Parents...sorry, just have to vent...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherhoosier, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Sep 13, 2010

    I have a student who has a major talking problem. He is a sweet kid, but he can't seem to shut his mouth...I use a stoplight as a discipline system, and he landed on red twice last week-after reminders/prompts and a timeout. My policy when a kid lands on red is to call the parents so they know about the issue and aren't surprised when the behavior chart comes home at the end of the week. So, I called his mother last week and explained the problem-she was "shocked" because "he had never been in any trouble at preschool "(which I'm sure kindergarten teachers hear often)..well, I told her that I would send home a daily report so they could see how he was doing throughout the week..He got on red today-sent the note home and immediately got a phone call after school asking what happened today. When I explained what happened, she just kept saying that she didn't know what was going on and that he had never behaved this way..and when I suggested her possibly coming into the classroom to see what was going on, she brushed it outside...And I know every teacher has had a parent like this in the past (and I have had some too),but it just irks you every time...well, I am coming off of my soapbox and going home and leaving school behind me for the night..
     
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  3. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Well, I suggest to take her at face value. I know it probably feels like she's impugning your honesty or professionalism, but all she actually said was that she's surprised. She may well be surprised. The preschool teachers may not have had an issue with talking, or perhaps he was with a different bunch of kids and something with this new group is promoting his newfound expressiveness. Or he may have been more sure of the rules in preschool and is adjusting to/testing the rules in kinder.

    She also might be feeling a bit defensive herself, like you're accusing her of being a bad parent. Also, like you want her to do something, when in reality there's very little she can effectively do. Punishment tends to work well only when applied quickly (if she said he didn't like vegetables and refused to eat them, there wouldn't be a tremendous amount you could do about it, right? You'd rightly think she was completely insane if she tried to put the burden of that on you*). She can talk to him about it, of course, but this will probably only work if he's really just under a miscomprehension of when he's allowed to talk.

    It is indeed frustrating that she brushed aside the opportunity to actually observe the class. Since she called right away, she is apparently interested, but perhaps she's either busy or lazy. Hopefully not the latter.

    * for several reasons, the analogy isn't perfect, but I hope it gets the idea across.
     
  4. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 13, 2010

    3Sons offered some really great advice. :)

    Mine would be to try to do some "silent" activities where the WHOLE class has to be quiet. Then practice doing activities where he is encouraged to chat about a specific topic. (As long as he is on topic, I wouldn't discourage him but would remind him he needs to listen)

    On top of that, I would meet with him personally to talk about his outbursts and chattiness. Talk to him about if he realizes that he is doing that, what happens when he does it (he gets off task, doesn't hear all the directions, loses out on work time, etc) and what happens when he does it to other children (they may get annoyed, lose out on directions or work time, etc). Try to do observe him closely over a course of a week and remember examples of where he kept his chattiness in line and where he forgot. Praise him for a job well done, especially if you have more good examples than bad.

    On top of that, whatever you see WORKING in your classroom for him, pass it on for the parents. Not that you're trying to tell them how to raise their child (heaven forbid :) ) but perhaps should they ever notice such behavior they could use the same method at home to reinforce it.

    (And when all else fails, just remember to have A LOT of patience. Every day should be a NEW day for a child and yourself :) )
     
  5. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Sep 13, 2010

    Thanks for the advice-I've thought about calling his previous preschool teacher to get some insight into his behavior-is that something you have done in the past? I know he is testing the rules/limits, but he has been on red and lost some of his recess most of the time last week and today-with no effect whatsoever. My literacy coordinator came in to observe my centers last week and commented after seeing me have to take him out of centers twice that she didn't know what I could do that could result in his changing his behavior..since he continued to talk even after he was put by himself..Now I'm wondering what to do if he gets on red tomorrow? Should I call the parent again? I feel like we're just going to hash out the same old things again with nothing productive getting done-she is already aware of the problem and in her words "Doesn't want to keep getting calls that he's on red" -I have another child who is having problems following directions, and her mother is coming in to sit with her at lunch tomorrow since she is having trouble there-with that situation, I know the behavior probably will continue somewhat, but I feel like I'll get support.. I will continue to flip his clip if the excessive talking continues and will talk to my principal tomorrow to solicit her advice on the issue..
     
  6. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Sep 13, 2010

    BioAngel, thanks for the advice..in our class, we do a mix of quiet and talk activities, so he does get opportunities to express himself. I talked to him today one on one and talked to him about his behavior and how it affects his learning and others, he said he understood, but there is a disconnect somewhere...I reset my stoplight after lunch so that if a student is red in the morning, they have an opportunity to end on green for the day, but moving a clip or recess hasn't seemed to faze him a bit..
     
  7. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 13, 2010

  8. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Sep 13, 2010

    Thanks!
     
  9. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 13, 2010

    You might want to try to get him to journal about the behavior problem. And depending on his age, he might say he gets it, but needs to really have a good concrete understanding before he truly gets it. Having him write about it will allow you to have a good foundation of discussing it and will allow you to have a record (in his words) to show his parents.

    You might want to try having him tell you exactly what he observed in a situation and see what he is actually sees in such a situation. You might realize that there is a lot of gaps or it could be that he just doesn't "see" the impulse before its too late. That's okay--- just helping him to see that he has an impulse to do something is a good start and really this time take a whole month or a whole school year to get from outburst, to realizing the impulse, to preventing the impulse. Just don't give up :thumb:
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 13, 2010

    Inform the parents of corrective actions that you are taking to help their child remember to listen and raise his hand when he wants to speak. Informing them of the infractions without a positive plan in place is only going to set up a you versus them situation. Get them on board with a behavior contract in which the kiddo can earn rewards at home and at school.
     
