A difficult student that I receive little help with

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by SabrinaY, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. SabrinaY

    SabrinaY Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 13, 2018

    I have a student that has ADHD and was such a behavior problem that he was moved into my class from another class. He's been suspended the maximum number of times he can be suspended so all they do is send him to the library to help the librarian. It gets to the point where he is yelling across the room at my other students and getting everyone riled up. I eventually have to send him out even though it's basically a vacation and I know he's doing it in purpose. The principal had chats with him but inevitably sends him right down the hall to the library. He has 8 siblings so I know he doesn't get enough attention at home so I've been trying instant rewards for things he does right but by the end of the day he just wants to go to the library so he'll do whatever he needs to to get sent out. His grades are low but he failed last year so the principal is just going to push him up at the end of this year. His mother is so hard to get ahold of. She doesnt have a phone so we have to send the school resource officer to hunt for her for a day. And then she does nothing after we talk with her. What can I do?
     
  2.  
  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,737
    Likes Received:
    722

    Mar 13, 2018

    That’s definitely the correct course of action to take — not allow a student to be suspended despite egregious violations of the rules and then just pass him onto the next grade, even though he is a failure in school. Tell your principal to keep up the great work!
     
  4. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    511

    Mar 13, 2018

    Sorry to give you the bad news, but like so many other posts about the same type of problem you describe, there's nothing that you - just one person - can do to fix the problem. Schools are complex social systems that require a team approach to effectively address and resolve serious issues. All too often staff members lack the necessary will, knowledge, training and experience to deal with day-to-day problems - resulting in dysfunctional schools. If only credential programs for teachers and administrators would use actual situations like yours to better prepare students for their jobs.

    Talk to some of your colleagues to find out how they survive. Most likely it's just status quo.
     
    bella84 and futuremathsprof like this.
  5. SabrinaY

    SabrinaY Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 13, 2018

    Today we had a visitor at our school and the child showed out in front of them and I was reprimanded by the principal for not sending him out. I guess I'm just supposed to give up on him.
     
  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,737
    Likes Received:
    722

    Mar 13, 2018

    Can’t you bring this matter up with your teachers union or superintendent?
     
  7. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    511

    Mar 13, 2018

    The labor union will only respond to egregious violations of teachers' rights. I would bet the superintendent is well aware of what is most likely a systemic problem.
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,737
    Likes Received:
    722

    Mar 13, 2018

    Good grief. This teacher is darned if they do and darned if they don’t. My recommendation would be for them to document each misbehavior and their actions taken for each one, as well what their P did, so that their admin can’t blame them for it.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  9. miss-m

    miss-m Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    404

    Mar 13, 2018

    It seems like you could turn the library into a reward. He knows right now that if he acts out, he'll get to go do something he enjoys, which is reinforcing his bad behavior. I don't know what grade this is, but one thing my school does with our behavior system is teaching and practicing goals for life, one of which is "I can be ok even when others are not." This could be useful for your class. This child is not ok (meaning he's being disruptive and not making great choices); so what can the rest of the class do to be ok, continue working and making good choices, even when this one kid is having a hard time? Practicing skills like ignoring, moving to another part of the room (if that's an option), or asking him to stop may help with him not getting the rest of the class riled up.

    With the child having a hard time, stop rewarding his bad behavior by sending him to the library. It will make your job harder for a while -- but this kid clearly needs something different than what he's getting right now. Move his seat to another part of the room, give him an "office," and set up a system where he can earn library time with good behavior. Make it really easy for him to succeed; whatever he's doing already that's positive and appropriate, tie it to that and be overly generous with getting him to the library for those behaviors. It seems like you don't really have support with this student, which sucks, but I know from experience that behaviors like this CAN improve with consistent, structured consequences and rewards.

