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Singer behavior: Handling Rowdy 8th graders

Dear listers,
Thank you SO MUCH for your overwhelming response to my
previous post. I can tell that many of you can relate
to my current situation.
Many of you asked for more info on my situation, so
here it is. I am in Orlando, Florida at a private
Christian school. I am teacher both middle and high
school choir here. This problem is not just in my
class, but across the board. All the teachers that
have these boys are struggling. Our administration is
pushing to dismiss them from our school, but I hate
the idea. I feel that if I dont reach them, who will?

I received many responses that simply wished me good
luck.... thank you for those.
I got several responses with suggestions like these:
-Award points for good behavior/success, and take
points for bad behavior, then give rewards or take
away privileges.
-Gear lessons to sports and their other interests.
-Program "manly music" that fits their personalities.
-Change the focus of the course to music appreciation,
pop music appreciation, guitar.
-Use lots of rhythm activities/instruments.

Unfortunately, I have been using many of these ideas,
and there have been no positive results yet.

One lister did provide these five points, and I find
them to be very direct. They are almost abrasive, but
incredibly insightful.

1. by default there are good kids and bad kids. you
can improve a little of behavior, but only with a lot
a patience you will be able to mold the rowdy. Next
year, you know them and you can prevent better the
inclusion of such kids.

2. Very important: THEY KNOW YOUR ARE NEW. This is the
price for first year teachers. Let them know that you
are aware of it. and never look intimidated by them.

3. NO DEMOCRACY. Don't listen to what the misbehaviors
say. They, generally, are not interested in the class.
So, be a "dictator". Do that for those who love music.
They expect that from you and you are their savior and
if they see that your are ready to defend music, they
will support you and they will begin trusting in you.

4. A lot of work. keep them busy. (important one)

5. Don't spend too much time in warming up. At first,
they want to go to the point. Singing.

Again, thank you for your overwhelming response! If
you would like to discuss this matter further please
feel free to email me at mbbumbach(a) .

Matthew Bumbach

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on March 20, 2007 10:00pm
I have delt with rowdy 8th graders before. You have to have some kind of rewards if they do something right. But if they do something wrong you have to discipline them.