I am in a school where screaming at all students is the norm. I have a kindergarten assignment and students are humiliated and degraded in efforts to control their behavior. I was able to show some positive discipline techniques to the teacher the first week by modeling and the students had several teachers from their classes call or come into comment on what a great two days they had. However, at the end of the first week, the teacher took off and I had total control of the class.
None of my usual stuff worked and there was total chaos. The kids know only green for go and scream (red) or anger for stop. There is no in between. I have done long term substitute teaching taking over k-6 for months at a time and never encountered this degree of chaos. Finally, another kindergarten teacher who was listening from the hall came in and screamed and defaced their characters and sent them into tears and then of course they were intimidated into behaving. I have 6 more weeks in this classroom. How can I control this class who understands the boundary as an anger explosion? I have to get control because I will have them a full 2.5 weeks on my own. I bought several books and they will be wonderful when I set up my own classroom, but do not apply in a pre-set up environment. I refuse to damage these little personalities any further. This is ridiculous but the whole school operates this way. You can see a teacher walking with a teary-eyed student being stopped by another teacher to ask what they did wrong and then being severely reprimanded by this teacher a second time-geez.
Please help. My biggest problem is that my supervisor agrees with the intimidation
I feel so badly about what you are experiencing both for you and for the kids. It is evidence that punishments and rewards don't work long term because they don't teach self discipline and responsibility. As soon as the controller (the giver of rewards and punishments) leaves, the kids go bonkers because they haven't learned inner control. Someone once told me it is as though the controllers put their fingers on a spring, but as soon as they take their fingers off the spring flips out.
You mentioned that you purchased books. Did you mean Positive Discipline in Classroom and Positive Discipline: A Teacher's A Z Guide? If you have the former, I wonder how it would work to try the Wheel of Choice that is presented on pps. 135 138. You might start by asking the children how they feel when someone screams at them and/or punishes them. You might want to show them copies of the feeling faces on p. 224 and see if they can find faces that represent how they feel. You could also tell them how you feel when you experience chaos and disrespectful behavior. Then tell them you don't want to treat them disrespectfully but that you need their help. Ask how many would be willing to help you. Most kids respond favorably when asked. Then you could present the wheel of choice. (You can copy the one from the book or make your own that has other options that you and the kids think would work when there is chaos.) You might have a big one in the front of the room and/or small ones for each child. When there is a problem you could ask, "Who can find something on the wheel of choice that would help us solve this problem right now?"
I'm so glad you don't want to continue the screaming and disrespectful behavior when you have your own classroom. It is tough to inherit something that has already been set up because it takes time for children to learn the skills of respect and these skills are just as important as an academic skills. Hang in there. The kids who get you as a permanent teacher will be very lucky. I'm sure you'll want to start with class meetings on the first day so the kids will learn good social and problem solving skills from the very beginning. Jane Nelsen