View Full Version : Teaching the unruly ones...without strangling them

11-07-07, 05:48 PM
I volunteer to teach in our home schooling co-op group. It's just twice a month, the moms take turns, it's a different subject each month but one never knows what a child will latch onto with interest and gusto.

I recently had the joy of teaching a group of 15 kids ages 12 to 14 or so. I have taught this age before, only not as many. I found them pleasant to teach, fun to be with, and have engaging conversation.

This time I left the classroom near tears. No matter what I said or did to quiet them down and engage in the lesson at hand they were rowdy, loud, ignoring me, they'd stop throwing something for a second and then do it again 2 minutes later, they wrote on the tables...these are kids who really do know better. Their moms don't let them do this at home.

My only recourse was to send their moms in to deal with them. The kids genuinely felt bad and apologized (their idea, their moms said they didn't tell the kids to do it). I said all is well, but they need to put their apology into action by being respectful to all the teachers from here on out.

I don't usually get upset like that. The only recourse is to send them out of the room to sit with their Mom. Ok, that's a consequence.

How about not even getting to that point? What do you do with a group of 12 and up students? How do you keep them engaged? How do you get them involved in the subject? I can't guarantee they want to learn about what I'm teaching but that doesn't mean I want a free-for-all.

I guess I've never learned the art of "zone coverage" and how to influence adolescents.

Advice? Examples? Experience?