Bully and classroom management

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by REW, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. REW

    REW Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2019

    Hi! TK class (4/5s)
    I need some help with a bully situation. What I’ve read is, usually it is an issue with classroom management. I assure you, my/our classroom management is wonderful. My evaluator said she’s amazed at our classroom management. As well as others who have come to visit our class, including how we deal with the bully’s behavior.

    I know eventually the behavior will break, but we need to figure out some next steps. Aggression is the biggest issue. Pleasure from intimidating and hurting people, laughs when they are hurt. Calls people names. Curses. No consequences at home. Speaking to parents isn't worthwhile. Their child is the victim. Aggression is now going towards teachers because we won’t let the child hurt others. We use a lot of natural and logical consequences. All meet with anger as expected. Retaliation. Basically, keep him in our pocket all day long.

    My biggest fear is student feeling unsafe. Students are reporting behavior to parents as it is. I read about what is an extended time out. How does that look? Implementation?

    I do know the root cause of the behavior. More or less. It is attention seeking. Any attention is better than no attention. They are used to negative attention. Working on teaching better strategies to gain that attention, positive attention. Successfully entering and participating with peers. We also made a “if this, then that” plan. It states “if I hurt my friends, I need to take a break by myself.”
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Oct 11, 2019

    Most of this is you and other adults finding even minor things and giving attention for it at first and verbalizing the behaviors you see. This will most likely be your most powerful tool. You need to catch him as often as possible when he does something right and point it out. Explain how others react to his positive interaction between him and others. It is harder to catch good because it is less noticed.

    Where is the why in you if then plan? I expect you just didn't mention it, but he needs to start learning empathy and the idea that other people feel the same way. So, if someone hurt him, he would feel hurt, sad, and maybe angry. Other people feel the same way.
     
  4. REW

    REW Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2019

    We do a lot of work with identifying feelings, role
    Playing situations, and so on. When he is hurting others we talk about it until we are blue in the face. I have TONS of social stories and social emotional books we refer to frequently. I definitely take time to notice and praise the positive behaviors. My gut is that we are doing the right things to nip it, it will just take time.

    when we have tried to flip the situation, the child said they don’t care. They want people “try me.” I have a student who essentially won’t throw the first punch, but he will defend himself and peers. We’ve taught that child to report it to us if we don’t see it. That child is becoming a target. But, the family says this child is the problem. If it wasn’t for this child, their child wouldn’t behave in this manner.

    as far as they why, with the if/then can you clarify?
     
  5. REW

    REW Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2019

    Also, at what point should admin take action? He has hit, attempted to bite, punch. Kick, scratch, claw, and more me when I remove him from a situation or won’t let him get his way (ie:stay on the tablet all day).
     
  6. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Oct 11, 2019

    I'm suspicious that this might not be for attention, but he is responding with a learned behavior. Some thoughts....

    Prohibited speech is an odd phenomenon. Think of it from a child's perspective. It's OK on TV and in the movies. It's OK for parents. But it's never OK for the child to say; or possibly it's never OK for the child in certain environments to say the words. The child also finds a novelty in the experimentation with such words. At 4 and 5, languaging is a major part of brain function, so experimentation with languaging is a major part of interaction and a major part of play. Social linguistic interaction, at this age, is still at the beginning stages of development.

    Intentional physical harm could have many root causes. Laughing at the response of others could also have many root causes. He might be responding to the sudden environmental change, and laughter is a common response at this age to such changes. In other words, he might not necessarily be happy that the other child is hurt, he's just reacting. He might not be sad, either, since empathy is also just beginning to be learned at this age. Another possibility, he might be imitating what happens to himself at home. I hope not, but that is a possibility.

    Stress might be a factor in the hitting, but I'd caution an assumption of such at this age. I say that because I've seen that assumed too readily in many situations in early childhood without firm evidence of stress. But back to stress, the common response to stress is to push out, which can include yelling, hitting, and kicking, as all three involve a pushing out experience.

    Another strong possibility is (I hope I'm remembering the correct vocabulary) sense pleasure play. It gives him some type of pleasant experience to enact a force or say a prohibited word. I'm thinking of a K student who would pull out strands of hair. The teacher and principal immediately diagnosed stress, but I suggested he might just enjoy the sensation of pulling out a piece of hair. (Actually, the problem ended up resolving itself and nothing further came of it).

    But again, I also agree that attention seeking might be the root cause. Then another question arises. Why does he feel the need to resort to that type of attention seeking. There are other ways to get attention.

    I agree that you are on the right track in handling the situation, though. Replacing the negative actions with more positive actions is usually the best route.
     
  7. REW

    REW Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2019

    Child is imitating what happens at home.
     
  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Oct 12, 2019

    Then this is an absolutely ugly situation. He is learning, from (unfortunately, his most influential teachers, the adults at home) to self-centeredly seek for his own pleasure without regard to others, unless that regard benefits his own desires. Not to totally negate rewards, I'd recommend caution. Although a prize chart might temporarily resolve situations, it will also be feeding his learning of gaining existential pleasure in spite of social norms.

