Dealing with student who makes you MISERABLE?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MikeTeachesMath, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I have a problem student with ADHD and OCD and he is making my job absolutely miserable. I dread going into work on days I see him.

    No matter what I do, I can never get him to focus. He's a very bright young man and tested two grade levels above his current grade, so he gets bored very easily. He fidgets, interrupts, talks back, ignores me, throws things (not violently), bothers other students trying to work... etc...

    I know he has a bad home life. He lives with grandparents and only sees his immediate family every once in a while. I'm not sure of the circumstances behind that.

    His grandparents opted him out of common core, so no state exams for him this year. He refuses to do anything related to common core... even a worksheet. I got him to attempt a problem once by calling it a "challenge problem," but he gave up after a few minutes (not because it's difficult, but because it's common core).

    I'm at my wit's end. To put it simply, he's obnoxious, annoying, takes my attention away from other students, puts in zero effort, and still demands that I cater to his every whim. If I ignore him or tell him to "get back to work," he just sits there and does nothing until I acknowledge him. He'll ask questions about problems that he VERY CLEARLY knows how to do. He talks to other students while he's ignoring his own work and distracts them. Luckily nobody really buys into it and they just focus on themselves.

    I really don't know what to do. I need a way to get him to sit down, be quiet, and do the work I assign. It seems impossible.
     
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  3. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I forgot to mention that he constantly gets up to rearrange things (per his OCD). He will literally get up, walk over to my bookcase, and straighten books out. If I put a packet on his desk and I don't place it absolutely straight, he gets riled up and will say things like "Oh my god you're killing me!" and he'll just keep at it (even if he fixes it).
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    no advice but I'm watching. I have about eight of these students in the same class. Two of them aren't bright like your student, and no OCD issues but everything else is the same. It just isn't fair to the other students in the room.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    How much group instruction do you give during your time with this student? Is it possible for you to physically separate him from the other kids, saying it is to help him focus? Also, if he has his own work area, he would have more control over that space.
     
  6. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    How can the family opt out of common core? I thought they can opt out of testing. Arent these two different things? I'm anti testing but common core at my school doesn't mean the test. it means the standards - so it would be impossible to test out of that. But I'm in a different state, so maybe it's completely different?

    I have MANY adhd kiddos. One VERY smart one who drives me bonkers I spoke with privately pointing out that just because he can multitask, doesn't mean the rest of us can and in order to help the other students focus he is not to talk to them. I love that your guy found the books to readjust as this seems like a quiet task to help him. Does he come back on task after a bit? Another teacher suggested tactile things to me - the scratchy side of velcro taped under desk to be pet by hyper student. When I was in middle school one of my students loved this. When a couple of other students noticed it they wanted it too! But for my current worst case the only thing that helps even a little is a reminder that the other students need his help to focus by his not talking to them while they are working. I do allow him to get up and walk around, just quietly. He needs constant silent reminders - we have worked out cue signals. But he heeds them. He really can't help it and is very defensive (angry) when spoken to about it as if it is a behavior issue. It is medical. It is not personal.
     
  7. The Natural Log

    The Natural Log Rookie

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    I thought that strange as well. A student who opted out of Common Core couldn't possibly take my course as it is ALL Common Core!!!
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm sure he meant they opted the kiddo out of the PARCC Assessments or their equivalent. Any suggestions on his plight?
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    It sounds like this student is equating "Common Core" with "anything difficult."
     
  10. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    I have a different career background prior to entering the education field and we were always taught to document, document, document....that is all I got in this case for you to CYB.

    Good luck!
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    One clarification and a few suggestions....
    Is the worksheet a test prep Common Core work sheet?

    Sit him away from others who he can bother.
    If you want him to be doing work, structure the assignment differently for him than the class and document what you are doing. Same content, different format if possible. If you just want him to comply, good luck with that.

