How a new teacher can prepare to deal with aggression, inattention, and rudeness

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by jamoehope, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. jamoehope

    jamoehope Companion

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    Jun 8, 2008

    Hello,

    I'm going to be very likely working as new resource teacher where I've heard the biggest behavior issues in elementary level are aggression, inattention, and rudeness. What do any of you suggest are good ways to deal with these issues?

    I worry that my own personality might be a problem because sometimes I can be too patient (like let things slide). I am too quick to give attention when maybe I shouldn't (like if the kid wants negative attention).

    Aggression also worries me the most because I tend to be passive when handling aggression I know that more often than not I will need to be a lot more assertive than I am used to being.

    For inattention, I've read the other posts and thought about my own plans to try to relate what I teach the students to what their own interests and values are. I plan to find out their interests and values at the beginning of the year through informal interviews.

    For rudeness, I've considered reading the "Love and Logic" book, but I wonder what else are practical suggestions.

    Thank you! If this sort of thread has already been answered 100 times before, please direct me on where I ought to look.

    Jamie
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jun 8, 2008

    Avoid power struggles ! That's my best advice. Keep a neutral tone of voice when dealing with rudenss... otherwise it will more than likely escalate. Aggression needs to be dealt with immediately, and by that, I mean removing the aggressor from the situation.

    Each situation is unique, but you sound like a person who can handle it.
     
  4. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    Jun 9, 2008

    Google "the conflict cycle"...also Dr. Nicholas Long...You may want to read Conflict in the Classroom by Long and Morse.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 9, 2008

    I agree with both of the above posters. I like love and logic and I've heard a lot of good things about power teaching. Those should be good places to start. I think the most important thing is to have a clear plan in place and to be slavishly consistent to it. Hopefully, you won't have to deal with more than a few negative incedents, then the appeal of positive attention will far outweigh the negative. The key, and I think this goes for all children, not just inner city kids, is to be yourself and use a system that works for YOU and to be super consistent with implementing it.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 9, 2008

    Good advice. Another suggestion--don't go in expecting the worst. If you set high behaviour expectations for your students and communicate those expectations clearly to them, most will follow them. For those who don't, consistency and fairness will be what they are looking for.
     
  7. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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  8. ~Nicole

    ~Nicole Comrade

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    Jun 9, 2008

    find some key phrases and memorize them, frequently heard in my classroom...

    I do not negotiate with students. (In this day many students do not see their arguing as arguing but bargining or negotiating)

    Can you stay calm and tell me what happened?

    look up www.bist.org for a great resource when working with any child but especially the behavior challenged
     
  9. ~Nicole

    ~Nicole Comrade

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    Jun 9, 2008

    oh-I repeat my 4 class rules quite a bit too (I have a behaviorly challenged classroom) (with a change from I to can)

    -Can you take care of yourself even if you are mad?

    -Can you be productive and follow directions even if you don't want to?

    -Can you be okay even if someone else is not okay?

    -Can you be where an adult tells you to be?

    If at any time a student answers no to any of those questions then they are telling me they can not be part of the class. We use (and I love) BIST so from there they would go to the safe spot for a think sheet, buddy room or safe room.
     
  10. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Jamie,

    1) Effective discipline is 99% body language

    - Facing a student square-on, toes pointed, shoulders square,
    relaxing jaw (roll tongue to roof of mouth), arms at side or behind
    back (hand gestures signal upset) signal "I mean business"

    - Sideways, quarter turn, or anything less than 90 degrees signals
    "I'll be your friend if you'll be mine."

    - "Talk" by the teacher -- yelling, reprimanding, arguing, debating,
    lecturing, citing will be the words a disruptive student will use as
    bait to fish and reel the teacher in.

    - You will get upset in the face of provocation. Accept fact
    you are human. Do not open mouth, however, which is what
    biology (fight-flight) will strain to do. Instead take two relaxing
    breaths (practice at home) and think of something pleasant like
    a day at the beach. Do not listen to student's words -- they
    are all back talk with goal to get teacher off balance and control
    agenda

    - When student realizes ploy (back talk) is not working he/she will
    run out of gas and give up. Everyone in class will know who has
    been the nice person and who has been mean. They will also
    notice a teacher who can't be rattled, who stays calm. Thus
    other students (they are experts in adult behavior) will be less
    likely to try disrupting since it doesn't seem to work.

    - In short, "Calm is strength while upset is weakness" - FJ.
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jun 11, 2008

    I like Randy Sprick's CHAMPs program which focuses on teaching procedures and expectations.

    Another thing that helps is to not go into it expecting the worst. A few years ago we had "that class" . . . you know, the ones that you hear about for years before they actually get to your grade. Honestly, I didn't WANT to know. I ended up having them in sixth grade, although I usually have 7th graders. Than meant I had them the next year, too. It wasn't easy, but I had to make myself not expect them to come in with the behavior issues I'd seen previously.
     
