Sending kids to the office

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by jen12, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Nov 24, 2010

    What is your procedure when you send a kid to the office for a discipline problem? Do you send a note explaining the situation? Do you call the office to tell them to expect the student and explain at that time? Or do you just expect the kid to actually show up at the office and explain why he/she was sent?

    It's something I use as a final resort, since I've heard such negative feedback about subs who do that, but frankly, there are certain times I just have to separate a kid from the audience he's playing to. When a student gets too out of control, I've been known to pick up the kid's desk, tell him to get his chair and move him out into the hall (or outside, since most of our schools have outside breezeways rather than indoor hallways.) However, I'm finding that some schools have a policy against making the student sit outside the room.

    So, as a final resort, when you do send a student to the office, how do you handle the logistics?
     
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  3. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Nov 25, 2010

    I don't believe that it is smart to remove a child from the room to an unsupervised location. So I would rather that you sent a child to the office with an escort, than place outside in a breeze way or hallway. I would also inform the office that the child is coming.
     
  4. The Substitute

    The Substitute Rookie

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    Nov 25, 2010

    Hi Jenn,

    I think you are absolutely right – on occasion, sending a child to the office is the correct course of action. I know that in general, all of us substitute teachers would prefer not to, but sometimes we really have no choice.

    If you’ve already tried moving the student inside the room then the hallway can be a fine in between step - depending on the student and your district policy. However I’d be sure to first make sure that this isn’t the sort of child that would just use the opportunity to make more mischief. I’d also keep the child very close to the room where I could keep a regular watch on him, make sure they had work they could actually do with minimal supervision and give them some clear guidelines about how they were going to earn their way back into the room.

    Another great alternate to the office can be sending them with work to a different classroom (much older or younger and definitely not the same grade). I regularly sub in a very challenging grade 3 classroom with 1 student in particular where this works well. I know the grade 7 teacher and have made arrangements that allow me to send the child to her room if behaviour escalates to a certain level. Being separated from his peers and working in a room full of older children for an hour generally has a noticeable effect, allowing him to be less disruptive and more productive upon his return.

    When sending a child to the office, I’m going to give some thought to the age and demeanour of the child. Some children can simply be asked to go down to the office unescorted, while others would be better off with some supervision for the trip down. It’s a judgement call.

    If you do send someone down to the office, it can be a great idea to send them down with a little rectangular slip of paper that you have pre made. Some teachers I know have little boxes they can tick off for what the child did, what courses of action the teacher tried before sending them down to the office, and a small area for a note from you to let the office know what you would like done (such as “Please hold until recess”) and a spot for the principal to sign.

    I really like this idea for a few reasons. It saves you a lot of time having to write a note and it makes the principal’s job a lot easier if at a glance he or she can see what the situation is and what steps you have taken before sending the child down to the office. It also helps immensely when you are dealing with some of the sneakier students in the intermediate grades who, when they arrive at the office, are not above misrepresenting what happened and why they were sent down to the office in the first place. If the principal doesn’t know you well, the student is not an office regular and he or she just arrives in the office and claims your sending them down to the office was an over-reaction to some minor offence then it can reflect poorly on you.
     
  5. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Nov 25, 2010

    It's hardly unsupervised. Our classrooms have windows along the front and I leave the door open where I can see the child. In most cases, sending the kid out with work actually helps him/her finish it. I was in a fifth grade class where they were doing benchmark testing one day and every time I looked up, one student was bothering his entire table group. The whole group was behind the rest of the class. I tried moving him facing the wall, but he'd just turn around. Moving him out the door allowed him and the students to all finish.
     
  6. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Nov 25, 2010

    I like this idea. I'll have to think on it and create something. Thanks!
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Nov 25, 2010

    As a classroom teacher of 20 years, if you placed one of my students outside in a breezeway...I would make sure you never subbed in my district again. Figure out a way to work with the kids in the room or take them to the office or to the room next door. NEVER outside...that is so against lockdown procedures or safety rules.
     
