behavior problems in kindergarten...

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by minnie, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Jun 20, 2007

    HI! I am starting my first year as a kindergarten teacher. I am really excited but there is one thing that has gotten me worried. I am possibly getting a student who has SEVERE behavior problems. It is so bad that he got kicked out of preschool! People I don't even know are coming up to me and saying how sorry they are that I am getting this student. :eek: I'm trying to be positive but it's only June and I am already scared. Does anyone have any strategies with dealing with students with severe behavior problems? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :)
     
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  3. Kindtchr

    Kindtchr Comrade

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    Jun 20, 2007

    Try to start positive. Praise good behavior when you notice it. Some students crave structure and don't deal well with transitions well. Try to give a warning a few min. before it's time to go on to something else. Try to give him a responsibility that lets him help you or others so that he will feel good about himself.
    Have a behavior plan that you can live with to put in place if need be. Be prepared to alter it to meet the specific needs once you get to know him. Good luck.
     
  4. OtterMom

    OtterMom Comrade

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    Jun 20, 2007

    Why not ask some of the people who know this kid to help you? Ask what sort of behavior he exhibits and what they know of the strategies that were used. Ask them for suggestions.

    During my first week EVER of teaching, in my brand-new kindergarten room, I had an emotionally disturbed 5-year-old wreck my room. The other kids were terrified of his tantrums.

    With a bunch of help, like the suggestions above, analysis of what factors caused him to have a "melt down", careful documentation of everything that happened, and a shortened school day (he started going home at lunchtime until he began controlling himself better), we finally began to get a handle on it.

    Your school counselor will be invaluable in helping you set up strategies: reward systems, consequences, etc. etc. My little sweetie "won" his way back to a full day by Thanksgiving, and we both managed to make it through his kindergarten year in pretty good shape.

    God bless you!
     
  5. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Jun 21, 2007

    thanks for the advice

    Thank you guys so much for the advice.:) I'm already starting to research techniques and strategies with dealing with behavior problems. Unfortunately, our school is really small so we do not have a counselor but the staff is very supportive. It's nice to know that there are teacher out there who have gone through the same thing.

    I do have a question for OtterMom...when your student had a tantrum or melt-down during instruction time in front of the students, how did you handle the situation without scaring the other students?
     
  6. Christine3

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    Jun 21, 2007

    Document and document! It saves you with EVERYTHING.

    Set up a Communication Log...
    For each part of the day make a smile-I did my best! Sad face- I did not do my best. You circle which one that you think he did for that period...write "good" comments and explaining why he got the sad face for that period. This is also good for documentation.
    At the bottom of the page have the parent sign (leave room for them to make comments)

    I think kindergarten would be to young for this...but you could have him have his own collum of "smile faces" to fill in so he can literally see how he did by circlinga smile or sad for not his best.

    Good luck.

    PM me if you have any other questions!
     
  7. Christine3

    Christine3 Cohort

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    Jun 21, 2007

    Oh I forgot...Write in GREEN marker all the good and RED in all the not so good. This really emphasizes the day to the youngster! ;)
     
  8. diro.pams

    diro.pams Companion

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    Jun 21, 2007

    There are many great suggestions here! Year after year, I have a student on my class list who has a reputation that preceeds him/her. I get all worked up, trying to figure out my strategies. More than half the time it turns out the kid doesn't live up to the stories I've heard! Often, I have an initial challenge with him/her, but basically everything goes well after the "boot camp" aspect of the first 6 wks. Have a number of strategies ready, but also be ready to give this kid a fresh start with you. Let your approach communicate, " I know there have been issues in the past, but WE will have a great year together." The child and parent often appreciate the clean slate, and are more willing to work with a teacher who expects the best.
     
  9. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Jun 23, 2007

    Thanks again for the great advice! I will definitely set up some kind of communication log. that's a great idea to involve the student in seeing his own progress. And I am hoping that this student isn't as problematic as I have heard. Once again, thank you all for the wonderful advice. :)
     
  10. OtterMom

    OtterMom Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2007

    Sorry, Minnie - I sort of lost thiis thread temporarily.

    When he had one of his "small" tantrums (crying, crawling under the table) where calming words wouldn't work , I would just ignore him, and when he saw that he wasn't getting any attention, he would sometimes calm down.

    For major meltdowns (the chair-throwing kind), I would move the other students away from him so he couldn't hurt anyone. Then, I had a signal (a cutout laminated shape) that I would send down to the office with a child. The signal would alert the Principal or VP to come up to my room and remove him. They were authorized to physically restrain him, which was a no-no for me.

    Hope this helps!
     
  11. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Jun 23, 2007

    For Ottermom

    That's a good idea to have a signal ready for the principle. I think I might do something like that if it comes down to that. I also have a teacher right next door. We share a door between our classrooms and she said she would watch my classroom if I need to remove the student.

    I'm hoping that it's not going to be a s severe as I've heard...after all, I've never met the student so I am trying to optimistic. :)

    I really appreciate your advice. It's nice to have other teachers to help out. :p
     
  12. Christine3

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    Jun 23, 2007


    No problem. I know what it feels like to already have a "label" before a child enters you classroom. But you are going to be fine! Think positive. It really does help if they see their own progress. I feel that it "Hits" them more ;)
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 23, 2007

    It happened to me my first year too. Sometimes an individual behavior chart for them works well. It's too hard for some kids to "behave" all day. If you split the day up into increments -Reading time-no issues he/she gets a sticker, etc. sometimes that helps.

    I also got a child once who had a horrible reputation and in my class really was not that difficult-so be careful of putting much stock in what other people think.

    My other suggestion is use it as an opportunity to teach tolerance to the other kids. I had a child once with severe behavior issues (he was eventually diagnosed with autism, mild MR and acute separation anxiety). He would tear the papers off the wall, run out of the classroom, climb up on shelves. But I talked to the kids about how everyone is different and how we were going to ignore the minor attention-seeking behaviors like making noises, etc. And those kids were so awesome-the student would dump all the toys off the shelves and they would just go pick them up, no remarks, no complaints. I've seen classrooms where these kids are treated negatively by the other students and that is allowed. The kids will pick up on your cues, if you show frustration, that will change the way they react-especially at this age. Good luck and try to not worry too much; you're going into it with a plan and that's a really good start.
     
  14. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2007

    IMHO, someone else on your team should take the child. When we have a first year teacher at our school, they are not given major problematic children. Is there anyway you can talk to your team/admin about this? I am not suggesting making waves but your administrators should know unless they are the ones placing.

    If you do get him and are successful(which is a good thing) it is very possible that other major problematic children will be coming your way.

    Just a few points to ponder. We do want every child to succeed but first year teachers need to succeed too!
     
  15. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Jun 26, 2007

    Thank You!!!

    Everyone's replies are wonderful and you all are really helping me feel better about this upcoming year, so thank you. :D

    And thanks Sheila for your reply also. The school that I will be teaching at is extremely small so I am the only K teacher there. However, my master teacher from my student teaching days is right next door to me (she teaches grades 1 and 2) and is very supportive and is very willing to help me so I am very blessed in that area. And there is a possibility that this student might be going to another school, but I really want to be prepared anyways. It would also be a great accomplishment for me if I have a good connection with this student, but we'll see. :p

    Once again, thank you. :)
     

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