He flicked me!

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by BeckyPie7, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. BeckyPie7

    BeckyPie7 Companion

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    I'm just so angry right now I need to vent while my students are doing their bell work. After first bell I was helping another student with her makeup work and another student needed to ask if he could go to the bathroom before class. I held up my finger admonishing him to wait a minute. He just kept saying my name so I ignored him. He then proceeded to FLICK me in the arm. It hurt! I actually thought he had smacked me because it hurt. I spun around and said, "Don't you hit me! You wait your turn!" He said he didn't hit me and then he said "I did this..." and proceeded to flick me again. I told him that he wasn't to flick me either and he walked away to go to the bathroom. I was so flustered. I couldn't get anything else out. These are 10th graders and he flicked me! Should I write this up or is my reaction and anger at him enough of a punishment? I've half a mind to write him up for it. Usually, I don't write them up unless I first tell them I'm going to but this time I feel like writing him up regardless.
     
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  3. Nys1

    Nys1 Rookie

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    I absolutely, without a doubt would write him up. Any amount of violence, even being flicked on the arm, can not be tolerated. Giving him a referral lets him and the others know loud and clear where the boundaries are. Not that they don't already know- but when they test you, you have to respond.

    Good luck...
     
  4. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    Alternately, you could have a private conversation with this student. You could let him know how you perceived the event. You could let him know why you think it is problematic. You could provide him with alternate ways to get your attention. You could conclude by letting him know that if you observe this behavior again, he will be "written up."

    This would allow you to maintain or further develop a personal relationship and actually teach the student an alternate way to behave. Simply writing a student up probably eliminates this option.
     
  5. AbbyR

    AbbyR Rookie

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    Apr 24, 2007

    No chat - he hits, he goes. You really can't tolerate that kind of behavior.
     
  6. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I agree with synapse. Also, how long would it have taken for you to say yeah go the bathroom. If an adult had to go the bathroom would you tell them to wait while you finished working with someone else, or would you have let them go? The flicking is not ok but remember our behavior leads to their behavior.
     
  7. BeckyPie7

    BeckyPie7 Companion

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    He wasn't asking to go to the bathroom when I told him to wait. He was repeating my name over and over and over. I'm sorry but I disagree with you JaimeMarie. He was interrupting a conversation I was having with another student. That is rude and, I believe, should not be tolerated. They are students but they need to learn how to patiently wait their turn to talk. It was only, after, I was flicked and turned around that he told me he needed to use the bathroom. Disrespect is disrespect. If an adult was having a conversation with another adult you wouldn't go up to them, stand behind them and repeat their name until they gave you your full attention. You would wait patiently until they were done and then you would address them. That's the ADULT thing to do. They aren't adults but we are training them to be adults. I don't view it as my fault in any way. He was being impatient and rude, even if he had not flicked me he was still doing something wrong by interrupting a conversation.
     
  8. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    Precisely why I suggested using this as an opportunity to teach. Using this as an opportunity to teach, in the way I suggested above, does not excuse the behavior. It provides one with the opportunity to listen, clarify, explain and create a plan for future interactions.
     
  9. BeckyPie7

    BeckyPie7 Companion

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    I agree :)
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    It's not about how long it would take to answer someone JamieMarie. This kid needed to go to the bathroom this time, next time he needs a pencil, then a kleenex, and so on. I NEVER let a kid interrupt me when I am talking, no matter what. Interrupting is a huge pet peeve, and I wouldn't think twice about writing him up Becky. What kind of a precedent is it setting to let a kid lay a hand on you? Bathroom or not, you were absolutely not at fault.

    kcjo
     
  11. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    kcjo..I tend to agree...It's a respect thing & the students need to give it to you. Like you said you are training them to be adults. None of us would do that to our principal. Even now we are trying to teach our lil' one what to do when someone is talking. I do have to say it kinda makes me laugh to hear the lil' one say Excuse me. I don't laugh, but say Thank you for being polite. I guess it's sad to think that our much younger child has more manners than a 10th grader!!!

    Becky, I would go with your gut on what you fell you should do...you were there, but to flick you twice...for me I wouldn't put up with it!!!
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    You said you had "half a mind to write him up."

    It seems to me as though you've decided, so do it.

    I know that any student in my school (grades 6-12) knows better than to hit a teacher-- this is NOT something that needs a warning!
     
  13. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    So the student repeated your name, you held up a finger and ignored him, he flicked, you turned, he quickly spouted "i've got to go to the bathroom," to which you responded "don't you hit me, you wait your turn! he then replied "I didn't hit you I did this. and again flicked you.

    Well, I have often thought of the world as a dance: Every step is complimented by another step. Action and Reaction, if you will. Now, what your student did was indeed disrespectful, you have every right to write him up. But, I do not believe that he was the only disrespectful one in that room.

