I am very concerned because a disruptive child has told me "what happens at home stays at home"

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ladybugteacher, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I wouldn't agree that this kid is doing nothing wrong - but clearly he's bright, and clearly he discerns that what he does gets a rise out of his teacher.

    Speaking from the inside, ladybug, I can assure you that gifted kids like him don't need teachers who are smarter than they are: they need teachers who are wiser. The boy probably does need more challenge in your classroom - but it takes two to make a contest of wills, and if you can find it in your heart to stop thinking he needs to be shut down altogether, you might be able to find ways to turn him from a competitor into a co-conspirator.

    (The word "concubine" is a bit tricky to discuss in a fifth-grade classroom, depending on how uptight your community is about sex, but not impossible; the word "niggardly" could open the door to an interesting teaching moment having to do with words we don't use because they sound like other words that we don't use because they are hurtful.)

    As for the inappropriate public displays of affection, try pointing out to him, in a word-to-the-wise tone, that eighth-graders are subject to rules that fifth-graders are not: his indiscretion could land his girlfriend in trouble. Being able to recite chapter and verse from the middle school student handbook will help.
     
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  2. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    How can I combat this Lyin' Dye business. Even today when I got back into my room somebody wrote "Lyin' Dye" on a placard and placed it on my desk. No body would say who did it and admin wouldn't let me punish the whole class. This boy isn't a sweet little angel and the idea that he did nothing wrong is proprostorous. And how come no body is concerned that there is a little girl who is probably learning a lot of negative lessons about romantic relationships and clearly being set on the path of being taken advantage of by future romantic partners(I highly doubt this boy will really make her his 'favorite wife'). And did every one miss that I pointed out this boy has a girlfriend who is an 8th grader and a girlfriend in my class. Is this what is encouraged today?
     
  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I have to agree with you ladybug...this child's behavior is outrageous and I don't care that he is gifted or bored. That is no excuse for his inappropriate behavior and the fact that he is teaching other children in your class to be equally obnoxious.
     
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  4. TeacherGroupie

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    Hm. How did you handle the questions about word "niggardly", and how did you react when you saw the card with the slur on your name?
     
  5. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    About "niggardly", thank God it was a private conversation a student approached me about. I showed him the dictionary definition of the word and told him that there are easier to pronounce words that have the same definition. I told him just my opinion but "Niggardly Mc Duck" doesn't quite have the same pop as Scrooge Mc Duck. Could you imagine the Boys wanting to break into Niggardly's moneybin?.
    I handled the Lyin' Dye placard by asking who left me the "welcome back card", and when no body spoke up, I had them all do vocabulary while I paged the admin.
     
  6. Backroads

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    I think there are non-issues in your original reports as well as real problems. I agree with PallasAthena: two kids flipping out over a theoretical wall on either side are two inappropriately behaving kids. Politics, even if you don't like them and think you should change them, are not your business and ultimately not a cause for discipline unless actual disruption is an issue.

    The other stuff you mentioned is indeed worthy of some intervention. But you really need to sort that out and not drag in extra stuff to the issue. The sexual language and behavior, the threats, the interruptions, etc., those are what need to be discussed.
     
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  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Right or wrong, I would have ignored the nickname thing. I find that drawing a lot of attention to that relatively minor stuff tends to cause it to happen a lot more.
     
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  8. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    The border wall issue is a non issue in and of itself. As adults we know little junior doesn't truly believe that we are under threat of mongol horsemen. However the remark caused a disruption to the learning process and when I attempted to address the disruption I was given a sassy response by the young boy (and for those of you who are curious about the young girl who was I guess anti border wall, when I told her that class is not the place to discuss these things, she told me "OK teacher"). FYI think a roar of laughter in the hall then 4 or 5 boys filing in singing "I'll make a man out of you" as the tardy bell is ringing does qualify as a distraction. Also it is very hard to deal with parents who call/email me asking where there FIFTH GRADERS are hearing these politically colored jokes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
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  9. TeacherGroupie

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    Hmmm. Difficulty of pronunciation is the last consideration that would come to my mind as a reason to avoid the word "niggardly". I honor you for trying to protect your student from a decidedly uncomfortable truth, but believe me that it's a losing effort: claiming difficulty of pronunciation is going to come across like dodging the real issue, and the likelihood that this fifth grader doesn't know the insulting and racist word that it resembles is approximately zero.

