Dishing out consequences to disruptive behavior

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by sidhewing, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. sidhewing

    sidhewing Rookie

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    Mar 27, 2011

    Dishing out consequences to disruptive behavior middle/high school

    Hey Everyone!

    I've gotten really great advice here in the past, so I was hoping to get suggestions for this.

    I'm a new sub, and I'm trying to come up with consequences to disruptive, negative behavior in the class in the middle or high school classroom.
    This is what I've come up with so far if a student is misbehaving:

    - start the class off with telling them your expectations
    - if the class is not listening either tell them you'll wait, don't raise your voice have them come to you.
    - If a student or students are talking then say "I need everyones attention up here."
    - If students continue to be disruptive/disrespectful (talking, cursing at the teacher, refusing to comply) tell them that they have the choice of doing their work or getting a note written to their teacher that they are refusing to cooperate.
    - If student continues to misbehave tell them that you will write a referral.

    I was hoping to come up with more consequences aside from the main 2 or writing the teacher a note or a referral. If possible, I'd like to avoid the referral since administrators look at the number that teachers have.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for how to dish out consequences for a student or for a class in order to get them to behave? Or does anyone have an idea of certain privileges to reward students with or take away if neccessay??
     
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  3. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Mar 27, 2011

    Depending on the age: Keeping them in for part of recess (or after class). I do the "if you waste learning time, it takes up your" bit. Usually, it works; I generally don't keep them for more than a few minutes. I also reverse that and give them free time if we have extra time (bc they were so well behaved)

    Whatever you decide, make sure you have the capability to follow through; for example you can't threaten detention, bc a sub doesn't have that authority. (They're actions can get them detention from the teacher, tho.) No empty threats - they will call a bluff every time!
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Mar 28, 2011

    A LOT depends on the age. Having students come to you, for example, may cause them to lose face in older grades I would think.
     
  5. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    One of the biggest secrets I've found is not what the specific consequence is, but how it is structured. For example, all of the consequences you've listed above are "one and done." The behavior happens, you give the consequence, and you are out of ammo - nothing left to do. If the behavior continues, you have to move on to something else because they already have a note going home.

    Often, you can get away with much smaller consequences than you'd ever imagine, if structured right. For example, you can take 10 seconds off of a 2nd grader's recess, and they might be devastated! Naturally, that leaves you with a lot of ammo - you can take off a lot of "10 seconds of recess" and still have a lot left over. Likewise, because of the nature of the consequence, you can also add it back on - for example, kids can earn back a portion of their recess if lost.

    Also, think more immediately. A lot of the things you've mentioned above are consequences that occur well into the future - note written to the teacher won't be felt until 24 hours, referral won't be read by a parent for a few hours. Think about things in the child's immediate environment that they care about. Here's a little trick - the closer in time the consequence or reward, the smaller it can be. Believe it or not, kids may act up even when they know they will get a playstation for Christmas in 3 weeks. But, if they know they could be moved to the front of the lunch line if they walk quietly in the hall way, they may just shape up. Why? Because they don't have to wait 3 weeks. Extend that out into "adult time." What if I said to you as a sub, "I will pay you $140 tomorrow morning, or $300 in 10 years." Which one would you chose?

    The mental trick to creating these momentary reinforcement/punishment opportunities is to put yourself in the minds of the kids standing in front of you - what would make the next 10 seconds of their lives that much more awesome? For example, an extra 30 seconds of centers might do it, or offering to the class that you will pick one person who is particularly well-lined up to move to the front of the line. Or, 10 minutes before recess, you might say that you'll pick one student who is particularly well-behaved (define what this is to them) carry out the basketball to recess.

    Many of us make our ways through less exciting parts of our own lives like this - we let ourselves eat extra ice cream after we clean up the living room; we let ourselves go to happy hour Friday after working hard to do lesson plans Thursday night; we let ourselves watch 10 minutes of Tivo after grading 10 papers. We give ourselves little treats to keep us alive, interested, and motivated to get through the less interesting parts of day.

    Of course, there is something to be said for not encouraging our culture of momentary and immediate reinforcement, but as a sub you probably won't find yourself with opportunities to utterly influence kids' worldviews on reinforcement through your one-day classroom management plans. In addition, even as adults, we need reinforcement. Some things we love to do - for everything else, there's ice cream :).
     
  6. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    Mar 28, 2011

    The OP didn't mean have the students physically come to you. It means make the kids do what you want instead of you changing your behavior to get it done.

    Me though, I've always preferred to just send kids out. But I mostly to middle and high schools where that's more acceptable. Give them a few chances of course, and warn them that you'll send them out of the room.

    But nothing makes a class start behaving quite like a sub who will actually write a referral and send kids to the office. Especially when they thought you'd be a pushover or you send the kid out that never manages to actually get in trouble.
     
  7. sidhewing

    sidhewing Rookie

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    Mar 29, 2011

    EdEd I really feel that you've brought up a vital point. I want to come up with more immediate consequences and rewards.