    It is always discouraging to hear when people believe we "train" children.

    If we want our tenth graders to do the "adult thing" then why are we having them ask to go to the bathroom.

    finally, I agree with synapse harness teachable moments...

    good luck
    by the way, if a fifteen year old flicked me to get my attention I would be pretty upset.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My kids (7th graders) know that I'll say yes if they want to go to the bathroom. If I'm in conversation before class, most catch my eye, point, and wait for me to nod.

    I don't believe in making kids beg to go the bathroom. But, by the same token, I need to know where my kids are.

    But "flicking" me even once would be a mistake.
     
  15. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    i completely agree with the interruption piece...huge pet peeve of mine too and i am trying to teach my first graders this. it is hard because many of them think about so many things that they forget when they have to wait....
    i agree in the teachable moments response. but it does not mean i would be upset but i believe by talking to the student about it the rest of the class will not step over that line either.
    i don't forsee more flicking in your future:)
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    If someone repeats my name over and over, it usually means something is quite urgent, which I perceive in this case as someone who needed to use the bathroom NOW. What do you think he should have done if he indeed had to go urgently?
     
  17. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Grammy, I see your point, but he's not a little boy. I don't know if this was at the beginning or end of the class. But flicking?!? He couldn't have been polite and said Excuse me Mrs. ____ may I use the rest room or slipped a piece of paper to the teacher??? I mean a 10th grader should know what to do use the bathroom before/after class.
     
  18. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I certainly agree that the "flicking" was wrong. He called her name many times. Would it have made a difference if he'd added the "excuse me?"
     
  19. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    My kids know that they should never interrupt unless it's urgent ("blood or a fire" is my standard explanation!), in which case an interjection of, "Excuse me Mrs C, I really need to go to the toilet," would be acceptable, if frowned upon. But someone actually flicking/hitting me would never be accepted! Even a tug on my sleeve would get a severe look and question.

    I'd be giving a detention (not sure what "writing up" entails, but for me a detention is bigger than a name up but smaller than a demerit) with a chat about better ways the student could have handled the urgency of the request. I'd also be thinking about how I handled the lead up to the incident - I don't think you're at fault, BeckyPie, but perhaps you could have handled the situation better.
     
  20. Miss

    Miss Rookie

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    To address a couple of points that some have brought up ... Just because a child repeats your name over and over again does not mean it's urgent. I've had to work very hard to teach my students not to do this, as they seemed to think this was an acceptable way to get my attention for just about anything. Of course I teach sixth graders, but I'm sure that some high school kids are similarly lacking in social skills.

    And I see nothing wrong with having kids ask before going to the restroom. Some of us teach at the kind of schools where kids will sometimes ask to go to the restroom, and then proceed to run around the school banging on classroom doors and running from teachers and administrators when they are spotted. Some of them will sneak off to do drugs and have sex. (Two of my sixth graders were caught doing this recently.) But more often, they use the restroom as an excuse to get out of class. Their big thing seems to be arranging meetings with their friends from other classes at designated times during class, so they can wander around. All I'm saying is that it's good to know when they are, and to have some control over how kids come and go from one's classroom. It's not unreasonable to require them to ask.

    To address the original post ... I don't blame you for being angry with the boy, Becky. If it were me, I would not write him up, but I would have a chat with him. Flicking is definitely not okay, but if he has such a major restroom emergency, perhaps the two of you could come up with a better way to get your attention in the future. If I'm in the middle of something, my students simply bring the hall pass up to me and hold it up with a questioning look on their faces.
     
  21. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    Fair point. But if they are engaging in a particular behavior to get out of class, shouldn't we, the teachers, be asking ourselves what IS going on in class? Instruction is under our direct control. If students are working hard to get away from us, something is not working correctly.
     
  22. booklover

    booklover Rookie

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    I think it's silly to assume that if we are just interesting enough, just fun and wonderful enough, kids will stop being kids and really want to get to class and work hard.
    We are with them hundreds of days and instruction needs to happen. Sometimes it's chaotic. A tenth grader needs to learn the right way to ask for something. There is no blame on the teacher at all in this instance. If it was a true emergency (which, let's be real, it really hardly ever is) said tenth grader should have quietly said something. What tenth grader is that willing to advertise it when he really has a bathroom emergency?
    Students are way too quick to use disrespectful words and actions. They are part of a larger system and had better learn how to operate in it.
    You should do what you feel is right, but I would be as enraged and flustered as you were.
     
