How do you gain respect in the classroom?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by bewlove, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 5, 2015

    It's my first year, and I've started out too nice. About a month ago, I came to this realization and I have been trying to lay down the law ever since. The problem is, the few trouble makers that I have still don't take me very seriously and refer to me as the "nice teacher".

    I don't even know how to be stricter. I clip my students down, I take recess, I call home. I provide incentives for my students when they behave correctly. I think if I start next year like I am now, it will be better. But after starting so nicely, I think my students are still lacking respect and don't take my threats seriously, even though I have been following through. Any experiences with this and how long it takes to actually start seeing some results?
     
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  3. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    Jan 6, 2015

    It's really tough to go from nice to tougher mid-year.

    My advice is to just stay firm and ALWAYS follow through with what you tell them. Consistency is key and results will depend on that.
     
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jan 7, 2015

    Yes, true solid consistency will get you there. It might not be as instantaneous as you like, but you're in a situation where you have to prove yourself to them.

    I would also cut down on lectures and whatnot, if you tend to do that. Make sure the rules and instructions are clear, and give them the consequence if the kids fail on that. No repeat or rehash needed.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 7, 2015

    You can always start over, literally any day is good for that, but obviously it's much easier after a break like this.

    maybe rethink what you were doing before (specifics) that you think made your students not respect you? Is it giving too many chances? Empty threats? Sometimes it's the very little things.

    But a reasonable classroom management plan that you believe will work is key. If you're confused about parts of it, because you're doing what another teacher is doing can make you doubt it and not really follow through or be inconsistent.
    Follow your plan, and you will start seeing results.
     
  6. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 8, 2015

    Thanks everyone!!!! For most of my kids things are fine. It's just a couple of boys that are wearing me out.

    I guess with them, they do so much little stuff that I feel like I can't have the same expectations I do for everyone else. I know that is a terrible thing to say, but it's how I feel. They would be in the office every day. At the beginning of the year, I tried staying on them 24/7. Didn't really phase them, and took up a lot of my instructional time. I've gone the nine yards: personalized behavior charts, parent phone calls and conferences, office visits, rewards, consequences.

    So while most of my kids are near perfect, these two are just exhausting. I've started ignoring the behavior. I don't like it because I feel like I'm letting them get away with it, but at the same time, I'm tired of losing instructional time and I feel like it's more distracting every time I stop to correct them.

    For example, yesterday I am teaching. I have one kid who won't stop making noises, beating on his desk, yelling out. He is already almost to the office visit color (but I had just sent him to the office, and I don't really want to do it again) so I just sent him in the hallway for a few minutes and gave everyone else the assignment. I went in the hallway, repeated my expectation, let him come back in. He is okay for a little while. Then, we are discussing social studies and all my kids are actively listening and responding. This kid quite literally just gets up and stands in his chair. He is looking at me waiting to see if I will say something. I chose to ignore this behavior because I feel like it's an attention plea. He gets down, walks a few circles around his chair, and then starts wandering around the room. Thank goodness the rest of my class is so good. They didn't pay him any attention either. I still didn't acknowledge him. Then, he finally went to his seat the last 15 minutes and sat quietly.

    I guess I just don't want him to think the behavior is "okay" because I'm not getting onto him. I'm just tired if wasting 20 plus minutes of my class each day dealing with this child.
     
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jan 8, 2015

    I'm certainly not an expert, but I'd recommend not having a specific "office color" unless you are going to follow through every time, which can be difficult to do with those few kids who are always in trouble. Could you change it to teacher's choice or something similar, and explain that it may mean going into the hall, into another classroom, into the office, or whatever you decide is best in the situation?
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jan 8, 2015

    I'd consider a long-term time out scenario for those boys. They don't act like they're a normal part of the classroom? They won't be. Create space away from the rest of students for them, do not let them participate in anything but the necesseties, don't speak to them unless needed, instruct the rest of the class not to speak to them save for lunch/recess.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 8, 2015

    I gain respect in the classroom by expecting respect in the classroom and following through with consequences if that expectation is not met.

    Ignoring only exacerbates the problem in my experience. They know they can get away with it because you just end up ignoring them so they try to see just how much they can get away with before you really do something.

    If you think they would be sent to the office everyday, and you want to avoid that, come up with different consequences that are perhaps even more painful for the student that you can enact in the classroom without the need for admin. Some good choices are calling parents in the classroom (use sparingly), lunch or recess detentions, sitting in a time-out (I use this one most frequently), etc. They need to feel the consequences for their behavior and you need to protect the learning environment of your classroom.

