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  #1  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:10 AM
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Peregrin5 Peregrin5 is offline
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8th Grade Science Teacher
How to deal with a specific student

I'm having problems with a specific student in my classroom. She is an enigma. She does all of her work and does well on her tests, however she is just so disrespectful, conceited, and I think spoiled by her mother. I can't report any of her behavior to her mother because her mom takes it as me being racist towards her daughter and defends her daughter in everything she does.

Some of the things she says and does in class I am just at a loss for how to respond. Like today she used the n-word out loud right in front of me. I called her out on it, and she said she was just singing a song. I told her that was inappropriate.

She also causes some of the other students to misbehave to try to look cool. I don't really know what to do with this one. When I give her my consequences it just makes it worse.
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:32 AM
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smalltowngal smalltowngal is offline
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Ignore the behaviors that are not causing problems to herself or surrounding students. I've found that sometimes students do things like this just to see if they can get a response out of the teacher. x
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:56 AM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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You should still report your concerns to her mother. If she starts to call you a racist, just thank her for her time and end the phone call. Don't be scare of parents and don't let them bully you into not doing your job. Because when it comes down to it, if you ever need to refer this kid to the office for a big offense, the first thing the mom is going to say is, "Why didn't you ever call me to tell me that this was a problem?" And she'll have every right to say that if you didn't in fact call her.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:08 PM
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Furthuron Furthuron is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caesar753 View Post
You should still report your concerns to her mother. If she starts to call you a racist, just thank her for her time and end the phone call. Don't be scare of parents and don't let them bully you into not doing your job. Because when it comes down to it, if you ever need to refer this kid to the office for a big offense, the first thing the mom is going to say is, "Why didn't you ever call me to tell me that this was a problem?" And she'll have every right to say that if you didn't in fact call her.
Agreed. Is it possible to talk to an administrator or counselor who has a relationship with this student? At least then you'll have someone else on "your side" if you need to meet with the mom.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:07 PM
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Myrisophilist Myrisophilist is offline
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High School Life Science
Sounds like good advice so far. Would it be reasonable to have a one-on-one chat with her? From your description of her personality, I'm not sure how much good that would do, but it might be worth a shot.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:24 PM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is offline
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High School English (Alt. Ed.)
This scenario sounds similar to when a student 'thinks' I don't like him, and because of that I single him out - and he makes sure he verbalizes this all the time.
This is enough to put a person on the defensive, actually question themselves "hm, maybe I do have resentment towards this kid, or I'm holding grudges", to the point of actually being lenient. Students like these can be passive-aggressively intimidating and manipulating.
When this happens I always make sure that I follow my discipline plan and enforce it the best way I possibly can. I always try to do that anyways, bt this time I double check. Am I fair? Am I reasonable? Did I give him a warning, a second chance, whatever it is that sounds like the correct thing to do? Am I overlooking things because I don't want to deal with the drama?
Only then, because I know I can back up my actions with reason and facts I feel confident, and I handle things the way I should.

I would do the same thing with this student and the parent. Obviously you gotta pick your battles, but if you let her get away with things other students wouldn't, she can tell, and will know that she has intimidated you enough where she can get away with things, and the game has only just begun for her.
Same thing with the parent: I would make a phone call if it's needed, be matter of fact, objective and that's it. Don't call more nor less than you would for any other student.

When someone tries to play the race card, I don't respond. Well, my response is this:
student: wow, that's racist. / it's a racial issue, etc.
me: "yes, I'm racist." I say this in a sarcastic tone, so they know I don't mean it But they can't argue with me, I admitted what they accused me of, so they can't say "but you are a racist", but we all know that I'm saying the opposite.
I normally don't like sarcasm when dealing with students, but this one instance actually works for me. It shuts up the student and they don't try anymore.

I'm not saying do this with a parent, but either ignore the comment, and respond with something very short: 'this has nothing to do with anything other than your daughter's behavior'
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:47 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
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Peregrin5 - I'm not sure I have a clear picture of her behaviors. Could do describe the most problematic category of behaviors, with examples of various things that occur within that category, as well as typical peer/adult responses and your thoughts on function/purpose of the behavior?
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2013, 03:14 PM
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Peregrin5 Peregrin5 is offline
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Well I called the parent and things have improved somewhat. I always do my best to greet her every morning with a handshake and a smile, but I did double check myself to make sure that I don't have anything against her. I may have had a little issue with her in the back of my mind, but I realized that a while back and do my best to keep it in check.

This was a student who is very on top of her work but she will instigate other students to not follow rules by blatantly talking to them during what is supposed to be a quiet time in the class by calling across the room. She will bring things to the class room like a stuffed animal and give it to other students who will pass them to each other across the room and I have to confiscate it from the other students who get angry at me for confiscating it.

She will blatantly call out to the class: "That's not fair!" when I give a consequence to someone but missed giving a consequence to someone else because I didn't catch them doing it. She'll call out things like "This is stupid!" Or she will try to do things like hint that I'm a dumb teacher when I mess up slightly with a typo in the presentation or when I misspeak something. I really am a capable teacher, and everyone who comes into my class tells me that they can tell that I really really know my stuff, but I'm human and I make mistakes as well. In general when this happens, I laugh it off, and let the students know that even teachers make mistakes sometimes. This student tries to stick the finger in the wound when it happens though.

So yeah, I guess I do have a thing against her just a little bit. But I don't ever blatantly get mad at her because of it, and I usually internalize it. She's just a silly 13 year old, and it would be kind of dumb to let her comments get to me. But like I said, I am human and they do affect me a little bit. I guess it all just adds up to this attitude of disrespect that she exudes, and I really don't appreciate it. It comes from her mother too. It's a learned behavior.

I have another student who has a somewhat similar attitude but exhibits it in a different way, but all the teachers know that it was something he learned from his dad as well.
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:12 PM
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HeartDrama HeartDrama is offline
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You're going to have to decide which battles you'll fight with this one.

"Like today she used the n-word out loud right in front of me. I called her out on it, and she said she was just singing a song. I told her that was inappropriate."
I would have told her, "I didn't ask you what you were doing, I told you that language is not appropriate in my classroom. Don't use it."

"She will blatantly call out to the class: "That's not fair!" when I give a consequence to someone but missed giving a consequence to someone else because I didn't catch them doing it."
I was known for this in 8th grade. At the time I thought I was going to be a lawyer. I had one teacher who started giving me the consequence instead of the person who earned it. It probably won't work with her based on your description of her mother, but it stopped me from putting my nose in other folks business real quick.

"She'll call out things like "This is stupid!" Or she will try to do things like hint that I'm a dumb teacher when I mess up slightly with a typo in the presentation or when I misspeak something."
I would tell her when I need her opinion I'll ask for it.

I would also pull her aside privately, either during class while others are working quietly, or after class. She can't continue to be disruptive. Tell her you appreciate her hard work and she's a great student academically, but express the frustrations you have with her. She may be receptive to it.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:37 PM
jteachette jteachette is offline
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I agree with the previous poster, but you should also be documenting her behavior.
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