Reaching mentally unstable students

Discussion in 'General Education' started by nstructor, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Nov 4, 2018

    Every year, my schools' population of mentally unstable students increases. A lot of them are getting counseling services, however, if the parent/guardian denies this service, there is nothing we can do. How do you reach kids like this? I've tried so many different techniques and some are still acting out, disrupting the learning environment, etc. . .Many people say to ignore students like that and focus on the ones who you can help. I can't do this! What do you suggest?
     
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  3. corunnermom

    corunnermom Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2018

    I am in a very similar boat as you and I think it makes it difficult because we care so much about our kids. I try to do the best I can everyday but realize that there are so many things that are beyond my control. A teacher I work with told me to focus on the fact that I provide my kids with a safe, consistent and positive environment and maybe this is all these kids need at this point. We can't save all of our kids and keep in mind that none of us have received the training and education we need to support kids with mental/emotional needs, which are often severe. Just do your best and focus on your core group of learners. And it's darn hard when we want them all to succeed!
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Nov 4, 2018

    Can you give an example of what you mean as mentally unstable? Do you mean depression and anxiety, conduct disorders, or something else? It's hard to know whether "ignore it" is good advice without knowing more about the students. In any case, perhaps a school counselor could give you pointers on specific students even if they're not able to work with them.

    On a related note, I've seen an increase in students with anxiety even in elementary. In the higher grades, I've heard more students are having suicidal thoughts and needing immediate help. I wonder whether, for your situation and this, if it's a case of more students actually having issues or if students are feeling more comfortable reaching out for support (my guess is both).
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  5. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Nov 5, 2018

    Thank you so much for your comments!
     
  6. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    I have several students who have a lot of issues and have spoken to counselors, former teachers, etc. . .Students disrupt others from learning, are extremely defiant, bully other students, don't seem to care about any type of consequences, and don't respond to positive reinforcement!
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 6, 2018

    you know, sometimes kids are just jerks. There isn't anything clinically wrong with them, they are just jerks. They've learned that misbehaving has greater rewards than anything we could give them and they lack home-training.
     
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  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Nov 7, 2018

    Yes, I agree.
    I remember when we were kids I had a relative who would tell my male sibling and cousins that if they did not behave in school they would be sent to military school. I guess they believed it because they always behaved! I wonder if there really are these types of schools out there!!
     
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Nov 7, 2018

    I think the worst part is that the kids who are in class that WANT to learn and do behave have to be subjected to all the crap and nonsense from the disruptive students. How can they be expected to learn in that kind of environment?
     
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  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Nov 7, 2018

    There is a program called "The Nurtured Heart" being used with students OP has described. It is easy to find online, should one be interested in whether or not it would be applicable to your situation. I should add that I work exclusively with a special needs population, but not all needs are equal or as stressful. Having the right training and education really helps when you are talking about students identified and struggling with anxiety, depression, etc..
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 8, 2018

    True, but it doesn't change the fact that some children have mental disorders and deserve to have them treated. And some 'jerks' can benefit from the same respect we give to the non-'jerk's.
     
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  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Nov 8, 2018

    Sadly, some parents deny their children the services and therapies they need either because they fear being identified as the root of the problem, or they essentially don't believe in therapy, feeling it is a sign of weakness, or help they got once wasn't a quick fix, which they equate with "useless". OP hasn't identified an age group, which could give more to work with. Usually students who have been identified with behavioral and emotional needs are classified, meaning they should be placed with teachers who have a SPED certification. OP may have that cert, but I can't tell from the original post.

    There are many students who struggle with anxiety, depression, and a whole gamut of conduct disorders. How they are handled often depends on how savvy the parents are about the options and services that may be available to them, and whether or not they will take advantage of the services. I believe Otterpop is right on target about the problems being seen at younger ages. Many parents are in denial about the problems - they are the ostriches with their heads in the sand. I highly recommend documenting all behaviors that are interfering with the student and their co-students learning, ability to function. Never underestimate what a good paper trail can do for you, and for the students.
     

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