    You may need to call a meeting to define with grandpa and the student (with admin included) what the student was opted out from such that he doesn't include regular non-test-prep classwork. If you are doing test-prep using state test like questions to prepare, I would provide an alternate assignment for him. If he is truly 2 grade levels ahead, I'm sure you could figure out a good assignment that would stretch him, allow him to demonstrate he understands the standards the students are working on, and give him some ownership of the learning. It probably won't work, but it might be worth a shot.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Ditto to everything said above. As for the stress of seeing him again, something I do with students I sometimes dread seeing is PRETEND that they're going to be absolutely perfect today and follow all of the school rules. I don't follow them around or pay them any attention. If they do break the rules, I give them a consequence and leave before they have a chance to talk back. Sometimes I need to go back and remind them of the consequence if they don't hold themselves accountable to it, and if they don't follow it, I move up to the next one, and then skedaddle out of there again.

    I do everything to avoid confrontations, and let temper tantrums just slide off of my back, ignore them, and go back to teaching (unless it gets to be disrespectful, then I'll ignore it for a while, and then come back later when he's calm with a consequence). Confrontations just escalate things and stress me out and stress him/her out.

    I think sitting him somewhere else away from students would be a good idea, and it can be justified because you are protecting other students' right to learn.
     
  13. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Sorry, I was tired and had a wicked headache when I typed this last night. I should have been more clear. He is opting out of the exams. The material is still Common Core. He just doesn't actually know enough about Common Core to know it.

    The workbook I use does not feature the words "Common Core" anywhere on it despite this edition being aligned with it. He only fights it when a supplemental worksheet or activity features the words "Common Core". I know his grandparents are EXTREMELY anti-CCSS, so I'm sure it's rubbing off on him.

    As for sitting him away from other students, I don't think that's possible. I have very very limited space. I can try to look into it but I'm not sure it's going to work.

    The velcro under his desk is an interesting idea.

    I've tried alternate assignments above his grade level but they are always met with the same response: "Why do I have to do harder work than everyone else?"
     
  14. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Does he have any friends in class or outside? Does he ever interact with peers besides bothering them - partners, sharing etc.? Do you sense he would like to be popular but lacks the skills to do so?

    Behaviors you describe could be those of someone trying to get noticed (starving for attention). He acts out because to do what everyone else is doing will not get you noticed. Although the attention is negative from both peers and you it is far better than being ignored. He may want to be noticed in the correct ways - peer/teacher approval - but lacks the "intelligence" on how to go about it.

    Some teachers have experienced success in turning around alienated students by involving the peer group. Program they use, PAT with Bonus, basically makes a hero out of the target student by having him do things which not only reward the student but the whole class as well. Teachers have related students who were outcasts and shunned by classmates soon became chosen as a partner, could be seen walking and talking with kids in the hall and asked to sit with them at lunch. No guarantee this works with every student. Just something to consider.
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    This sounds ridiculous. I'm sorry you have to put up with it. Maybe his grandparents can dish out some cash for private school (yeah right) since they are so picky.
     
  16. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    That's the strange thing: he has friends. He's a likeable guy, apparently. He also has a girlfriend, or so he says.

    I figure attention is part of it. He's alienated from his family and only sees them once in a while. I don't know how his home life is with his grandparents.

    They're nice people but SO unreasonable. They drive me insane whenever I have to talk to them. :crosseyed

    I've tried allowing him to teach. He got into a huge yelling argument with a student because she wasn't understanding the lesson, so I had to shut that down immediately. I'll have to try to come up with some super involved PBL project or something. Which will take forever... eat up my planning time... I'll have to plan at home... :|
     
  17. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    I would have him arranging books and other things everyday:lol:
     
  18. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I kicked him out today for destroying a bin of BRAND NEW erasers. I also put in a psych eval because he was trying to stab himself with a pen.

    I don't even know anymore.
     
  19. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    The stabbing thing is disturbing! I'm glad you called in that one because self-harm is not a joke.
     
  20. Muhaddisa

    Muhaddisa New Member

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    the overwhelming part of teaching.
     
  21. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Oh, man--I had a kid JUST like this two years ago. Maybe not OCD but very ADHD, defiant, disrespectful, and mean. One day I discovered him shaving the hair off of his arms with an exac-to knife. :confused:
     
  22. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I found out after-the-fact that he used one of the erasers to rub the skin on his arm raw. :mellow:

    I'm seriously hoping he gets moved. I don't mean to sound like a jerk but he can be someone else's problem.
     
