Dealing with backtalk

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Galois, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Galois

    Galois Companion

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Can you please tell me the most effective consequence that you have handed for rude behavior/disrespect or backtalk? Thank you.
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jul 16, 2012

    I've really not needed consequences for that. Call them on it the first time and refuse to engage in any sort of argument, and students learn quickly that it doesn't work.

    When I have had a student who is very obviously not having a good day, I either have them step out into the hall for a minute to cool off, tell them to take the bathroom pass and go somewhere and come back within 3-4 minutes, or send them to counseling.
     
  4. time out

    time out Comrade

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  5. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Agree on not engaging. A technique (I think it's from Teaching with Love and Logic) is to corral the student at the end of class, or take them outside during class if you can do it without disrupting your plans, and ask them if they want the long talk or the short talk. They invariably choose the short talk, especially if they're eager to catch up with their friends, and the short talk is "Your behavior is unacceptable. Knock it off." If you get one that wants the long talk, oblige them!

    You might want to check out the Whole Brain Teaching site. Even though many of the techniques seem like they'd work well with younger kids, I've had great luck using class/yes and the scoreboard.
     
  6. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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  7. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2012

    I agree with all of the previous comments. I try not to get in any arguments with students, because they will try to "save face" in front of their classmates. My preferred method is to take the student into the hallway for a minute and basically say what Mrs. K says. The hallway talks are very effective for me, and is something that I think I get better at with each year I teach!
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2012

    I think a big part of it is developing a relationship with the kids where they don't see you as the adversary.

    I've seen teachers back kids into corners, where the only option the kid had to save face was to come out swinging-- figuratively that is. Some teachers are just unwilling to admit that they might have made a mistake, or that a kid might have a valid point of view or excuse for an error.

    Will the right relationship cut down on ALL the backtalk? Probably not. But I think it goes a long way toward decreasing it. It also means that you don't lose the whole class when it happens. With the right class relationship, the reaction is along the lines of "I can't BELIEVE Jake was so rude to Mr. Galois!!" So after the fact, the rest of the class is on your side, instead of antagonistic.
     
  9. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Exactly what Alice said.

    One thing I've always done is tell students that if they have a grievance of any kind (fr example, they hate the seating chart) that they can come talk to me at an appropriate time and we will chat. Usually they don't, but when they do, I always try to meet them at least halfway. Those that bother generally have valid points to address. Those that don't, well, they can't whine about it now, can they? If they bring it up again, I just point out that they failed to take advantage of my offer.

    Seniors, especially, love to whine, moan, and gripe. If a class is being especially annoying, I'll make an exaggerated point of rolling my eyes and say something like "life is sooooo hard." I do this in a silly way so they laugh and we move on. This happens a lot near the end of the year. Seniors. Gotta love'em.
     
  10. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Also: context. Don't make an issue out of what seems to be back talk but is not malintentioned. Toss back a light comment and move on. The less you let bother you, the less they will try (well, depending on the class--again, context).
     
  11. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Great advice here. I've been reading Fred Jones and he says exactly what everyone's been saying--don't take it seriously and don't react, address the student when they don't have an audience.
     
  12. Kaseta

    Kaseta Rookie

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    Like others have said, a calm, nonplussed attitude is the first step.

    Usually, beyond being calm and not engaging them in an argument, I had a "backup" assignment for my lessons when I first started. Here, it was something flexible enough that I could insert it into a lesson as needed to keep the rest of the students engaged for a moment or two while I took the misbehaving student outside and discussed acceptable behavior.

    If necessary, I'd reiterate the behavior expectations outlined in the syllabus to the class to make sure we were all clear. If a student continued to backtalk, I'd remove them from the classroom and follow up with a call to the parents. Most of the time, being pulled into the hallway or kept after class was enough as they found out it simply didn't produce the desired result for them.

    Not sure what your teaching situation is at current, but for myself when I first started I realized some of the bad behavior stemmed from the responses of others. When I inquired with other teachers, many noted that the students often taunted young, new, female teachers, fairly certain they would get either (a) no repercussions, only accommodations, or (b) stir up the environment, causing the teacher to blow up and make a show of it.

