Having issues with a 7th grade student (substitute)

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Abraham A., Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Abraham A.

    Abraham A. Rookie

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    Feb 3, 2016

    Hello,

    This is my first post and the subject is basically why I signed up to write on these forums.
    I sub frequently at this middle school, mostly for the seventh grade. Most of those classes there is this seventh grade girl who rarely does her work and challenges my authority a lot. I started being lenient with her because she went through tough times but gradually she developed an attitude and I've been getting tougher. She has to toned it down but recently I had an incident with her.

    I was subbing for a math class. In the beginning of the period, after the bell rang, she pops in and takes a student out of class without my permission. The girl she takes gets in trouble for that. Later on, as I was helping students in an already difficult class (lots of kids with a sub in a small room is a recipe for a headache), she comes in (I don't have her during that period) and interrupts me. I tell her to get to class but she begs me to let her in to get her pencil. I roll my eyes and let her in but she goes to hug two of the students and skips around the room and taunts me. She then leaves but before going into the hallway she kicks the door stopper away and slams the door behind her. I close the door and lock it. A few minutes later I hear knocking. When I open the door, no ones there but I hear running.
    I keep one of the doors open and that's when I see the security officer walking down the hall and hear a girls voice.
    I've subbed for this girl many times and she asks to leave class a lot but I let her because I know kids at that age need to move around otherwise they get anxious or excited which makes it harder to manage them. I'm also very lenient with her on block days (when we have two hour classes). I have noticed her hanging around the hallway near the class with other students. I didn't think much of it but after what she did I realized she wasn't really going to the nurse or bathroom or the water fountain.
    So I grabbed a referral from the teachers desk and wrote her up. After turning it in to the office, I was told they gave her 2 days ISS.
    A few days later, when I subbed again for a different teacher, after the dismissal bell, I saw her walk by me and she was talking about me out loud but I didn't acknowledge her because I was in a rush to my second job and didn't have time to lecture her. I really do want to talk to her but I'm not sure how to approach her. I wanted to do the firm, scolding talk but knowing this girl, I don't want to enrage her or even maker her cry. I don't want to parent her, that's her Moms job (even though her mom is the type of parent that wants to be her kids dis friend instead of being a parent, the girl comes to school with her lips pierced and the school called her mother and she yelled not at the student at the assistant principal).
    I want to know what's the best way to approach this girl.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 3, 2016

    As a sub, I'm not sure that you need to have a "firm, scolding talk" with her. The referral is enough.

    Stop being lenient. She is taking advantage of you.
     
  4. Abraham A.

    Abraham A. Rookie

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    I know I shouldn't but I sub at this school a lot, and she's in a lot of classes I'm subbing. I want this student to get the message that im not going to be lenient with her anymore and I feel If she hears from me directly, she'll get the picture. She's gotten many referrals before from other subs and she's doesn't budge.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 3, 2016

    The problem I'm seeing is that you keep being lenient with her. I also understand why, I've been there. You'd rather let her get a little of her ways than to always have huge scenes and problems and then have to confront her and deal with her, write her up, etc.
    The problem is that she's taking advantage of you; you let her do one thing that you shouldn't, then she wants more and more, and it's just easier for you to give in. She's manipulating you.
    You need to be strict, and do not let her get away with anything. Who cares if she's talking about you?
    If she does annoying things like knocking on the door then running away (very annoying) write her up or give detention or do whatever the consequence is at your school).
     
  6. Abraham A.

    Abraham A. Rookie

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    Feb 3, 2016

    I probably should've mentioned that this is my first year subbing (I'm planing on becoming a teacher). I don't care that she's talking about me, but the issue is she said it out loud as I walked by. I couldn't do anything because it was after school and I did notify a colleague who works at the school. And I have been strict with her as well as all the students.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 4, 2016

    Honestly, it just feels like your efforts would be wasted if you try to have a "firm, scolding talk" with a kid whom you see only intermittently and with whom you admittedly have been lenient.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
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  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 4, 2016

    If you cease being lenient, she will get the message. Actions speak louder than words. Just be consistent with holding her accountable for her behavior. Pulling her into a talk will likely just end badly, as you said.
     