  12. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Excelent advise, loomistrut. I also agree with MrsC. I expected a lot out of my kiddos, and I got it (some with more ease than others). I think the kids truely appriciated the fact that some grown up thought they were worth enought to expect great things out of them.
     
  13. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jun 11, 2008

    I may be back here...as I interviewed with a director who told me this class has lots of behavior problems, lots of hitting, and big turnover with staff. That right there signals some of the reasons. Kids act out because of fear and frustration in too many changes in their environment. So it is hard for a new teacher to come in and calm them down, without losing their mind in the process. You get mad, no support, and quit..and it becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy, the kids excpect you to go..so they keep on acting out. :(

    sigh.....
     
  14. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2008

    I am an advocate of Power Teaching. It uses a classroom management system and teaching approach that the kids love and really buy into enthusiastically.

    Just ask if you would like more details.
     
  15. jamoehope

    jamoehope Companion

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    Jun 15, 2008

    Thank you all for the tips, rules that you use, and websites. I think what I'll be doing is planning out my own expectations and review behavior books such as "Power Teaching," "CHAMPS," "Conflict Cycle," and others to find what works for me.

    Thanks especially to Loomistrout for the post on body language! That is what worries me the most, I think. I do not inherently act assertive, especially when in a new situation (such as teaching), and I love to act friendly with kids. I suppose I'll be retraining myself in behavior once I see that my normal ways of behaving around students does not work...

    Good luck, Master Pre-K!

    Jamie
     
  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jun 16, 2008

    Thanks!

    I just finished up my grad paper, "What causes high turnover of staff in preschool?" And I came up with some interesting results. It appears, (as if we didn't know) the top 3 reasons for teachers leaving is low salary, lack of consistient training, and poor benefits! All of this makes it hard of the kids because:

    If you get low pay, you are misreable at work. Kids can sense this. Some teachers are just going thru the motions, and the kids act out.

    If your co-teacher or assistant only has a hs diploma, and not one class in education, she/he doesn't understand what you are doing half the time! so they are stuck on doing what they know best, which is old-school parenting, and you try developmentally appropriate stuff, and you two will always be bumping heads. Kids get upset when adults are fighting. Good teachers get mad, and when nobody supports them, they leave.

    and benefits? well directors will tell you if they don't have more than 25-50 staff, they can't get group insurance. even it they do, it is so high, you don't bother. so, without sick days, med/den insurance or paid time off, you are miserable, broke, and start taking off, just to look for better jobs. again, kids miss routine, don't know what's going on with you...so they act up.

    Kids are reflective of what we do with them. If we could somehow be more affectionate, caring, and considerate :rolleyes:, yeah, I know most us are...maybe the little guys won't be so mean? They see so much turnover, they think every time they see a new teacher- you will leave too. :unsure:
     
  17. jamoehope

    jamoehope Companion

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    Jun 16, 2008

    I only want to struggle to be a good teacher, not to struggle to work in my job! I love working with kids. It's too bad there is such high turnover.
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 16, 2008

    When I took over my current position last october, I was the kids' fourth teacher for that school year. We start mid august and this was the begining of october. So in a month and a half, they went through 3 other teachers. The kids did exactly as mpk said they would...they tested limits. They were shocked to see me come back after halloween, then thanksgiving, then christmas. By the time spring break rolled around they finally trusted that I'd be back. It took a while, but they're good kids.
     
  19. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jun 16, 2008

    Great question! One way to prepare that I think all teachers and administrators should have to do is personal development. Read books on leadership and character (self-improvement type books). There are loads of insights for working well with all people.
     
  20. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jun 16, 2008

    As this is exactly how I feel. I left two jobs because the assistants did not know what there were doing, sabatoging my efforts, and were rude and nasty! And my administration would not support me! They just wanted $$ in their pockets by having, kids in the class, and staff in the rooms.

    What gets me is when bad teachers resort to yelling, threating, and treating the kids mean, to the point where they don't listen to anyone else! Then I come in trying to do my thing, and they ignore me. I raise my voice, and they jump and quiet down! I don't like that.

    Researching this paper, I really started to feel that working as a teacher in ECH was a lot like working for McDonalds or any other fast food place! :( They want coveragefor their store, and often leave us alone at busy times (classroom ratio), they want us to work fast and furious pace with irrate customers at times, (singing and talking and transitions, and play, and in some cases, direct teaching lessons with kids who have behavior problems and undiagnosed special needs) and they pay is bare minumum. (preschool teachers are paid less than secretaries and janitors)

    Think about our parent conferences and home visits. Don't our parents reveal that children who misbheave usually have trouble at home because parents are fighting or not in agreement with rules, in and out of the house?? I honestly think many behavior problems of the children are a direct result of what we are dealing with.
     

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