    What have you done to build a relationship with him? What does he like to do? What kinds of things set him off in class? Is he just frustrated academically and acting out to cover it up? You said he doesn't get much attention at home -- you can't change this or expect to meet all his unmet needs by yourself, is there someone at school you could work with to add on some extra attention that's not tied to behavior? Even just another teacher who says good morning and asks him how he's doing, what he had for dinner, whatever. Getting to know him so he's not just "the bad kid who gets in trouble all the time."
     
    kpa1b2 and mathmagic like this.
  10. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    511

    Mar 14, 2018

    Forgive me if I missed something, but wouldn't it be helpful to know what grade the lad is in? Does he have an IEP? If so, what has the special ed. teacher done to help?
     
  11. SabrinaY

    SabrinaY Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 14, 2018

    This is second grade. He does not have an IEP. He's reading on grade level and that's the only thing besides ESL that our school offers services for. I've been told by the guidance counselor that starting a behavior intervention packet to give him a 504 plan would just make it where he'd never be able to get suspended again and they wouldn't be able to punish him next year. But he's gotten so many write ups that they'd have to do a 504 plan for him if he gets any more. At least that's how it was explained to me. He's old enough that he should be in 4th or 5th grade by now. The reason he keeps failing is because he's out the room so much he can't learn anything. I talked to his first grade teacher and she said she'd just have him clean her room all day because he likes to clean. But I can't do that because my room doesn't get very dirty and also I save extra cleaning for students that are good. My students love to help me so it's seen as a reward.
     
  12. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    511

    Mar 14, 2018

    As a former intervention specialist, I've worked with many kids with similar profiles (behavior, academics, family, etc.). I don't mean to sound boastful, but the most challenging non-special ed. students would be sent to me after numerous meetings, suspensions, counseling, rewards and empty threats failed. Surprisingly, these "hardened" young delinquents provided some welcomed variety to my special ed. routine and usually responded well to the animals in my room and my multimedia lessons - a definite win-win situation. Over the years, I perfected a unique approach based on what I would want to experience if I were a student in my own class!

    So, it sounds like you have an older child in your second grade class who surpasses the others by two or three years in age. This 9-10 year old boy has second grade reading skills. I could be wrong, but here's my Quick Assessment based on the information provided and several assumptions of my own. This student has been waving red flags at least since first grade and probably in kindergarten too, but school personnel failed to provide the necessary intervention. (What was his first-grade teacher thinking - prevocational janitorial training?) Assuming that he should actually be in the 5th grade by now, he has been allowed to fall three years below grade level academically!

    My former colleagues often made the same wrong assessment of students like yours. They would often dismiss bad behavior as attention-getting when in fact the child was just trying to get out of a classroom/school where no one seemed to care or understand. Many educators think that allowing a naughty student to do what he/she wants to do is reinforcing bad behavior. They fail to realize that a few simple tweaks can easily result in that same student doing what he/she wants to do to reinforce good behavior. Teachers have adamantly refused to allow their uncooperative students to report to my room (to do work and learn) just because they did not want to reward the children for misbehaving in their classrooms by letting them leave. They would rather see meltdowns and suspensions than to steer the children in a positive direction.

    My greatest success was with the most challenging underachieving elementary students. If you would like to access my voluminous teaching archives feel free to contact me via my website.
    (Disclaimer: Forget about any notion of self-promotion or commercial gain - I'm retired!)
     
  13. SabrinaY

    SabrinaY Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 21, 2018

    After getting nothing done in class for the past couple of weeks because of his behavior, I've started making him packets of work ready for when I send him out. I've tried offering to let him help me clean and other teachers have offered to let him come help in a positive way since it's clear he likes getting out of class but he continues to do what he wants. I have other problems showing up in my class and it's been made clear that my job is to just make sure he turns in work and gets a check for being there. So this week I've been sending him out.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,187
    Likes Received:
    1,336

    Mar 21, 2018

    If they could find a para to sit with him when he's sent out with his packets of work, it would POSSIBLY be good for him to work in a one-to-one environment with the frequent breaks and and redirection.
     
