crying and screaming students..help!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by EngTeacher15, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. EngTeacher15

    EngTeacher15 Companion

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    Feb 12, 2007

    I'm a first year teacher, and I battled teaching and grading 9th grade research papers for the first time. I handed them back today...and let's just say, I had many negative responses.

    First of all, I had about 8 kids that turned in papers without a Works Cited page or without citations. I handed these papers back and said "You have a weekend to fix it" (it was a Friday). I told them they'd get the one day late penalty (which is minus 40 points for a 200 point paper). I really shouldn't have given them second chances at all, but it was more important that they learned the PROCESS. I wanted to make them DO the work, rather than just giving them zeroes.

    I had one student who made a big deal when I gave him his paper back (after it didn't have a Works Cited page). He said it was my fault because I supposedly never returned his Works Cited page back to him. I know this isn't the case, but this is what he claims. I told him, even if that WAS the case, it doesn't matter. He should have known to include it at the end of the paper, just like the majority of the kids did. He turned it in the next day with the Works Cited; so I was happy. That is until today.

    I handed the papers back at the end of class, and as SOON as the bell rang he started running his mouth saying that it was BS that he lost 40 points, blah blah blah. First of all, his paper wasn't well written to begin with, and it didn't follow the assignment at all. He would have failed anyway. Second of all, he knew AHEAD of time that I was taking the 40 points off. I asked him to come talk to me, and that if he wanted to talk about his paper to talk to me and not to his friends. Since it was the last period of the day, he threw a fit and said he couldn't talk to me because he was going to be late for the bus. He was very rude and was screaming at me saying it was ALL MY FAULT. I told him he had no right to disrespect me like that. He crumbled up the rubric and threw it in the hallway on the way out. I tried calling his mother after school, but I could not get ahold of her. I'll try again tomorrow.

    I also had a girl that hadn't even turned the paper in at all, and finally tried to turn it in today. It was due three weeks ago, and I told them from the beginning that I wasn't going to accept papers after 3 days after the due date. She was crying and was less than happy with me too when I refused to accept it.

    Basically...I need ADVICE. I need to know how to handle these types of situations (students and parents--I have a feeling I'll be hearing from the parents too).

    Suggestions??? :confused:
     
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  3. b-radical

    b-radical Companion

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    Feb 12, 2007

    I truly don't understand the sense of entitlement students seem to bring with them to school--and my heart goes out to you. I'm a first year teacher, too (sixth grade language arts), and I'm stunned when students complain about the grades they've "earned." I'm even more stunned by the parents (and by no means all parents) who want "special consideration" for their child. It's so frustrating.

    I realize my students are quite a bit younger than yours, and I don't know if this will help--but beginning this second semester, my policy is "homework/projects are due when they are due."

    The whining, the crying, the blaming . . . whether by students or parents . . . I don't let allow it to stress me out. I've become a kind of Teflon teacher when it comes to that.

    I've realized with my AIG's (academically and gifted students), that sometimes the shock of a bad grade is all it takes.

    I also don't give extra credit work toward the end of the grading periods to students who didn't do assigned work to begin with.

    Hang Tough!!!
     
  4. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Feb 12, 2007

    I am a High School Social Studies and I completely agree with you. You have to stick to your guns; if you are not going to accept papers after 3 days do that! That girl desrves a zero and too bad for her; you stated that papers won't be accpted after 3 days past the due date. This isn't Kindergarden! (I know I sound mean but is so-and-so's boss in the real world going to allow her to turn in a report for a project 3 weeks after it was due-NO!)

    Personally, I accept daily assignments late the next day for 50% credit, all other assignments and projects go down 10% per day.

    I offer extra credit but in small amounts no more than 20 points only a few times per term.
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 12, 2007

    You'll get the attitude. They are teenagers. It's not right though. I'm not equipped or experienced enough to offer any advice on how to deal with it though.

    I like a few things you said. The main thing being that you gave them clear expectations ahead of time down. You also built in some flexibility. When I was in school, we didn't have late papers past middle school. I think flexibility is a good thing though.

