Student refused to leave

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by bluegill, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. bluegill

    bluegill Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2014

    I found myself in a unique position today. A sophomore was chatting during a reading period. I asked him once to stop and he didn't take responsibility for his actions: "What did I do? I didn't do anything." After continuing, I told him to sit at a table in the back of the class. Basically, he didn't respond and didn't do as I said. After ordering him twice, I gave up and went back to my desk.

    He came up to my desk and asked to go to the principal's office. I said "Sure, and take your stuff with you." He got to the door, turned around and started asking me "Why?" I said "You know why." He just kept asking. I went to phone the principal, but he didn't pick up. I kept getting asked "Why" and so I just sat at my desk and stared until he gave up and left. When he left, he said "I hate this f***** class." 2 other schysters in the class also decided to leave and slammed the door as they exited. I asked the remaining students if anyone else wanted to leave, they laughed and continued reading. So I closed the door.

    Normally that kid is great to have in class. He participates frequently, though sometimes tries to get me off-task. Sometimes his interactions are inappropriate or disrespectful; half the time he polices the behaviors of others. So when I call him out or attempt to discipline him, he cops this attitude on me. He thinks he didn't do anything wrong, or at least says so.

    To top it off, after school, I found out that somebody had spit on my car. Coincidence?

    I've asked veteran teachers and had a meeting with my mentor and principal. Some advice I got was to leave my door open, call the principal to come escort the student out, use sarcasm, chew him out, be very specific with expectations, use less aggressive tone, etc. I am not really sure how to approach the situation. I didn't want to escalate the situation, but at the same time, I really felt like chewing him out. Any advice on this?
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Oct 3, 2014

    I definitely would not chew him out. I have a kid this year with anger issues. I try to stay calm and cool. I don't push. It took me one bad class to realize it.
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Oct 3, 2014

    Definitely not an expert on this, but I can't think of any situation that would be helped by sarcasm.

    Good luck, though, OP. Kind of a weird situation. Maybe the student wanted to start something to assert his dominance in front of his peers?
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 3, 2014

    Were you in my classroom today? You have described my class to a T.

    No advice, really. I haven't figured it out, either. I have several that push buttons intentionally to be thrown out of class. I have to balance not giving in and the other students' learning environment. Not a fun position.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    At my school and the school I use to teach at, this student would be suspended. Admin. needs to do something major about this. If not, then your students have free reign to do what they want in your classroom, if this boy can get away with this.

    Also there would be a 100% chance, I would contact the parent or guardian. If the parent or guardian has no phone, then an e-mail would do. If neither, then I would send a brief letter.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    When I first started working with HS, I was told not to start or engage in a war of wills that I couldn't win. The moral of the story given me is to do whatever is necessary to get the student calmer, or help on the way. At that age, they can be volatile, girls and boys. I think you did the best you could in that situation. Hoping you were able to lock the door once they left, and find someone to take the point on tracking them down once gone. Remember, safety first.
     
  8. bluegill

    bluegill Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2014

    You bet I did lock that door as soon as they left! One of them tried to get back in, too.

    I doubt the principal will suspend the student for this.
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Maybe not, but you put the troublemakers outside the room, protected the rest of the students, and have the time, now, to make a case for more consequences should you feel the students got away with something. Buying time is always the way to go. Glad everyone is fine. I had something similar today, but with special ed. My principal held up the sheet I had written up and asked if this kid was on my last good nerve. As I told her, surprisingly, no. Once the student had chosen to leave, I simply wrote down everything and it took page to document the sequence of events. I reminded the principal that I am precise with my words, and that if I had seen where I had gone wrong in the confrontation while writing up the incident, I would have been the first to point out what I could have done differently. Finally one of the social workers got it - "writing it out was your therapy." And it was. We have been engaging in mindfulness, so after the departure, I started some Enya for my remaining student and myself, wrote, and was very calm. I did promise to highlight the keywords next time to make it easier for them to understand the triggers. My administrators backed me, understood, and the consequences are set for Monday. And I won huge brownie points with the social workers for demonstrating mindfulness under stress. Not my worst Friday afternoon. With the writing out of the sequence, the anger left my body, and left me satisfied with my actions, so if you haven't written it down yet, I would, whether anyone other than yourself ever sees it.

