I don't know what to do anymore! Behavior Problems... help =(

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by LMath85, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Oct 8, 2008

    Hi everyone,

    I need some advice. I am currently in my second year of teaching, one first year at my current school. I was given a Special Education class - though I am not certified to teach special ed.

    Well the problem is, my special education class. They are giving me such a problem - since the first day. I'm talking about totally ignoring my lessons, throwing papers, cursing, yelling across the room, randomly getting up, etc. For example- today one kid walked in the room, took the bathroom pass and threw it out the window! I didn't see this, but another (my only good student) saw it and told me after class. I didn't see it because we are required to stand outside our classrooms and encourage the students to get to class on time. The room is weird and its hard to see everything going on while also being outside. Its unbelievable, and I just don't know what to do anymore. I have spoken to my AP, the SE AP, the deans AND the Principal knows - but nothing has changed. The S.E. AP has come in to observe me and see how the kids act in the class, but of course they were angels because they didn't wanna be in trouble. Does anyone have any strategies I can use?

    Just so you know, I also have four general education classes and they are absolute angels. They do their work, they are quite - i just adore them all.

    I'm getting a headache... today I almost cried. ... ugh i can't do this. :dizzy::dizzy:
     
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  3. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    Oct 8, 2008

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. This is my first year teaching ever, and I have the Special Ed class. They drive me up a wall. I have cried almost everyday this past week. My team is great, but I am so mad at myself that I cannot get them under control. I tried EVERYTHING. My process right now is TRYING not to yell and repeating directions and procedures ALL the time. It is so so hard. I have wanted to quit and dreaded going into work. It is awful. I wish I had some better advice. If something starts to go right, I will for sure let you know.
     
  4. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Oct 8, 2008

    The thing is, I don't yell! I tried it once and it didn't go over well. So I speak calmly... though apparently I have anger issues as one kid told me??? LOL

    The problem is they are 10/11th grade and they are used to something that I am not. Which is the easy going "these kids aren't going anywhere" special education teachers. && I know not every S.E. teacher is like this, but the teachers at my school are. I don't believe in this. There are some kids that actually want to learn, but when they are told they aren't going anywhere special... well heck, I would give up too probably.

    My class was getting on the right track, but a new student was put in two weeks ago and he disrupted EVERYTHING. I ask him how his day is going and he gets so angry! I mean how can something as innocent as "how are you" make you mad?!? This kid curses like there is NO tomorrow... I've heard just about everything come out of his mouth.
     
  5. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    Oct 8, 2008

    Oh, wow, I had the SAME SITUATION. I teach 5th grade, and I got a new student that made things so much worse. And the sad this is, is that you work so hard with them, and then they go home and hear and see no telling what. And there is also no telling where he came from. Just keep your positive attitude. I have lost who I was, normally happy and confident, and now I am afraid my job will be in jeopardy because of it. I almost feel like I was set up for failure. I know I was not. It is so tough.
     
  6. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Oct 8, 2008

    Thank you for responding. It makes me feel a little better that someone else understands because also they say they understand, they don't. They aren't in my classroom when the kids will say something awful about me, when the kids scream across the room while i'm teaching, when they have thrown a quiz out the window while I was on the other side of the room, they haven't gotten papers thrown at them, and they haven't put up with the crap I have had to deal with. These kids just don't listen and I just don't know what to do anymore. I've gotten everyone involved, but there is no change.

    It really is so frustrating.
     
  7. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Oct 8, 2008

    LMath,
    I would, point blank, tell the administration that your students are in special education because some of them have behavior issues, and that you cannot stand in the hall in the morning because it is leading to a potentionally dangerous situation in your class. Tell them you will be happy to stand in the hall and "herd" children to class if they provide a suitable adult to come into your class and directly supervise your special needs students.

    I've been an inclusion teacher for many years, and I'm telling you, you have to be downright militant sometimes to get what you need to help students with special needs succeed. These students have legal rights -- and being left without direct supervision is not a prudent idea. When they get into trouble, do something awful, get suspended, or worse, how is that going to meet their educational needs?

    If it were me, I'd talk with adminstration. If you approach it as being a problem-solver rather than a complainer, they should be open to this. It is worth a try. It would be one less time the "less-than well-behaved" students in your class have to get into trouble.
     