  23. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Be careful to keep yourselves under control when dealing with issues like this. That's my advice. None of us know the student or how urgent his situation was, but it's certainly nothing to be in a rage over. Be careful not to "assume" anything about him. If you truly feel that angry, I would suggest putting things in perspective before reacting. We are there to teach and model and to lose ones temper is not the answer. Just give him a better solution to the problem should it arise again. Slipping a note to the teacher perhaps?
     
  24. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    Apr 25, 2007

     
  25. BeckyPie7

    BeckyPie7 Companion

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    Wow, I didn't know this would prompt so many responses. I'm grateful for all of your opinions. I could have handled it a bit more calmly but I wasn't at all "enraged" I was angry. My personal motto in class is to "forgive and forget" I refuse to let a bad experience with a student ruin my relationship with him or her. After telling him that he was not to hit or flick me I treated him the same way I always do, with kindness and respect. I know it's my first year as a teacher and I don't always do things correctly but I feel I handled this okay. I know it's good to look back and reflect so we don't make the same mistakes.
    The students at this school are not permitted in the hallways during class. It's just the school's policy. They know that, if they ask me during class I'll say no. They all know that, if they need to go to the bathroom they should go before or after class. The only time I ask them to tell me that they are going is if they think it will make them late for class. He knows, from experience, that I would have addressed him in a moment. What I was trying to teach him in this teachable moment is that he shouldn't interrupt conversations.
    I'm still learning how to be a good teacher. I think we all are. We're never done learning, even those with tons of experience. I appreciate the advice.
     
  26. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    BeckyPie7,

    You sound like a terrific teacher. Don't be put off by all the responses. I find the discussions here very interesting and useful, even when they drift away from the original post. The comments point to all sorts of ways of thinking and acting in classrooms. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree...the usefulness of a forum like this is that you get to hear all sorts of perspectives, then filter them through your own real experience.

    I believe that as long as we make decisions that will meet the needs of OUR students (not only the students in our classrooms, but those in our school communities) then we are probably making the right decisions.
     
  27. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Grammy I was going to suggest this last nite, but was called by hubby!!! A note to the teacher. Or like I was going to say we don't know when this was during the class. I know my 1st graders knew to use the bathroom before school started & to wait until after we get our instructions.

    Like you said it's important to remember how we react as the teacher.
     
  28. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    See you did learn something from this! That is all I was trying to say. Which I didn't do very well yesterday :eek:
    Once I had a 7th grader grab my butt. He did it quick and was back in his seat before I could see who did it. The class told on him. I was so mad, I told them to all stay seated. I walked next door asked the teacher to watch the class and went directly to the principals office.
    The student was suspended. What did I learn from that, to pay attention to the other students in the classroom. This happened about five years ago. You're right we are still all learning. I learn how to manage behaviors different and how to instruct so the students are learning everyday. I adapt and change to meet the needs of the students. It sounds like that is what you are doing to.
    It's hard on here sometimes when some one explains a situation for others to understand with out seeing it. We did not know the policy about the bathroom. So I can understand how that is out of your control. Hopefully there won't be a next time of this behavior. If there is what will you do differently?
     
  29. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    This is a little besides the point... I agree that the behavior is entirely inappropriate for high school (if it was one of my 8y/o's I would go the discussion route but the big ones should understand)

    But: When I was in high school, we didn't have to ask the teachers if we could use the bathroom. It was made clear that if you have to leave the room you quietly and inconspicuously do so. High Schoolers are already considered mature enough to use their discretion as to how much class they wanted to miss and to have consideration for others who are waiting to get the pass back. Some teachers imposed a little more order by telling us that we'd get a mark in his roll book each time we left the room, and for each three (I think) marks or if it took too long to get back we'd get a point taken off our grade.

    I think that HS is too old for the teacher to be worrying about the students' leaving class. They should be responsible for themselves and not acting like babies trying to get the teacher's attention every time they need something. Even in my third grade we try to train them in already to make sure they have enough pencils, books, etc before class so we don't have constant interruptions. And we have a sign for going to the bathroom (they raise two fingers instead of the whole hand) so instead of calling on kids for that constantly, the teacher sees what they want instantly and either nods or shakes no.
     
  30. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    But in some districts you have to know where each and every child is. They don't want students in the hallway or bathrooms by themselves. They think that the students cause too much trouble during those times.
     
  31. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Of if they leave school property and get in an accident it would be the teacher and the schools fault. I think we already had this conversation in another post.
     
  32. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    I don't get it-- if the child asks you if he can use the bathroom, and you say yes, and he takes the pass and goes off by himself, he can get into the same accidents or trouble as if you make a policy that the student can take the pass and go himself. What's the point?
     
  33. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    She said they are not allowed by admin to let the students out of the room during class time.
     
  34. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Policies?

