First day went great except for that ONE kid

Discussion in 'General Education' started by linswin23, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Aug 20, 2018

    So, first day went pretty well. My morning classes were great, but the class directly after lunch was weird. My biggest class (33) and one of the students was mocking the way I was saying “okay”. I didn’t really pick up on it at first, but then when I figured out what she was doing I directly looked at her and told her that was enough. She behaved better after that, and then was giving answers to questions (raising her hand so I called on her) but her answers were so weird...it was strange. I could tell that some of the other girls in the class were trying to follow her lead, but after I told her her mimicking was enough the girls stopped, too. For the rest of class she was fine, but the whole situation was really weird.

    I asked her former English teacher what was her deal and apparently she was exactly like this last year and has issues at home. I feel so anxious because I already feel like I have started off on the wrong foot with this girl.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 21, 2018

    This might be an opportunity to develop a rapport with this girl. Maybe if you can find some way to connect on a personal basis, you can figure out what makes this girl behave the way she does and then you may be the teacher that helps her.
     
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  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 21, 2018

    Get the guidance counselor onboard if the issues at home are affecting classroom behavior
     
  5. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 21, 2018

    What grade is this? Are you by any chance new to this school, or grade level? Are you male or female -- not that it should matter, but she sounds like a "mean girl" type, who typically respond differently to women than to men. It sounds like you handled it well -- as others have recommended, the best approach I have had with "mean girls" is to try to get to know them. Not try to be their friend -- they will see through that. But try just asking her questions, not creepy, just casual conversational stuff, or commenting on her nail polish, phone case, stuff like that. If she rebuffs you, don't react. Continue to be firm and consistent, even if you know she is dealing with issues at home -- these kids need the consistency most of all. I bet she will come around if you show that you care and that you won't let yourself be bullied by her!
     
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  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 21, 2018

    I hate the tone of your last sentence. You sound as though you feel a bit guilty. I would much rather have read "I am concerned because she started off on the wrong foot with me." This is clearly her issue. You do not have to solve her problem, but you can take steps to maybe convince her to change her ways.

    I agree that being too friendly or trying to bring her over to "your side" is a mistake. Not only will she see right through that, she will use it to her advantage later. You can speak with her privately, let her know that your goal is to see her be successful, but you will not tolerate disrespect. Tell her she has a clean slate and you're willing to let bygones be bygones, but she's had her one and only warning. If the timing feels right, you can ask if she is facing any issues outside of class that prompts her to act out with you. Don't let her home life be an excuse for disrespect though.
     
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  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 21, 2018

    I would be 100 % firm and strict on her behavior - I would shut down any mocking or inappropriate behavior, just like you did. Not in an angry way and definitely don't show her that it bothers you, just let her know it's not ok and must be stopped.
    But also try to get to know her. She might not open up and let you in, there are students who would just not do that but you can do other things, for example ask her to do small jobs for you, etc.
    For example if I needed a form taken to the office, I would who could take it, a bunch of hands would fly up in the air and whoever I would choose would feel very special, just because I chose them over others.
    You might even talk to another teacher and have an arrangement to send a book over to his classroom. My first P suggested to do this when I needed a kid to take a break because behavior was getting out of hand. Asking him to do me a favor and take a book to another classroom gave him the opportunity to take a little time out / away, feel needed and feel special that I chose him.
     
  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Aug 25, 2018

    Some of this behavior might stem from an attempt on the girl's part to be a leader or a progenitor among her peers. She needs to learn more socially acceptable mannerisms for maintaining her social status. By establishing acceptable decorum for the classroom, as you did on the first day, this can shift the goal of the group towards meeting that decorum. There's never a magic formula, each situation is different, but usually your consistent expectations combined with your respect for each student in the class will be modeled back by the students. I agree with the above posts, too, that you can encourage respect and consideration through informal chats with the student(s).

    You know, I was thinking about this last night. Not that I was an "angel", but in school, it didn't matter who the teacher was or what occurred in class, I behaved--even with ADD, (and I wasn't totally minus the hyper part either). And not just me--the rest of the class normally behaved, too. I recall my 3rd and 4th grade teacher singling me out in class for my inattentiveness, and even then, I didn't seek revenge or transform into Otis Spofford or something. My parents taught me acceptable social decorum and I was taught such decorum in church and in school. TV shows, (such as Timmy and Lassie, Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood) emphasized appropriate behavior. (Thinking about it right now, even Batman modeled gallantry). Reading was a strong influence. Highlights magazine had episodes of Goofus and Gallant. The Sugar Creek Gang provided plenty of examples of good and bad choices. Current thought in education is that reading supports the development of empathy. Outside of school, I had plenty of play time to develop social skills. I also did chores and learned the importance of doing my part for the welfare of the family and group. What was missing in my childhood equally determined the outcome. I didn't have to worry about Facebooking and video gaming. Playing a game was hide and seek in the woods or beating my brother in chess. Recreation was exploring on our bikes. These activities involved my whole brain rather than mostly my lower brain. I'm not sure I'm describing a possible cure all for behavioral issues, but it must be stated, kids are different today than they were in my generation.
     
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  9. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Aug 30, 2018

    Thanks everyone for replying. It’s only week two and she is still my biggest challenge. It doesn’t help that her class has 33 kids in it, about 6 with either a 504/IEP and then a few other kids who have behavior issues. Thank GOD I have an aide, but it’s still giving me anxiety. I had my vice principal come to observe today. I’ve spoken to admin, counseling, etc. Bascially I am working with them to figure out how to support her and this class. This week she hasn’t been mocking, but she is still pretty disruptive. I have however, been able to actually get her to look me in the eye and had somewhat pleasant conversations with her. Still, there’s a lot of work to be done. Luckily I feel quite supported by admin and counseling, but I feel very anxious about this class. It’s my 8th year, but this class is making feel like I am a first year again.
     
  10. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Aug 31, 2018

    It sounds like you're doing a great job. I know the feeling, feeling like you're first-yearing it again, but in reality, your experience is guiding you through it. Remember, it's not you; it's the students who are misbehaving. This isn't Hogwarts. You can't snap your fingers or wave a wand (or wiggle your nose like Samantha used to do on TV). Most importantly, you have the administration and counselors on your side. That in my opinion is the greatest advantage in this type of situation.

    One tip that really helped me overall in my career was to play school. When I was alone at home (so no one would think I'd flipped), I'd pretend to be teaching and imagine all the possible antics that might occur in class. Then I'd rehearse responding. This type of drill helped me to automatically remain calm and clear headed when real classroom situations occurred.
     
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  11. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Sep 2, 2018

    Honestly, if I had a student in my class like that, I would say the word "Okay" purposely weird. Such as Orrrrkayya. Seriously..

    You really need to discuss the disrespectful and disruption that is occurring. Do explain the consequences for disrespect and indicate that there will be no expectations. I am not talking detention, but a nice visit to the hallway may be needed.
    As far as the family problems, I would request the guidance counselor to get involved to address the behavior and help with a self-management plan (for the kid). Emphasis on Kid.
     
  12. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Sep 2, 2018

    I love your response practicing. I do it all the time. :)
     

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