  23. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Wow. I could stand by your comment if you said that you hope he gets moved to a situation where he can receive the proper assistance and all the help he needs, but you didn't.

    Not only is that comment disrespectful to the student in need, it is disrespectful to your co-workers because all you care about is that the problem is no longer yours but a co-workers.
     
  24. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    We have a student in our school (I don't have him right now but he is notorious) who is so disruptive that no one knows what to do anymore. Just the other day a few students came to me and showed me a video of this kid in a chemistry room (a sub was present, not the actual teacher) with a rubber glove over the faucet--he hovered over it until it exploded all over the place. Water everywhere--the glove must have gotten to the size of a basketball. He has pulled the emergency shower in class on other days. He does no work--until the last day of the quarter when he drops a pile of work on a teacher's desk as make up so that he can pass. He constantly disrupts classes and doesn't seem to have remorse. His parents refuse to get him tested and generally just get defensive. The school is at a loss.
    That got us (myself and a few other teachers) to thinking, when should it be acceptable for a school to just expel this type of kid? If the school tries everything they can legally do to correct behavior and nothing works, when can they just throw up their hands? It's a really difficult and sensitive issue, because all kids should have the right to an education. But when the student refuses to accept this education the way it is given while simultaneously disrupting other kids' educational experience, should a public school be able to refuse him/her? I wonder what other teachers think of this. I do not know the law regarding this so I am just pondering. I believe that the parents would bring on a lawsuit, and most schools want to avoid that at all cost.
     
  25. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    If the school took the parents to due process to try to legally win testing, the school would be in a good position to expel the student. If they won and the parents decided to not allow an IEP, the student from then on could be treated as a student without a disability because the parents would have conceded their rights to the protections under IDEA. If they lost or the child was deemed to not have a disability, the child could be expelled because the law and/or the testing determined that there is no disability.

    Schools get themselves in situations when they don't use their legal recourse to protect the student's rights.
     
  26. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Yes this seems true. I believe that many schools really don't want to upset the parents or the community so they don't hold a hard line--and sometimes I am not sure this is the best course of action. Then again, I am not an administrator, so I don't know the complexities of the situation.
     
  27. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    At this point I don't care about being PC. It's getting to the point where this daily battle is affecting my metal health. Every day I have to deal with this kid, I go home with a splitting headache. I dread going into work on days I have to have him. He's taking time and opportunities away from my other kids. And he's destroying my personal property.

    Let me rephrase. He can be a coworker's problem, but hopefully a coworker who knows how to handle this. I don't.
     
  28. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    I understand what you're saying. At the very least, your coworker would know the situation they were getting into and would have a fresh start with the student. Sometimes personalities don't work well together (teacher and student), and sometimes a past history gets in the way of continuing a positive relationship.
     
  29. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    The bolded is why I am no longer a supporter of everybody is entitled to a FREE public education........because it hinders those who are trying to get a great education at the expense of many who if given a choice would not be there BUT they must be by law.......is it fair???? in my opinion no and it has hurt the US in my opinion in academics......we have become "average" because that is about all we can produce when we have to cater to each and every child's needs in school...no longer is there time in class to challenge our students.

    There are more supports in our schools for many who truly don't give a darn and don't want to be there and there is nothing, no rewards or anything, for the students who truly want to be there and learn......is that right? what message is that sending? You behave, do your work, get an education and you are overlooked your entire time in school because more time and supports are there for those who don't care?

    Sorry for the vent. :sorry:
     
  30. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    I could argue both ways.

    To play devil's advocate, we must recognize that human brain development isn't complete until about age 25, and the executive functioning needed to understand the true value of education is last to develop. If we allow kids to fairly easily give up and drop out at age 18 or lower, we are allowing them to make decisions that they are not truly capable of making. I believe that our educational system is truly exceptional for this reason, because we include everyone. I think it is important to try as hard as possible to reach each student (on related note I also have to mention that this is the very reason that we should not compare the US Education system to the education systems of other countries)...but there has to be a breaking point. The difficult thing is deciding when a student has reached that point.
     
  31. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    One part of me agrees with you, and another part argues that the point of education is to bring up the level of education in Americans as a whole, and this is necessary for us to at the very least have a better informed public that can make decisions that push our country forward based on their understanding of science and history. We live in a democracy (yes democratic republic, I know), and since the majority is what makes the decisions we want a very informed majority to make the best decisions.