    Be well and enjoy your weekend.
     
  10. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Oct 3, 2014

    I'm guessing you don't have school police or security guards, as we do, otherwise I would suggest you contact them instead of the principal.

    Locking the door behind the three was your best move. I always keep my door locked since hall wanderers open doors to see what girls are in a class, then slam the door as they leave. Sometimes a student I've kicked out will come back, kick and pound on the locked door, screaming profanities. If that happens to you, call security or administration and tell them an unknown student is doing that at your door - then act surprised if they tell you it's one of your own students. That starts a conversation of, "Oh, I thought they were at the office, that's where I sent them."


    ;)
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 4, 2014

    Now that I think about it- when they refuse to leave, I send another child with a note. My dean always comes and gets them.
     
  12. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I have never been a school where any of this would warrant a suspension. Cursing? Detention. Walking out of class? Detention. Slamming a door? Detention.

    I think when we tell people that their Admin should be suspending students for certain actions; we are setting them up to expect their Admin to do so especially new teachers. For those of us who work in a district where it is hard to suspend students (Admin's hands are tied by the district's CEO); teachers have to find ways to be self-sufficient and survive without Admin rescuing them.
     
  13. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    OP, I truly believe that we have to be very careful about the power struggles we get into with students, especially older teenagers. Once it has been established that you have no real power over your students, it is hard to get past this.

    You told the student to leave and he didn't do so immediately, which is him testing your authority in front of everyone. Once he saw that he "had" you (you couldn't get him out of the room until HE was ready to leave and no one came to help you); in his mind, he had won so now he was ready to leave. Then, two other students took this opportunity to test your authority and they also walked out. All of your students saw no immediate recourse to any of this behavior which means you lost this power struggle in their eyes. Hopefully, this is was a one-time thing.

    I would try to talk to all three students to see why things escalated the way they did and express that this cannot happen again. Call home and see what the parent response is. Also, telling a student to leave your class is taking a chance that they won't which can turn into a bigger issue. If you can, next time, call for an Admin or hall monitor before you put a student out in case they refuse to leave - but warn the student that you plan to do so if they don't get it together.

    Good luck!
     
  14. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    This would probably be an in school suspension at my school, because of the cursing and the disrespect. Our faculty got together and set policies for what we would handle in class, and what should be kicked up to administration. This situation would be kicked up to administration, not because we can't handle it in our classroom, but we feel like having kids like that in the classroom takes away from the learning environment for other kids, and from the teacher's right to teach.
     
  15. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Many schools do not have these things (ISS or teachers deciding what will be given to Admin to handle) and so they just have to learn how to deal with/manage these behaviors themselves.

    The point of my earlier comment was that telling new teachers that Admin will/should do such-and-such might be setting some people up for a huge disappointment, resentment and frustration at work. I see it all the time from new teachers (new to teaching/new to our district). I tell these people that if they are waiting for Admin to handle small behavior issues (anything other than fighting, attacking a teacher, weapons, drugs and alcohol); then they will be sorely disappointed. They just have to find what works for them in their classroom.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I think you did okay in this situation. I would have probably given the student a choice: you can leave on your own or the principal can come to get you. After logging the behavior and contacting parents, I would probably be done with this particular situation, maybe after telling the kid that everyone needs to follow the rules in my classroom and that as far as I am concerned, this never happened, as long as it never happens again.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Well said - you do have to wipe the slate clean going forward, giving the relationship a chance to heal. Thanks Peregrin5!
     
  18. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

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    Oct 4, 2014

    stuff like this happens to me all the time - no security to call, not allowed to write referrels, parents "cuss you out" if they even have a working phone. its hell.
     
  19. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    A lot of times it's best to try to not make a "scene" in front of the whole class. When I find a student is being defiant, I will walk up to them and talk to them quietly.

    For example- the other day I had a kid that's usually happy-go-lucky get all pouty and defiant. We went to the auditorium for something and I asked him to sit with our class (he was sitting one row behind). He refused. I asked him again, he refused again. This was from the other side of the row. So I walked over to him and quietly said "I need you to sit in the other seat please" and he grumbled but got up and moved.

