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  #1  
Old 03-25-2013, 05:41 PM
Kaley12 Kaley12 is offline
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How do you deal with mouthy students?

I was wondering if anyone had any advice for how to deal with students that are constantly rude/mouthy.

There is a particular boy in grade 9 that I have in mind about this problem. I understand that the teenage years often come with some degree of attitude, but this particular student is just plain rude day in and day out. He always has an extreme attitude and over reacts to everything (ie. when asked to go back to his assigned seat, he'll say it's stupid he has to sit there, he's going to get his parents to call me about how unfair I am, etc). I've already written him up twice for being defiant/disruptive, and also called home.

I'm not sure where to go from here. I don't want to write up every little thing, and if this behavior was a once in a blue moon thing, then I could deal with it and move on. But it's to the point where it's frustrating to have to have that type of attitude every single day.

Do you think this is something that is best to ignore and not give him attention he is seeking, or should I come down harsher on him, and deal with his inevitable back-lash?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:35 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is online now
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AZ
5th Grade Teacher
1. I wouldn't tolerate this for a second. I'd write him and any student that acted like that up every time. Don't let any student get away with that kind of attitude with you.

2. Don't talk back with this student.

3. Always give him a controlled choice. "Would you like to sit in this seat or the seat at the table." It will be less likely to lead to a power struggle.

4. Were the parents supportive? If so, keep them informed and work with them.

5. Have a 1 on 1 conversation with the student to let him know enough is enough and it has to stop.

Don't take this lightly. If you do, soon others might join in. Good luck to you. :-)
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2013, 08:39 PM
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Reality Check Reality Check is offline
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Pennsylvania
High School English Teacher
"How do you deal with mouthy students?"

"Get out of my room................now."
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2013, 08:54 PM
Loomistrout Loomistrout is offline
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Rocklin, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaley12 View Post
...Do you think this is something that is best to ignore and not give him attention he is seeking, or should I come down harsher on him, and deal with his inevitable back-lash?
...
How does the rest of the class react to his "attitude"?
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2013, 09:33 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
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Kaley12, along with Loomistrout's question, could you give us some more background as to why this may be happening?
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2013, 07:19 AM
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Peregrin5 Peregrin5 is offline
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I agree with some of the previous posters. NEVER ignore it.

If you don't address it, other students will notice and begin feeling that they have a right to do the same.

Either write them up every single time (for examples like the one you showed--I think it's best just to not look cowed about it), but if it's worse and outright rude ("You're a stupid teacher," etc.) then Reality check's solution is best: "You're not welcome in this classroom with that tone of voice. Get out." They know where to find the principal's office. Pop them a quick call to let them know that he is coming or out of your classroom.
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2013, 08:23 AM
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ku_alum ku_alum is online now
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Middle of the USA
HS English & Psych, Adjunct too
I use:
"You have 2 choices. You can either follow the expectations of this classroom or go to Mr. Vice Principal and explain to him why you refuse to be a productive member of this class."

Any response to this other than quiet = a trip to the VP.

In 11 years of teaching, 1 student has made a trip to the VP.
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2013, 10:33 AM
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Ima Teacher Ima Teacher is offline
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Kentucky
Middle School Teacher
It depends on why the student is mouthy. I have a variety of mouthy students, and each requires a different approach.
  • adult attention seeker--These get mouthy to get my attention, so I have to make sure to give positive attention early before student needs to demand it.
  • peer attention seeker--Often that requires dealing with other students, too. I have one who will do anything to get another's attention, and a few things with ther student worked wonders. (It is similar to my approach with ones who like my attention.)
  • avoidance--My most common mouthiness issue is from avoidance. As soon as they can't do something, they start. It's better to get thrown out of the room than to let people know you can't do something.
  • The PITA--The kids who are just plain mean & ornery are the ones that end up in the office.
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2013, 12:23 PM
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Peregrin5 Peregrin5 is offline
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California
8th Grade Science Teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ima Teacher View Post
It depends on why the student is mouthy. I have a variety of mouthy students, and each requires a different approach.
  • adult attention seeker--These get mouthy to get my attention, so I have to make sure to give positive attention early before student needs to demand it.
  • peer attention seeker--Often that requires dealing with other students, too. I have one who will do anything to get another's attention, and a few things with ther student worked wonders. (It is similar to my approach with ones who like my attention.)
  • avoidance--My most common mouthiness issue is from avoidance. As soon as they can't do something, they start. It's better to get thrown out of the room than to let people know you can't do something.
  • The PITA--The kids who are just plain mean & ornery are the ones that end up in the office.
I don't really agree with giving more attention to attention-seeking kids. I think it reinforces their neediness, and causes more problems in the end I think.

When they act out because they want adult attention, I want them to realize that they will not always have someone at their beck and call to give them attention and it's not okay to react that way about it.

I think giving all students the same amount of positive attention (only when they deserve it) is the best course of action. But I could be wrong.
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2013, 02:27 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
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Peregrin, the basic concept with Ima Teacher's suggestion is to meet a student's basic social/emotional needs to the best of your ability. With the way you've presented things, "neediness" is something like a black hole that only gets bigger if fed. On the other hand, my experience has been that "neediness" can be more like hunger: if you feed the student, they get full.

Of course, we have to go back to the original point of knowing the student. There are some students who might increase their undesirable behavior if given positive social attention, while some may need just a bit to feel better. It all boils down to what the individual needs.

As somewhat of a side note, there are different forms of "attention." For example, there is a huge difference between a child who likes to perform and be the "center of attention" when compared with a child who needs positive adult interaction. Both of those are often considered "attention," and may even present similarly in terms of problem behavior, but are very different needs. The OP simply hasn't posted enough information for us to know which of those, if either, may apply - or if it's something totally different.

Finally, as another aside, addressing your last point - I'm just not sure how you've come to the conclusion to treat all students exactly equal. If you have a student who comes from a family background that is full of love and positive social interaction, and another child who comes from a home with little love and positive interaction, are you suggesting treating those students the same, all for the sake of "getting them used to the real world?" And, because I love medical analogies, would we treat all cancer patients with the same drug simply because "the real world doesn't provide individualized cancer treatment?"
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