Sometimes at the end of the day I simply feel like a failure as a teacher—once again my 8th graders were out of control today, and I did not know how to respond and did not respond well. I have had some good days with my 8th graders, but for the most part I feel as if we have gotten nowhere. Why does it seem that my classroom management today was no better than it was on the first day of school? The issues are mainly behavioral. These students are consistently rude and disrespectful to each other and to me. They seem to resist any type of structure and order I try to organize for class. I have tried so many different behavior strategies, and nothing seems to work. The things that do work wear off after a couple days or weeks and we’re back to square one. That in itself is discouraging. What do you do when you can’t see any growth or change?
Today started out ok, although I continually feel tense during the entire period of my 8th grade class—it seems like I have to constantly be on guard to catch every little wrong move before it explodes and the whole class dissolves into chaos…and often the class falls apart anyway. And to top it all off, the way class ended today left me feeling stupid and flustered. Instead of saying, “We did not do so well today during presentations; tomorrow we need to work on listening skills,” I said, “We did not do so well tomorrow…” And, of course, they all started laughing and did not even listen to what I was trying to say. :(