    The previous teacher, I later found out, was notorious for yelling and breaking down if they pushed her. When I came in and did neither, being deemed a lost cause for chaos, they continued on with their lives.
     
  13. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Kaseta,

    Could you share some of your backup lesson ideas with us? I've thought about doing this for various reasons but I never was creative enough to do it.
     
  14. Kaseta

    Kaseta Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2012

    NCScienceTeach,

    Sure! Some of the backup activities and quick assignments I’ve used with my students in those situations where I need to talk to one student while keeping the rest busy and engaged, have encountered technical glitches, or have a class period significantly changed/shortened for some reason, have been the following:

    Case Study/Scenario - I have a couple made up for each lesson. Students are given a real world scenario and they have to utilize their critical thinking skills in addition to what they’ve learned to create a solution. I like these as they can be easily adjusted/altered for time and purpose. Example – When we were going through our units on range management and wildlife conservation each student would be given a (albeit slightly different) land type, resources list, and a problem that was occurring on that plot. Students used what they learned about various biomes, species, and ecology and applied it to develop and propose a solution that could be reasonably implemented.

    Brainstorming – Here, I’ll give the students a topic that is part of what we’re studying or going to study and present a prompt to think on. Tell them they have to come up with as many ideas as they can imagine (works best if it’s a concept they’ve had prior exposure to, or one they can use their creative input if its new). Once done, I have each student come up to the board and write a word, concept, idea, whatever it may be, then we discuss common themes. Example – I used this when we discussed the construction of a greenhouse. What supplies they thought we'd need, building materials, business resources, etc...

    Calculation – If we’re working on a unit which includes mathematical calculations, I’ll compose a simple problem or two and have the students work on it individually. Not just engaging, but really lets me assess if they understand where we’re at in a lesson if it involves math. Example – Involving students in calculating yields, percentiles, weights, square feet, volume. For a potential building/construction, chemical solutions, human or animal growth, business or personal finances, space needs, etc… skys the limit for this one.

    Identification – This I’ve used most for anatomy/physiology applications but could easily work with cycles and sequential processes. Each student will get an index card, piece of tape, and the name of a structure or part of something and stick it on the model. Example – Most recently used this while teaching the respiratory system. Small class, each student was assigned a different part (e.g. lung, trachea, bronchi), I projected an illustration of the respiratory system onto our white board and each student taped their index card onto the projection where they believed it belonged. Once done, we review as a group for accuracy and change as needed.

    Characteristics Matching – Similar to the ID. I’ll make a couple columns on the white board and each group or individual (again, size dependent) will get some characteristics cut outs. They then have so many minutes to tape the strips under the right column. Example – When we were studying food safety, they needed to understand the difference between biological, chemical and physical hazards. Subsequently, each group got a random handful of example hazard strips out of a basket and they had to decipher which of the three it was and put it in the proper category.

    Pair Discussion – While this will depend a fair amount on the class size, I’ll have students pair up with their neighbor (or a trio if there is an uneven number). Each set gets a number and a topic to discuss that we’ve covered. Once the time is up, each group gives me a quick run through of their discussion/ideas, I ask questions to assess their understanding. Example – If we were studying cell structure, each group may receive a specific organelle and they’ll tell me the key characteristics, then I’ll often ask them how that organelle (based on those characteristics) fits into the overall structure of the cell, why it is important, what would happen if it didn’t function properly, etc…

    Lesson Review – Fairly similar to the pair discussion, except timing. If I’m towards the end of a lesson, I’ll give each small group (2 – 3) a topic from the class, they review and discuss, then stand up and present the highlights to the class. Works for any lesson, I hear/see what they’ve understood and retained, and oftentimes it helps students to hear it from their peers.

    Poster – This isn’t the most time efficient, so I don’t know if it truly belongs here but it can be worked in. With classes that I find are more artistically oriented, giving them a few minutes to freely illustrate a concept together or individually can really help the visual types.

