Extremely Difficult Student

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by 5thyrteach, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. 5thyrteach

    5thyrteach New Member

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    Feb 11, 2018

    Hello!
    I'm a 1st grade teacher who has been teaching for a little bit : ) I have an extremely difficult student this year and I would love some strategies/interventions on how to help him. His Dad passed away in September and I feel like that is where a lot of his angry/attention seeking behavior stems from. He is disrespectful to me and his peers. He pushes them for no reason, he "plows" over them to get attention/reactions, he constantly name calls, takes other students stuff and like plays keep away with it. Will mock me, uses offensive language, the list goes on. The school counselor talks with him on a regular basis and he admits to everything he does and knows its "bad" but nothing changes. He is on a behavior plan and can earn rewards for following goals but that really has no effect on him. Mom doesn't deny his behavior (I write notes his behavior planner daily about everything) but if he does something extremely bad and I call her (like the other day when he called another student a highly offensive, hateful term she just says "ok, I'm working with him). My AP is aware of him as well, but if I send him to my AP he just gets talked to and nothing happens (another student's Mom actually complained to administration about this student constantly pushing and hurting her son and my AP had maybe a 5 min talk with this student and that was it!) I'm honestly drained and it hurts me to see my other students have to deal with him all day and his pushing, name calling, etc. I will send him to other classrooms and he comes back and is calm for like 5-10 mins and then we go straight back to our usual ways.

    Thank you!
     
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  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Feb 11, 2018

    Does your school have a counselor? When we have a kid who has a death in the immediate family, the counselor checks in with them regularly for a little while. That seems like it would be very helpful in this situation.
     
  4. Dixie Selva

    Dixie Selva New Member

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    Feb 12, 2018

    Hey there! I don't know if you have heard of Conscious Discipline but it is an amazing social emotional learning program. I have used strategies from Conscious Discipline in my classroom as well as at home with my 3 boys ages 5 and under. The whole program is based on brain science and is meant to help foster community, patience and self-control in all students. I would suggest doing a Google search for Conscious Discipline. Their website has several free resources but if you really want to get into the nitty gritty, I suggest buying Dr. Becky Bailey's most current edition of the book. It's really worth it! The first place I would start right away is teaching this child calming strategies such as the breathing strategies she mentions in her book (and I believe she has several free videos on YouTube). The creation of a safe place is also another strategy you could try. Hang in there! Be patient, I have had children like that before and I know it is not easy. Let me know if I can help you in any way.
     
  5. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Feb 12, 2018

    It sounds like Mom and the AP are giving him a pass because of Dad's death. It's time to have a heart to heart with your AP & the school counselor and ask for strategies that you can use in the classroom. I would also have a talk with Mom, probably after the talk with the AP & counselor. You all need to be on the same page.

    He's not the first student to lose a parent. Yes, he's probably angry and crying out for help, but he can't be allowed to continue hurting students and staff. Document the interventions you have tried and what works or doesn't work. He may need more help to get through this then what a school counselor can provide.

    Good luck.
     
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  6. TeacherCuriousExplore

    TeacherCuriousExplore Comrade

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    Feb 12, 2018

    As a teacher, we must realize that we can not save everybody because other kids in the classroom need our attention and teaching. If you have done all, you can do you may have to result in ignoring his behavior. Especially if he acts out for attention. Ignoring is a good way to show some students that being a BIG RUDE CLOWN is not acceptable and no cares. I am a pre-k teacher and have had students to act out because they need attention. We are only teachers. We can not give students the same attention that their parents should be giving them. If he so happens to hit another child and harm the child, then that is when you call home or the principal. You are wasting your time calling mom because she knows how he is because she's the one that raised him to be the way he is. Yes. I understand that his dad died but mom needs t o be teaching her son how to cope and handle his feelings. The mom also may be depressed after a spouse died but at the end of the day she's a mom and her duties must be handled.

    When I was in school, if a student hit another child we were often told to hit the child back because that is the only way that most will learn that for every action there is a reaction.
     
  7. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Feb 12, 2018

    You may be right in that Mom may also be depressed.

    I will disagree with ignoring his behavior if it is disrupting the classroom or he is hurting other children. Yes, some behaviors may be able to be ignored, but when a behavior is hurting another child it cannot be ignored.

    As a teacher, we also cannot tell a child hit back. Hitting is an offense, at any age, that needs a consequence.
     
  8. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Feb 12, 2018

    First things first, I would stop writing daily notes in the planner. I would stay in touch over larger issues, but writing daily seems excessive, even if there are daily incidents. Mom sounds like she's aware and coping, but at this point, you need to understand your contact with her is simply covering documentation on your end, and won't change the behaviours you are seeing at school.

    Perhaps learning more about helping children grieve and deal with trauma would be beneficial. This book was recommended by our student services coordinator:
    https://www.amazon.com/Children-Trauma-Guide-Parents-Professionals/dp/0787910716
    Perhaps your local library or the guidance counselor at your school has a book on the topic of trauma.

    We are working on becoming more trauma-informed as a staff. Strategies that work for other students may not work for this student.
     
  9. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Feb 13, 2018

    YES. Books are an important tool for dealing with trauma with little ones. I highly recommend the book "Am I Like My Daddy?" by Marcy Blesy. The main character is a 7yo whose father has passed, so your kiddo may connect. I recommend that book specifically for activity suggestions/coping strategies at the end.
     

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