    Longer term time-outs are a good solution because you can set him aside, out of your hair, and the more fun your class is, the more of a consequence it is to not be allowed to participate. Maybe at some opportune time, if he gets sent to time out, have the rest of the class play a game or something. I put students aside and I determine when they're ready to go back to their desk. There's no time limit, I don't care when he feels ready to return, it's whether I feel that the student is sufficiently remorseful for his behavior. If that doesn't happen in the period, he's at time out the entire period, and he's out of my hair. He can't talk to others, he does everything independently and quietly, while I can teach a class.

    You are right that they need to see that it isn't getting to you, but you can be unaffected by a students' behavior but still hold them accountable.
     
  10. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Jan 9, 2015

    I agree with Backroads. It may seem harsh, but I had a few students my first year who were very similar to yours. They wandered around, did everything imaginable to distract others, and created scenes every single day. I had to separate them for learning to continue.

    You may even want to get rid of their clips on the clip chart, as these students have continued to see their negative downward consequences every day and their behavior has not improved. Clip charts don't work for everyone. The personal behavior systems you have will probably be more effective. One thing I found helpful was to have the students rate themselves -- they had to reflect on their own behavior and give themselves a score for different behavior strategies (such as circling a happy face/sad face to show if they followed specific rules like staying at their desk, raising their hand to talk, etc. -- could be done for each subject throughout the day).

    Sometimes you won't be able to squash the problem to your satisfaction, but you will be able to teach. That needs to be your main goal. Remember, it's likely that there are other issues going on which you have no control over -- problems at home, physical/psychological issues, etc.

    It's also possible that the child physically needs to get rid of energy. The special ed department at my school had an elastic band they could tie to chair legs for my hyperactive students to kick -- they LOVED it. You could have the student do __ amount of jumping jacks before they walk inside the classroom, stretch, pull or lift heavy objects... I've seen this be very effective with badly behaved students. Not always, but worth a shot.
     
  11. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 9, 2015

    Thanks so much for the replies everyone.

    An update: we put the boys into separate blocks (I team teach). They are both still in my home room but not together during class, which has helped one boy immensely. The other (the one who stood in his chair) has still been giving me grief all week! I just sucked it up today and made another phone call home. I started out with some positives as far as improvement in school and then I honed in on my issues. I gave specific examples and was up front when I said, "I don't really want to send him to the office again if I can avoid it because P has already said he will have to take his work up there and do it all day. I don't really feel that this would be beneficial to him and I would much rather have him in class and with his peers, however, this behavior is a major distraction. I have tried rewards, consequences, and even ignoring the behavior to see if it was just an attention thing. None of these have worked with him and I am not exactly sure which approach to take from here."

    His granddad's response was, "I know which approach to take from here. You let me know if you have any more issues next week."

    So we will see if things improve next week. I probably should have utilized this resource earlier but I called so much last semester that I didn't want to abuse having the parents/guardians as a resource. Granddad sounded like he was gonna take care of business!
     
  12. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 9, 2015

    I like the exercise band idea. I may have to look into this. My P also suggested tape around the desk, but not to make it like a punishment and to make it more of a privilege. They can stand, sit, whatever in the square as long as they aren't being a distraction. I just didn't want to do this yet with him because I feel that this is different than just a kid with excess energy. This is a kid who is being flat out disrespectful.
     
  13. vita_bella

    vita_bella Rookie

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    Jan 10, 2015

    Have you had a talk with the child about his behaviour? Sometimes you can start to get an idea of the reasons for why they do what they do after you talk to them. Just talking may not make any difference in their behaviour but at least you can understand a little better and try to make adjustments in how you handle it.
     
  14. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 10, 2015

    Yes, I've had several talks. Honestly, probably like seven or eight times. I've tried the supportive talks, "I'm here for you, I want you to be successful, I think you're a great kid, what makes you act up in class? we need to work on this behavior, etc."

    After a few times of that not working, I tried harsher talks, "You need to straighten up. I will make a phone call home if necessary. You can walk during recess today. Go to the principal." Etc. all with little to no effect for any prolonged amount of time. The principal was pretty effective and calling home is somewhat effective. His grandparents are kind of easy on him. They're great and support me, but I've had behavior talks with them three or four times in the last couple of months with no real consequences at home. They are good about, "We will talk to him." And agreeing with me. But I think it's more of a lecture type of scenario.

    This time was the first time I got a true, "I will handle this. You let me know if next week he isn't a different kid."

    Honest opinion after over half a school year with this child and busting my tail to find something that works with him? He is a good hearted kid who struggles in school (which may contribute but is not a reason to act the way he acts). He lives with his grandparents who have taught him to be respectful (everything is yes sir and no sir with them). He came to school and he was a rambunctious boy, he became special to me and I let too much slide. Now I am cracking down and he doesn't like that because he has been able to get away with it for the first part of school. It was two months before I ever considered a serious consequence, like calling home or the P. He is a good kid and I feel that we have a good relationship in a lot of ways. He likes me and I like him. But his behavior is outrageous and I've probably let it get that way. So now I'm trying to regain control.
     
