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. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    But there were kids fifteen years ago who weren't scared of their parents finding out. Twenty four years ago, I had two students in third grade who had already stolen a car and robbed a house.
     
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  2. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Never said there weren't bad eggs in the past. Just wondering if there is any partial correlation. At the very least if there were not such a hard divide between faith and education, the suggestion of Obadiah would not be unworkable as he states. I personally don't know if faith or secularism is better just think it's an interesting topic for discussion.
     
  3. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Also how are my problems with this student a result of our beliefs being at odds. His behavior is at odds with school rules (inappropriate touching, insubordination, ect.). My problem is the tools I have at my disposal (detentions, write ups, parent letters) to enforce the schools rules are ineffective on this young man. The dicipline aspects of my issues has nothing to do with beliefs.
    I find his outlook on sex and relationships troubling but that has more to do with what I was trained to look out for in identifying red flags for abuse.
    Unless the belief system he prescribes to predestines him in the career path of Evil Mandarin, his words not mine, my issues with him do not and have never been the result of conflicting systems of faith.
     
  4. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    This is a very good idea, like I said before I think I am going to have the young man do a writing assignment on the Great Wall of China and or the real Hua Mulan. I plan on actually grading him on his accuracy and use of sources (the Disney movie and comedy sketches WILL NOT be acceptable source material). As for a lesson on border walls and such for the class, that I have to discuss with the director of instruction. We are discouraged from starting political discussions in class (this is why I addressed the original disagreement between him and the offended young lady privately and separately ).

    Personally I would love to be able to discuss the theoretical border wall in class. Talking points like would Mexico be as against the wall if it could effectively keep American firearms out of their country? And how can some justify the separation of families and still claim to be for family values? These are all very interesting discussion topics but at all potential powder kegs. Being powder kegs, discussion would need to be done in a mature respectful manner and not trivilialized by suppositions of the specter of Mongol raids performed on horseback.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I apologize if I made assumptions; your comment about secularism made me think that a difference in beliefs, or in cultural beliefs were part of the challenge. You have made several comments about his culture and/or his, or his family's misinterpretation of his cultural heritage.

    If I were in your situation, I would ask for a meeting with your administration. Go in with your documentation of incidents and your follow-up. Explain that in spite of your interventions, problems still exist and ask for advice.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My last comment on the matter:

    The writing was one of my suggestions, I believe. Be sure, however, that it isn't presented as an extra or a punishment. Rather, make it an, "I don't know much about this subject and you seem to have a lot of knowledge. I'd like you to share it with me by writing about it and then we can discuss it."
     
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  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nah, I don't think that this is why things are how they are. I teach in a very rough environment, and like 99% of my students and their families are very active in church.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    My gut feeling here is that you pretend this kid doesn't exist unless he's contributing successfully and appropriately in class, or doing something concrete that can be disciplined. Disrespectful comments? Ignore. Touching another student inappropriately (but seemingly with consent)? Tell the other student that behavior is not allowed and will result in a specific consequence if it happens again, and then make sure they could
    Not physically be further apart without leaving your classroom. Another student uses that nickname in your presence? Drop the Hammer of Thor on them.
     
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  9. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I honestly do not know what his family believes because they pretty much stonewall me when I try to communicate with them. I do not really know how much he knows about Chinese heritage or culture as most of the things he passes off as Chinese culture are stereotypes from either Disney's Mulan or yellow face movies like the first Manchu series. I don't claim to be an expert on Chinese culture but I feel it is fair for me to be skeptical of his knowledge of Chinese culture when he tells me I need to watch both Mulan AND the direct to video Mulan II to understand.
     
  10. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I like Thor's hammer imagery
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    OK, you have a bright student who is intuitive, and he found a ready target in you the first time he got a rise out of you. He is throwing s*** out, and every time it sticks, gets a rise, provokes you, he has just found another way to disrupt class and take the teaching off target. Furthermore, when he is successful, he becomes a class hero, since many students would give their right arm to avoid English class. You have created the monster, and your actions continue to give him strength.

    You have been told numerous times that you have given him this power, but you don't seem to get it. Every time you react, you become weak, the boy rises in stature in the students's minds. You are not going to like this, but I think that you need to quit paying so much attention to him. Mindlessly throw the placard in the trash as you continue teaching. Words on the chalk board, ask a student with little power or prestige to erase the board for you without mentioning the words. Praise him for his help, use the board, and let whatever was written there go without any mention. Make being able to erase the board something that is an honor. Keep the markers for the board inside your desk, not on top, but do it without making a fuss. If it is chalk, same thing.