    I should have mentioned this in the post, but I'm subbing for high school and middle school.
     
  8. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Ah! Actually, it looks like you did mention it, and I missed it! Hopefully there will still be some helpfulness in my comments!
     
  9. sidhewing

    sidhewing Rookie

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    Perhaps some more immediate consequences can be:
    -Moving friends apart if they're talking
    -Tell the students that you will give them some free time at the end of class if they're good, but take it away if they're behaving poorly.

    Any other suggests :D?
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I did not know subs have no authority to hold detentions. Currently I'm a semi-long term sub, it's only 7 days total, although it was going to be 12 (it looks like the teacher is coming back sooner.)
    It's a really good school, but students sometimes still test the waters. I already gave out 30 minute detention on the first day, only because the student was off task and didn't do the work. Held it the same day after school, made sure he called parents, sent home a slip as a back up, and he returned it signed the next day.

    I gave 2 detentions today for disruptive behavior, students will report to me at 8:15 tomorrow morning for 30 minutes.
    So far none of the teachers in the other classrooms told me I couldn't do this, actually they approved.
    Can I get in trouble?
     
  11. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    Mar 31, 2011

    Even if you couldn't get in trouble, I wouldn't want to do that because of the chance of the real teacher coming back.

    That's part of why I have no problem sending kids to the office. At every school I was told to write the referral and they'd downgrade the punishment if it needed to happen since my only choices really were to deal with it in class or the referral.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 2, 2011

    I just finished my week at the school I was subbing now. It's an awesome school, considered the best in the district, with wonderful students, teachers and administrators. But even wonderful students have problems sometimes.
    There were 2 girls who could just not be quiet, even after several warnings, and being sent out to another classroom.
    They were to serve 30 minutes detention the next morning, from 8:15 am. When i told the front office to let these girls through in the morning, because of detention, their answer was: "Thank you for doing that!" The girls came, served it, and no one ever complained (not even parents).

    As a sub I really like to give them their immediate consequence, and if it means serving the detention with me the same day, then be it. Unfortunately this can't always happen, because the kids may not be able to reach their parents, etc. But I feel that it's a good way to let the students know that I mean business and I follow through.

    I know different regions, districts and school work differently. But at the middle schools where I've been subbing, I heard that some of the problems are that subs often can't handle some of the classrooms, and can't gain authority.
     
  13. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Apr 6, 2011

    I have tried that before, only to not be able to FIND a referral. ARGH!! Talk about a high schooler throwing his behavior right in your face. I sent him out anyway and just called the office to say he was on his way without a referral. I left a note for the teacher to say I would have written one (basically a "homemade" referral was left for the teacher).
     
  14. substitutesftw

    substitutesftw Companion

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    Apr 9, 2011



    This was a wonderful, very helpful post. Thank you! :thumb:
     
  15. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Not all systems work the best in all classrooms. It depends largely on the teacher and the school.

    What has given me the best success rate thus far has been an emphasis on the positive.

    I let each class know in advance that good focus will be noted and recorded in my report. I then frequently circulate and write down the names of students who are doing well. I accompany this with verbal reinforcement that everyone can hear such as " Keep it up Carl" " I like your focus Jocylyn" as I write their names. I repeat this while adding checks to their names if their focus continues.

    If students start to slip, I will often say " Your'e not losing focus now are you Josh." This usually gets them on track.

    This is also a good way to get names of students who are not doing well.
    These students will often say, " Am I on the list"? Or they will volunteer their name.
    Students can see that I am far more intersted in knowing their name if they are doing well rather than doing poorly.

    There was only one class this year where this did not work, and this is largely because it was pouring rain and everyone was wet.
    It was also at a school with very loose consequences for poor behavior.
     
  16. hootie821

    hootie821 Rookie

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    Thank you EdEd for your very helpful suggestions! :clap:
     
  17. Ms. Scarlet

    Ms. Scarlet Rookie

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    I sub high school almost exclusively. So I find what works best, unfortunately, is to send one disruptive student to the office. I only do this if that particular student is very disruptive and uncontrollable.

    Once you send one student, it quiets down immeasurably. I find also that if you do this in your first few days at a new school, you get a reputation among the students for being an enforcer of rules. As a sub, you DON'T want to get a reputation as a push-over. When you have your own classroom there will be plenty of room to build a report with your students and a give-and-take relationship, but with subbing you really just need to get their respect and cooperation.

    Funny side story: I was subbing for a science class and as the students were shuffling in, I heard one girl say "She's a b*tch, you do one thing wrong and she's all over you." I wasn't totally sure what I heard or whether she was talking about me (the class was still settling/talking) so I didn't say anything to her. But I was angry at first. "I'm not really like that," I thought. But then I realized how glad I was that she was spreading this around. That's teen-speak for "Don't act up with this sub. She will punish you." Haha ;)
     

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