  15. olivecoffee

    olivecoffee Companion

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    Jan 10, 2015

    The tape is something one of the teachers in my ST building did. She separated the student from the rest of the class, so that he was closer to her desk, and then taped his area. His body and belongings had to stay in that taped square during teaching. He was behind the rest of the students, so standing on chairs, etc. wouldn't have distracted learning as much.

    My 3rd grade CT would send students to another teacher's room with a "think sheet." The student would have to write why they were sent to to the "safe spot", what behaviors they would change, and have their parents sign it. If the behavior was extremely distracting, the student would have to fill out the think sheet and complete the assignment in the other teacher's room.
     
  16. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 10, 2015

    In my honest opinion the main problem is that you like him and you are too nice to him. You're basically acting like his grandparents. Because of how you feel about him makes you inconsistent, and you don't hold him accountable. You should stop immediately because you will not see any results.

    Instead of saying 'I will call home if necessary' you should say 'I'm calling home today'


    If he is capable of acting respectfully because that's how he was raised, then he is capable of acting like that with you. He's not, because you allow him to. You must expect and demand respect from him. Maybe not the 'yes sir, no sir' thing if that's not your style, but he should listen and follow directions.

    Your good relationship will be there even if you become strict with him. In time he will like you even more for that. He will feel safer, because kids do need boundaries, and feel better when they know what they can and cannot do. Right now he's wondering around like a little puppy. getting into things, and getting in trouble because he doesn't have boundaries.
     
  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 10, 2015

    I find that relying on parents to provide consequences is not consistently effective. Some parents enact consequences at home, many do not, and in most cases I'm not aware of what happens either way.

    I still use calling home as a consequence, but the act of calling ends up being the consequence. I have the student, call the parent right in front of the rest of the class (usually the class is working on something else though), and explain to their parent what they were doing wrong. This act of explaining their behavior to their parent is extremely effective as it makes them take ownership of their behavior. I will then get the phone after they have finished explaining and add any details as necessary and finish off with "Does a lunch detention seem like an appropriate consequence (if it continues [in some cases where I feel like the call is an appropriate enough consequence])?"

    I never call the parent without having a consequence in mind. The last thing the parent wants is the feeling that the call home means 'well, what are you going to do about this?'

    When the student calls and explains, and I simply ask the parent whether they think my consequence is appropriate, the call itself serves as the consequence, and the parent is aware that the purpose was just to inform them of what was going on, rather than blaming, or expectations of consequences at home.
     
  18. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Jan 10, 2015

    Also, make sure you're using specific instructions when you tell him he's misbehaving. Asking why a behavior happens is often futile -- most kids can't explain why they misbehave. Make sure you tell him specifically what was wrong, such as: "I noticed you chose to do ___. That's not allowed in class. The consequence is ___. Make better choices next time."

    Instead of "You need to straighten up," say the specific behavior he needs to do, such as staying in his seat, remaining quiet when teacher's talking, etc.

    I can't remember which behavior management system it is, either Love & Logic or Responsive Classroom, but one has a positive reward system where you tell students positive behaviors that you noticed. "I noticed you..." listened to the lesson for 5 minutes, wrote your name on your paper, etc. It's not quite praise, but it reinforces what students are supposed to be doing and makes them feel special. You can write "I noticed..." on a bunch of post-it notes and fill them in when you see something positive, then stick it to the student's desk. Your student may benefit something like that where you're reinforcing his small successes. :)
     
  19. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 10, 2015

    Thank you so much for the great replies. I love the post it idea!!!!


    I also agree that me being too nice to him in the beginning has contributed. I will add that he isn't only an issue in my class however. He gets in trouble during specials and lunch. In retrospect, I guess I did kind of leave it to the grandparents to decide. In the future I think I will have a specific consequence in mind and ask if they deem it appropriate. Then they can add additional consequences at home if they feel the need.
     
  20. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 10, 2015

    I completely agree with all of these, however I do feel that around November I had a change of heart and have since tried really being more consistent with him. I usually do warn students that I will (insert consequence), because I really will! It's just that I always want to give them the opportunity to change the behavior first. For example, I may say, "As a fourth grader, I expect you to remain in your seat and not blurt out in class. If you are unable to do these things, then I will call home." Then I stick to it. If he is unable to follow instructions, I stick to the consequence.

    Which leads me back to my original post. How long will it take to finally gain respect? How many times do I have to send him to the office, take his recess, and call home before he sees I mean business?
     
  21. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 11, 2015

    What happens when you send him to the office? is there really a consequence? Or do you think calling home can do a lot more?

    i never forget during student teaching, my master teacher gave me advice on what to say to parent when I want them to do something at home. he said "I need you to help me modify his behavior by giving a consequence at home when he gets in trouble at school" and then you can brainstorm with the parents.