    As for the misuse of your name, what happened that might have brought it about?
     
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  10. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I explained the name thing earlier. The long and short of it is, called the parents of the girl in my class, the "girlfriend", to inform them that she was allowing this young boy to touch her inappropriately. This I witnessed. The girl then convinced the parents I was lying and the day after that I got my unfortunate nick name. About dodging niggardly, darn right I dodged it, seeing as how administration was so incredibly supportive, I didn't want to walk into that minefield.
     
  11. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    I would ignore the nickname unless someone says it in your hearing, in which case I would follow my disciplinary procedures for disrespect.

    A lot of the behavior sounds attention-seeking (and I agree about the boredom factor as well), so I would look for strategies to address that.

    Regarding the touching, I would at this point document it and continue to notify parents of any additional instances (documenting the notification as well). Whether they believe you or not, it should be documented. I would find ways to continue to build up the other girl and help her find other things to focus on during school besides her "relationship." 5th graders change interests and alliances frequently so I would not be overly concerned that her interest will last long enough to be permanently damaging.

    Regarding the stuff he says bothering other children, every time a parent calls with a concern, I would document it and also encourage them to document it in writing and to let your admin know.

    The more documentation and the more people involved in the documentation, the better.
     
  12. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    You don't have to tell me twice. I have logged every incident and every communication. It just occurred to me I am being bullied by a 10 year old:sleepy:. What happened to the days when the smartest kid in class was the teacher's pet. Because his science and math is done at the jr. High, for academics i have him for language arts only. Would it be unethical to grade him extra hard, as in above the standards of a fifth grader, since every one seems to think he is a genius? The art teacher already told me she plans to grade him extra critically seeing as how art is a subjective grade anyways. The argument can be made that so is composition :smirk:
     
  13. MsAbeja

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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
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  14. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Social studies and history are combined here, and his history teacher loves him. He doesn't see any of the issues and acts like I am over exaggerating.

    But a writing assignment based on border walls may not be a bad idea. This will be defiantly something that could come up as a composition assignment.
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    It sounds like you have a lot of battles and skirmishes with this student so far. You have to decide which is your hill to die on, as I have heard in other forums. I would drop the multiple "girlfriend" issue. That is one I've dealt with myself, and I only addressed it when the flow of the classroom was disrupted with the drama.
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Here, we could never grade on standards above the student's grade level. Students who are gifted, or who have mastered grade level standards need to be provided extra depth, not work at a higher level.

    Right now, he has you rattled and defensive and he know it. Many of his classmates know it as well and that increases his power. You can't change what happens at home and you can't change his opinions, but you can change how you act and react. Power struggles with students never go well; the student almost always wins.

    You have the weekend to put some plans in place. Some suggestions:
    - Be in the hall to greet the students. Give them a task to complete as they enter; he won't be able to make an "entrance".
    - ignore off-topic comments that are designed to be inflammatory, "That's an interesting thought, but now we are..."
    - encourage parents of other students to talk with admin. You cannot discuss another student with them.
    - minimize downtime and circulate, circulate, circulate. Use proximity to head off some of the disruptions before they start
    - show some curiosity about his interests, "you show a lot of interest in .... It's not a subject I know much about. Maybe you could do an independent project for me about ..."
    - talk to the other teachers, expressing a genuine interest in making your relationship with the kid better.
    - It's hard, but let the personal stuff go; he's 10(?), don't let yourself feel like a victim.
    -Stop the physical stuff. Even if parents don't care, let the kids know that it isn't appropriate in your classroom. The classroom is not a place to be expressing affection. Initiate a total "hands-off policy"
    -Don't worry about anything that happens outside of your time with him; you have no control there.

    It won't be easy, but it's early in the year. If you don't establish a happy medium with this boy, it's going to be a long year.
     
