Confrontational students

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Zanadu, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. Zanadu

    Zanadu Companion

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    Feb 9, 2007

    I'm currently substituting and working towards my teaching credential. I thought I'd be comfortable with a using a discipline plan. This week I subbed for a 6th grade class. There were two students who kept taking offense really easily and would get confrontational. One particular phrase I heard in class was "Stop looking at me. I'll slap you silly." This was directed to another student, not me. Or if someone accidently bumped their desk they would jump up in that persons face. I followed the teachers behavior plan, writing names on the board, checks, and removing the students to the back of the class. I had them look at the rules and tell me which they had broken but they really didn't seem to care. The class was great but for these two. I'm wondering what is the best practice in these situations. I'd like to be able to nip this in the bud early when I get my own class and the plan I used this week didn't seem to have much effect.
     
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  3. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    Feb 9, 2007

    ...Hard to say from the limited information and your limited knowledge of the two students. Relationship and knowledge of students plays such a large role. I would suggest talking privately (and independently) to the two students. Do this when you and they are calm. Be positive and matter of fact with them. Tell them what you observed. Let them know what you expect. Give them an opportunity to let you know what was going on. Work with them to develop a plan for doing things differently in the future.
     
  4. Zanadu

    Zanadu Companion

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    Feb 11, 2007

    Thanks for the help Synapse. I'll try the things you suggest. Is there a better way to diffuse the "tantrum" at the moment? I asked them to write their names on the board and retake their seat and return to their work. They usually reacted by grumbling and tossing their things(desk, chair, bookbag) around. I chose to hold my tongue and let them calm down. I know this was very probably wrong but was stumped as to how I should react. I'm just thinking there was something I could have done differently at the time to let them know I care about their situation but won't tolerate their impulsive behavior without creating a scene.

    BTW, I've been reading the Love and Logic thread and will be purchasing that book for some guidance since it seems to come highly recommended. I'm also looking into the Positive Discipline plan(whole class discussions, teaches social skills). Does anyone use the latter or know if these two plans are compatible with each other?
     
  5. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    Feb 11, 2007

    "holding your tounge" is NOT wrong and probably helped you in this situation. While most classroom behavioral crises are started by children they are almost always made worse by the adult, who responds in a manner that escalates the situation. You definately don't want to be in a power struggle that places you between the students and their peer group. You will lose every time.

    This makes diffusing the tantrum at the moment something that takes forethought and practice. Again, much depends on your relationship and how you communicate you expectations. Your response can be anything from the "look" to more in depth comments or actions.

    As an example, in the situation where the studnet said, "stop looking at me..." I might choose one of those studnets and ask them to do something for me...in other words, redirect one and remove them from the situation. This would just be a matter of fact..."Jimmy, will you come up here and help me with the papers."

    The point is to consider how your response has the potential of escalating the situation.

    Later, I would follow up as I suggested earlier.
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 11, 2007

    I had a teenager snap at me in the cafeteria because I was looking around (there were only 3 table of students so far so where was I supposed to look while supervising) and said, "STOP INTERUPPTING ME." I walked over, angry at his outburst, and said "Excuse me, I didn't even talk much less to you." He wasn't looking at me (Deaf rude mannerism) so I realized I wasn't getting anywhere and didn't say anything else even though after all a whole cafteria was filled, he still had his cap on (broken rule) and I gently tapped him on the shoulder and said "Take your cap off please" and he his body swung around as he practically screamed (yes deaf people scream) at me and said "I thought I told you NEVER to touch me again."

    I didn't say a word. I was so freaking furious. I don't let little kids talk to me rudely so why is okay for teenagers to do so. I know though that doing anything about it will do absolutely nothing except make the student feel victorious for engaging me in a power struggle. I have no authority for consequences even though I'm "supervising." They know it. I wouldn't have handled it the same way for the lower grades. I DO have authority there even if all I use is the "teacher look."

    I'm less angry, in retrospect, at the student and more angry at the system that allows it. I know they are teenagers but I get too much abuse from them than should be tolerated.
     

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