Originally Posted by Bored of Ed
... I disagree with the part about how backtalk will cease if the teacher doesn't fuel it. That probably works for typical kids, but these are kids with social and behavior problems. They don't have any internal brakes. ...
Are you saying the only classrooms with social and behavior problems are Sp. Ed.? Jones didn't create skill of shutting up when provoked. He got it from observing teachers at all grade levels and all subjects. One observation ground was a continuation high school where the worst of the worst were sent. These kids were at the top of the food chain when it comes to behavior, kicked out of regular ed.
But you are correct. There is no guarantee any technique will work with all students. Out of context, without other parts of structure in place and lack of real training there is a high probability for any teacher to "give it a try" and fail. An example:
I was approached by a colleague who had "heard" about Fred Jones. She had an "unruly" (her word) class with several out-of-control (her word again) boys. She wanted to know if I knew of any "techniques" which might help. Trying to be helpful (later realizing my mistake) I gave her the short version of Limit Setting (precursor to backtalk). At recess I noticed her line as she was trying to use "body language" with the boys. They were pushing, shoving and arguing. She got close and stood. I counted to five. At five I guess she couldn't take it any more, grabbed one boy by the shoulder, spun him around and snapped at the other two to "Turn around and keep your hands to yourself!" As she stomped away the boys were noted giggling and laughing. Later that day she stopped in the hall to say, "You know, what you told me about that Fred Jones' stuff just doesn't work with these kids."
The next day I noticed her line with the same three boys at the back doing their thing. She was not at her line yet, held up at the office (I think). Not convinced LS would not work I decided to take a try. I walked slowly towards the boys and squared my toes and shoulders as I stood about a foot away. I put my hands behind my back and just watched. At first the boys ignored me, kept playing. When I got to 14 seconds (I was counting) one of the boys turned and said "What do you want?" I said nothing. Kept watching. At 17 seconds one boy tapped the other boy on the shoulder and pointed for him to turn around. The boy gave a last glance at me, turned and put his arms at his side. The boy behind did same. I waiting until 25 seconds, turned, took two steps and turned back to face the boys again, making sure to square my toes and shoulders. The boys were looking back at me as if to say, "Okay, we get the message."
How long did it take me to get Limit Setting down to where it worked almost every time? About a year. And that was with after school practice sessions once a week, a group of teachers role-playing behavior problems encountered in class and tweaking skills. It is too simplistic to just read TFT and expect to perform, flawlessly, the nuances and details of Limit Setting no more than reading about the golf swing will transfer to perfect golf on the course. You mentioned "sitting for 20 minutes" and nothing happening except more backtalk. Sitting may work after
the class has stopped testing and structure is in place. If you can, try standing as much as possible.