are simply more motivating than fear of punishment for many people.
    A good comprehensive book on classroom management is Wong's The First Days of School...that should help.
    It does take time to get things situated and settled, so don't be too hard on yourself. See if colleagues with more experience can give you any advice.
    Good luck and keep us posted :) If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to help more if I can. :)

  3. Ugh! Teaching is such hard work. I know exactly what you are going through.

    I remember using a marble jar for a class-wide behavior thing too. When all the kids are listening and doing what they are supposed to do, you put marbles in the jar. You could even assign a certain number of marbles for certain things. Example= When kids all line up within ten seconds of the whistle, they get five marbles. Once the jar is full or to the line, you reward them all with some type of recess or party or dress-up day.
    This encourages everyone to work together and be a team. It also encourages positive peer pressure. You can tell kids to talk to Johnny if he is the one keeping the class from getting marbles.

    Maybe even ask the kids what kind of reward they would like.

    Anyway, just a a thought. Hang in there.

    And I want to see pics of your classroom. The jungle theme sounds amazing!

    Take control of those kids like you have taken control of your infertility. Hang on and don't let go!

  4. I have absolutely no experience with this so I will just send some giant hugs. Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there and I can imagine being in another country escalates things to a whole new level. I'm wishing you all the best and am here to listen anytime you need to get it all out. Hang in there.

  5. Like others, I have no clue what might help in your situation. But I certainly sympathize. I did have an educator tell me one time that classroom management skills are essential. So I'd read all that I could on that. The positive reward system sounds great. Problem is, how do you get to the point where you can reward them so they can decide that that is what they'd rather work for? Tough, tough situation. Hopefully Kym will comment with some more good suggestions. We love you!

  6. can't bet other peoples kids, so I'm not sure I have anything good to offer.

    Just kidding. I agree with the reward system. Shower the good ones with awards and maybe the bads ones will follow suit.

    Godo Luck Teach!!

    Hang in there.

  7. You make some good points above.
    However, I also think that this can be helpful to you:
    Go to:

    If you get this book and video: PREVENTING Classroom Discipline Problems, [they are in many libraries, so you don't have to buy them] email me and I can refer you to the sections of the book and the video [that demonstrates the effective vs. the ineffective teacher] that can help you.

    [I also teach an online course on these issues that may be helpful to you at: ]

    If you cannot get the book or video, email me and I will try to help.
    Best regards,


    Howard Seeman, Ph.D.
    Professor Emeritus,
    City Univ. of New York

    Prof. Seeman

  8. Sorry I've been mia...
    Oh boy. I taught high school and while I was looking for a job I took a temporary job as a pre-K teacher. After a couple weeks, they wanted to hire me permanently, but it was too much. I was exhausted. I can't imagine trying to do it in another language.
    I hope you get a better handle on the kids soon!

  9. Aw, I just wanted to offer you some sympathy and a hug. I have no suggestions, but, I'm marveling at your resolve to make it work!!

  10. Oh I can't imagine having so many of them with you. I mean, I can handle one kid, but not all of them. Have you considered a whip and some handcuffs?? LOL.

    I think teaching to kids is just one of the hardest hardest profession ever. I hope you're feeling better today and even if you're not, I'm here...And yes, would love to see some pictures too!


  11. Oh Wishy! I wish I could fly over there for a few days and help you out! SAHW and hope give great suggestions, and I definitely agree with doing both of them for individual discipline and whole-class monitoring. There are specific details that go along with doing both strategies effectively so that both you and the kids start reaping the benefits immediately.

    Do you have skype on your computer? You can download it for free at We could arrange a time where we could voice chat (or use webcams, if you have one!). You're on the other side of the world and your today is my tomorrow, but I'm usually up at ridiculous hours and I would be more than willing stay up late so that we could talk some things through! Either that, or I can start pecking out a novel-length email! :)

  12. Young children are annoying in groups, aren't they? They're sort of like pack animals where once there's more than 2 or 3, they gang up on you.

    No advice - other than wishing you a sense of peace about your IVF #6 decision and trust your own judgment.

    Angie Best-Boss

  13. My DD's kindergarden teacher did the red light/green light in the class room. Worked really well and when the kids reached a certaing level they got to pick a treat from a collection of little odds and ends.

  14. Oh man, that sounds scary. I am currently studying to be a Middle Grades teacher. I was required to do a field service this semester where I had to spend 40 hrs in the school system. That was hard for me. My instructors continue to say that your first year will be your hardest. So, hang in there girl! You just have to remember, you aren't there to be friends with the children. You are there to educate. Keep your chin up, and I have no doubt that it will get better!

  15. Have you tried "Power Teaching?" It is fabulous. It's easy, high energy and involves a high level of participation from the kids. They really buy into it. You can find videos of it in action on YouTube. Be sure to look at the ones created by ChrisBiffle. He's the one that developed the system. Hang in there. Sometimes you get those kinds of classes, but the beauty of teaching is that you aren't stuck with them forever.


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE comments! To me its like getting a present from a mystery person, ok well some of you are not such a mystery... but u feel me. You can subscribe to my updates via email or in your feeder of choice. Thanks so much for stopping by!