    Somewhat relevant (though rather silly) question:

    Some of you have shared, but what bathroom use policies do you have in place? I have been saying "yes" almost anytime students ask, but I have noticed that a lot of them seem to use it as a chance to avoid something they don't like. As soon as a discussion that they aren't interested in begins, they raise their hand and ask to go. For one thing, it completely belittles whatever else was going on, and this bothers me. I fear the same thing would happen if I let them come and go with just a look or signal as well. I don't want to be hyper-controlling-- they are high school students and should have some freedom-- but I get a little frustrated when the bathroom is used as an opportunity to blow off a class activity. It's usually fairly obvious and other students notice. I know that my class should be engaging enough that this shouldn't be a huge problem, but until I reach the pinnacle of 100% engagement of 100% of the students :)angel: ), what would people suggest?
     
  35. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    WRITE HIM UP! He was very disrespectful and if you flicked him, you would be in the newspaper now for touching a poor, defenseless student. Other people would never tolerate being touched that way in the workplace and we don't have to take it either.
     
  36. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The point is that you know where your kids are in the event of a problem. Should the fire alarm go off, or the school go into lockdown, you know who is missing and where he said he would be. True, he may be elsewhere, but at least you have a starting place.

    Also, I think the alternative is a complete open door policy, having the kids come and go at their own discretion. I'm not sure how many 7th graders would hang around for my class if they were allowed to simply get up and go when they wanted to.
     
  37. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I can just imagine the streams of kids going to the bathroom!!!! They'd have a field day!
     
  38. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I have the open door policy for the bathroom and drinks but the school is extremely small! I can see the bathroom from where I sit the older kids just get up and go and come right back. The little kids usually ask to go get a drink. I can't see the water fountain from their room. There is one in the room but it's HOT. The little kid's use the bathroom in the classroom, the older kid's won't. You can hear them go, and they get all embarrassed. So I have a tv and a couple other things stored in their bathroom.
     
  39. BeckyPie7

    BeckyPie7 Companion

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    That's true Alice...my kids can not be trusted to go to the bathroom. A few times in, what appeared to be a dire emergency, I have made an exception and I learned my lesson. If I let these kids go to the bathroom they won't, and don't come back. Then, if an administrator comes looking for them I'm in trouble for letting them go. I think Bored of Ed need to remember that High School today isn't the way it was when we were in High School. I'm only 24 and there are still HUGE differences. The kids, for one, are very different. This might not be true for other districts but, in this one, they are VERY poorly behaved. Because of the huge behavior problems at this school we have to be accountable for each student. These students do not want to be in class. I can't count the number of times in a given lesson I'm interrupted by a student at the door asking to speak to someone's cousin's mother and stating that it's an emergency, when all it is is a chance to gossip or tell them when and where the next fight is. If they don't come and knock on the door their standing at the door mouthing things to other students, rattling the door, waving wildly and goofing off...That's what happens when you let them go to the bathroom. I'm gracious enough to forgive a slight tardy if they let me know they are going to the bathroom before class but, after the bell rings they know they can't ask to go to the bathroom. Granted, sometimes they just get up and leave but that's another situation.
     
  40. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    If the student had just left class after calling your name a couple of times; then returned ten minutes later what would have been your response. Would you have ran after him as soon as he left, would you have just called admin., or would you have waited and addressed the problem upon his return?
     
  41. Ms. Kat

    Ms. Kat New Member

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    I have been reading this thread with interest. I am a special education teacher who teaches middle school students. Setting limits and teaching appropriate behavior is a daily thing in my classroom.

    Let's face it, this kid has been told by every teacher he has ever had since preschool that this kind of behavior is inappropriate. You all remember, "Keep your hands, feet, and other objects to yourself!" It's probably the most repeated sentence in the history of education.

    That said, there need to be consequences for his extremely inappropriate behavior. However, BeckyPie, you don't have to decide what you want to do right this minute. Take the time you need to sort this out.

    I'm human and kids can punch my buttons. When something like this happens in my classroom (and it did two weeks ago) I take a deep breath and I tell the student that their behavior was so totally inappropriate that I don't yet know what I am going to do about it. I will sleep on it and when I decide I will let them and their parents know what I will do. In the meantime, I urge them in a sympathetic tone, to try not to worry about it. I then spend as much time as I need consulting with my mentors and support system to decide how to make this a significant emotional experience for this child so that he understands other people's personal boundaries. If he tries this kind of behavior on other people, say for instance an officer of the law, he could find himself up on assault charges. It is neither caring or kind to let him believe that this isn't a big thing. It is also perfectly acceptable to let him know that you are hurt, angry, and extremely disappointed in him. (Say it with great sadness!) Teachers are people and entitled to the same consideration as everyone else. If you had flicked him you could loose your job and risk legal charges. If you care about this kid don't let anyone persuade you to brush this off. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers!
     

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