  15. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    511

    Mar 21, 2018

    I'm curious to know how this is working out for you. Are the work packets just busy work - e.g. worksheets consisting of matching, completing by filling in blanks and coloring? Is he completing the packets? How long does he usually stay out of your classroom? What is his behavior like in the other classes and how is he when he returns to you?
     
  16. SabrinaY

    SabrinaY Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 21, 2018

    I always make sure its content related. I can get in trouble for giving him work I can't explain. So I give him clock sheets since we're doing time right now for example. And I usually give him an essay to write. Im not allowed to send him out for more than an hour unless hes written up. His behavior is exactly the same as it was before. I didn't expect it to get better but at least I can actually teach the class for an hour.
     
  17. SabrinaY

    SabrinaY Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 21, 2018

    I wish we had someone here that could take kids for in school suspension and the such. It's very difficult to get a hold of his parents and they're tired of us contacting them by this point. As I've mentioned before he's one of 9 kids in his family.
     
  18. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    511

    Mar 21, 2018

    You mentioned that this boy who is almost 10 years of age is currently in your second grade class and is "reading on grade level". Does this mean that he's reading at the second grade level or that he has 5th grade reading skills (huge difference). Since he's able to write essays that you've assigned, does that mean he's able to write a coherent paragraph? With the problems he's been having since K, do you think he taught himself to read at an early age?
     
  19. SabrinaY

    SabrinaY Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 21, 2018

    He's reading on a second grade level is what I meant. I should have said that better. And yes he can write a coherent paragraph. He might misspell some things but his sentences are understandable.
     
  20. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    511

    Mar 22, 2018

    SabrinaY, thanks for the clarification. Just as I had suspected, this student seems to fit the profile of those that I actively sought out to help. As numerous studies have corroborated, upper elementary students (specifically by 4th grade) who are not reading at grade level are at high risk of eventually dropping out of school as they fall farther and farther behind with each passing year. In all likelihood, this young man is not the only underachieving student at your school who is experiencing the debilitating results of a growing achievement gap. This is what happens when administrators don't care enough or don't know how to resolve the problem.

    While it's not fair that one or more children be allowed to disrupt the education of the rest of the class, it's also a travesty that there's no provision to provide effective intervention for those that desperately need it. You mentioned that the student likes to go to the library. Do you know if he goes there to read? I suspect that he may be smarter than anyone realizes and that his behavior is masking his intellect.

    Have you considered Project-Based Learning? Perhaps your student would be willing to work on a project on a subject that he's chosen. PBL would give him some autonomy and would not require constant supervision. However, it would require that you initially work with the student to help get things started. Here are a few links to inspire you to give it a try:

    PBL provides an overview of Project-Based Learning and shows the first half of a project by two sixth grade GATE students. (They were so excited to have sunbursts and their own reflections appear in their work!) For the subject of their first project, the students chose to literally focus on a Harley - owned by our school librarian who was a former CHP patrolman.

    Homies was a collaborative project used to help a third grader who was very similar to yours. It shows what can be done with a child's toys.

    Naruto was another collaborative project used to motivate a group of fourth grade boys with second grade reading skills. I learned how much I was missing by not watching cartoons on Saturday mornings.

    Best viewed on a computer, the presentations can be shown to your student who will hopefully be motivated enough to break out of his downward spiral.
     
  21. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,131
    Likes Received:
    1,144

    Mar 22, 2018

    Perhaps this boy has an emotional disability? Has he been evaluated to see if he qualifies for special education? You said that your counselor told you that he could qualify for a 504, but he could also qualify for an IEP. If he does, then your school is required to provide services for him, even if they don't currently offer those services. If your school cannot provide those services, then they are required to fund the costs of sending him to a school who can provide the services he needs. If he is 2 or 3 years older than his peers, then something different needs to be done. His mother doesn't sound like she is advocating for him, so someone else needs to. He likely needs social skills instruction, a functional behavior assessment, and all of the other components that come with a behavior-related IEP. Assuming you are in a public school, your school is legally required to comply.
     
    Been There likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. mrsf70
Total: 257 (members: 2, guests: 227, robots: 28)
test