  17. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Love the stand in the hall idea!
    And the special project idea, maybe I can have him either write a report on either the Great Wall of China or the real Hua Mulan. Dad is a civil engineer and ethnically Chinese so this may require him to sit with his son and discuss school in a constructive manner.
    About stopping the touching., I am at a loss as to how. It's not that the parents don't care is they don't believe. I have already moved him away from her. Actually he sits isolated by him self.
    Today I tried the make him sit with me at lunch approach and that was rather unpleasant. He kept trying to give me romantic advice and kept mentioning that coach so and so just left his wife. I guess I walked into that one when I answered his question of "do you go by miss Byers because you are single? ". I practically told him just to eat his lunch quietly (this was after how he made a comment about how unlike coach so and so he didn't like "thighs that are too fatty and breast that are too small". When I told him how inappropriate a comment like that was he questioned me add to why is inappropriate to criticize the chicken meal he received in the lunch line. At that point I told him just be quiet and eat. I didn't even bother trying to address his innuendo, as like an other poster said pick my battles.
    Also I understand ignoring the nickname. But I whole heartedly disagree in this situation. I wasn't branded "Ugly Dye", or "Mean Dye", or even Stupid Dye", but it was Lyin' Dye. If a teacher doesn't have her credibility how can she effectively educate? I am not trying to be arrogant but I believe that this tarnishing of my integrity is a disservice to all my students. Students need to be able to trust and respect their educators. I would hate to think that a student who may truly be having an issue or experiencing some sort of abuse would not seek help from me or an other educator because he or she was trained not to trust his or her educators.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  18. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    This. We had a similar thing that happened at our school a while ago. We had a child writing swear words on the board. The teacher got really angry, addressed the whole class about it, and it kept happening. My thoughts were - 1) Why isn't your door locked when you're not in the room? and 2) just erase before anyone sees it, ignore it and it will mostly likely stop if it doesn't seem to be getting to you. I actually really liked this teacher, but she escalated things more than necessary and it came back to bite her.

    I think if you just ignore it and don't address it unless you know who was actually responsible, it will keep it from escalating. By know, I mean not just suspect, but you actually saw it happen.
     
  19. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    This is a good suggestion too. When he makes an inappropriate comment, reply with "Hmm" or "That's one idea" and then delve right back into whatever topic you were on.
     
  20. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I was out yesterday because I just couldn't handle stress and I the placard was on my desk this morning. Also my class room is one of those rooms with the accordion divide that separates it from another room.
     
  21. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I guess since nothing else seems to be working, it's time to ignore it all and just toss the placard in the trash when it shows up, act uninterested about everything he says that is inappropriate, carry on with class as if he isn't being obnoxious, and pray that the school year flys by!

    Like any bully, if they realize they won't succeed in upsetting the person they are bullying, they will get tired of it and move on. But, if you see something that should be reported to CPS, plan to do that.
     
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  22. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    I don't think a disrespectful nickname that seems to be in use to get a rise out of you (successfully, it seems) is going to tarnish your integrity. Through your actions your other students will be able to see that they can trust and respect you, especially if you DON'T let these relatively small things get to you. If I saw my teacher getting really upset about what students likely see as pranks, that would make me less likely to go to that teacher vs. a teacher who I knew my peers were messing with but who handled with grace and didn't let it get to them, but continued to be consistent as an educator, show their caring, etc.

    Honestly, you seem to be giving your 5th graders both too much credit and not enough credit simultaneously. No one student is going to "train" the rest of the class to not trust educators.

    Regarding the touching, if the student is not doing it in your class because you have addressed it by separating the students, then you don't need to do anything else. If you see it again outside of your class, I would try to ensure another adult sees as well and ideally put it on them to report it/ handle it.
     
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  23. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I would love me than anything to just ignore everything but the truth of the matter is I really cannot. I cannot lie, I do feel very personally attacked by this young boy but ultimately is not about me, it is about what is best for the children (by children I mean all the children, even him). This brings me back to my original statement of being concerned about the "what happens at home stays at home comment". This little boy and to know way to much about, let's just say adult situations, for a 10 year old. The type of jokes he is telling to his classmates are not poopoo, peepee fart jokes. They are social commentaries loaded with sexual innuendos and double entendrés. He likes to dispense relationship advise and be referred to as Dr Love by his cohorts. It's not normal for a 10 year old to offer unsolicited romantic advice to his 28 year old teacher or to be discussing his 45 year old pe coaches divorce. This coupled with him telling me, and the school counselor "what happens at home stays at home" sounds awfully allot like something I don't even want to write. Thus is the reason I am extremely curious what his home life is like. Is it that his parents allow him to watch too much age inappropriate television? Does he have too much unsupervised Internet access (which can lead to a whole host of issues), or is there something more sinister occurring?

