Saturday, November 07, 2015

The Peaceful Classroom Needs Administrative Support.

Far too often school administrators blame the classroom teacher for the chaos they observe when they look through the classroom door or walk into a classroom.  The result is usually a strong lecture and maybe a letter to the file which could result in more serious consequences.   Sure, some teachers, especially "newbies" have poor classroom management skills and 50% usually are gone from the classroom within five years.  However, much of the classroom management issues can be laid squarely on the school polices that administrators use that result in the unruly classroom.

Many schools refuse to take action against badly behaved students who regularly disrupt the classroom and put into place a bewildering step by step procedure that makes it next to impossible to remove am unruly student from the classroom.  The result is that the student continues their bad behavior and in many cases disrupts and distracts the rest of the students from learning.   While suspending a student may not be the answer, keeping them in the classroom to regularly disrupt the classroom and make learning a problem is certainly not a solution either but that is what many New York City schools continue to do.

Keeping the badly behaved and disrupted student in class is a morale breaker for teachers and for the majority of students who want to learn.  Yet, school administrators are unwilling to remove these unruly students by deflecting blame for the situation on the poor teacher.  In many schools students are showing up late to class, be it the first or eighth period, since the student knows there is no consequence for being late to class.  Even when caught in the hallway, they are shooed into their classroom without any penalty.  Furthermore,  when the teacher calls home, assuming the phone number is correct, at the high school level most parents and guardians have already given up in disciplining their lovely darlings and have little influence on their behavior or study habits.

The problem is exacerbated by the school administration's response to continued problems by a select group of unruly students who then arrange a mediation session which always seems to occur during a teacher's lunch period or after school and usually results in little change in the student's behavior.  Some people call this restorative justice but in my experience it has had little real effect on student behavior.  The students believe, and correctly so, that restorative justice is a joke.  Furthermore. the assigning of self-contained students in large class sizes and dumping academically and emotionally unprepared students into these classes is a disaster and adds to the behavior problem, which continues unabated under the Bill de Blasio Administration.

 In many of the Bloomberg small schools, there are no self-contained classes but since these struggling schools must keep their student population numbers up or lose funding, they take in increasingly large numbers of level one students who, in a large school, would be put into a self-contained classroom with individualized instruction.  However, in the Bloomberg small schools there are no self-contained classrooms and that means that these academically and behaviorally struggling students will be dumped into classes with 33 other students and little individual instruction.  The inevitable consequence will be frustration, helplessness, poor academic grades, and bad behavior.  Yet, the school administration will blame the teacher and not their own short-sighted and failed school policies when dealing with these unruly students.

Unless the school administration collaborates with and not dictates to the teachers in trying to achieve a peaceful classroom, real academic achievement is simply an illusion.


Anonymous said...

Chaz you really are closed minded.

Why do you think admins not take out the child? Here is why

1- you are telling the student if you cause chaos then i will remove you. That is most likely want the child wants
2- other children will follow suit and schools are not given enough resources to deal with that scenario
3- the admin would be underminding the teachers authority. Child will lose all respect for teacher
4- admin has been instructed by legal and abuela farina that children are not allowed to be removed unless they pose a safety issue
5- it is the teachers responsibility the cause a positive is the admins job to support the teachers learning in how to create that culture.

Once again. More finger pointing from you without knowing all the fact or solutions.
At least you are consistant. Ill give you that

Chaz said...

Anon 10:24

I can guess you are not a classroom teacher otherwise you would realize that a peaceful classroom requires administrative support not obstacles.

I noticed you didn't propose any solutions to the unruly student issue, just roadblocks. As for other students doing the same thing to be removed? Its more likely if the unruly student is not removed more students will misbehave in class making it chaotic and making learning next to impossible.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 10:24 AM.....

Was english your first language?

Bronx ATR said...

Disruptive behavior has escalated in many schools because the students know there are no consequences for acting like a jackass. Then you have cell phones. Cell phones in classrooms is simply insane. The charter schools suspend and expel disruptive students. Then they are compared to public schools and are winning the public relations war because of it. The rights of kids who want to learn should take precedence over those who don't. Collect the cell phones at the door, have real consequences for students, and leave metal detectors in place. Anything less is wrong for students, staff and public education.

Anonymous said...

