HELP! Middle school boys choir classroom management
Date: October 20, 2013
I teach at a small, rural, preK-12 school. General music is required for all students preK-4th grade and choir is required for 5th -8th grade. Elementary classes are going very well and my girls choir is outstanding. My problem is the boys choir. I have 26 boys in the choir from 5th through 8th grade and it is a nightmare. Most of the boys think that singing is stupid. A handful of them truly want to perform but they are labeled as "gay" by the other boys so my singers are not very vocal. I do not allow bulling in my class but I cannot control what happens outside. My music library is antiquated and my budget is miniscule (my fundraising only). MY discipline system consists of 5 possible points (for each student) every day, any infractions result in the loss of 1 point. Several "repeat offenders" lose all 5 at least 2 days a week. This system works for some but not for all. To make things worse, this is my first year in this school and this choir gave the last teacher TONS of trouble, they feel like they contributed to her quitting at the end of last year (something that they are quite proud of), so they want a repeat of that with me. Some students will intentionally disrupt in order to get a laugh and others simply refuse to self regulate and continously talk despite the consequences. I am in Hell. Please help.