Outrageous Behavior

Discussion in 'High School' started by Ann Marie Bauer, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. Oct 22, 2008

    I have some students who are in a transitional program from juvenile hall. They resist doing any work at all, (I am a high school math teacher), and like to disrupt the class the entire period. I start in on consequences, but they start in on 1. wanting to go talk to the counselor, 2. wanting to go to the bathroom, 3. saying they have a stomach ache, or headache. They do this every day. I know that somehow my behavior management plan does not deal with them properly. I don't know what to do. My principal tried to remove me from the high school last year when I wrote referrals, saying I wasn't able to handle the classroom. (He had to change his mind last summer when he couldn't find another math teacher.) I don't know what to do. These kids are out of-the-ordinary situations, but I don't want to lose my job. I live in a remote rural town, and I can't move.
     
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  3. MrsTeacher2Be

    MrsTeacher2Be Companion

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    Oct 23, 2008

    I don't have any advice for you, but I do sympathize. I'm in a very similar boat. My kids aren't from juvenile hall, but they do the same kinds of things. I just started on Monday and I've already had to write up 3 different incidents. I had one kid throwing pencils and he got a paddling for it, then came in the next day (maybe 2 hours after his paddling) and when I told the class to quiet down, he told me to suck his ____________. He got suspended for 5 days for that one. Today I had one listening to an MP3 player, which I would have simply took from him and given back at the end of the day had he not refused to comply. I escorted him to the P's office and the P said he's going to send him to alternative school over a lousy MP3 player! These kids know the consequences and just refuse to behave. I hold them in at lunch or after the bell, I raise my voice, I write kids up, I've given them assigned seats, and they just don't care.

    Whew!! That turned into a vent of my own! Sorry about that! Anyway, the point was, if I find something that works, I'll be sure to let you know, and I'll be watching this post to see if anybody has any advice! Good luck! :)
     
  4. trina

    trina Companion

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    Oct 23, 2008

    You need Power Teaching, and you need it quick! Google Power Teaching Chris Biffle and start there. It has totally changed our school. On his Free Downloads page, be sure to read the one that is "Teaching Challenging Teens" or something like that.
     
  5. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Oct 23, 2008

    I like power teaching - it works wonderful. I too have kids like this and they work alright with power teaching for a month or two. Problem is they are like drug resistant bacteria. One cure just doesn't seem to last long. I suppose it would work longer if you do not have a huge handful of those "trouble students". Most classes have one to three. What do you do when you have 10 problem students? I teach two remedial science class where all the low, disruptive kids are dumped.

    However, I do encourage you to look at power teaching - I've taken some wonderful techniques that still work.

    Something that will sometimes work for me is to talk to other teachers who have these kids. See if they have the same trouble you have and ask them how they deal with it. Sometimes their answer will surprise you.
     
  6. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Oct 23, 2008

  7. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Oct 25, 2008

    This may or may not work, but I'll suggest it anyway:

    Nobody leaves the class after the bell rings unless they have a doctor's note that they must have bathroom access, or they are throwing up. Maybe if they realize that you are not going to let them out for any reason they will stop asking. A variation on this is to say that nobody leaves the room for the first and last 15 minutes of class. That would at least (hopefully) give them time to get settled into whatever you are doing. Of course, this could backfire with everyone wanting to leave at once after the first 15 minutes are up, but it might be worth a try.

    Regardless of whether you try one of these strategies, I would definitely tell them that you will only let them go to the counselor if the counselor either calls you to release them from class or gives them a note saying they have to come at a specific time. (Talk to the counselor so you know what such a note might look like). Counselor visits should be before or after school or at the students' lunch, not during your class time. Same with the nurse - if they're not throwing up, too bad on whatever it is. Only exception is if they have meds to take and then they have to give you a note. Limit bathroom breaks if possible - maybe give one pass a week and that's it? Offer extra credit if they still have it at the end of the week. Create a sign-out book - they sign out when they leave with name, destination and time, and then sign back in when they return. Then you have a record and can keep an eye on repeat offenders.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 26, 2008

    I will NEVER tell a kid he can't go to the bathroom or the nurse. A kid who honestly needs to go is not going to react well-- it's a confrontation waiting to happen.

    But I WILL tell him he needs to make up the time after school. If he still needs to go, he'll agree. He signs out then in with the times, and owes me that time. He tries to make it quick to minimize the after school time. If he's up to no good, I have the time frame in the event that administration wants to know. If he opts not to go, it's over. But the choice is his, and only one person goes at a time.
     
