Student doesn't want to come to school

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by nrsims, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. nrsims

    nrsims Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 30, 2011

    One of my students is very bright. At the beginning of the year, it was apparent that she was well ahead of the average student and she doesn't have a problem taking in and retaining information.

    Since January she has missed a lot of school. Her brother has been sick, she has been sick, the family has been out of town, etc. She has missed literally more than half of the school days since January.

    She has missed so much school that now she doesn't want to come anymore. She throws tantrums every morning when her mother drops her off. She refuses to do work and states that it is "too hard" regardless of the actual difficulty of the work.

    It is frustrating because I know she has great potential in all subject areas and is very smart. At the beginning of the year I was concerned that she was trying too hard to do things perfectly and now she isn't trying at all!

    I have talked to the mom about it and I realize it has been difficult for her to juggle a sick son and bringing her daughter to school everyday. But it would be so much better for her if she got used to being in school every day again.

    This is my first year with this age group, so I kind of do not know what to do.

    What are some strategies to help her calm down when she gets to school and love learning again?
     
  2.  
  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 30, 2011

    What does she love to do to? Find this out and incorporate it into her day. If she loves the computer, let her play on the computer for a few minutes at the start of the day. If she loves art, let her start her day with an art project.

    It may be that she needs to find a friend again. When being away so much, she might be struggling to find her place among the class. You might try a few getting to know you activities again.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,939
    Likes Received:
    2,086

    Apr 30, 2011

    Have you consulted with the guidance counselor and school psychologist?
     
  5. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 30, 2011

    Do elementary schools in your area have either of these? Ours don't.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,939
    Likes Received:
    2,086

    May 1, 2011

    Yes. My school has both. The psychologist serves our elementary and the middle school.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 1, 2011

    We have a psychologist and a social worker at each elementary school.
     
  8. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    8

    May 2, 2011

    I've had this sort of thing happen with so many kids. I find the best thing to do is just stick with the normal routines and uphold the same expectations as always.

    Her life is unstable right now with everything going on this year (and mom probably paying less attention to her if brother is sick) and she's acting out to ask, "Has school changed too?"

    Usually after a week or two of being in school every day, they settle back into the routines.
     
  9. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,750
    Likes Received:
    217

    May 3, 2011

    I agree with this. I think mopar's ideas of finding soothing routines makes sense, but the source of anxiety is likely due to the disrupted routine, and would likely be fixed by a more consistent routine. Since she didn't display the behavior before, and it started once going to school wasn't enforced, expected, or routine, the disruption is likely the cause. That isn't to say that trying to sooth her temporarily is a bad idea, but I'd be careful about inadvertent reinforcement - giving her the expectation that coming to school will be rewarded with special attention and privileges.

    Personally, I'd try it without special attention and privileges, and just ignoring it to a degree. If it was extremely disruptive, I'd probably try to have another adult (e.g., admin, counselor, etc.) pull the child out in the hall to wait it out, but not try to talk or address the situation - just be patient and neutral.

    If, after 2 weeks of her coming everyday and her behavior not be soothed/reinforced, I might consider a different approach.
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    May 3, 2011

    I usually consult with the guidance counselor, as well.
     
  11. Silmarienne

    Silmarienne Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Messages:
    541
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 4, 2011

    I have found this to work wonders at times: be sensitive to a time when you can sit down with this kid, casually, and talk. Let them know you understand that they don't want to be there. That's about it. Depending on the kid, I've even said "sometimes I don't feel like being here either." Sometimes all kids need to know is that you get them and aren't trying to change or fix the way they feel. Nor are you validating that they should be ruled by their feelings. You're letting them know, hey, we're here and let's make the best of it.
     
  12. nifferka

    nifferka Rookie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 15, 2011

    I frequently have children who miss school for a month or so, and then are a bit reluctant to go back--but the biggest problems are with the really bright kids. The perfectionists.

    They're used to being the best in the class with everything. That's who they are, and they're proud of it. To come back to school and find that the other kids know more than they do...it's upsetting on so many levels for them. They'd rather just quit.

    It's like they only know how to be one of two people: the person who knows everything, or the person who knows nothing. There's no room for the idea of being "the person who's learning."

    I've found that letting them know they'll catch up soon, there's really not much they've missed, and offering to help them after school (or giving their parents the extra materials) goes a long way towards relieving their stress. Also, I don't make coming back to school an option.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 288 (members: 4, guests: 259, robots: 25)
test