    In college, my husband didn't do his cited works page correctly and it cost him a letter grade. He wasn't on the border between two grades either. Yikes.
     
  6. Andrea in CO

    Andrea in CO Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2007

    This same thing happened to me when I taught English. The only thing to do is make sure students have detailed written directions for every assignment so there are no disputes later, and apply the due-date policy consistently to everyone. Perhaps this class just wasn't used to that from previous teachers. Students will get unreasonably upset about it--I had one student write a whole page in my yearbook at the end of the year about how she shoudn't have lost points on a late assignment months before--but you're being fair to everyone and there's no reason to feel bad. The students will adjust. In future assignments make sure to re-emphasize the policy, and remind students they they can improve their averages by good and timely work throughout the rest of the semester.
     
  7. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Don't back down. At this level, they know the rules and they are just testing you. DON'T GIVE AN INCH. If you give even a little bit, you'll be getting late papers all year. Deadlines and responsibility may be boring and tedious, but it's better to get a bad grade now than be fired from a job later for not taking it seriously.
     
  8. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Good advice Mamacita...............

    Major :)
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 13, 2007

    They're kids. They're looking for someone to blame, and it's certainly not going to be themselves. You're the next best target. It's the nature of the beast.

    That doesn't mean they're right, just that they think they are.

    Next year, when you give the same assignment, you can give the example of what last year's class tried to get away with, and how unhappy they were when it didn't work out their way.

    The only concrete suggestion I have for the future is to include the grading rubric with the assignment. That way they can't claim they didn't know. ( You and I both know you said it 100 times. But having it in writing makes it harder to dispute.)

    So cheer up. This is one of those unpleasant parts of the job, that's all.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Wise words, Alice. Seems to me this can be said with as much justice of human beings in general; a common role of education and of upbringing is to attempt to denature us - not that it always "takes".
     
  11. Madrone

    Madrone Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Make them toe the line

    I told my 8th and 9th graders up front I do NOT accept late work, nor do I give extra credit. For a set of persuasive papers I handed them back for revisions and gave a second set of grades for them, but it did not improve the original grade.

    Unfortunately, many of them feel entitled to -- well, to just about whatever they want. In addition to the classwork, we are also teaching them responsibility and accountability (or trying to, fwiw). Make them toe the line and after the first few times you'll stop feeling so badly about it.
     
  12. b-radical

    b-radical Companion

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    Feb 13, 2007

    TG- What do you mean by 'denature?' I think I understand what you're saying in your message, but I'm not quite certain about that word. Could you help me understand that?
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Can I guess? "To go against our nature"??

    Our nature is to protect ourselves. Schooling and parenting both try to teach us to see the larger picture, not just our own point of view.

    How did I do?
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 13, 2007

    That's more or less it. I was also being a little wry, it having been that kind of week so far. And perhaps a little too cute with the language for my own good.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Nah, I learn by reading your posts. Keep 'em coming!
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I was also thinking of denatured alcohol... that's what I mean by "too cute".
     
  17. b-radical

    b-radical Companion

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    Feb 13, 2007

    I am a self-professed grammar nerd, an INTP (for the Myers-Briggs types out there), and not much fun at dinner parties. (Hey! Let's talk commas!!)

    I also love tweaking language--I love the wry, the cool, the silly, the twists...
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That all depends, b-rad - a couple bottles of wine, one of Karen Elizabeth Gordon's grammar books, the sort of company that can appreciate both, and, hey, laissez les bons temps rouler!

    Watch out, though: there are people on A to Z who Do Not Appreciate Puns.
     
  19. b-radical

    b-radical Companion

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    Feb 13, 2007

    I so hear that one!

    I feel the same way about sarcasm. Why waste the wit on the witless? (not talking about my sixth graders, of course)
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I got Myers-Briggsed, among other things, on the way out of a bad marriage and tend to ignore the results, though IN-something-P is highly probable.

    One wastes the wit on the witless when the alternative is ulcer or committing mayhem, I think. (See above.)
     
  21. b-radical

    b-radical Companion

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Which above?
     

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