  9. Geographynut

    Geographynut Rookie

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    Oct 27, 2008

    Just tell them no. Don't give any explanation, don't get mad, don't say anything but no. At times I might add no, class just started or no, class will be over in 15 min. etc. but really, you don't owe them anything. They need to realize that they have to respect your class time. At first some will cry, complain, walk out, just ignore it and go on with what you are doing. It's hard, but it works. If they walk out, write them up and turn in the referral later and let the AP deal with it, but don't get mad or say anything. My students seldomly ask me to go anywhere anymore, and when they do, I know it is really necessary.
     
  10. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Oct 31, 2008

    You need procedures to deal with every possibility.

    It's funny, Admin will lump all the horrid kids in one class then blame the teacher when she can't handle them. It happens all over.

    I agree with some other posters
    1- if you need to see a counselor, she needs to call you down. You have to leave room for yourself to make an OCCASSIONAL exception for urgent matters.
    2- they have time for the bathroom before and after class. If not, you can even make a compromise to give them an extra minute or two to do this before you start class, with the agreement that they be in their seat with their supplies by the time the class starts.
    3- headache/bellyache - whatever. give some pretend sympathy, but only offer choices you can live with: you can put your head down in the back for 10 minutes, then you must join us for class OR Lets get the lesson out of the way, you do 5 of the classwork problems, then you can go put your head down. (Half the time, they'll forget they were dying)
    4- These kids lack intrinsic motivation - it goes agains many of our philosophies, btu you'll have to reward them. Put them on a chart like kindergartners I'd do a 3-5 point system daily
    EX.
    In seat, prepared = 1 point,
    follows lessonand takes notes = 1pt,
    completes classwork=1point,
    Do Now is completed = 1pt
    classwork is 80% or more correct = 1pt
    Homewor is complete = 1pt
    Raising hand to talk. = 1pt
    Answering one question = 1pt


    Choose the most important things for you and attach points to them. Also - I've always found with my troubled babies that if I don't collect and grade it - they don't do it.


    The reward can be time doing a fun math activity - like Wrapups, a chance for the class to play a math game, a chance to paint the windows or a ceiling tile with math problems, letting the kids with the most points make up the math quiz, bonus points on a quiz, a movie CLIP for 20 minutes.. Figure out what THEY want. Some kids in my past have asked for a good phone call home.

    Anothe rthing my kids love is to be told stories. So if you can work a math problem in to a story ( A REAL story), maybe that can catch their interest. A veteran teacher once told me that they only sway she got one horrid group of kids to behave was to tell them a dirty joke at the end of class if they were good. I would never do this, but...maybe there's something to it.
     
  11. ELA 11 12

    ELA 11 12 Companion

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    Nov 4, 2008

    Though I don't use it directly, the Power Teaching strategies look very effective. I can't see them modeling you, but I can you harnessing their energy and keeping them engaged using some of those techniques.
     
  12. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Nov 4, 2008

    Wow - i feel for you. I have several students in this category, but not all. And mine break parole and get sent back waaaay too often. These kids have not yet learned how to make choices that are in their best interest. In juvey even their showers are timed. They are used to being overly structured so that even the ability to choose when they go to the bathroom is new to them and they don't see it as anything but escape.
    With my classes the issue was dealt with by those higher up than myself due to a graffiti issue in the bathroom. Now all passes are revoked.
    When it (if it) ever becomes my issue to rule on, I will go with the idea that they owe me the time used after school. (or at lunch) It's only a few minutes but they HATE having to spend it without their friends. I also think that if they are allowed to go to the bathroom anytime they want to, the power of that freedom will eventually become commonplace and they'll not mismanage it. ...
    but perhaps I need to take my rose tinted glasses off. ...
    And yesterday I was at a (boring) meeting and I found myself excusing myself for a walk to the bathroom, just to stand and breathe! I'm just as guilty!
    -monster
     
  13. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Nov 4, 2008

    sorry- new thought - the reasons I get up -

    -I'm bored because I know the info already and can't stand to rehash
    -I'm bored cause the info is too difficult and I've zoned out and now I'd be too embarrassed to ask for help.
    -I'm honestly concerned about something very big in my life and either need to discuss it with someone via text message, or talk to my counselor or PO.
    -The room just depresses me.
    -I'm depressed.
    -I'm hungry.
    -I'm hungry, depressed and tired

    Can any of these reasons be addressed by you? Maybe ask the students - maybe even as a whole class. So that they are brainstorming solutions. ...

    There are those tinted glasses again, huh?
     