I was a dean in one of those small schools and found a great way to deal with some classroom disrupters. I used to walk them back to class and SIT in the classroom with them. It helped me address many issues and enabled me to give feedback to the student on how to be sucessful in a class. The students used to lie about their behavior (teacher doesn't like me , etc) and sitting in the classroom gives you a better picture of the cast of characters in the room!

Anonymous said...

Chaz, didnt you read #5? It clearly said the admins job is to support.

Until the chancellor, nypd, mayors office puts in systems that allow unruly children to be held accountable this will not change. Its not the teacher or admins fault.

You want a solution? Make what children are doing a crime. It will never happen because of how media is against disciplining children but that is the solution. One step further.....hold parents accountable.

Anonymous said...

10:24 is just an admin wannabe.

Chaz, you've hit it on the head again.
In the absence of consequences or admin support students learn that the only one to duffer consequences is the teachers.

General in service teachers should know that ATRs are being thrown into such classrooms and expected to be more interesting than the kids' cellphones.

Thus, the kids are added to the mix of people involved in U ratings for ATRs under field assassin supervision, UFT, which abets field supervision program, Farina, who has stepped up the U ratings of ATRs, adminstrators who permit chaos, and the field supervisors who capriciously U rate.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaz,
First and foremost, I applaud this blog as it gives myself and others the floor to vent, anonymously. Chaz, after teaching 20+ years on the high school level, I can honestly say that I am merely surviving based on my mastery of relationships. It is really no longer about teaching or educating the "whole child". It's Alta bunch of crap now. I see administrators who are making 130/140/150K for doing nothing. I mean nothing. The DOE created it so I'm not upset at these administrators. I learned from them. After witnessing this, I transformed my thought process. My relations between my administrators improved and my students' whom I took very seriously, no longer am I stern. People are smiling, the classes are a bit unruly, and I can see the educational process is really slipping further and further away here in NYC.
I could honestly care less. I'm at top salary and in 2018 which is coming quick, my base salary will be about 120K. That's with me walking out the door before 2:30 (on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Friday's. Monday's and Tuesday's are reserved for fake PD but I'm fine with that.
You see Chaz, this system is designed to fail and people should really start to take notice. When you create a system where you decimate high school buildings and carve them up into parts, you have lost control. I'm in a "campus" where 6 individuals (can't really refer to them as principals) are trying to run the show. The couple of hundred total staff members are all laughing behind the scenes because we all know that they hate each other. Imagine 6 "principals" that hate each other trying to pretend that they're a team. It's the funniest thing. It should actually be documented professionally.
Anyway, I come in and say hello to everyone. I'm a master now. I don't need to have mastery skills in the classroom, just mastery skills with relationships. It's not about the kids. Everyone knows this. The great thing is that I really know this now. I thought there was some hope but, no way. After I read about how suspensions are basically gone, I now realize there's no respect, consequences, or any type of dignity left. A kid can come to school high, be carrying a cell phone during class, curse a teacher out and physically touch a teacher without getting suspended. They might get after school detention with friends so they can hang out instead of going home to their miserable home life.
I won't be caught up though Chaz. I'm too smart. I will enter my "campus" and smile. I Will head to my room and do the best I can, not that it matters because my principal has packets for kids who never show up so I must pass them. I thought about it. Why am I upset? Screw it, I'll pass them. I'll pass them all. It doesn't matter. Nothing matters. The only thing that matters is that these dumb as AP's who are friends of these dumb ass principals (because you hire your friends, not people with talent) like me.
I'm a survivor! I will easily make it to 55 because I just don't give a shit anymore. It's the best feeling in the world. I think I will put on a movie tomorrow and Tuesday so I can make it a two day week. Yes, this is how me and my crew think now. There's a bunch of us in this mode. Get through the week, make it till X-mas break. The system is a total total total messsss!!!!!! The number 1 problem is the leadership. Until the next mayor appoints a chancellor who recognizes that you must go back to real administrations, you will have this mess. Until then, raise a glass. No one is looking and guess what. These end of year scoring pieces are a farse. They don't really count. You're ineffective, developing, whatever. It's all BS. No one got fired. No one is getting fired based off ineffectiveness. My advice to teachers, release the tension. Give in. Survive the course.

Anonymous said...

Chaz you are a great realistic tell all blogger...KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

Anonymous said...

Great editorial in the NY Post today (11/8) concerning discipline in the schools. DiBlasio and Farina are turning me into a conservative!

Anonymous said...

