Help with silly, disrespectful class

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 18, 2015

    I'm looking for advice, because my class is driving me crazy.

    I have a few students who are CONSTANTLY silly. They honestly cannot really do anything throughout the day like a normal human being. Walking? Nope, they stomp and make faces. Eating snack? They eat with a "silly" chomp. Listening to a story? They have to find some obnoxious, rude thing to comment on and shout out about, so that everyone will laugh at them. Every. Single. Thing they do is silly. I've tried pointing out to them that a few people may laugh at them, but most kids are annoyed and frustrated. I make them go back and walk again, send them to their table spots. I've even sent them into the hallway, because I am so frustrated with them.

    The other problem is that my class as a whole is very disrespectful. If a supervisor talks to them in the lunchroom about behaving inappropriately, they laugh. In art class last week, one student was sticking her middle finger up at other students (she "didn't know what it meant"). In art class this week, the teacher had to have a class discussion, because they were using the word "pussy" in a derogatory way.

    I have talked to parents. I have given "minors" (our PBIS consequence). I've talked to these students one on one. I've tried behavior charts. We've had class conversations. They just don't seem to care. I'm at a loss. I keep hearing from other teachers that my class is so disrespectful. And they are. I'm at my wits end. These kids are very smart, and they are playing me. Honestly, at the beginning of the year I was told how amazing and sweet this group of 2nd graders was, so probably wasn't as hard on them as I should have been. I wish I would have known then what I know now, because I would have come down harder on some kids from the beginning.

    Does anyone have any character ed ideas or something? I thought about doing a character/team building activity every Friday maybe, to teach them the importance of being respectful to one-another. Help!
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 18, 2015

    How old are your student, DP? I think that mine are quite a bit older than yours, but I talk to them often about, "What do your actions say about your character?". I try to get them to understand that others make judgments about what kind of person they are by what they do and say.
     
  4. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 18, 2015

    They're 2nd graders.

    That's the type of discussions we've had, too. Then they seem to "get it," but act inappropriately shortly after. It's like acting silly is so much of who they are that they don't know how to act "normal" anymore.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 18, 2015

    Wipe the smiles off of their faces by giving them time-outs during fun activities, recess detention, lunch detention, or some other consequence.

    When a group of kids act silly, I make it very clear, that I don't find their behavior amusing in the least, and I do this with just a passive unamused facial expression, followed immediately by a severe consequence.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Nov 18, 2015

    I'm just starting to have this problem this week too. I think it's important to not react other than to calmly deliver a consequence. What Peregrin said is solid advice.
     
  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nov 18, 2015

    I agree with this. Also, let them know that you have a secret of how they can not laugh even when they feel a laugh approaching. If they put their tongue at the top of their mouth, it is impossible to laugh.
     
  8. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Nov 18, 2015

    Agreed! A few weeks ago I realized my classes were getting a little more rowdy then I wanted them to be so I reeled them back in real quick with some strict rules and consequences. They're pleasantly in line now. It's never too late to bring down the hammer! :cool:
     
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Nov 19, 2015

    Is there any follow through at home?
     
  10. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Nov 19, 2015

    Superflex is a good character building curriculum, based on a superhero theme. Our 1st grade team did one lesson every week, where the kids learn about one "supervillain" (these show different types of undesired behavior, such as being mean, being the class clown, not participating, etc) and learn how to respond to those supervillains, as well as how to avoid being "taken over" by them.

    Without having to implement that much extra stuff, though... do you have other meaningful consequences, such as losing a minute at recess for each time they misbehave? Writing apology letters to the people they are disrespectful toward? Losing privileges? Behavior charts (especially if signed by a parent)?

    And... is it really the whole class, or are there just a few instigators? Can you separate them physically from others? It also helps if you have a positive bond with these students, since they will be reprimanded so much.
     
  11. Education4all

    Education4all Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2015

    It all depends if the child has had an adequate upbringing. If they are feral children then most likely anything you do will not work because everything you are trying to correct is being reinforced at home.

    Find out what home life is like so you do not beat yourself up over something you have no control over.

    The change in behavior comes from the homefront. When the phone, games. privileges, etc, are taken away, behavior changes. It is too bad teachers have been stripped of any power to actually discipline students these days, but that is the society we live in today.

    My advice is to not beat yourself up over it. Some things you just cannot change and you shouldn't stress over it.

    Do what you can!
     
    miatorres likes this.
  12. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Nov 20, 2015

    It is definitely true that the way children behave is usually a reflection of their upbringing. My parents raised me to believe that I am in school to learn. They followed through because they insisted that I receive mostly A's and an occasional B. My citizenship grades had to be outstanding. Most of my peers in school also had that type of upbringing. Children of my peers are raised in the same manner and these children are well-behaved with all of their teachers.

    I agree that teachers shouldn't beat themselves up over disrespectful students. They often have disrespectful parents who condone poor behavior and grades. As a teacher, one thing that I have done in the past with tough classes is to start with the positive by discreetly sending notes home to parents of the children who are trying their best to learn in the classroom. I did this quietly because if the disrespectful children hear that others are doing well in class, they will make fun of the well-behaved children and I didn't want the latter to get discouraged. Some of the disrespectful children will even say that the teacher is just playing favorites. Yes, some children were that insufferable and their parents had the same attitudes.
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone! I'll have to look into Superflex.

    There is follow-through at home with almost all of the students. When they receive a consequence, they are visibly upset, and there are usually tears. The problem is that they don't seem to think about the consequences in the moment. It's like if they can get a laugh out of the other kids in that moment, that's all they're really thinking about.

    Unfortunately, I can't keep them in for lunch or recess. We have one 55-minute recess/lunch time, and I need all 55 minutes to pump.

