Defiant Student

Discussion in 'General Education' started by corunnermom, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. corunnermom

    corunnermom Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2018

    I'm a first grade teacher at a very difficult Title 1 school. We're known for our challenging behaviors. I have three friends in my class who are quite challenging and all three participate in the CICO (Check In, Check Out Program). It's a positive program in which students meet with a support teacher in the morning and they earn points throughout the day to get prizes. They are all responding well to the program and have improved but I'm really struggling with one student in particular. The CICO program focuses on ignoring negative behavior and rewarding positive behavior, but my student's negative behavior is unacceptable and I think he needs logical (often negative) consequences. Here is a brief explanation of his behaviors:
    1. When we sit on the carpet for ELA instruction, he walks around the room and does what he wants. When I ask him to come to the carpet, he ignores me and refuses.
    2. When it's time to come in for recess, he won't come in and our playground assistant has to coax him for fifteen minutes to come in.
    3. He leaves the classroom without asking to go to the bathroom or just leaves the classroom. The last couple of times I've had another adult watch my class while I find him, but most times I have to call admin to look for him.
    4. Yesterday he tore up our tattle box because he was upset because it was time to do our math assessment, which I was going to work on with him one on one. I made him remake it.
    5. He's is very disrespectful to other students and aggravates them.

    He has had trauma in his life...I am very aware of this. I also know his home environment is not the best. We are planning a home visit because his mom will not come in for a conference. I also know he is seeking the attention of me and his peers. However, he knows what the class and school expectations are and he is VERY capable academically to do all of our classwork. In other words, I'm tired of him getting his way! Yes, I'm the classroom teacher but I feel like his support teacher (our SEL support) thinks I'm a witch when I impose logical consequences for him!

    Any support or advice would be helpful!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  3. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    Oct 21, 2018

    Are we in the same class? LOL

    I am student teaching in a Title 1 class as well and I have a student very similar. I have learned my student thrives off of positive reinforcement. Which helps but not 100%. We give him color zones. If he is in the green zone he is ready to learn blue he is feeling silly and won't listen and red means he needs a break out of the classroom.

    For your first issue would it be best to pick your battles and let him walk around? Talk to him see if he will listen while he walks around silently if he is not distracting his peers.
     
  4. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Oct 21, 2018

    Just a few ideas, maybe you've already tried these:
    1. Warnings when it's going to be time to transition. Five minute warning, 2 minute warning, 1 minute warning.
    2. Make a "chill spot" or "private" area in your classroom. A desk with cubicle panels or something to give him an area in class to go to, instead of escaping to halls. You can have sand timers or water timers there to help.
    3. Ignore the in-class wandering and/or reward the heck out of those on the carpet.
    4. Tell him about tests 1:1 "Later today we are going to do a test. I will help you"
    5. If you don't already have one, a visual schedule with picture cues for the whole class?

    Good luck. :)
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 21, 2018

    Have you talked to admin about this? What do they expect you to do, realistically? Do they really want you to ignore all these behaviors?
     
  6. corunnermom

    corunnermom Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2018

    Thank you for your advice everyone. I have done all that you have mentioned, but he continues to be disrespectful and defiant. I am going to keep being positive until the end of the month and then will meet with admin and our SEL support. I strongly believe that we need to teach kiddos how to function in the real world and if he continues to do what he does he won't survive!
     
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  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 21, 2018

    The behaviors where I would insist on recognizing them is when he aggravates other people. Stuff that affects only him (the wandering) can be more or less ignored. But it sets a terrible example when another person is harmed by the behavior and the recommendation is to ignore it.

    I myself would probably point blankly ask the support teacher how she expects the other students to respond to being harassed.
     
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  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oct 21, 2018

    Hi there!

    Does your district or site have a behavior specialist? Or do you have a Student Study Team? I think he needs some supports that you’re not able to provide and/or implement in the classroom without some guidance and support. If you’re doing CICO, then I’m sure you have a PBIS team at your site. Reach out to someone soon; sounds like he needs some intense intervention.

    On another note, I read your post and it sounded like it could’ve been written by one of my first grade teachers! We got her some assistance (for her student) a few weeks ago, though, and I hope our little guy will get the help he deserves. Such a sad situation at home!
     
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  9. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Oct 22, 2018

    As teachers, we cannot replace the parent. Parental learning usually exceeds school learning, even if that parental learning is antisocial. Meanwhile, the school still needs to maintain order in the classroom, and he still needs to hopefully succeed as a student, both academically and behaviorally.

    Operant conditioning's positive and negative (e.g. ignoring) reinforcement works with rats, cats, and dogs, but not always as efficiently with people. For one thing, as mentioned above, the student is also learning coping mechanisms from his home/outside of school environment. If I might politely disagree, often such students are not primarily seeking attention from the teacher or others. Another problem with behaviorism, the human student is constantly evaluating his situation and deciding for himself whether or not to comply or explore. (Actually, I think our dog does this too).

    That he is a part of a social group (his 2 other friends) is an advantage for him and for you as the teacher. It indicates he has learned some positive social values. If possible, I'd avoid separating the 3 Musketeers. Since the school frowns on penalties for misbehavior, perhaps meeting with the three to develop a plan for during a specific block of time would encourage them, and of course, the one student, to move in a more positive direction. Personally, I find rewards to often be more of a distraction against the purpose of positive social behavior. The students work for the prize rather than the outcome of joining the group; in the meantime, they find the misbehaviors to be more reinforcing than the prizes and research indicates they could develop a dislike for the positive behavior. In my opinion, the goal should be for the student to develop a like for positive behavior.

    Some other tactics that might help--Music can enhance brain chemistry. Perhaps some calming classical music in the morning or other times prior to starting class would assist. Listening while the teacher reads a story has similar effects to meditation; especially helpful would be stories that model proper classroom decorum. First book that just came to my mind is Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard and James Marshall.

    Concerning academic work, such as math, he needs to view this as an opportunity to learn. He needs to become excited about the novelty of the experience. At a workshop, one teacher mentioned how she often begins her science lessons with a puzzling demonstration or investigation; for her example, she asked us how we could poke bamboo skewers into a balloon without bursting it. Perhaps for the day's math outcome, a demonstration, investigation, or perhaps a Smartboard video will snag his interest to continue with a lesson. Another thought, especially in math, some students think they fail if they can't work the problem correctly first time every time. They need to realize that this is normal and expected; mistakes indicate progress not failure. Mistakes indicate that the student is achieving, but hasn't totally reached the finish line yet.

    One more thought just crossed my mind. Sometimes a lesson can begin with a novelty introduction. One example would be a magic trick. A library book would contain simple tricks that the kids can learn to perform themselves (and what appears in kids' books would not be revealing professional magicians' secrets, so no worries there). If I went that route, eventually I'd probably set up a learning center with a magic book and supplies--great reading practice in reading the instructions. Another idea, for wiggle worms, especially for carpet time, would be physical activities. If you're reading a book about say, a bridge, perhaps each child could pretend to be a bridge; or a book about a tiger, the class could crawl to the carpet as a tiger would. For first grade, Hap Palmer recordings of action songs might be helpful. And there's always Raffi's "I'm Gonna Shake My Sillies Out".

    Something I've used, too, that helps, is a secret signal between the teacher and the student. A wink or an ASL sign tends to activate comforting brain chemistry inside the student. Some teachers use ASL with all of their students for quiet interactions between teacher and student, such as wiggling the "r" sign for needing to use the restroom.
     

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