The "Ignore it" Strategy

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Cohort

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    I currently am student teaching and I am really struggling with behavior management. We have four boys who make noises and distract the class. Right now, the only strategy I'm allow to do it ignore the behavior and suggest that they take a break. My lesson today was awful because I honestly couldn't concentrate with all of the disruptions and I could barely get a sentence out without interruptions. Does anyone have any suggestions...I feel stuck and have no idea what to do. I'm supposed to be evaluated soon and classroom management is one of the evaluation criteria. Does anyone have suggestions for behavior management without consequences for inside the classroom? I am unfortunately not allowed to send them out. I'm trying to think of things I can say to students so they settle down.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  3. DobbyChatt

    DobbyChatt Rookie

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    You can't give any consequences??? Frankly, you should be able to tell them to zip it or put them out of the room, period. You don't have to take ridiculous behavior...keep them after school, keep them for lunch, write a referral, tell them that they are disrupting the learning and you'll take it straight to the principal's office...
     
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Cohort

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    ^
    I asked my mentor if I could send them out for 10 mins to another and have a conference with them before they come back. (After a warning) But she said she wants me to just ignore the behavior. So I'm feeling stressed about my observations. I don't think she would approve of consequences and my school doesn't even have them.
     
  5. JimG

    JimG Companion

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    Redirect the SPECIFIC student using their name toward the SPECIFIC behavior you need out of then. Example: “Johnny, I need you to be respectful of your fellow classmates’ learning by remaining silent while I teach.”

    This strategy, more than threatening consequences or saying generic negative statements like, “Guys, don’t do that,” over and over, has been the most effective in my experience. Be specific with their name and the behavior you need, not generic toward the behavior you don’t want. And be consistent as well.
     
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  6. DobbyChatt

    DobbyChatt Rookie

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    What grade is this?
     
  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Cohort

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    8th grade
     
  8. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Cohort

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    I feel like the "Ignore It" strategy is not really a strategy at all---it is just a lack of a plan for managing the behaviors. I think your mentor may just be so used to it that she's given up in that regard.
     
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  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Cohort

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    Since we are coteaching, my college supervisor said that I needed to have a conversation with my mentor about what we can both do about these behaviors. But when I did my mentor said that she prefers that I just ignore the behaviors and keep teaching. I'm feeling really stressed about this because my lesson today went really badly. I feel stressed during teaching when kids are shouting and talking and I don't know what to do. I've asked the boys to stop shouting and given positive reinforcement. Sigh
     
  10. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Cohort

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    I also feel like my mentor doesn't really like my classroom management style. I'm personally not ok with a student walking around the class or having side conversations while I'm teaching. I never teach a lesson longer than 25 minutes and I think 8th graders can listen for that long. I also provide opportunities to turn and talk and practice on guided notes during the lesson so they are not just listening. My mentor seems more student focused and is ok with students talking if they understand it. A lot of my students get off track if it becomes too easy or too hard and they get disengaged. It's really hard for me to find that right balance or anticipate this beforehand at this stage of my career. I have another student who walks around during instruction and my mentor is ok with this because he "smart" and gets bored. I'm find with the need to walk around it I want them to go to the hallway to take a break.

    After our turn and talk I called people back to attention with 5-4-3-2-1. When I few students were still with their groups, I said their names just to get their attention. My mentor said that this was too harsh and I should have said "I know you're having an important conversation but I need your attention for a minute and then you can get back to your conversation." I'm not sure if I'm being too harsh with students and this is my problem?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  11. JimG

    JimG Companion

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    Saying their names. To get their attention. Was TOO HARSH? ... That seems ridiculous.
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

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    She said that there should be a difference in how I respond to off task behavior and kids who are having conversations about math...and I should be less harsh with the second category.
     
  13. TrademarkTer

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    Absolutely not too harsh AT ALL.

    My cooperating teaching had me try "Whole Brain Teaching" with a low group of students ()

    I have never had a class as low in my actual career after student teaching, but the technique worked well for getting the attention of the class in a positive way.
     
  14. Ms.Holyoke

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    ^
    That's something I will look into for next year!!
     
  15. Ms.Holyoke

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    I'm also wondering: is it possible to have a well-managed classroom in the setting that I'm in? (urban, low income) I'm really hoping it is because I can't handle this for more than a semester. I genuinely love all of my students (even the disruptive ones) but going to school is starting to give me a lot of anxiety and stress.
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

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    I'm starting to doubt myself because I thought I did an alright job with this strategy. I do appreciate when kids are talking about math but I was just trying to get the class back together. But she said that just calling their names can make them feel anxious if they are still talking about math so I should respond differently. Is this just a difference in teaching styles?
     
  17. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Out of curiosity, what do you do when your statement is not respected?

    Johnny is making fart noises, and you say, “Johnny, I need you to be respectful of your fellow classmates’ learning by remaining silent while I teach.” 30 seconds later, it happens again. Ignore, or repeat the request?
     
  18. Ms.Holyoke

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    That's what I'm confused about what to do. Ideally, I would send them to the behavior reflection room for 10 mins if they do not listen but my mentor said that I should not send them out.

    My mentor does a combination. When they make the noises (which are actually making fun of another student) she ignores them and occasionally gives them a warning. They continue afterwards and she ignores the behavior. It seems very stressful to teach his way.
     
  19. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I use an attention getter, multiple times if necessary, until I have most of the class. Then I wait until it's totally silent. It is usually pretty effective.
     
  20. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Are consequences really allowed at the school? This may not be in your mentor teacher's control. At my previous school, the only "consequence" allowed was to call parents. This was an inner city school. Unfortunately, most parents either didn't see the behavior as a problem or weren't willing/able to deal with the behavior themselves.

    We weren't allowed to send kids out of the room for any reason other than physical violence (and even for that, they'd likely come back 10 minutes later with no explanation/communication with me from admin) because they didn't want them missing instruction. We weren't allowed to take away recess because kids with behavior issues need to move. We weren't allowed to make them walk laps at recess because that was "public humiliation." We weren't allowed to assign extra work because that would make them see academics as a bad thing. We weren't allowed to take away privileges such as field trips or special assemblies because they were "educational" and again, this was robbing them of instruction. We weren't allowed to create "fun" things that could be taken away as a consequence (such as "Fun Friday" with educational games or something like that) because every minute was to be used on instruction.

    These policies made me feel like I couldn't really address behavior within my classroom, because if a student refused, where did I have to go from there? I had no power to do anything about it. Many kids with behavior issues need more than just a stern look/voice to motivate them to do the right thing. I didn't want to get in a power struggle with a kid because I couldn't win. If a kid was making annoying noises and I made a fuss about getting them to stop, they could easily escalate to standing on the desk and full on screaming (and yes, I knew this from experience), which I also had no power to do anything about. It was often better to ignore the behaviors, keep on teaching, and praise the kids who were working through the distractions than to escalate the behaviors.

    After this experience, I always ask in interviews how admins support teachers with severe behaviors and what policies are in place for severe behaviors.
     
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  21. Ms.Holyoke

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    You've described the situation that we have. My mentor would do more if we had admin support. We don't have any consequences at my school and instead the kids earn free time on fridays. Unfortunately, kids who are still disruptive earn the free time. She has sent him to a behavior reflection room but she doesn't like to do that too much.

    Can you talk more about how you ignored the behaviors and kept the rest of the class on track? Right now, I have the severe behavior kids but I feel like they get the rest of the class off track. It is probably also because I don't have strong classroom management skills yet.
     

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