Interesting student--need advice

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Beth2004, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Sep 3, 2011

    I have a student this year that I had the opportunity to spend 4 weeks with in July in summer school, so I already know her pretty well. She's an interesting/difficult student and I'm looking for some suggestions for how to handle her this year.

    She is constantly trying to get my attention. She's not the type of kid who wants the attention of the other students in the class, but she wants the attention and approval of her teachers at all times. I've been told that in the past she has pretended like she wasn't capable of completing her work so that she could get extra assistance (Title I support, etc) and I've seen bits and pieces of that from her. The biggest concern I have is that when she feels like she's not getting enough attention, she lashes out at other students to get the teacher's attention. I don't want to give her my constant attention (and can't!), but I want to avoid the inappropriate behaviors she exhibits to try to get my attention when she thinks I'm ignoring her.

    Any ideas for things that I can try with her?
     
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  3. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Sep 3, 2011

    It seems like she's developed an attachment to you that is somewhat possessive. Perhaps get her focus off of you by pairing her up with another needy child for various activities. I had a female student who developed a "crush" type attachment to me a few years ago. It seems she only wanted me to herself. In order to avoid risk of "false accusations" (which I could see happening with this child), I sought help from our school psychologist right away. He met with her several times, both one on one, and with a small group of other students. Although I was never privy to the specifics of their sessions, I saw a gradual release in her attention in me and she soon became one of the crowd. Is there someone at your school who could help you with this?
     
  4. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Sep 3, 2011

    It's not just me that she's attached to. She really just wants the attention from all teachers. I don't know if she's doesn't get enough attention from her parents or what it is, but she seems to thrive on adult attention. I've spoken to the school adjustment counselor who is familiar with her from previous years, so she may get involved if necessary.

    I like the idea of pairing her up with a needy student. She's really not academically needy herself, but pretends to be, so maybe turning the tables a little to show her that I know she's capable as well as giving her the privelege of being the "teacher" may really be useful.
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Sep 3, 2011

    Not an easy situation. It does remind me of a student I had several years back while teaching 4th grade. I hope these ideas help, but I also encourage you to keep getting more ideas as well. These did help me, yet I am sure there are more ideas out there.

    1. Let her know that you enjoy talking to her and that you are going to set aside 3 minutes just for her to share whatever she wants to talk about at a certain time of the day. (This might sound like a lot, but it is probably so much less than what you are dealing with right now. Also, you choose the time when you are not so busy.) This might be when you pick them up at lunch, a few minutes right after you take attendance, you pick the time--you probably have few good options. Make sure the place you pick is very public such as the classroom or playground when lots of students are on it. As you know, the last thing you want is to be alone with this child where someone might make up something.

    2. Let her know that when she needs help, you want her to be able to do as much as possible by herself. Let her ask "What do I do next?" and not "I don't get it". Explain "I don't get it", isn't a question and doesn't explain what she wants. You then will help her with the next step, but then you must have time to help others in order to be fair. Limit her to 2 questions/subject.

    3. Then when she asks "What do I do next?" Praise her for the last thing she does right, and tell her the next step in 30 seconds or less--then you must leave to go to the next student. This was taught to me by Fred Jones in Tools For Teaching 10 years ago. This has been SO helpful with children who are very needy such as she is.

    4. Give her a notecard that says "I am so proud of you. You can do it." Have your name signed to it. Let her know if she feels really stuck, please read this notecard first. Let her know that you think she is smart and that she can do great things on her own.

    This should be a good start. I highly recommend finding a teacher who has been trained in Fred Jones or getting his book "Tools For Teaching" online to help you. Also, if this does little good than I'd try to talk to the counselor and find out more. Maybe the issue is much deeper and more problematic.

    Good luck!

    Kevin
     

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