Oh the drama

Discussion in 'General Education' started by fantasticfirst, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. fantasticfirst

    fantasticfirst Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2010

    I think I am still in shock from the events of this morning. One of my students was having trouble sitting still at the carpet. He kept crawling around disturbing the other students. I told him to move his clip from yellow to blue and that he needed to go to the rules desk to write down the rule. You would have thought I took away all of his Christmas presents. He started hitting his desk and kicking everything in his way. I, and the students, ignored him and went on with the lesson.
    After a few minutes the guidance counselor walks by and pops his head in to check on me. I motion to the upset student, so our wonderful counselor tries to go talk to my little friend, but the boy starts running away. The counselor and I then walked towards the door so we could talk about what was going on. My student teacher did a great job of taking over without me saying anything.
    The consoler and I decide that we have had enough of this boy’s tantrums this week and I turned to call the boy’s mother, I have already spoken to her this week. As I start to make the call I hear a huge bang behind me. I turned to see the boy’s desk on its top, four feet from where it had been sitting. Luckily not all of my students were in the room, so the area that the desk landed in was free of kids.
    I was stunned... absolutely stunned. This kid is small for his age. Two kids tried to pick the desk up before I could intervene, but it was too heavy for them to pick up.
    Unfortunately that was not the end of the drama in our room today. There were other tantrums from other students when they didn't get there way, but no one else flipped a desk. I'm really tired of all of these outbursts. I spend more time preventing or taking care of problems than teaching. So many of my students think that the rules don't apply to them, or that they don't have to listen to the adults at our school. I have so many angry kids in my class this year.
    This school year really has me depressed. Summer cannot come fast enough this year.
     
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  3. mrduck12

    mrduck12 Companion

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    Mar 25, 2010

    I am sorry you have to put up with this, but you should see how such children act when they get to high school.

    Please, please do the teachers this child will have down the road a huge favor and try to break this cycle of behavior? We would all bless you!!

    Keep up your great work, and don't get discouraged. Hugs to you!!
     
  4. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Mar 25, 2010

    I am sorry to hear this. I know this is very stressful.

    I have a suggestion that might be helpful in dealing with this child. I have had children who respond in a similar way, and the way I have dealt with them is to try to avoid reprimanding them publicly. I do not have any kind of system in place where they need to move down a clip or any kind of public display that shows how they have in some way not measured up.

    The reason I do this is because it is quite possible that for most of their young lives, they have felt that they did not measure up. That is precisely why they are acting out. They feel terrible about themselves. I would just be confirming their low opinion of themselves if I were to call them out for it publicly.

    Instead, if they break rules, I go up to them and speak in a low calm voice and let them know what the consequence will be. I tell them exactly what I would like them to do.

    And to balance that, I am constantly on the look out for when they are doing anything at all that is correct, even if it is just sitting in their seat. Some teachers think it is inappropriate to do this, because of course they should be doing this without any acknowledgment.

    But these children rarely if ever get feedback telling them what they are doing right in their home lives. You can bet there is very little resource for them at home. You may be the only person in their lives who smiles at them, or lets them know they are doing a good job.

    You are probably unaware of just how influential you are in the lives of these children. But you are a powerful influence, and the structure you are giving them daily may be the only source of happiness that they have.
     
  5. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Mar 25, 2010

    The blame pretty much goes to the parents, not the teachers, Mr. Duck. I've had very few students like this and it stems from parents "babying, cooing and thinking their kid is #1 and without fault". While we have to deal with their child/children's behavior, the biggest babies are their parents. :eek:
     
  6. CGriswald309B

    CGriswald309B Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2010

    I agree with the advice about giving positive advice. At our school we are supposed to give AT LEAST three compliments to other students before we reprimand the student who is misbehaving.

    In my opinion it works to a certain extent, but it will not work on every kid.
     
  7. Leader08

    Leader08 Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2010

    I remember the 80's

    Sorry to hear that your day was so tough! I remember when I was a kid in the early 80's and kids misbehaved in school, the teacher would bring out the paddle. Everyone would quickly transform into little angels.
     
  8. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Mar 26, 2010

    Parents have much responsibility for this kind of thing,yes. However, the kind of behavior described generally reflects much worse problems than 'babying' the child in question.
     
  9. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    Mar 26, 2010

    Sounds like he has a steroid problem. Anger... strength...

    Either that or meth.

    Oh wait, i just checked...you teach 1st grade...not high school...
     
  10. fantasticfirst

    fantasticfirst Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2010

    This little guy is very angry, and I knowing his past, I can't really blame him. The desk flipping was unacceptable though.
    I spend most of my day complimenting the good things the students are doing. I also have very quiet conversations with the students who misbehave all the time. Although I'm sure I could do it more often.
    Today the guidance counselor suggested that I put in an irritation station that kids can go to when they are upset. He suggested that I put things there that they can destroy, like foam for watering plants. I also thought I could get clay, not play dough, for them to smash and pound.
     