    Puzzle – Like the poster, class personality, time and resources determine the effectiveness of this one in different situations. This is usually an anatomy or cycle concept, I’ll develop the puzzle, print it, cut out the pieces before hand, and clip them together for easy distribution. Students put it together and identify what they’ve “created”. Example – Used this for a simplified version of the Calvin Cycle and had students put it together as a chloroplast, then label/number the cycle “steps” on each of the pieces.

    Those are some ideas I recall right off. A lot of them are standard activities but some may have a slight twist on the traditional concept and use. Most can be easily edited for one's time, purpose, and complexity. Some of these were impromptu ideas because of behavior or confusion and they worked out well, whereas others were thoroughly planned well in advance.
     
  15. Galois

    Galois Companion

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    Jul 17, 2012

    Thank you to all your inputs. I am learning by leaps and bounds on this one of the most critical parts of classroom management.
     
  16. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 17, 2012

    Also, keep your sense of humor. Not everything is meant to be back talk, so make sure you don't assume the kids are out to get you. That's where having a good relationship with your students is so important!
     
  17. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Jul 25, 2012

    See me after class

    It is always on my class rules.

    I do not argue with students.

    1) Warning (reminder to see me after class)
    2) Detention (then we get to the reason for the detention)
    3) Removal from class for continued disruption, admin referral, parent conference.

    If a student appears to get away with this behavior, classroom discipline suffers (sorry, forget the book). Other students need to see the boundaries of behavior, and the consequence for crossing the boundary. NEVER call a student names (except perhaps pointing out that it is rude behavior), never scream or try to out yell the student.
    This shows you have lost control. Don't get physical or put your hand on them, Administration is paid highly for that. And do not buy into that malarkey that a teacher must handle this because it shows you have lost control of your classroom. If someone breaks the law you don't take care of it yourself, you call the police, who takes the perp to a judge, who takes them to court, where.... you get the picture.

    Example: Cel phone rings in class.
    I ask student for cel phone
    Student refuses (detention)
    Ask again and remind him/her that Admin will get it
    Student refuses again
    Call Admin, make sure thay get Cel phone
    Detention happens, parent conference happens
    either cel phones don't ring again, or if they do the student(s) give it up (learn from the mistakes of others). Life goes on.
    This works if you have a decent administrator, refuse to work in a place that does not..or.. You will get high blood pressure, and never live long enough to retire.:whistle:
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  18. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2012

    :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  19. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2012

    I read the Fred Jones article, and it makes sense when one student is back talking. What about the scenario where the student is part of a group of kids (at least 1 other student) and the other kid starts up to back up his friend or starts something else while I'm giving the silent treatment? I have to admit I lost it this year esp. near the end, and they knew it. I was upset with myself but took comfort in the fact that I was not alone. I have a hard time turning this stuff off because I guess I do too much contemplation of the issue.

    We had a group of students who made life miserable for most of us and most of the other students. I tried silent treatment, hall talk, after class talk, parent intervention (most of these parents were having similar problems at home and had given up!), team/student talk, team/parent/student talk, time out, involved admin/guidance. Admin was inconsistent and ineffective.

    It was the doubling or tripling up that was an issue. In all cases, the classes were great when the leader was out on suspension or sick. It was a whole other ball game then. No matter how the kids were broken up, one always took the role of leader.
     
  20. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I think you have a bigger problem when a few students ganging up against you. You can't send out 3-4 students for back-talking. You can send out one, even if the offense is small, I call that the 'sacrificing the one student for the greater good', because the rest of them see that you mean business and usually stop.

    I had a few students ganging up against me, it wasn't so much back talk, it was more of a mind-game, manipulation, trying to get under my skin kind of thing. Which is worse, because it can be so subtle, and these students were masters at it.

    I've learned that there is ALWAYS a leader, who we called the shot-caller. If you can identify him / her and eliminate that student from the classroom, the others will probably give up.
    The shot caller is often the most quiet one, just because he's the leader, it doesn't mean he'll be doing the talking or causing the trouble. (he may be your brightest student, being bored and trying to have fun, or may be the least intelligent one with street smarts, able to manipulate others.)