  11. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2010

    Hi,
    Just wondering, do you think he can really help it? He could possibly have ADHD and it just hasn't been figured out yet. If thats the case it's going to be really really hard for him to follow the rules, follow directions, keep on task and hold the chatter.

    I have 3 kids, 1 with ADHD and the 2 other's with Aspergers. All 3 has had, or have had problems with the chatting too much (well one either chats too much, or doesn't talk at all). Although I know we arn't doctors, it's just a thought I would suggest.

    Now for 1 of my kids I homeschool right now. He is all over the place and figity along with the constant chatter. It really gets hard some days but what I found to help him concentrate better is to let him doodle. He loves to doodle. At first you might not think he is listening, but over time I realized he did espcially since he did very well for the Standarized testing at the end of last year. If he has to do written work, and I see the signs, I tell him he can doodle for 2 min and then he has to get back to work. I use a timer and it works. Maybe the doodling will help with the chatter?

    I started doing this when I read an article in the New York times that said letting them doodle actually helps them concentrate better. They were right, it works.
     
  12. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Sep 13, 2010

    OK--I think I get it. It isn't that you want her to "fix" it...it is that you want to feel that together you are working to provide a wonderful education. Right???

    By the way, I get tired of hearing excuses about why kids can't follow the rules. Children need to learn bounderies. If his behavior is causing him or others not to learn, then it has to stop. Your green, yellow, red system is not working for him. You need to find something different. Maybe start with 15 minute intervals...sticker for staying on task and not talking... pick a goal to work towards. Good luck.
     
  13. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Thanks for the advice everyone! I definitely feel better about school tomorrow and now have some ideas to work with...mrachelle87, I like the idea of an individual behavior plan for him..the only thing I'm worried about with that is that the others will see him receiving a sticker and ask where theirs is..
     
  14. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I went through this big time with a parent last year. Because she had never gotten in trouble in preschool or kinder, they were convince she was just a sweet little darling who farts rainbows.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Keep it on the DL. And for those who do notice and ask, give them the 'fair doesn't mean everyone gets the same- it means people get what they need...I'm giving little Johnny a sticker for working towards his goals'.
     
  16. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Sep 13, 2010

    Can you turn this negative into a positive? Being able to talk in front of a group can be an asset. As you work on being quiet, can you give him opportunities to use his talent?

    In preschool, my grandson, was the "busy" child. His teacher gave him many extra projects to work on. He loved it.
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Fair and equal are NOT synonyms.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm so not a kindergarten teacher, so forgive me if this sounds out-of-line. I just keep thinking--they're in kindergarten; they're just "babies". How long do kindergarten teachers expect their students to sit and listen or work quietly without talking? Could it be a maturity issue and the fact that the demands are so much greater in kindergarten than they were in preschool?
     
  19. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Sep 14, 2010

    I get a lot of this type of things from parents too. MrsC is correct in that our PreK and our K classes are set up differently. While we don't expect sitting quietly all day in K, there is more whole group instruction than there was in PreK. They don't have assigned seats in PreK, in fact aren't allowed to have tables and chairs for every student. I also wonder if the PreK teachers communicated behaviors as much as we do in K. If the child misbehaved and the teacher never told the parent then she certainly should be surprised. Keep doing what you are doing so the child and parent will be ready for the expectations of 1st grade. :)
     
  20. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I wouldn't continue to contact the parent-but that's just me. It would be different if he was hitting other kids or destroying books or something. There's not much the parent can really do except to say I don't expect you to talk in school. If she asked I would tell her that we were still dealing with the same issues but as czacza stated-I would have a plan in action to tell her about. This clip system is obviously not working for this behavior so maybe switching to an individual chart is the best thing.

    I'm reminded of all the teachers attending in-services who can't control their talking-and that's adults. I think it's an important expectation for a child to learn, but definitely this early in the year, something we have to be patient with. You said he was removed from workstations because of it-was he talking loudly or inappropriately at that time. I love to hear them talking to each other when they do workstations.
     
  21. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    KinderCowgirl, he was removed because he was yelling loudly and not wanting to do the work at the centers-We're not quiet during work centers by any means since I feel that is the time of the day my kids need to relax and learn and explore new things and work on exploring new things. I think he thinks it is recess time in a way...
     
  22. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    I talked to my principal, and I told her about the behavior chart I was starting. She said to call home if it works (which I planned on doing), but if he lands on red, send a note home. I talked to him about it this morning and explained how the chart was set up..they are at special now..we will see how today goes!
     
  23. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    lol...sounds a precious little boy I had. Sweet thing, just couldn't for the life of him shut up (I am joking here, I would never tell a kid to shut up) I would tell him before class that he was going to be quiet and that if he needs to talk to go to the bathroom and talk quietly to himself. I would also give him books on tape with headphones. It seemed to quite him. Another thing I did was (this was private school, don't know if you can do this in public) when he was incessantly talking I would walk by him and gently tap or sqeeze his shoulder. Sometimes kids need a physical reminder. His parents were well aware of his talking and took action at home. It diminished but never completely went away.
     
  24. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2010

    Could you make a chart with the class about what quiet looks/sounds/feels like? It really helped my class. You also might want to do a chart with what an inside voice looks/sounds/feels like.
    Then use these charts when he is being loud or talking incessantly.
    Ask him:_________how does quiet sounds? Remember our chart?





    edited because I can't spell this late at night!
     

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