    I am going to try the writing assignment idea that was suggested, and I am also going to speak to coach so and so and share with him my concerns. Maybe he can talk to him to see what's going on.
     
  24. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    All you can do about home life concerns are document, report to the counselor (both of which you've done) and try to be a positive influence at school.

    If you have good reason to suspect abuse, then you should report it as a mandated reporter and let the people who handle such things follow up. If you don't have reason to report it, then there's not much else you can do beyond the things listed above.
     
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  25. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    You are in a rough situation and doing your best. We've all been there, had a difficult student or parent to deal with. Sometimes it helps to step back from the situation and see it from outside of your own perspective. In situations that you perceive as being more serious than others, such as this, it helps to talk with a school/district counselor.

    Some specifics I've noticed in your further posts on this, this boy is trying to get your goat. When a student feels a need to and succeeds in upsetting the teacher, s/he keeps it up. It helps to pick your battles and more often a poker face is the best response. Concerning his innuendos, I still think that comes from 8th grade peers, but also, have you seen what's on some "childrens' " TV shows? And I'm talking Disney and Nickelodeon! (unless they've cleaned up their act since I've had TV). I like your idea of lunch with him, (I'm assuming it was a friendly lunch and not a punishment lunch) and you responded in an honest manner concerning your opinions of his comments. It's difficult, but I've found the more calm I remain in such conversations, the better the conversation progresses. I would recommend taking charge of the conversation by encouraging him to talk but redirecting his conversation. For a possible example, when he says that about the thighs and breasts, I might say, "That sounds rather scatological." When he explains his innuendo, I might tell him about my relative who is a professional magician and comedian and never tells a nasty joke. He feels it takes more creativity to be funny without resorting to foul humor. The main purpose of my conversations with the student would be to show my sincere respect for him and my interest in his ideas and opinions.

    As I recall from my psychology classes, 10-year-olds do not understand adult relationships in an adult manner. Anything that is novel invokes their curiosity. Obviously, the petting must not be allowed, especially in a classroom setting (and you're right to keep the administration informed). But kids do stupid stuff--they've been doing it for centuries. Adults need to redirect their behaviors to more positive activities. I wouldn't be overly concerned with the girl's comments about being a concubine or whatever--you did your part. Not to punish the student, but parents usually do appreciate being informed of anything unusual; in this case, they reacted adversely, but that's their concern, not the teacher's. But the girl is just talking and not totally understanding what she is talking about. I'm not so sure this boy even understands everything he talks about, either; I doubt if he's planning on being a future King Solomon. It's just talk that gets a reaction from the students or adults.

    I would recommend with some of the other posters above, trying to turn the tables. It helps if you and your students become a team, not you against them in competition. They need to understand that although certain behaviors won't be tolerated (and I'd recommend consistency and fairness rather than falling into the trap of trying to find a punishment that works), you are their teacher and guide.

    And if I might add one more comment. With respect for differing opinions on this, if the boy is not advanced enough for 8th grade language arts, that indicates he is not mature enough for 8th grade peer situations. Perhaps that is contributing to his confusion on appropriate use of language.
     
  26. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm going to be frank: you are giving this kid too much power. He should not be controlling your life to this extent (or to any extent). YOU are the captain of the ship that is your classroom.

    How long have you been a teacher?
     
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  27. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    2 years.

    This will be my third. Nothing like this has every happened to me not as a student teacher, not in the last two years and not when I was working with Uteach. This whole thing was a total shocker. Basically between the whole Lyin' Dye business, the child's speculations about my lack of romantic life (which he shares with his class mates), and his keen "observation" that I gained a noticeable amount of weight over the summer (was at 110 now 140) coupled with admin agreeing with him that "the truth is the absolute defense to liable ", I needed a break.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Kids can sometimes be mean. That's how it is. This shouldn't be impacting your life in this way. Man, if I had a dollar for every time a kid called me fat or whatever, I wouldn't have to teach ever again. I don't sit around crying about this stuff though, or taking days off, or making myself so stressed that I can't function at my job, because kids can be mean and that's just how it is.

