Inappropriate behavior - and sneaky

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by gottateachtx, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. gottateachtx

    gottateachtx Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2013

    I have been trying to deal with a couple students in my 3rd grade class who have been doing some awful things, and are being very sneaky and sly about it. This includes use of the "N" word, taunting, cruel remarks, and some downright vulgar behavior. I only know it's going on because lots of my reliable students report it.
    I have told the class that I don't punish a student if I don't see or hear it for myself, but I will call parents and report that I am hearing this from students. I have done that, and had the counselor talk to these kids, and I don't know what else to do. I feel like a careless teacher, but I watch them like a hawk! I have moved their desks away from the others, and try to keep them by my side. What else should I be doing? I had a parent call and ask me "why I allow it"? Oh my gosh :eek:
     
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  3. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Oct 3, 2013

    I would not tell my class that I do not deal with things that I do not see or hear myself. I keep that as a situation by situation decision. It locks you into a bind which may be very difficult. However; this is already done.

    I would probably not even question whether or not I have seen it. I would address it as a fact and go from there. If they question your seeing it ask how they know you did not see it. Usually it is not very difficult to get kids to admit things if you just talk to them like it is fact or ask round about questions.

    I would talk to the children who are being accused of this and inform them that they are making other children feel unsafe thus since they cannot act in a safe manner while they are with you you cannot trust them to be safe away from you. I also would discuss how the lack of safety they are causing for others also must make them feel unsafe since they must assume others will treat them the same way. It often works to resolve things at least for a while.
     
  4. gottateachtx

    gottateachtx Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2013

    It's not that I don't "deal with it" - not at all. What I've said is this: I don't "punish", as in follow my behavior plan with consequences such as losing recess time or detention or ISS. Should I? It doesn't seem fair; children could act on a grudge by telling on a classmate.
    However, your points are well taken. I will address it without explaining that someone told me about it, and see if they will "fess up". Also, I'll come at it from the safety angle.
    What I'd really like is to help them stop. I feel sorry for them, because I know they aren't happy.
     
  5. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Oct 4, 2013

    "What I'd really like is to help them stop. I feel sorry for them, because I know they aren't happy."

    What will help them stop is to make it more appealing for them to NOT do those things than it is to do them, and the first step is giving consequences. You have expectations and you have consequences. If they know the expectations, they are then responsible for making choices regarding those expectations. We as teachers need to honor THEIR choices with appropriate consequences.

    In the future, you should reconsider telling students they won't receive consequences for something you don't see or hear yourself. It seems almost like a green light to do whatever they want as long as you don't see or hear it- adding to the sneakiness you're trying to avoid. And, what if someone comes running up to you with a bloody nose and says another kid punched him? They won't get a consequence because you didn't technically see it?

    It makes much more sense to have kids feel like they can tell you anything and their concerns will be addressed. Of course you have to distinguish clearly between telling and tattling. If someone is being called a name or being sexually harassed, that shouldn't be considered tattling! It's our responsibility to assure that the kids feel safe under our care and we can only do that if they know we'll take action to keep them safe.

    Does that mean we will see everything? NO! You can't be responsible for what you don't see or hear if no one tells you, but the minute they tell you, it becomes your responsibility to deal with.

    I would have a conversation with the whole class about appropriate behaviors and explain that you WILL give consequences for calling people names or other inappropriate acts. Then the next time someone comes up to you and says that so and so called him a name, ask that person, "WHY did you call Jenna a such and such?" If the person denies it, ask for witnesses that heard it. If someone else heard it, give a consequence. End of story. If parents get upset, stand your ground. You can't let this go on. You wouldn't want your child (or niece or nephew) to be in a class where people were allowed to be mean to him/her, would you?

    What consequences are currently part of your behavior plan? I think a logical consequence for not being socially appropriate is to spend time alone, away from the group- especially during times when close supervision is impractical.
     
  6. gottateachtx

    gottateachtx Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2013

    Thanks very much. You have both given me a lot to think about, and I will certainly be making some changes, starting this coming week.
     
  7. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Oct 4, 2013

    Guessing gottateachtx is 99% certain the act(s) happened and witnesses are reliable but does a teacher really want to do discipline by vote? I have experienced (as well as colleagues) students intentionally ganging up on another student, a teacher or other staff, witnesses and all, with intent of retribution for some act the victim (and witnesses) felt was unfair or, just for the fun of it, to see what kind of damage could be realized. A parent upset due to complaints of unacceptable language and/or behavior is one thing. Worse is a parent upset due to their child punished for an act he/she didn't commit.

    Gotta's effort directed at prevention - seating, proximity etc. - seems a good plan especially in the long run. In this case, the use of management "skills" has a better track record than the typical "You deserve this for doing that!"

    Consider the more outrageous or oppositional the behavior the more positive the response. How about a little meet with the instigators and an incentive for not hearing any complaints from students or displays of unacceptable behavior?
     
  8. gottateachtx

    gottateachtx Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2013

    "How about a little meet with the instigators and an incentive for not hearing any complaints from students or displays of unacceptable behavior?"

    I like this idea....I have so many informants that I KNOW I will hear about any incidents whatsoever!
     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Oct 5, 2013

    I've gotten very good at getting kids to admit to whatever they have done.

    Get to know your kids. What facial behaviors do they have when they don't tell the truth or know that they've done something wrong and know they're about to get into trouble?

    Once they've confessed I will do one of 2 things, act shocked that they would have done such a thing or be very sad that they've done that thing. I thank them for telling me the truth. Then they get a consequence.

    Sometimes, it takes longer to get them to tell the truth, but they almost always do. If I can't get it out of them our Dean of Academics is awesome for getting them to tell the truth.
     
  10. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Oct 5, 2013

    Nothing can't be undone. You simply say "I've changed my mind, and from now on, I will decide for myself if a student is telling the truth and whether to believe him or her. Then I will take action based on my decision."
     
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  11. gottateachtx

    gottateachtx Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2013

    I absolutely will be doing this, first thing Monday morning.
     
  12. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 5, 2013

    First step for me would figuring out why the behaviors are occurring, and the various dynamics - e.g., is there a ring leader, how many are involved, etc.

    Your thoughts?
     

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