  9. Abraham A.

    Abraham A. Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2016

    Ok everyone, thanks for all your help. The problem kind of solved itself. I subbed for another teacher the student had again and though she had an attitude at first, I sent her to the librarian (who usually helps me out with misbehaving students) where she had the student clean around the library. Eventually the student came back and gave me no more trouble for the rest of class. In fact, she was a lot nicer and respectful. The other day, she was even a little sad when I returned to the school the next day and I told her I wasn't going to be subbing for any of her teachers that day. I never had to lecture her. I think she got the idea I wasn't going to be lenient with her like I was in the past. I did tell her if she wanted to know why I wrote her up, she could talk to me and the librarian in private. But she probably knows why I did. Thanks for the suggestions.
     
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  10. bridgebreaker

    bridgebreaker Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2016

    This sounds like a city school. That is classic "cutting up." She is building her street cred---her reputation. She will keep it up. You need to read a book called, "Tough Guys Torture Teachers" Its on Amazon. Author is Jonteel Baldwin.
     
  11. Abraham A.

    Abraham A. Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2016

    Lol, actually, it's more of a suburban middle school. The kids there are THAT bad. I don't sub at the schools in the rougher areas mainly because they are too far away and not worth the hassle. I'll take up on the book though. But at the schools I'm subbing, the kids just get a little in over their heads.
     
  12. bridgebreaker

    bridgebreaker Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2016

    Tell her that if she wants to cut up, do it elsewhere. Play it off like you're in the know.
    Incidentally, if you are being good, then you aren't cutting up.
    Also, its not student to student, the teacher is the target.
    I hear it isn't just in the urban schools, its spreading... about 50 miles from us, we have a little school district in the country (near the mountains), and they are getting it there!
    Get yourself down to the teachers lounge and trade notes with the other teachers too. Get close to the dean or principal. Let people know your a soldier in the trenches, just like them. If you dont, the kids will paint you as a loser, and everyone will believe the lie. .
    She is hitting you hard because you're a sub, but she's also doing it with the other teachers. Compare stories. Ask advice. People like it when you ask for their opinion.
    PS now is the time when you can grab a sub placing that will last till the end of the year. If you do well, you may be offered a position. I was. . . But beware. If the teacher is having a nervous breakdown, the kids are bad.
    PPS Had some good times (as a sub) hanging out in the teacher's lounge. Get to know them, and they will put a good word in. job hunting is easier when you have your pals talking you up.
    PPPs. If you have a situation, dont call for security/ school police on the phone.. Go across the hall pop your head into the next class and very quickly ask the teacher to send security to your room. The minute you go for the phone, they will stop acting out and become angels. I had two caught "sleeping" on a large table when security walked in. Let them try explaining that.
    PPPS. ask what the principal prefers as "punishment"...Some schools reward the Principal if there are fewer "write ups."
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  13. Abraham A.

    Abraham A. Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2016


    I appreciate the advice, but I've got it under control for now. The students where I sub are generally good kids with a few bad apples.
     
  14. Clay Morgan

    Clay Morgan Rookie

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    Feb 25, 2016

    When I read this, it struck me as interesting since it was a 7th grader.

    I've landed in a long-term position that will expire in about 5 or 6 more weeks. Most of the classes I work with are great, but the 7th graders - an all boys class - Whew.

    What I've noticed is some of the other classes - even the 8th graders - I can cut a little slack here and there. Seventh is definitely "give an inch, take a mile" mentality. I've noticed even the regular teachers struggle to keep them under control and I've heard most other subs won't sub the class.

    They are very smart, bright kids. They are learning the material, but unfortunately, from a behavior/discipline point of view, I've had to take an absolute zero tolerance stance at all times.
     
  15. bridgebreaker

    bridgebreaker Rookie

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    Feb 25, 2016

    I see similarity to my experience. When young, I was a gang type, so when I became a teacher, I didnt write them up. I sent them out of the room. I didnt have time to waste, I simply said "get out." The problem disappeared. Security scooped them up. "Little bunny foo foo, running through the woods, scooping up the field mice." I was all business, and since I didn't rat on them, I stayed true to the code, they respectd that. The Dean thought the world of me, and I got a job offer the next year.
     

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