    The "relationship" with the older girl: DROP IT! It will have its own natural outcome. Your observation belongs to the school, not you, making the call home to her parents. You have bitten off tasks that don't belong to you. Send a FYI email to the counselors/admin/social worker whenever you observe inappropriate behavior, but the girl is NOT your student and you overstepped your boundaries on that one. The boy may have done the touching, but very possibly the girl is stringing him along BECAUSE he is so good in whatever subject and she needs to use him to pass or make her life easier. Whatever the reason, only report to the school what you see that is factual, without any interpretation or opinion and then forget it. If you think the school will sweep it under the rug (sometimes they do), add your own name to the CC of the email, or make a copy of the written write up, for your records. Keep them in a secure, locked, drawer where no one, not even the occasional sub, can access them. From your computer, save them in a password protected folder.

    You can't assign more work as punishment, especially to the whole class. You can, however, give the option of varied work, with the easiest being the work you normally would assign and the alternate choices all being more complex, in depth, varied formats, etc. This does NOT single out the boy, making the choices available to any student. Students learn in different ways, so some may take you up on the alternate assignments. The most important thing is the choice is theirs, and if they start the alternate project they will need to finish it. Have a rubric for these projects so grading is not subjective. This protects you against allegations that you hold him to a different standard or are being unfairly harsh when grading his work.

    You need to work harder at continuing with your lesson, and giving little recognition to outbursts, and yes, that includes others who react, too. Move on, change the subject, but always keep evaluating what was said, just in case it is relevant. That goes for all the students, actually. You have been giving him a spot in the limelight, and he loves it. If other students or actions, however, get the praise and attention, the rest of the class will slowly wean off of him. If you punish him with your indignation, the class sees those as minutes where they are not having to work - he is a hero. If the response is totally non committal and the lesson proceeds, the class has no appreciation to offer him - he failed to earn them a reprieve.

    I am going to suggest you visit this link for the Nurtured Heart Approach and consider some study of the method and reasons. The books that were written by Harold Glasser are specifically aimed at intense children, and your guy qualifies in aces. You provide the energy for his sustained poor behavior because you completely buy in and get angry. I am not going into the entire concept here, but I would like to throw out the link:
    http://childrenssuccessfoundation.com/about-nurtured-heart-approach/

    If you are going to convince admin that there is a problem, you will need data. Have a running checklist with problem behaviors, not only for this boy, but the class. Make a tally mark every time it happens, but don't dwell, continue teaching. Be honest - if the boy would get a mark for the behavior, so will any other kid doing the same thing. At the very least, you will have a better snapshot of what you are truly looking at. If, by data, he is no better or worse than the other kids, you will know that by reacting to him you have given him all the power, and it may be able to help you pinpoint some areas where you can change, stopping conflict.

    This kid is a thorn in your side because you put him there, frankly. Document, send documented behaviors to the appropriate people - admin, counselors, and then step back. Find ways to nonchalantly acknowledge that a comment was made that is not significant to the class discussion and continue teaching. Should he give meaningful answers, acknowledge those, the same as any other student. The second he goes off course in the answer, go back to planned lesson - "moving on", "could be for other things, but not here", "interesting but not really on topic. Another answer?"

    You can't make things better until you acknowledge your part in creating the problem. I would suggest you talk to the SS teacher and find out why he is wonderful for her. What is different? I'll bet you the primary difference will be that this teacher has learned to steer without giving away her power, find the best, and ignoring the rest. If that is true, then you finally have a course of action. I would be amazed if it isn't like a lot of the help that has been offered here.

    Quit feeding his need for power, stop letting him steal the spotlight, treat him with the same standards you use for every other student, know what is and is not in your jurisdiction, and let others do their job, even if you think they are doing a poor job. Document, and if, down the road, anything comes up, you will have covered your a**, making you blameless, and be no one's scrape-goat. Right now, you are being set up for a fall, and you can either stop this in its tracks or accept that you may end up being considered the root of the problem. The choice is yours.
     
  12. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I respect, you are trying to help but you have a missed a few key points.
    The girl who's parents I contacted us in MY class and I saw him touching her in MY class room. The eight grade girl I saw him once walk away with, true she is not my problem. But how many of you would not at least slightly concerned if you saw a 10 year old put an arm around a young lady who was a good 6 inches taller than he is and it is obvious this is neither a mother or older sister (you bet I called a campus resource officer to look into it before they walked away from the school).
    Also I have stated before that he doesn't as much cause problems in class but instead influences his peers out side of class and the distraction bleeds into the class. The bulk of problems I deal with concerning him are not, little junior is making a joke while I am trying to teach, when that is the issue I give him a detention and detentions to those who join in. The main problem with him is he is causing other students to act out. Then when these other students act out I am forced to punish them and then I am the bad guy.