  11. beatlebug731

    beatlebug731 Comrade

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    Mar 26, 2010

    That's a really creative and excellent solution!
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 26, 2010

    'Public postings' of behavior (traffic lights, clips, card flipping) can be embarrassing...think about the golden rule- would you welcome an office posting of whose lesson plans were turned in on time, what time teachers arrived and left, test scores? Also, what was your class doing while you were calling the parent of the child in question? You may want to reflect upon the 'publicness' of your behavior management and how it is affecting at least this student's behaviors and reactions.
     
  13. fantasticfirst

    fantasticfirst Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2010

    czacza- If a student is causing a public disturbance in the classroom I'm not going to hide that the student has consequences. I did state in a previous post that I am always having private conversation with students about their behavior. In fact, I had already had three private conversations with this student about his behavior. Also, our behavior charts are used school wide.
    As I stated in my original post, my student teacher was working with my class while I talked to the guidance counselor and made the phone call. They were all actively engaged in an activity. If my student teacher hadn't been in the room I would have had them at their seats working on something while I made the phone call.
    As far as the office posting what time teachers come and go and the test scores- that information is open in our school. There is no reason to hide it; we are all working towards the common goal of educating all of our children.
     
  14. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    Mar 26, 2010

    Do you think the other students' tantrums will lessen once the child who flipped the desk becomes less visibly upset? I've had classes that seem to follow traits of others. Does your guidance counselor visit for lessons? Sounds like some stop and think lessons may be helpful. Good luck - this is a tough one!
     
  15. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    Mar 27, 2010

    So, what did you ultimately do with the student? Referral? Suspension?
     
  16. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Mar 27, 2010

    I had a student who would throw her chair when she became frustrated and she had this type of safe place she could go. It really did help her to calm down sometimes. She learned to go there before she exploded. I didn't really have anything there to destroy... I did have one of those stress balls and she ripped little pieces off of it.

    We also had a behavior class kids would go to when they acted out. It was kind of like an in-school suspension, but they also did activities to help them learn how to recognize when they were starting to get out of control and they brainstormed acceptable ways of dealing with their feelings. I recall one day in particular she came back with a poster outlining things she could do when she was feeling angry or agitated.
     
  17. fantasticfirst

    fantasticfirst Rookie

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    The funny part is, this student isn't the original tantrum thrower in my classroom. I think once we give them an outlet for their anger life should get back, at least closer, to normal. Stress balls haven't worked. The guidance counselor has been in for lessons, but he will be in for more this week.
     
  18. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    Mar 27, 2010

    i don't get all the clips, smiley faces etc etc etc -- i know most elementary schools use all that official behavior mod stuff - but what about just making a funny face at him - squirming yourself - and then asking him to come sit by you???? seems that would have solved everything without all the drama???? i'm just saying . . . and who knows what happens to the little guy at home when he doesn't have the right color clip???? let them be kids!
     
  19. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Mar 27, 2010

    I agree with you in general, though there are certainly kids that can't be controlled just by telling them to sit next to you.
    I do, however, agree that the discipline system in most classrooms is overly codified. The pattern of gradual escalation of negative consequences usually employed does a couple of things: First, it generally sends a message that 'the first one is free'- ie, if getting a blue clip is a warning, not a symbol of a negative consequence that goes with it, there's no reason to behave well until after you get the blue clip. Second, it sends a message that bad behavior is okay if you're willing to accept the negative costs. This is how lawyers are made...
    It's also usually the case these days that schools don't actually have any seriously negative consequences to visit on young students. If the parents don't do it, and they often don't, there really is no signficant deterrent for an acting-out first grader. Most of the negative consequences that schools can utilize have no real impact on the kids that have significant and recurring behavior issues. The ones that don't have such issues generally don't need such elaborate schemes- just a reminder to do or not do something, as appropriate.
    My conclusion is that these schemes are, ultimately, lawyer-driven. They are about being able to show outsiders- parents, courts- that an even-handed procedure has been used and the school has given the child 'due process'. It's really not developmentally appropriate for younger children.
     
  20. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Mar 27, 2010

  21. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    The problem with that, Mamacita, is that often these angry kids with the most troubling issues are not phased by peer pressure. They have a disconnect and do not care about others. They have been neglected, abandoned, and abused. The scars run deep.
     
  22. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Mar 28, 2010

    Wow, sounds like my class at the beginning of the year. I had two kids that fed off each other and had daily outbursts. Both were diagnosed autistic. One child was removed and is being homeschooled...

    We got the other kid sort of under control and then a third child decided to take up the slack left by the removal of the first child.
    She kicks and screams and cries and throws things. Her screams aren't pain or misery, they're angry screams.

    I got called a 'maniac" the other dayh and the principal was called "meanie poopy man!"


    I've found that the clip/card system doesn't work for these extreme kids, because if they worked, they would've been successful already. We had a formal behavioral analysis to figure out what the triggers were. It was really beneficial...I now know what to avoid and how to handle things if I can't avoid them.
     
  23. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    Mar 28, 2010

    i love the concept that the whole team runs if the arrogant quarterback slacks off - but that's on a team that is voluntary - you can't punish a whole class because of a couple - or the perfect kid in the back that never does anything wrong but has absolutely no control over the bully in the front
     

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