    Last year I had to call for a campus security monitor to come to my room and remove a disruptive student. When the monitor arrived, I explained the situation, including the fact that I had overheard the student talking about getting into a planned fight at lunch. The student accused me of "ear hustlin'". Did I break down, leave work early, call parents, demand admin intervention, and become royally stressed out? Nope. I laughed. Heartily. And then I moved on with my life.

    You need to find a way to move on with your life. Stop giving away all your power.
     
  29. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I'm kind of shocked how this 5th grader talks. My high schoolers don't use this level of vocabulary and reasoning :)

    In my opinion, although I understand that is troublesome and seems like he might be a bigger problem later, is best to ignore a lot of this. You can't change how he thinks or what he believes in, but you can control when and what he says in your classroom. He can't be hurting other's feelings with racially / culturally sensitive things, so he can get a consequence for that (bullying), he can't be talking at inappropriate times, so he can have a consequence for that (disruption).

    I understand your situation though. I had a student who was very intelligent, one of the smartest kids at my school. and he was very stuck up and arrogant. Me and him butted heads all the time because he felt and acted like he was smarter than me, and a lot of students would follow him. He did get written up for disruptions quite a few times, most of the time he failed my classes because he thought doing the work was beneath him. I didn't get offended, I tried not to react unless it was something concrete, such as disruption or disrespect.
    I had private conversations with him, and we could talk like adults, (this is high school) we had an understanding and he even admitted and apologized for the things he did or said, but obviously, when there's a peer audience, kids will act differently. We had good times for a few weeks when he positively influenced the class and it was great, and then bad times when he was disruptive and kept getting in trouble.

    In time, all kids mature and everything passes. I think your best bet with this kid is to have private conversations with him, where hopefully he will begin to understand what he can and cannot say /do at school without trying to change his mentality.
     
  30. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I am going to try to have another teacher speak to him. I am thinking the pe coach. I have tried to speak to him like an adult in several occasions and that is when he tells me that "life is gravy when you mind your own biscuits " or he proceeds too give me romantic advice such as "coach so and so just left his wife". Because of the nature of his comments, they are considered microaggressions at worst, and the wording in the school hand book, detentions are the only things I can give him, and he seems to like those (gives him time to do his homework while he waits for his 8th grade friend to get out of school.
    Parent teacher conferences are a couple weeks away, so I pray that his parents (dad specifically) actually decides to come and meet with me face to face.
    But in the mean time the extra writing assignment doesn't seem like a bad idea.
    Also I spoke to one of my old roommates from college, she is Taiwanese and she told me that 90% of the things that this boy says/writes about Chinese culture have absolutely no grounds in Chinese culture and are rooted in honestly, negative Asian stereotypes(think fu Manchu). Although, I really didn't need to confer with any one to be sure that the 4 acceptable careers for a Chinese man are not rail road worker, short order cook, laundromat owner and evil Mandarin despite being infomed as such by a "super smart gifted child of Chinese heritage".
     
  31. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I am sympathetic to your worries here. We've a child in our grade (2nd) whose father would entertain this boy and his siblings with... violent pornography. As the result, we have an angry, frustrated, and confused little boy.

    His teacher is in touch with a social worker. I believe a social worker intervened several years ago after plenty of documentation. As others were saying, you can't really do much personally about that behavior but can keep tabs and documentations on what you are hearing.
     
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  32. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sep 10, 2016

    Man, what a smug-ass piece of work he is! What does a teacher do w/ a kid like this? Unfortunately, I have no advice, except document what he says, but keep us posted on how it goes. I wish you as smooth-flowing a year as possible, considering the circumstances!

    Monday, I'm about to start working w/ 53 new students in grades K-6 at a new district I've never worked at. I've already been informed by 3 staff members to, "be careful because this school is the most north of all the schools in the district where the more affluent parents live, so they're entitled, on-it, etc." I've also already been told about several students & a couple of them are know-it-all, pains-in-the-neck along the lines of your student...hopefully there's no more than that. The good news for me is, I won't work w/ them M-F all day long.
     
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  33. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Sep 10, 2016

    repeat post - delete
     
  34. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    repeat post - delete
     
  35. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Sep 10, 2016

    Ladybug, you have a big heart. Don't give up on making a difference, but be patient on how you go about it.