    I feel when I described the situation involving the Donald Trump border wall there was a gross misunderstanding of the core issue. ( spoiler: The issue is NOT if the wall is justified or not, the child was NOT punished for his beliefs concerning the wall). The issue was it caused a disruption in my class despite the fact that the actual incident did not occur inside the walls of my classroom. This is the series of events in that incident:
    Little junior tells his classmates during lunch that Donald Trump is building a wall to protect us from the Mongols. Little girl of Mexican heritage gets upset over the joke and expresses her opinion. Little junior rebuffs her and continue the joke with his friends. I find out about this situation because at the tardy bell a group of boys file into my room singing "I'll make a man out of you". This is the disruption that as the teacher I was required to deal with. I speak to the crooners and I am told the story of the joke and how the joke led to an acapella performance. These boys were not in their seats at the tardy bell so they get tardies. Then I speak to the little girl while the rest of the students are doing their warm up. Little girl acknowledges this type of situation is a disruption and that it doesn't belong in school (really this is what I want from all those involved). Later I then speak to little junior (he wasn't present during the "performance" because he was at the Jr high for math then) and he gives me a flippant response with a story involving Mongol raiders and his theory of how Donald Trump is the reincarnated Shi Huang Dai. I try to explain to him that the issue is he caused a situation which resulted in a little girl feeling bullied and a group of his friends to arrive late to class. This led to the institutional anarchy comment. The letter I wrote home to his parents WAS NOT because of his feelings about a border wall or Mr. Trump, but because he spoke to an educator in a disrespectful manner and was not denying he was involved in a situation of possible bullying. This is the reason he was punished.
    This is an example of the type of problem this young man creates. He influences his peers to act out and then I am required to take action. (I cannot excuse 4 to 5 boys who are tardy no matter how well they are singing a Disney song).
    Like with the girl in my class who claims to be "a girlfriend" if I am witness to an inappropriate interaction I am REQUIRED to take action, one of the required actions being informing the parents.
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My interpretation of the matter was less on specific religious values and more of a closer tie between a school and it's community regarding values.

    Or perhaps I'm being an old fuddy-fuddy ahead of my time.
     
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  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    lady, are you absolutely certain that it is your place to contact the parents? I really think you missed the point - these are things that should be sent to the counselor or social worker to handle, who will involve admin as needed. As far as the crooners, as you call them, the answer is "not here, not now." If you ask for the story, you played into the hands of those who want to disrupt. You spent too much class time asking about the incident when the response is "no more, we are in class." If the girl feels bullied, write that in a report and send to counselor or social worker if you don't have a HIB officer. Write it using only facts, no opinion, and only what you actually witnessed. You don't do the investigation, they do. Your job is to stop the disruption and teach.

    You have a way of slightly twisting everything that everyone is trying to tell you that very much reminds me of another member on this forum. Believe the help that has been offered, don't believe, waste your instructional time, or use it to advantage. The fact is that much of this you have brought on yourself. You are buying into and feeding the drama. Find someone above your pay-grade who deals with HIB. It may not be a HIB officer in other states, but there is someone designated, and it isn't you, in all likelihood.

    Unplug from this student's intensity, stop being his power source. You have given him immeasurable inner wealth by playing his game. Document behaviors, create data, get control of your room. You can't help what kids hear on the playground. You can control what they hear in your classroom. If you want to waste time chasing stories, your students will suffer for your efforts, because they will not get the education they deserve.

    Just an observation.
     
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  15. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    So in your school teachers do not address tardies nor do they investigate student complaints of bullying? Students arrive late and you only tell them to be quiet and sit down? I would love to transfer to teach at your school where discipline issues will not be my problem.
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I will ask about tardiness, and will have the students make up the time and work they miss, but won't do it during class time. When they arrive, I usually just say, "You're late. Sit down. We've already started. I'll talk to you about it later." Students need to see me at recess, lunch time or after school. I will also do some initial questioning about bullying, again, not during class time unless I do it in the hall when the rest of the class is working independently. After some initial discussion, though, I refer to administration; they can question all involved in far more detail than I can.

    We really are trying to help, although I don't think you are seeing that. Read back through the suggestions everyone has given, not as though we are accusing, but as though we are trying to help you resolve this situation before things get completely out of hand this. It can be nipped in the bud early in the year, but will get harder the longer it goes on.
     