I'm with anon 8:20 am. The campus in in is a total disgrace. Everyone hates each other. The kids hate each other as well as all 5 staffs and principals. Thank God I live in westchester.

Anonymous said...

chaz your anon reader 820am is exactly how I survived my last 10 years (I had 55/29 years and took the money and ran 6/2014). I absolutely made it through easily when I realized no one cares at all about the students so I too became a relationship master! Anon 820, it's soo worth it when you are done!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:20
I cant say I blame you for your attitude. Since our nation has gone liberal thanks to Hollywood and the White House we should not be surprised about the conditions of our schools. Let the inmates run the asylum.
By the way Chaz can you do a story on the suspension rates over the last few years. I wonder how drastic it's become. Surely behavior has not improved but yet liberal fools want to remove scanning and discipline in our schools. Perhaps we can ask our union(lol)to petition for an increase in suspensions and justify it by how the charter schools can suspend at will. Why not ?? since charters are looked upon as our nations premier educational facilities. Just a thought..

Anonymous said...

Relationship master here as well. Already bought the bottle of Brugal for my Dominican administrator for the holidays. Score!

Anonymous said...

8:20, I feel happy now.
This shows the ticket to survival.
Problem was it makes failure which media-friends of Bloomberg didn't report under his term. But watch them pick up any uptick in crimes in the parks or school failures for authentic diplomas, and the media will lambaste DeBlasio worse than theyll do now

Anonymous said...

Colorado high school cell phone sexting scandal. It's been going on in NYC public high schools since DeBozo lifted the ban! Go to the Lehman HS campus, the kids are sending pics of their peckers to everyone. Anthony Weiner should have been mayor!

Anonymous said...

Chaz, this is 8:20. I can assist you with a survival guide for teachers if you wish. It's 100% about relationships. Relations with the pathetic administrators. Relations with the inmates. I failed one kid out of over 140 students. My scholarship rate is 99%. Everyone loves me. The administrators, the kids, the parents, the colleges, etc. We have a group called MORM. It stands for Masters Of Relationships Movement. It basically solidifies your 6 figure salary while making you realize you are absolutely insane to open your mouth, fail a kid, complain, or just about say anything else that might sound stupid. MORM is real Chaz. If you are reading this and want to become a member of MORM, maybe Chaz can help on here. Until then, don't get phased by anything tomorrow (Monday). Try it. Let all the kids go to the bathroom, smile when they walk in late. Don't speak to anyone and jump in your car immediately after your last class. Smile on the way home because you are on your way to becoming a member of MORM. You are about to feel incredible. Good luck. See ya'll tomorrow night for positive reinforcement check in. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Bravo bravo bravo. Anon 820. Love it. Best advice.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly funny, how criticizing administrators are the constant "stroke" of arguments and contentions BUT HOW COME TEACHERS ARE STILL TEACHING and not just saying "F'K it and walk out?? Because we cannot strike... we live to close to our paychecks to make that move that was done during the TIER 1 days. Those days are done and will no longer be seen!! Sadly, UFT'ers are to complacent of seeing the same redundant cycle of mediocre that WE no longer know what "excellent looks like". Hence the creation of the MOSCO"HORROR"WITZ creations. She capitalized on our weaknesses and justifies our stupidity by putting in the youngest and the best to 'train Pavlov's dogs' - she's done it right under our noses. YET, WE can't even get it right despite "MOSCO'HORROR'WITZ" setting up the system the way a "private school/boarding school/Catholic school" is run. UFT/DOE missed that boat and now are subjected to the way a school should work, like a business with education being the curriculum driver. But UFT/DOE keep focusing on education standards and not realizing schools are falling through the cracks; hence we just sit and watch as SHE takes over the failing schools. How can WE MISS THIS - it's right under our noses. So the next leadership MUST RECOGNIZE THIS and stop with the finger pointing.
PLEASE WATCH/FOLLOW the CHICAGO LABOR UNION and potential layoffs in JANUARY 2016!!

Anonymous said...

Well lookie what California found out after they banned suspensions: more bad actors!

Read all about it here:

the site

Anonymous said...