    In addition, increasing the pool of citizens who have had a basic education increases the chance that we can raise the next great thinkers, Einsteins, Newtons, Curies, etc.
     
  32. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    At this point it sounds like the student needs to be put on some kind of medication or he's going to really hurt himself. Sorry if not being PC hurts some people's delicate sensibilities but this kid seems like a mental case and its not fair for the OP or even the other students to have to deal with that garbage.
     
  33. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I tend to agree BUT maybe more alternative schools are needed because I also agree that the students WANT to learn shouldn't be affected by others who are just in school to get the free meals and be out of their parents' hair for 6 hours.
     
  34. 2ndTimeAround

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    I'm with you 100%. My job is difficult because I have students that not only don't care about their own education but want to bring others down with them. If they were out of the room half of my students would have a full grade higher than they have now. I simply cannot serve my students the way that I need to because of the disruptive students. It isn't fair and this fact is what keeps me up at night.
     
  35. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I also tend to agree but the difficulty arises in determining who deserves to go to these alternative schools. If we have so many, eventually what we will have is a class system and the alternative schools will be black holes where students who enter it won't be able to exit it because of social and academic pressures that will keep them there (i.e. gangs, drugs, ill-prepared teachers, etc.).

    Because of the way our society is structured, they will tend to house more minorities as well furthering the racial divide in this country.

    The opportunity to succeed needs to presented to all students.

    Instead of developing just more alternative schools we need to look critically at how these schools are structured and whether or not their structure ensures the success of students or ends up just being a dumping ground.

    I have heard of successful charters (I'm not usually on the side of charters) in inner-city schools that really bring up their student populations usually consisting of racial minorities and communities who are generally at risk for gang initiation, violence, and crime. We might need to take a look at what is working for them.
     
  36. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    But I feel that is the problem we are graduating "basic" educated students we need to be graduating top tier graduates.

    I feel all should get an education but perhaps not all in the same environment perhaps an alternative setting....one size no longer fits all and we need to come up with different sizes to fit the others....perhaps a curriculum that interests them as well as teaching them the core curriculum.

    Some don't do well in large groups so smaller classes may better suit them, some prefer hands on learning where as others don't mind alot of reading and writing and so on but lumping them all in one building and the same classes when their learning style and/or needs may differ hurts the whole......you can have a different learning style and not have an IEP.
     
  37. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    I understand your point about possibly shoving more minorities into the alternative setting, I dunno the fix.

    I do believe it can be fixed in house if we had enough funding to get class sizes smaller and also not lumping what seems to be the trouble makers all in the same classes....they need to be spread out. These students feed off of each other....I have seen the dynamics of a class change with the addition of just 1 or 2 of these kids.

    Funds need to be invested into the teachers, students and classrooms.

    I question the need and reason for public charter schools......if they are so good then why can't whatever is working for them be implemented in our public schools.......I never understood the point, kwim?
     
  38. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I'm typically not a fan of charters, but I've heard of successes particularly within the inner city. However I agree. Their success can only be verified if their strategies can be transferred or used by others (including public schools).

    I also agree in spreading out the more challenging students, but I think a better solution would be to give the teacher more control over which students she has in a class together. I realize this could end up being a nightmare for administrators, but they should at least seriously consider her professional opinion about what environments would work best for what kids, and of course they shouldn't punish teachers for asking a kid to be moved. I feel like most teachers are afraid to even ask. I actually requested a student be moved the other day and my request was honored! I was very happy. However this is one of the only times it's ever occurred and I haven't given any referrals all year (in addition to integrating new technology all over the school), so I think I'm on my admin's nice list right now.
     
  39. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    ^^^^^

    So true to the letting teachers have a voice in who is in their class....I work with a teacher who received the same student this semester that flunked last semester....he does nothing, is a disruption, does not want to be in school and of course is flunking again.

    I also work with sped students many (lower academically) are put into a particular teachers class that admin and guidance know teaches over their heads....they are completely overwhelmed as is she....I blame guidance, their case manager and the sped lead for allowing this to happen over and over and over again.
     

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