    For example I had 3 students in my classroom and caused me a great deal of 'suffering' (I also learned a lot)
    Student A: quiet, manipulative, trying to find out weaknesses to use them. Always played the racist card, or that I don't like him, etc. (according to him all the teachers were racist and he was a victim). He could be very nice and easy to talk to when he wanted to get to know me, so he can use the info against me.
    Student B: very talkative, chatty, immature, seemed much younger, and with a weak personality. Refused to do work, talked back, often got in trouble, because he wasn't sneaky or manipulative, just a straight forward trouble maker. Was also very sweet and funny when he wanted to be.
    Student C: kind of in between the other 2, not too talkative, but did talk back, did try to manipulate me, but wasn't smart enough to go through with it.

    Who was the leader? the quietest one, student A. They used to sit together, but when I started separating them I saw the eye contact between them and figured out what was happening.
    When student A got into a fight and got removed into the main juvenile hall, student B followed him because he couldn't function without him (he basically said he wanted to kill himself, so they removed him to, and sent him to the same juvie for a while.)
    When they came back, these 3 students were separated and put into different classes (but I still had them, just not together) and that confirmed my theory: strongest personality was the leader, student A. Student B was ok on his own, and he could actually become a student with no problems, but could be easily influenced. Student C was very weak (didn't look like it though, he seemed confident) and needed someone to lead him.

    Student A was actually a pimp. A real life, 17 year old pimp, who had teenage girls working for him. He had a very negative view towards women, and despised any females as authority figures. Especially blonde ones; he couldn't stand me, and also had problems with a blonde female officer, but was ok with a brunette female teacher. She said that this student probably likes blondes, but we had this huge problem because he couldn't manipulate me. He used and abused and manipulated women, and when he saw that I was stronger, he lashed out. But he tried every day, he sure got on my nerves.

    To make a long story short - got off topic, sorry - if you have several students giving you a 'group-problem' , try to identify the leader, and eliminate him at the least, or make an example out of him. Eliminating him is more important, he may not care about the consequences, and might even earn some credit with his classmates for getting in trouble. But by removing him, the rest of the group would fall apart and you could control them.
     
  21. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Jul 28, 2012

    If it's comments about my appearance, I let them know that is completetly unacceptable. Jokey comments get ignored. And if they want to keep challenging me, they can stay with me at the end of the day.
     
  22. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Aug 6, 2012

    High Schoolers

    Are different than elementary/middle. They WILL gang up on you, defer to public opinion, and try to gain support from their peer group.
    The best you can do is "take down" the leaders of the revolt. One by one. I have had to remove as many as four at a time (separate them or they will concoct a story to show why they were put upon by YOU) . They think you won't do this because it will make you look bad, and many will even say it out loud. DO NOT let them have their way. Make sure the punishment fits the crime, do not relent. It works. Has worked for me in some very rough schools. Be fair, firm, and consistent. They will come around (most of them). Once you have made clear your intentions to teach they will just have to suffer the consequences of their actions.:thumb:
    TechnoMage
     
  23. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 6, 2012

    Definitely don't engage. But DO give consequences. I have a set of consequences for regular rule breaking (blurting out during class, being out of their seat, etc.)

    The progression is as follows:

    1 - One minute after class with me
    2 - Sent to another teacher's room with work or a behavior form
    3 - (this is actually our school's consequence) I call in the principal and say that "So and so is having problems with ______________. I think he needs someone to work with him on this." And the principal or assistant principal actually comes in, and sits next to the student, and helps them stay on task. -- This is the first time I'm going to be encountering this, so I don't know how it will work out, but this is what they do instead of referrals.

    However, if a student is being blatantly rude or disrespectful, or something else equally unacceptable, I have a separate punishment, which is full-time lunch detention with me (usually cleaning glassware or something).

    I love the idea of the long and short 'talks' though. I'm gonna have to steal that. xD
     

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