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  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I would have thrown the card in the trash and continued with my planned instruction. Honestly, you are engaging in a battle with fifth graders. The more this kid (and others) see how such actions are getting under your skin, the more they will continue. You need to let some of these things go and get on with teaching. Write up behavior violations and let admin/guidance deal with it.
    You're a third year teacher..your job could end up being in jeopardy if you don't et control of your class AND YOUR REACTIONS. Read over the great advice and wisdom offered in this thread by seasoned teachers. This IS NOT about Chinese culture or walls or girlfriends. It's about giving way too much attention to this kid and in the process, giving up your power.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
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  18. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    You're taking a lot of helpful advice in the wrong way. We are SINCERELY trying to help, especially since many of us have had similar situations (my student who romanced half the girls and one of the boys in my class had a father even more uncommunicative than your current student's). The hardest part of this may be to take a deep breath, maybe a dozen, and find a way to emotionally detach.

    On a side note, the "Lyin' Dye" was most likely a takeoff of "Lyin' Hillary". Just a guess from current culture. Something someone heard on TV and realized it would work even better with a rhyming name.
     
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  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    The tardy is written up and discipline handed out, but no getting the "story." Late, whatever discipline is required, end of story, now we work, no discussion. The bullying should be handled by admin, counselor, or social worker since apparently you don't have a HIB officer. You have twisted what I said. And any day you want to transfer into my school, feel free. Our entire population is ED, BD, ODD, ADHD - you get the picture. They could write the book on ways to disrupt class, sidetrack the teacher, and waste time.

    You bought into the disruption by asking for "the story." You didn't need it. As for the little girl, if upset, she needs to share with a counselor, not the teacher. Right people for the right job. You can run your classroom anyway you want, but you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. That is a hard truth to hear, but it is the same truth people have been sharing through this entire thread. You choose to twist what is told to you to make the members look like they "just don't get it." but if you want to deny that, so be it. Did you visit the link provided? You might find it illuminating.
     
  20. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I understand p role are trying to help. I am not discounting suggestions because I think all you fine people are being accusatory but there are some things the district does not allow me to do. As for what you say about how you would handle the situation (in the hall as the rest of the students worked) is simply not allowed at this school (I spoke to then at my desk while the rest of the class did their warm up exercise). I have conferred with administration about all of these issues, I believe I said so in the very beginning but their interest is more that the student is a good test taker and they like having him to show off. Of all the suggestions given me the only one which I could reasonably do is the writing assignment,and I an going to try that this week. About keeping students at recess, we are one of those wonderful schools which have eliminated recess and cut lunch hour to 40 minutes.
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    So what is the discipline for being tardy?
     
  22. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Do you have a school counselor or social worker?
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I would suggest that if you are going to assign a writing project that you have a very specific rubric to go with it, to keep it from seeming punitive, which really isn't allowed in any district or school.
     
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  24. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Cat's comment about emotionally detaching, so that you aren't feeding the intense child, your problem thorn in the side, that is something you can study on Nurtured Heart. I am no expert, but I surely have dealt with intense students.
     
  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Changing how you deal with him will not be easy, but is necessary. Everyone here knows that - we have only been trying to get you to understand it, believe it.

    Best of luck.
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    It's unfortunate that you aren't able to stand in your classroom doorway to speak to students privately. I can't have students work in the hall, or stand in the hall without me, but I can speak to them there. I'm just outside my door with a student a few times a week, at least. I've found that eliminating an audience is so helpful.

    I would continue to document your observations, facts only, no judgement or speculation as to motive, and continue to inform admin of the impact you see him having on your class.
     
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  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Discipline issues would be a problem anywhere for a teacher who gives up her power to students.
     
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  28. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    The suggestion about talking to the school councilor or social worker is a good one.
     
  29. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I believe I stated this is one of the first things I tried. Councilor got pretty much the same rebuff, and social worker said nothing can be done unless there is evidence of abuse.
     
  30. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    You went after it as presenting the student as abused? I can see where you would have difficulty with that based on your posts. The real question is who handles complaints of bullying, since that seems to be a concern? It is in the counselors job description to deal with students like yours, even if home is not open. The counselor can work or talk to the student during the school day.

    Hoping you enjoyed the link - there is some valuable information on it, even if you haven't had the workshop. You do have an intense child, and you do need to find ways to get the power back in your hands instead of his.
     