    Running through my mind right now, I think this kid needs a high dose of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. If videos are available, (and I hesitate in even mentioning videos. He's probably videotized enough at home), but if archived videos are available, Mr. Rogers would certainly provide an example of altruistic behavior. But I'd also recommend setting up role playing situations where he needs to incorporate appropriate decorum. Here's what I'm thinking.

    Sometime during the day, for example, a free staff member comes in with a request and the teacher models appropriate decorum in fulfilling the request. Perhaps a teacher will knock on the door and request to borrow a stapler. The teacher models politely giving the stapler to the other teacher. The next day or so, you are "busy" and you ask this student to give the requested item to the teacher. I'd avoid pouring on the complements. ("Oh, what a polite little boy you are!") He needs to reenact this within the same normal everyday context he will experience on his own. Various other types of role playing could be enacted. A gym teacher needs to try out a new exercise and you help her/him out right in front of the class. Perhaps the class will even join in. Then another day, you're "busy" again, so he takes over. Here's where I'd also recommend caution. I'd also involve other students in the role playing, so he doesn't get big headed thinking he's the top student who only helps the teacher. Just a thought that might help.

    This happened daily on Mr. Rogers. Someone was always visiting him or he'd visit somebody. Then in The Neighborhood of Make Believe the puppets would learn appropriate values.
     
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  9. REW

    REW Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2019

    Thank you. Great minds think alike. Those are some of the strategies I’ve been using. Lots of role play, lots of modeling.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think we will see the chance to really follow through with anything. Admin predicted this happening. The message to the child was, we weren’t challenging him. We weren’t good teachers. None is true, but if I’m being honest it stings.
     
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  10. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Oct 12, 2019

    Did the child leave the school? I am confused on why you can't follow through. Do you teach really young kids? It sounds like you were on the right track and trying to teach him better behavior.
    I have had some really violent kids in the last few years. Most have parents who fight or have witnessed/experienced a lot of violence in their lives. There have been a couple who had been treated as the center of the universe by their parents and they had never learned how to accept not getting their own way.
    I witnessed a kid last year pounding on his mom ( 10 yr old). Her reaction to the violence was to turn her back on the child until he quit hitting her. She believed that was the best way to deal w/it. The woman was never in an abusive relationship, but a counselor had told her that was the best way to deal with it. I wanted to tell her to find a new counselor asap, but refrained. ( She was the type who would be highly offended. ) Good luck w/ that child if he is still with you.
     
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  11. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Oct 13, 2019

    Oh, no, not that excuse again! OK, so this kid needs challenged, yet...he's incapable of conquering the challenge of socially acceptable behavior in the classroom? He needs what? A higher level of math, perhaps? Well perhaps he first needs to learn the mathematics behind keeping his hands and feet to himself.
     
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  12. REW

    REW Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2019

    Obadiah, that gave me a much needed laugh. Mom moved child to another class without approval, within the school. Long story. It’s a mEssy situation. Will still see them everyday (myself and students). Child taunted other students about still being in the boring, stupid class with the bad teachers. Called me names In the hallway. I told child when they could use my correct name I would be happy to speak to them and kept on doing my thing. So we will have to have a class conversation and I am not sure what to say.
     
  13. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Oct 13, 2019

    The kid just learned a new lesson when admin let him switch classes. It is sad how our schools have admin who cave like that. It sounds like you were really on top of it and probably could have made a difference with him. To look on the bright side, your kids will not have to deal with lack of safety with him.
    I hope the new teacher has some mad skills. Many yrs ago, I had a boy who was removed like that for very similar reasons. It was only days later, we were going to recess and the other class saw me/ my class in the hall.
    The kids as a group yelled, " Miss, PLEASE take Tony back!" His new teacher was super strict ( Rumor had it that she "pulled ears.") and normally would never have allowed them to yell in the hall. She was a character and just now I realized she probably put the kids up to it.
    I don't know whatever happened to him, but we had a nice year. That was over 25 yrs ago and I still remember his last name even though it was an unusual name.
    I hope you have a good year! :)
     
  14. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Oct 15, 2019

    Some teachers use timeout in a colleague’s classroom separated by as many grade levels as possible. Example: K to 6th. Usually students don’t try anything around the “big kids”. Idea behind this is basically the message, “You can do your work hear among friends or in another classroom. Either way your work will get done.” Of course, a planning meeting with a colleague and reciprocal intervention - they send their 6th to your K - should be done in advance. It is recommended to have a packet of self-directed work ready in advance that will keep the student busy for 30+ minutes. The student is not allowed to return to class for 30 minutes even if finished early. Work must be neat and accurate.

    Some teachers don’t wait for an incident to start then send. They greet the student at the door and, in private, explain the procedure. Student is sent first thing. In other words, “If you want back in the room - you’ll have to earn it.” It is critical the receiving teacher does not make it a fun time. A desk isolated usually works. I did this with a colleague (K). Her student showed up two times then never again. Like any method, this comes with no guarantee. It is another technique to add to one’s repertoire so there are many to pick and choose from for different situations.
     
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