    Today I'm going to do a lesson with Kid President, and have a discussion about making the word (and our classroom) a better place. We'll see how that goes. ;)
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Nov 21, 2015

    What?! I can't believe these 2nd graders are talking like this...What do the parents say about this? My guess is their behavior stems from what they are getting away with at home, which makes it difficult for you if you are not getting the parents' support.
     
  15. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Nov 21, 2015

    Oh, I played that for my class about a week ago! We then discussed in our class meeting what each of us can do to make the world a better place. I truly hope things improve.
     
  16. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Nov 21, 2015

    I do this with my "bad" class - none of them are allowed to help me do an experiment unless they are very well behaved. I will give them a list of 3-5 things I'm looking for and I will only call on students who are doing all 5 things. It proves to me that they CAN be very well behaved and they know they are working towards being able to do table group experiments when they're ready.

    Perhaps well behaved students are allowed to share their writing work under the document camera and can class edit together (other students have to peer edit at their tables). Math could have 10 minutes playing an online game. Etc.
     
  17. Stacy9876

    Stacy9876 Rookie

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    Nov 23, 2015

    Have you tried a red light, yellow light, green light system? Green meaning good work, yellow meaning you need to quickly alter your behavior to get back to green, and red meaning a loss of an activity or something. In my school we have a chart with all the kids names and a red, yellow or green piece of paper next to the names. Perhaps going over the rules and consequences each morning with the entire class and referring back to the chart would help? This is definitely a difficult situation but as with anything else I think consistency is key. Good luck!
     
  18. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Nov 27, 2015

    Do you do morning meeting? I had a very rough 3rd grade class and this helped somewhat.
     
  19. davefranco

    davefranco New Member

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    Nov 28, 2015

    Both will encourage more disrespectful behavior from your students. When you react angrily or with spite, you cause your students to resent you, resulting in more of the same unwanted behavior.

    I’ve heard teachers say that they don’t care if they’re disliked, that it isn’t their job to have students like them. This may be true, but it will make you a less effective teacher and make classroom management more difficult.

    Taking poor student behavior personally sends the message to your students that they can push your buttons and disrupt your day if they choose. This shifts control over to your students and weakens your ability to manage your classroom.

    When you react out of anger, you are inviting, even daring, disrespect. Back anyone into a corner, and they’ll want to fight back or resolve to get even. Butting heads with students always results in more bad behavior.

    You must have a bit of shrewdness in you when it comes to classroom management and understand that the most effective classroom management strategies don’t always jibe with our most natural reactions.

    So when a student is blatantly disrespectful, especially in front of the rest of your students, it is only natural to take it personally. It’s how we’re wired. But if you can take a step back and realize you’re shooting yourself in the foot every time you react on instinct, then you can gain immediate control of the situation without losing your cool—or your authority.

    So how should you react?

    The most effective way to handle disrespect is to simply and dispassionately follow your classroom management plan and enforce a consequence.

    Enforcing your classroom rules—which should include a rule specifically for disrespectful behavior—with an attitude of indifference strengthens your authority and your classroom management effectiveness.

    This can be a challenge at times because initially, as a jolt of adrenaline surges through your body, it can make you feel like somehow the student won, that he or she got away without knowing how their disrespect made you feel. But a student only wins when they’re able to get under your skin.

    Like the old deodorant commercial says, “Never let them see you sweat.”

    Rest assured, you’re not folding or giving in by resisting the urge to react emotionally. Rather, your constraint is a model for your students for how to handle negative situations with poise and without lowering yourself to the same level of disrespect.

    Let your classroom management plan do its job. Relying upon yourself and your words, besides being ineffective, is stressful. Send the message that being respectful is not a choice in your classroom and that anyone who engages in disrespectful behavior will be held accountable.

    However, if your first consequence upon a student breaking a rule is a warning, then this isn’t a strong enough response to disrespect.

    Therefore, as part of your classroom management plan, there must be an allowance made for situations in which stiffer consequences are needed immediately. Disrespectful behavior, emotional outbursts, and bullying other students are examples of behavior that would warrant an immediate time-out separation from the rest of the class and, more than likely, a letter home to parents.

    Your students must be made aware that there are circumstances that are up to the discretion of the teacher. Therefore, this exception must be part of your classroom management plan and posted on your classroom wall.

    Handling disrespectful students with calmness and dispassion will decrease the likelihood of it happening again. But there are other things you to do to create an atmosphere of respect in your classroom. For example:

    1. Students will emulate you and the way you treat others, particularly if they admire you. So it’s important to set the tone of respect in your classroom by the way you speak to students.

    2. You must be respectful, exceedingly so, in all of your interactions. I know you’ve heard it before, but saying please and thank you works. For your students to get the message, you need to use exaggerated politeness (though never obsequiousness) in front of them.

    3. Gain your students respect by doing exactly what you say you will do and having your words congruent with your actions. If you require your students to keep their desks clean and neatly organized, but you don’t keep yours that way, your students will notice. They clue in to little discrepancies like this. They glean more about who you are from what you do than for what you say.

    4. Stop telling your students how you expect them to behave and instead show them how. Model what respect looks like and role-play how to give it. Teach respect like you would any other subject area.
     
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  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 28, 2015

    DaveFranco: Please make sure that when you copy and paste something directly from another source, that you give credit to that source.

    http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2009/07/31/how-to-handle-disrespectful-students/

    But the article is very true. Don't give consequences vengefully. I still think, showing them that you are unamused and giving them a consequence (time-outs or recess detentions) for disrupting the learning in the classroom is merited.
     
  21. davefranco

    davefranco New Member

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    Nov 30, 2015

    yeah sure. I will take care next time.
     
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