I'm looking for some help! I am in my 7th year of teaching and have a little guy in my grade 7 class this year. I taught him last year and was blessed with his sweet return to my class list this year. He is the most disruptive, disrespectful, high energy child I have yet to come across. am usually the teacher who invites challenges like this into my class...however this littleguy has got me, my principal, the admin beat! I am looking for support and help in ways to deal with him when he gets into his distructive states.
I would like to come up with assignments for him to do that address his poor behaviour choices in class / on the playground. For example, if he swears at a teacher or pretends to shoot his classmates consistantly, having him write a journal entry from his teacher's perspective or classmates on what they may be feeling. Having him do a behavioural report when sent out of the classroom to reflect on his behaviours.
I would like to come up with 10 or so behavior related assignments for him to do in the office when he is not ready to be in class. These can be kept with the principal and he must complete one before being permitted to return to class.
Any ideas for assignments? reports? projects? readings? etc. It would be very much appreciated! I need to somehow survive this child this year and it is only December!!!
I'm guessing 7th grade. And I've got to be honest and admit that I'm in a bit over my head; my typical "not bad enough for detention" assignment is to multiply your phone number by your zip code. The next time you stay after, you have to check it by long division. I tend not to have too many repeat offenders.
How about an essay on the meaning of "respect", starting with a dictionary definition? Likewise "Civility" and "Cooperation"???
The writing assignments sound like a good idea, because it will force him to actually THINK about what he is doing and how it affects other people. Having him describe his actions from the other person's POV might make him think about the impact his actions are having. I also like Alice's idea of writing a short paper on respect, civility, cooperation, etc by beginning with the dictionary definition.
Other ideas for writing assignments could be:
1) Describe a typical school day from the time you wake up till you go to bed that night. Write about the things that happen on a normal day for you. (This might provide some insight from HIS POV about why he is so out of control. What is triggering all of that anger and disruption?)
2) List the name of 10 classmates and write one good quality or positive comment about each one. How does the person display this quality? What is unique about him/her? What affect (if any) does this quality or attribute have on other classmates? (Perhaps if he lists positive qualities of others and how it affects the classroom environment, he will begin to think about how some of those qualities or behaviors would work for him. You could also do this assignment several times, making him list 10 different classmates each time until he has eventually written one positive comment about each of them).
3) What do you want to do when you are grown and out of school? What kind of job do you think you would like to have? (hopefully, this will make him think about future goals and help him start focusing on what he needs to do to reach them).
4) If you had 1 day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? (if he writes something like "play video games all day" or "sit around the house", then future assignments can focus more on describing a favorite hobby or activity OTHER than video games. Try to make him think of something that requires some energy and thought and describe what he enjoys most about that activity)
5) Imagine YOU are a middle school teacher. Describe what you think a normal day of school would be like for you then. What subject would you teach? What kind of lessons would you do? How would you make the lessons interesting for all the students? How much time do you think it would take to grade all the papers from every class you have?
Those are some ideas off the top of my head. I'm not sure how much success you will actually have getting him to do any of these, but once he is removed from the situation that is upsetting him and has some time to calm down, maybe he will begin to reflect on these ideas and how he can use them to change his behavior. If he DOES complete the assignments, he will have been forced to think about his actions (and their impact) a little more deeply and will also provide insight to you about what is triggering these reactions and things he wishes were different about his environment.
1. Writing a letter of apology to the teacher stating what he did, why it was not acceptable, how his actions impacted others, others point of view and what others think of him when he acts this way, how it makes his teacher feel when he acts this way, and what he could do next time instead.
2. Comparing and Contrasting his behavior with that of other students in his grade or class: IE: Other 7th graders treat their teachers with respect and use respectful words when talking with them, and I sweared at my teacher and then stating what other people may think of him if he keeps doing this behavior, ie: dissruptive, obnoxious, rude, don't want to be around him, direspectful, disobedient, defient, weird, goofs off alot, can't listen and follow directions, annoying to be around etc.
3. Write the following words and their defenitions from the dictionary 3 times each and use them in a sentence; cooperative/cooperate/cooperating, respectful, responsible, polite, curtious, rude, defient, and obnoxious.
4. Make a list of why his behavior was not appropriate: EX: it was disruptive, rude, not respecting teacher or peers trying to learn/teach, spoke out of turn, bad language, others were mad, etc.
5. Cause and Effect note cards: given a situation or behavior he will write down the effect
6. he will write a poem about how his behavior effected others/other people's point of view, teacher's point of view
7. He will write a diary entry as if he was the teacher and had a disrespectful, rude, uncooperative student in his classroom, stating why it was annoying, what the student did, why it made it hard for him to teach etc.
8. Write a diary entry as if he was a classmate of a student who acted like he did, disrespectful, rude, etc.
Detention in my school involves copying, word for word, a page of typed print. The last time I had detention duty, it concerned Brown vs the Board of Education.
It used to be copying a page from the dictionay.
Saturday detention is copying the Constitution.
As you decide on the assignments, keep in mind: the point is that it's NOT fun. It's something to be avoided.
I'll agree with Alice that some of these sound fun, but having him write 50 good qualities he has might be a good thing...it shows him that his teachers believe in him and that they are focusing on his good side. This could turn into more positive behavior from him. If he's praised for showing good behavior, he may be more apt to behave, since he's probably doing a lot of it for attention.
Here's my opinion as an ESE teacher: The children that Alice gives detention to are normal children with normal behaviors that have transgressed a little. Therefore, her punishment is absolutely acceptable. This 7th grader exhibits unusual and abnormal behavior ( as in a child with behavioral disabilities). He needs to have behavioral modification strategies to help him learn more acceptable behaviors in school. So, the writing assignments you all have suggested would act as behavioral modification strategies and would be be a good start for him to begin learning ways to change his behavior. I'm guessing he will not find these writing assignments easy. As a matter of fact, the fact that he will have to sit quietly and give some thought to his actions and then compose a response will give him difficulty because he has shown that those types of activities are not something he can handle easily..