Reading these posts are accurate because this is the mentality of our educators in ALL schools across the city. Take it from an ATR who visits ALL the schools and I can tell you that ALL teachers, social workers, guidance counselors, even office secretaries and paras will tell you that they just do not care, the system is corrupt and lacking any leadership with the bloomberg administrators and principals still running our schools with minimal leadership or education experience. Yes, the advice posted here is the new education for our educators because we are living in a country and a city that has been over whelmed with illegal immigrants who have taken over and given priority because our stupid politicians want their votes!! You cannot even have a "Christmas tree" anymore because others think its "offensive". The US is becoming a third world nation and really nyc schools are third world cultures today no doubt. So, the advice given here throughout these blogs while sound some what new are really old news because this is how our educators think and approach their days now. The charter school idiots are like the vultures after the kill, flying over head looking for the crumbs. The charters hire these no nothing kids right out of college and torture them till they quit usually after one year. So, to wrap up my post I am going to class with a big smile on my face and saying screw you politicians this is what you wanted.

Anonymous said...

Just look at our schools in nyc now...MOst of the teachers are twenty two and no nothings...While our great teachers sit in the ATR pool....How is this going to improve student achievement?? What a crock of shit...THE DOE really does not care about students just look at all the newbies no nothings

Anonymous said...

To anon 10:24. I also want to point out that the whole purpose of suspending a student from school is not to simply retaliate against the student. If the student is disruptive the learning process then that student simply needs to be removed from the classroom irrespective of whether it seems like a reward or punishment to the student so that the other kids can actually learn something.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8:20 has it right. I have about 9 years in the DOE. I taught for years in private schools before that. The culture shock was amazing in its breadth and lunacy. I learned in my first month of teaching in the South Bronx that most urban 'students' in high school are unfit for Western civilization and lack even basic values. My administrators were Leftist looney-bins. This was driven home for me when they made me sit with a student who threatened to stab me, along with his gang-member parents (Crips lieutenants) and asked me if I had any objections to letting the student back in my class. Like I was going to say 'no' and get knifed after school!

I migrated to a Queens school full of illegal immigrants and had to learn to pretend real quick that the largely SIFE population were all little Einsteins waiting to bloom. That is where I sit to this day. In eight years we are on our third administration. Each one is more zaney than the last with all the 'new initiatives' and 'reforms.'

The new common core and Danielson's crap has made the relationship between teachers and admins into an adversarial one. Now every observation and classroom 'visit' is to decide if you will get a target on your back or not. No joke. So I have also taken the same approach as anonymous 8:32. I smile. I pass everyone regardless. I don't get mad at anything and I get out as soon as I can. I can't fix 16 year old illegal immigrants who cannot speak English and who have a second grade education no matter how many 'strategies' I am forced to learn.

I want to work for only a couple more years and plan to switch to living off investments. I cannot remain in this farce of an educational world anymore than I have to. Give up the stress. Go with the flow. Say yes to everything. Pass everyone. Keep them busy with little 'projects'. Be happy for as Rome burns, we must take up our fiddles and dance.

Anonymous said...

Just checking in Chaz. Hello everyone. This is MORM. Hope everyone had a great day. I was home before 3:30. Didn't speak to anyone today. Had a great day with my students. Not too many did homework or much of anything. Doesn't really matter. Parent/Teacher conferences next week. I passed everyone pretty much. All good here. Showing movie tomorrow. 120K in 2 years, base salary. I am a master. For all of you out there who actually care, good luck with that attitude. You are in serious trouble.

Anonymous said...

Chalkbeat, DiBlasio, et. al. can't figure out how to integrate Bronx high schools. Your comments about them are right on the mark. I wouldn't let my cat go to one of them. The last time a teacher with me brought his child to work some kid punched the class in our door. He severed an artery, nearly died and left an incredible amount of blood. Just a normal day in a Bronx high school (and I'm not trying to be sarcastic).

retired teacher said...

to anon 10:24 - In my 35 years in the NYC school system I encountered many supervisors who were mediocre teachers and who saw being an AP as a way out of the classroom. Plus the salary sounds good until you throw in summer school.

Administrators need to be proactive and help with disruptive kids. They are the supposed master teachers (enter sarcastic laugh here).You need to be able to go to them for ideas and support. Unfortunately it is easier to blame the teacher.

There are supervisors out there like Major Major in "Catch 22." As soon as there is a problem they duck out probably because the rarefied air in the Leadership Academy classrooms didn't deal with the more mundane things like discipline.

I will say that I was lucky in my career that most of the APs I worked with were helpful and supportive. Today they'd be gone.

Anonymous said...

MORM is my hero

SPED4LYFE said...

MORM should start a MORM blog. The Daoist philosophy is one that comes with experience. Love the blog Chaz