    I don't think the parents will be helpful at all. Unless the child breaks a rule, I'd avoid any non-positive note to them.

    Keep teaching what is right to the class and trying to create a positive classroom environment. I'd avoid butting heads with this boy about his challenging belief system through verbal discussions with him one on one. Show him a better way by how you show acceptance for all students and encouraging all members in the class to do so.
     
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  36. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I didn't punish the entire class I specifically said I was not allowed to, also the writing assignment, which was to be assigned to the little trouble maker was a suggestion from a previous poster which I am going to try this week. I believe you your self stated I should not discount the solutions presented here.
     
  37. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Sep 11, 2016

    I have an unworkable idea running through my head, but it might lead to a more usable idea. My local radio station runs a radio play for children, Adventures in Odyssey, that I hear driving in the car now and then. (It's a deeply religious program, so it probably wouldn't be allowable to recommend in a public school setting). But to continue my thoughts, the program deals with various matters upper elementary and middle school kids experience, sometimes even delving into sensitive subject matter, in a positive and entertaining format. Again, I realize that this specific religious program probably couldn't be recommended in a public school setting, but I thought I'd mention it. Perhaps similar programs exist that are equally worthwhile. When I hear it, I think how fortunate the kids are who are listening and thinking through various life situations in a relaxed manner. Perhaps the most important highlight of each episode is that the kids and trusted adults discuss the situations and find a solution together, rather than the current mainstream fare of kids advising kids. (On an off the subject side note, the original voice for Mr. Whitaker was the actor who portrayed Otis on The Andy Griffith Show).
     
  38. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Your statement that this solution is "unworkable" actually hits on to a very interesting subject of discussion. It is an extremely uncomfortable subject but I think it would be very interesting. Is it possible that secularism is somewhat partially contributing to the issues like the ones nab and I are experiencing. Although I grew up methodist and in a conservative home, I am not trying to promote one religion or really any religion with this comment.
    Like nab and a few others stated in both this thread and in an other, the children do not seem to care about write ups or detentions or calls home to parents. And it has been stated by many this is the direct result of knowing there are going to be no real consequences.
    Step back 15 years or so I remember that information/entertainment/infotainment was not as easily available and society as a whole was much less secular, little 9 and 10 year olds were still more afraid of "making baby Jesus cry" or "Santa skipping their house", parents and teachers had for lack of better words am invisible baby sitter. Are we really better off now that this is gone?
     
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  39. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 11, 2016

    So you believe that if religion was allowed in schools there wouldn't be issues? Or that everything was better 15 years ago? I was in elementary school in the late 60s and early 70s and was teaching 15 years ago and, believe me, everyone was not a perfect angel. I know that children now know more about the world than I did when I was their age, and that's not always a bad thing. I also know that, when I was 9 or 10 I was a few years past believing in Santa and worrying about "making Baby Jesus cry".

    I do think that part of the challenge you are having is a result of the fact that your beliefs and the beliefs of the student are at odds. I don't share the same belief system as many of my students, but I do respect them; I can't/won't try to change them or make them believe that they are wrong. I also think that you are expecting your students to be much less mature than they are. You referred at one point to "pee-pee" and "poo-poo" jokes; these are far more common in kindergarten and grade 1 classrooms than in grade 5. Take a look at music videos, TV shows, movies, even commercials. Listen to the music the students are listening to. Think about the news headlines they are seeing and hearing every day. Grade 3 students in my school in Ontario, Canada know where Clinton and Trump stand on issues and how the "other side" feels about them.

    This isn't meant to say that this kid isn't being disruptive and causing problems in your classroom. It is, however, a very long year and you need to find a place where you can work with this class (with him in it). Let go of everything you have no control over--his beliefs, his parents' beliefs, his home life (unless there is physical or emotional abuse), his social life--and focus on how you can get him working for you instead of against you.
     
  40. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Sep 11, 2016

    My comment about religion isn't about this kid in particular. Honestly it is more about the "kids don't care when they are written up" issue that many educators are having. And I don't share my faith with my students. I just think back to that types of entertainment, information and prevelence of religion avaliable back 10 to 15 years ago when I was this boys age and wonder what part that plays. You are right we were not little angels for you, but I do remember being sacred of my parents finding out I was taking to much in school or if getting a bad grade from the teacher.
     
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