How to manage a class?

Philippines
January 6, 2011 3:53am CST
I was told to substitute a teacher for a while. I'm not that kind of a strict person. There are 44 people in a class that I may manage in the next days. They are seventh graders. They have a project wherein the whole class will perform a dance. There are three dances given so they divided the class into three. My problem was after i grouped them, they weren't participating. In the other group they weren't practicing. Instead they will just sit on their chairs and chat. The other two groups are practicing. I also saw three or four idle students who doesn't even have a group yet! I was so frustrated. I just let them have a free time. I couldn't teach them steps because I'm not told to do so. What should I do?
5 responses
• Philippines
6 Jan 11
If you're gonna manage a class of 44 students, you have to establish your assertiveness. These are young teenagers so they'll need a little bit of scolding but in a rational way.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
6 Jan 11
That is really a hard situation, I'm a teacher and I know it's really hard to manage a class which you don't really handle, children especially those in puberty are likely to test you first before they listen to anything you say, it's hard maintaining a well-managed class even if your their regular teacher how much more if your just a substitute, I know your pain, I've been there and unless you're as strict looking as I am you really can't do anything but ask their regular teacher to give them another activity to do which they have to work individually and which they know are submitted not to you but to their teacher, it could work also if that dance activity holds a lot of weight in their final grades...
• Philippines
6 Jan 11
The activity is I think 40% of their grades this last quarter of the school year. I don't think that they are concerned with that. They seemed to be just relaxed. I think the teacher already gave them the task of what to do for their presentation.
• Philippines
6 Jan 11
...then it's hopeless ,when is their teacher coming back?? I think you are not responsible for their actions anymore...sigh, the downsides of teaching...
• Philippines
6 Jan 11
I guess you need to enforce some discipline in your should-be class, seventh graders are in puberty age and they need some tap on their butts. Maybe you have to totally change the groupings like giving them a roll of papers with Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on it. All students with No. 1 will be in group 1 and so on and so forth. Then you have to initiate some rules and quidelines on their practicing schedules. I suggest that you talk with the original teacher for the instructions so that you can take it from there. I guess with the rules to follow they will obliged to practice and listen to you. Learn from that experiences and you will successfully learn how to deal more student's behavior in your teaching career.
• Philippines
6 Jan 11
I really want them to group themselves because they know what dances they could do. I don't want that option of picking numbers one, two and three because I'm sure some of them will complain. I'm really not a teacher. I was just asked to watch for them. I'm just an office personnel.
@lingli_78 (12845)
• Australia
7 Jan 11
i learn from my past experience that setting the rules and telling the students who has the authority in the class right from the beginning help me a lot in managing a class... especially with the teenagers... they are in the age of rebelling and testing the boundaries... so if you set the rules and boundaries right from the beginning, hopefully it will help to discipline them... take care and have a nice day...
@2004cqui (2823)
• United States
6 Jan 11
Being a substitute is ridiculously difficult. By no means gauge your teaching abilities by how well you can do it. As a parent of 3 clueless boys I can tell you that sometimes a couple of them will give you a run for your money simply because you are the substitute. Then they go home and brag about it. They think its funny. I didn't teach them to do that and didn't tolerate it. I would call the school and tell the teacher any time I found out something that affected the way they taught! Without saying anything to the boy they would make sure to correct it with their incredible teacher ways. Kid doesn't know he lost, teacher wins. Good luck on this venture! I feel sorry for ya!