    I think it's sort of like some kids don't want to lose face in front of their friends. If you are giving them orders in front of the class they'll refuse to pay attention to keep up their appearance. But if you talk to them quietly so no one else can hear they'll listen because no one else knows you're giving them orders. I do this a lot with kids who are loud and talkative. Instead of yelling across the room "so-and-so I need you to quiet down please" I'll walk right over, sit next to them and say "okay let's get to work, quietly please."
     
  20. bluegill

    bluegill Rookie

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    Well that walk up quietly thing doesn't work with this kid. I tried that once and he tried to make a scene out of that, too. In fact, I gave him a detention that day and he never served it. I told the principal about it, too.

    This student refuses to cooperate any time I ask him to do something and he doesn't want to do it. He does think he is winning.

    Maybe the only way I can win with this kid is to call him out when he is policing the behavior of others. If I say something like "This is my class and I will handle the disruption," maybe I will get the support of other students. I could reserve it for a time when he does it inappropriately like tell somebody to shut up. What do you think?
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Perhaps a better strategy is to reach out to his other teachers and counselor to see what has and hasn't worked. These kids usually have a history of the behavior. Some students would take your proposed comment as an insult and escalate behavior in response. You need to get a handle on this kid, and you need to know more about him. It is early in the year, so the effort will pay off.
     
  22. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    You don't need to win with this kid. Classroom management shouldn't be a battle or competition between you and the students. And you definitely don't need to get other students to rally against him.

    If blurting out to police other students is against your rules, inform him of that, and give him the consequence if necessary, then move on. If he makes a scene, have him removed from the room so that you can continue teaching others.

    There is an art to avoiding confrontation and argument. I simply give the consequence, and then immediately turn away and move on with my lesson, so that they don't have a chance to respond. I don't look at them waiting for them to respond or to see if they understand.

    Here is a good article for avoiding arguments with students:
    http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2014/05/03/how-to-avoid-arguing-with-students/
     
  23. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I am sure cursing is handled differently in a high school than at an elementary school. I teach 5th grade, and it is considered a big deal if a student is dropping f-bombs in front of the class. Also, refusing to leave a classroom when a teacher requests you to leave is a suspension (although the P has the right to make it an in-school suspension which the students tend to find quite boring.) I don't mind at all that I have a P that stands up for us as teachers. It makes for a lot less discipline problems.

    I agree with you that if admin. isn't going to handle the problems, then a teacher needs to take matters in their own hands and be self-sufficient. I do think admin. should back a teacher and come down hard on a student when he/she refuses to leave a classroom. A reasonable teacher request, but I agree that not all administrators back their teachers due to sometimes their own decision or district policy.
     
  24. Barbera

    Barbera Companion

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    Oct 6, 2014

    "Why" and "What did I do" are 2 questions that should be ignored.

    Ask your district office if they have Fred Jones 'Tools for Teaching'. A lot of his advice is good for the scenario you just described.
     
  25. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

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    I tried to walk a student nicely (using tons of positive energy) back to his seat because he refused to sit in his assigned seat and he twisted my arm and crushed my hand - it was painful. I had already talked to the admin he works closley with because he pushed a girl against a wall - about him not-respecting boundaries.
    No idea what to do.
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This is not okay! If a student in my room laid hands on anyone--myself included--and refused to leave the room, I would immediately call the office to have someone come and remove them. In any school that I've worked in, someone (not necessarily admin) would come. Either of the incidents you mentioned would result in suspension in my school and the open defiance would likely result in removal from classes for the balance of the day and a conference with parents.
     
  27. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I agree. Also, if a student puts hands on a teacher, that, student can never come back to the school where that teacher works. They would be expelled for the year, then transferred to another school.
     
  28. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This is when you file assault charges.
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is your problem. If you're going to open the classroom management door, you have to be prepared to walk through it.


    The OP also ensured that these belligerent students had an opportunity to be in the hallway, unsupervised, potentially disrupting other classes. I don't think it's a good idea to lock students out of a classroom except for safety reasons.


    Yep.


    This. So much this. (I would add that the OP should speak with the students separately so that they can't gang up.)


    File a police report.
     

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