    I feel that his grandparents can't really imagine how he acts at school since at home it's all 'yes ma'am, no ma'am', and they're not totally on board following up at home.
     
  22. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 11, 2015

    I love the idea of saying it in that way to them!

    In the office, no I don't feel that there is much of a consequence. If we are being completely honest. I think his grandparents know that he can have a disrespectful side. I asked one time if the behavior was something that they saw at home or if they thought it was just stemming from being in class. They said that they do occasionally see it at home. I guess he just knows better than to do it there too often.

    I think that they certainly will provide consequences BUT it's taking a long time for me to get them there. Lots of warnings.

    What if I got some statements from the other teachers that he is around??????? I wouldn't want grandparents to think I'm attacking him in any way, but then they could see it isn't just me and that he is getting in trouble elsewhere, not just in my class. If the behavior is still continuing.
     
  23. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 11, 2015

    I have a student who used to be horrible, sorry to say that, bt she was just horrible. The profanity was constant, cussing at the teachers was no big deal. Not cussing me out, just directing that kind of language towards me. She left to independent school, then came back. She changed so much, she was an angel for a few months, and then started sliding, about once every 3 weeks she would have a horrible day, I would call home, and then she'd be ok for a couple of weeks.

    Her mom is the type that says she'll let her make her own mistakes and learn from them (hello, the child is barely 16!!), so there isn't a whole lot of follow through at home. her point is that she's so much better than before, so let's not go all out with the punishments for one day, and I agree with her, but also said that if there's no consequence, the occasional one day will turn into every day.
    Sometimes she asks me if I sent her to the office? I finally told her that sending her to the office is a not a consequence, because she'll just sit there, and the P is not always available. (when she is, it's worth it, but I didn't tell her that) and going to the office is not our policy. And I told her that a consequence at home is a better follow though.

    Well, one day I called home, and the mom didn't pick her up from school, she told her on the phone, it sounded like she was already having a bad day, so she can just walk home. The student told me this the next day. I didn't feel bad that she had to walk many miles, it sounded like it was a great consequence. After that even just reminding her to call home often worked.

    One day this student really got me upset. I bought her a cup of soup for her birthday (I usually don't do this). Well the day she was going to have the office heat it up for her for lunch, she ended up going home early, so because it was made I guess they threw it away, I actually saw it. A week or so later she brought it up and said i should bring her another one, I nicely let her know that it won't be happening. (I mean, come on!!). she kept going back and forth, and then had the nerve to call me a "dumb ass" !! this was after school.
    I got so upset, I went straight to my classroom, called her mom. I know we're not supposed to call when we're upset, I didn't care. I left a detailed message on her phone, about what happened, about my soup as a gift to her, about her actions and word and i said "frankly, I am very upset right now". and I told her she needs to do something with her, if it's a talk, it has to be a good talk, because this level of disrespect is not tolerated.
    I guess she got in so much trouble she didn't come to school the next day (she does this when she's in trouble at school, sometimes she avoids us by ditching). She actually was waiting around in the office at school for almost 2 hours, hanging on her phone, I guess mom also decided not to pick her up that day lol.
    When she finally came back, she was an angle for the rest of the time. She didn't say anything to me, but the way she looked at me showed that she was sorry. Her actions were her the best apology, I don't even need the words, I need to see it.
     
  24. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 11, 2015

    It's good that you are being consistent. When you say "In this class we -blank-. If you don't do this, then I will do that." It sends a clear message.

    To answer your question there is no specific number of times it will take for a student to get the message. It might take 1 or two times for you to enforce a consequence or it might take 20 times. It's probably going to veer more towards the latter since you started off the year in a weak position and they already know that you have a propensity for inconsistency.

    The important point to remember is that the students who give you trouble are "aggressive researchers" and they're 'researching' the limits of the classroom to really test where they are. They currently have data that the limits are not as strong as they should be in your classroom. It's going to take lots of contrary data to convince them that the limits are now set in your classroom, which means you have to hold them accountable to the rules as many times as it takes, every single time they break the rules, until they believe you that the limits are where you say they are. Eventually when you tell them to stop doing something or else you'll 'whatever', they'll believe you and stop.

    I recommend the book "Setting Limits in the Classroom" by Robert Mackenzie. It's a great book for someone trying to set up a classroom where the limits are clear and how to communicate clear expectations for students.

    There's also something to be said about separating your past inconsistent classroom management practice apart from your new commitment to consistent classroom management. It will help students create a clean mental break between your old and new practice, but don't do this unless you are really committed to being consistent, otherwise it won't be taken seriously in the future. Here is a good article about pressing the restart button on classroom management: http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2011/01/22/losing-control-of-your-classroom/.
     
  25. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jan 13, 2015

    Thanks everyone!!!!

    I just wanted to give an update. So far, this week has been great!!!! No issues.
     

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