  8. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Oct 8, 2008

    I like the problem-solving, militant advice. I find that navigating the mine field of school bureaucracy sometimes requires a warpath approach, and my instinct is that this is one of those times. Of course, at other times, a fly under the radar approach is best.

    That said, I would make order in the classroom your number one priority. They can't learn if they're wandering around class, throwing stuff, etc.

    How many kids are in the class?

    If the number is manageable, then I think making a personal connection with the students is the best approach. Make them some "allowances" (cancel homework one day, for instance) so they get that you are on their side. With lower students, I always appeal to their innate respect for kindly women when I want them to behave. But the key is that I remain kindly; otherwise, we get into antagonistic mode. Even when disciplining it's always in a "Gosh, I wish I didn't have to do this, but I must keep my class on task. I'm so sad I must discipline you, so disappointed."

    Of course, this doesn't work for everyone. But I do know that last year, in my fifth year of teaching those low classes, I made a total breakthrough. We read a 300 page novel. We took harder vocabulary quizzes. We added a unit on Greek tragedy. We kicked butt on the state writing test.

    You mentioned not wanting to treat them like they're bound to fail. I get that, and I really felt like once I had the discipline thing down (which honestly depends a lot on the size of the class -- a huge class and it's nearly impossible), I could get them to do stuff that they weren't even supposed to do (read for homework! I wasn't supposed to make them do that! How sad is that?).
     
  9. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Oct 9, 2008

    Well after yesterday's incident, I don't plan on being out in the hallway. Its near impossible - what will they throw out next? I know this isn't much about me, but I don't want to seem like I am not capable of handling my class. I just hate that no one has given me advice on how to handle these kids - they just threw me in there. I've taught level one classes and I've taught repeater classes - which are suppose to be the tough classes. But I've never had to teach a special education class so I just don't know how to handle them. And after a month I still haven't figured it out. I've been trying to make a connection with them, but they just don't care.

    I have 14 kids in the class - in a small cramped room. But since september, I have had a total of 20... a bunch of kids switched out and some switched in. SO its like, Id get my rules down with a new bunch of kids and 5 more would come in/switch to another class.
     
  10. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Oct 9, 2008

    Since the kids are acting differently with an admin there, is there a way to secretly set up a video camera so they don't notice or see it, or just lie and tell them its for something else lol, and review it later with the AP or whoever you feel comfortable with. I would be talking to the union about being forced to teach in an area you are not certified in. You're a newbie like me and we don't know any better and things can get pushed onto us!





     
  11. catsos2

    catsos2 Companion

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    Oct 9, 2008

    Where is their regular teacher? In my district every ESE class always has a teacher with them or at very least an assistant. Is it possible to request an assistant or co-teacher for a few periods, just to get them moving in the right direction? Even if your P or AP is willing to sit in for more than one class time, it might give you a chance to get the kids in line.

    About the camera - if you can get your hands on a webcam you could just stick it on top of the computer and record for the whole period. If that's not possible, you could just get a black box and TELL the kids you're recording them :) LOL, I wonder if that would even help?!?

    Good Luck!
     
  12. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2008

    I have the same kind of class, but the assisstants are reserved for Math and Reading, since those subjects are being pushed more than the others. So I am basically on my own.
     
  13. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2008

    And I feel the SAME way. I do not want them to think I cannot handle the class, but if it comes to that and I lose my job, I say so be it. I have done my absolute best. I feel like I was thrown into this without any help. I have a great team to work with, but they have their own things to deal with.
     
  14. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Oct 9, 2008

    Aren't you required to have an assistant with a special ed class? What is the diagnosis of the students? Do they have IEPs? Or is this just a remedial class? Do they have mild retardation, mild autism or learning disabilities? How you handle their behavior could depend upon their diagnosis.

    The fact they these kids are able to control their behavior in front of admin seems so calculating that it makes me wonder if they really are special ed ... I'm not doubting you ... I'm just wondering if the school has dumped all their problem kids in this class ????????

    Do you have any suspicions that this might be the case? I wonder if their parents know they are in a class labeled special ed?
     

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