  8. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    It's interesting that you feel that way. At both schools where I student taught, it was the preffered action, and it was the way I was taught to handle disruptive students, by not one experienced teacher, but two teachers in two different grades. I was surprised to find that it is looked down upon at some schools.
     
  9. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Nov 25, 2010

    It would be a big no-no in my school. First off with safety issues in our schools, we aren't allow to have kids in the hallway or in an area away from us. Plus the age plays a big part in it. We do have an older teacher that does it occasionally, but parent have complained and she has been warned not to do it.
     
  10. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    Nov 25, 2010

    I'm curious about this. I know some districts frown upon teachers who send students to the office or to other teachers' rooms. What would you suggest as a proper disciplinary action within the classroom?
     
  11. azure

    azure Companion

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    Nov 27, 2010

    All the buildings in the district I sub in have referral forms that you fill out and send with the kid. Most teachers put some in their sub folder. I would ask the office or a neighboring teacher about them.
     
  12. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Nov 27, 2010

    First look for posted rules by the teacher. I have them in my sub folder along with appropriate consequences. I have no problem with kids being placed in other rooms, or being sent to the office. I teach 6 year olds, so taking center time is a big consequence that gets results. I also have no problem with subs moving kids around...changing seats or placing someone at a desk in the corner. But I don't want my children in the hallway. If we go into lock down procedures, my principal would have a fit if a child was in the hallway when it started because of problems.

    Taking recess is allowed...I never take it all, but half is acceptable. And we are in Oklahoma...so we do paddle. I know for some of you this is a no-no, but the children know that it is possible if they are sent to the office, so that keeps them from wanting to visit it.
     
  13. The Substitute

    The Substitute Rookie

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    Nov 28, 2010

    I actually didn't know this was still around. In my district if I so much as laid a finger on a child I'd have some serious explaining to do. If someone actually got paddled I'd have my certification removed and be the proud new recipient of a lawsuit :eek:hmy:

    And yet, my district has no issue with a child having a brief stint in the hall where they are visible to the teacher and provided with meaningful work. It's very interesting just how different districts can be from one another. And yet clearly they are all working and producing educated, thoughtful and emotionally well adjusted students :)

    One thing that I do take away from this is that whatever classroom management techniques are employed, they must be in accordance with your district. Clearly district policies will vary but it is incumbent upon us as professionals to know what they are and act accordingly.

    Where reasonably possible, I will also attempt to align my management with the strategies of the regular classroom teacher. Many regular teachers take the time to outline their system and the system that they provide is suitable for effective implementation by a substitute. Unfortunately it is also quite common for no notes on the classroom management system to be left for me, or for those notes to be incomplete, indecipherable or inappropriate in terms of being able to be effectively used by a substitute.

    Some classroom teachers quickly forget that there are elements of classroom management that don’t transfer readily between teacher and substitute. Systems that rely heavily on rapport or relationships are a prime example – rapport based management can be very effective for some regular teachers, but it’s a total disaster when you walk into the class for the first time as a total stranger – you have no rapport, you have no relationship. What you might have are a group of unruly students with zero rapport and no regular/traditional systems in place for a substitute teacher to utilize (aka – it’s a “Where’s my Advil?” kind of day.)

    When it isn’t possible for me to follow the regular teacher’s system I’m going to use my own which is often better for me personally then using the regular teacher’s system because I’m comfortable with it and it is authentic to my style of teaching – I’ve run into some truly odd systems in some classrooms that probably work very well for the regular teacher but they just feel awkward for me and that’s picked up on by the kids.

    Sometimes it’s honestly better for a substitute to utilize their own management approach. So long as it is age appropriate, fair, corrective vs. punitive and strives to protect and support a child’s physical, emotional and educational well being (and is within the district regulations) then I’m pretty comfortable doing things my way and I find that I usually have the support of my fellow teachers and administration.
     
  14. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2010


    I completely agree. Great post!
     
  15. HSSub

    HSSub Rookie

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    Nov 29, 2010

    I sub in HS. Our procedure is to call the office and let them know the student is coming because of behavior issues. Then fill out a referral and send it to the office via another student. I don't do it often, but at times it is necessary.
     

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