  14. iteachbadkids

    iteachbadkids Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2008

    With students like this, it is tricky, but they need both structure and someone they can relate to. If you're friendly but firm, then they will respect you enough to listen to you. Since they just got out of juvi, they they probably resent authority and just want someone that can understand them. But at the same way, they know that they need structure, so be sure to stick to your guns as far as behavior goes.
     
  15. Sheba

    Sheba Companion

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    Nov 13, 2008

    At my high school there are plenty of kids who are bored because it's too easy, bored because it's too difficult, depressed, hungry, and tired. And there are a few with major family issues. And yet they don't display the delinquent behaviour described above. Why do you think that may be?

    However I bet that I might be able to recreate some of the environments described above if I let every student who claimed to be feeling such a way off the hook for all manner of indolence and misbehaviour.
     
  16. NumberDevil

    NumberDevil New Member

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    Nov 13, 2008

    behavior problems

    I teach an Algebra lab to incoming freshmen who failed the TAKS test three times - about half failed because they don't have the skills because of learning disabilities or language barrier problems, the other half failed because they don't have the skills because they have behavioral problems and just flat don't give a crap.

    So fully half my class are disasters waiting to happen. My roster is ever-evolving because of students being sent to ALC, DMC, getting suspended, or moving because their homelife sucks - they move in with an auntie or gramma, then come back a few weeks later when momma thinks she wants them back, then gone again, then back again - it's constant upheaval for these kids.

    I've been working with this particular batch for nine weeks, now, and while their behavior isn't perfect (by a long shot) they are much better overall in my class than they are for other teachers - mostly because I don't put up with their **** and they know it.

    I spent the entire first week of school working on team-building activities - no math whatsoever. The first thing we did was have a socratic seminar so the kids could get things off their chest about why they hate school in general. The next day, we had story time. Just like in Kindergarden - they sat around me in a semi-circle, and I told them the story of my life (which included dropping out of high school, being homeless, and having a long hard struggle to get back on my feet, get back in college and get my degree in math and teacher certification). I told them that I didn't want any part of teaching the gifted students down the other hallway, that I was precisely where I wanted to be, and helping students who had something in common with me was my dream job. Then I told them that being homeless and hungry are no fun and I would do everything in my power to make sure my students DON'T go down the road I went down. I told them that having been through so much terror and turmoil in my own life, and the fact that I raised 4 kids while being severely poor and going back to college, that nothing they could do or say was going to be able to scare me away from loving them and doing everything I could to help them.

    I make an effort to get out of my classroom and into the halls between classes, and I single my students out by name and ask them "How'd you do on your test?" and more often "QUIT KISSING THAT BOY AND GET TO CLASS!" Point is, they see me and they know I see and recognize them. I also try to get to the cafeteria during my lunch about once a week and cruise around, singling out my students for a quick hello. I make an investment of them, with my time.

    Over the first few weeks, I had two or three students "try" me. They got a warning and a reminder that I loved them but I wasn't going to put up with it, but if they tried anything else, I kicked them out. I very calmly and coolly told them to go to their AP and don't come back because I don't help people who disprespect me.

    All of those students ended up back at my door, crying and asking to come back into my class - and they are my best-behaved ones now. They are still getting DMC, suspension, and time at ALC, but not because of behavior in my class.

    Another thing I've done is let them work as a team for a big reward - "game day." The last day of instruction before a holiday break, they can either have a major assessment or a game day - their choice. I wrote a word on the board - a nice long one - to signify their day of fun. If they choose to talk, leave a mess, get off task, be tardy, be disrespectful, etc. I start erasing letters. If they choose to stay on task, clean up after themselves, be quiet while I'm giving instruction, be on time, etc. then they get letters back. In order to get game day, they must have all the letters. As a short term reward, if they have all their letters at the end of class, I'll put on some music for them while they are working independently. As we get closer to our goal, it gets easier to lose letters and harder to gain them back. Two of my class periods have become almost perfect little angels with the prospect of a free day on the horizon and the bonus of music in class. Three of my classes have lost the opportunity altogether and will be taking an assessment - but they will know that the other classes are getting a free day and music. Then when the next free day opportunity rolls around, they will be more likely to try for it, knowing that it isn't an empty promise since the other classes managed to earn one.
     
  17. NumberDevil

    NumberDevil New Member

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    Nov 25, 2008

    P.S. we had our first "game day" of the year today. Two of my classes had games, the others had assessments, and in the meantime, the new word is up on the board for each class to begin again to earn the next game day. It was great, by the way, and I don't feel bad at all about losing a whole day of instruction, because the classes who got the free day worked twice as hard as I honestly thought they would to get it. I think it is a fair price to pay: 3 or 4 free days a year buys me a lot of time on task in the earning of them.
     

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