  31. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I didn't go after the situation as abuse, but in our district a social worker will not get involved unless there is evidence of it period. The sexual remarks were a red flag, I reported them up the chain and that was the result. True the counselor is responsible, along with the assistant principals, for bullying situations. However due to the politics of the situation, there is a vested interest in the administration to not act in such a way that this student gets removed from the school. So in a way the student is not my only problem administration is as well.
     
  32. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Bullying doesn't mean the student will leave the school, only that there will be more effort to change actions which are injurious to others. Consider that a life lesson.
     
  33. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I wish administration would understand that
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What I'm reading in your posts, OP, is a strange mix of helplessness and overreaction.

    Here's my advice. Take it or leave it.

    1. Stop giving this kid so much power. Ignore the stuff that needs to be ignored like the silly names he calls you and his know-it-all attitude. For other infractions like tardies or something, write him up like you would any other kid and leave it in the hands of admin.

    2. If admin can't or won't do anything in response to your referrals, then you need to let that go. You can't force admin to do their jobs, nor can you force them to treat an issue with the same urgency as you treat it. Based on what you've written here, I'm not terribly surprised that they might not take these issues as seriously as you do, because it seems like you jump to some pretty major conclusions (like child abuse) without reasonable cause. It might be that admin is intentionally ignoring your referrals because they don't trust your judgment. I've seen that happen before with some colleagues, and it's hard to come back from that.

    3. If the kid's minions act out, handle those issues swiftly and severely (as appropriate, of course). The smart ones will realize that it's not any fun to say and do those things because they will face consequences.

    4. Reestablish your classroom rules.

    5. Consider adding lessons about tolerance, effective disagreements, and teamwork.
     
  35. renard

    renard Companion

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    Sep 12, 2016

    Every few years, a teacher gets "that kid". The one that gets you and engages you. It is inevitable. The difference is how you react. I can read from this thread that this is your first, and he's already got you. I suspect admin knows what this kid is about, but they have to let you control your reactions and deal with it. You can view this as a moment to grow or not. This has been taken way too personally on your part (the details you post about things like his heritage, his dad's arrest record, and so on... these are flags you are now feeding this power struggle). Now, let's be real, some kids are pretty damn smart and aren't going to respect you. End of. Doesn't matter. You stand your ground.

    You're overreacting because you are inexperienced and unable to handle the defiance. That's what it is. I work severe EBD in the past, this is par for it.

    I wish you would listen to the experienced teachers here and stop defending what isn't working. You're drowning and too proud to grab the life preserver
     
  36. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Sep 12, 2016

    Everything seemed fine this morning, I am trying the writing assignment suggestion. Today when I assigned topics for composition I asked little junior if he wanted to write about Mulan or the great Wall or how he plans to become an evil Mandarin (this is in line with the regular lesson plan assignment anyways because I was going to have the class either write about what they want to be when they grow up or some one they admire), to my surprise he seemed very excited to do this. I told him maybe his dad would like to help him on his assignment and he seemed to think so too so we'll see what we get.
    I am thinking about releasing him from today's detention since he seemed genuinely excited to do his home work assignment. Good idea or no?
     
    Obadiah and Backroads like this.
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 12, 2016

    Are you concerned about any backlash for having him write about the "evil Mandarin" thing? I can just see that type of activity in the news and plastered all over Facebook...

    I would not release him from detention.
     
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  38. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Sep 12, 2016

    I am not too concerned because in one of his last compositions he wrote how the 4 career choices for Chinese men are railroad worker, laundromat owner, fry cook or evil mandarin (the prompt was write something unique about your family history). He went on to detail what an evil Mandarin does for a living and how that is he preferred career path. I gave him a bad grade because it was rediculous, so he took it to the counselor and his history teacher. He pointed out how he fulfilled everything on the grading checklist so the director of instruction made me re-grade him. Before I allowed him to do this topic I ran it by both the DI and the counselor. Yes I told him verbally that he can write about how he plans to become an Evil Mandarin but the written assignment prompt states that he is to expand on how he plans to achieve the goal he stated in the previous assignment (that goal being becoming an evil mandarin). The DI agreed that this is no different than the little boy who wants to be a stegasaurus and being told to write a composition about how he plans to do so.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  39. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Sep 12, 2016

    :dizzy:
     
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  40. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Sep 12, 2016

    Hey if I get fired over this I can go back to dancing. Jk
    Anyways little boy seemed super nice to me today after I told him he can write about being an evil mandarin. He gave me more of those little Chinese candies (he told me if I didn't like them I could use them in place of quarters in a gum ball machine ). Also the counselor sends to think that this could give some insight to his family life.
     
    MsAbeja and Backroads like this.

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