Student with "I can't syndrome"

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by applecore, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 20, 2015

    School starts today! I'm excited because this group of students seem to be a great break of good students compared to the last 2 years---I've been told that, so we'll see. I need a break from a large case load of students with special needs--I had 14 last year :D

    The issue: I have a student who constantly says "I can't" and uses foul language about every other sentence. He's on an IEP for ADD. Nothing else. SpEd wants me to use treats, candy, rewards for everything he does do. SpEd claims he has low self-esteem and just needs encouragement. His 2nd grade teacher saw manipulation--I've chatted with her over techniques that worked for him. She said rewards were his key/frustrations were his trigger. She also said he's just a sweet little boy without physical violent issues (yes, I'm thankful for this one for sure :rolleyes:) and loves playing outside. I'm guessing a stock pile of Smarties and M&Ms might be in order. His parents also tend to continue to argue with him and he goes into shut down mode even more when he's argued with.

    I'm relatively calm by nature and tend to just smile, thank them for trying, ignore, walk away when needed, and carry on with a smile with students who have this particular issue---although I've never had a student with this extreme of personal issues with the "I can't" and use of vulgar language.

    Would you have any tricks in your teacher box to share for a little guy like this?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 20, 2015

    He's probably acting out of a fear of failure. Build up his confidence by praising what he does well, encouraging small risks he takes, celebrating small successes along the way. Send the message you believe in him and that you know he can achieve.
     
  4. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 20, 2015

    This is definitely, what we consider a common piece for me to do, and what other teachers have done.

    I partnered him with a sweet friend who didn't mind at all to buddy read things and do partner work. He didn't mind sitting there to listen--- and I didn't mind that he sat there and just listened.

    I even got him to chorally read with me today! Whew!
     
  5. janis

    janis Companion

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    Aug 22, 2015

    Try to find things they are good at: "Success breeds success."

    Just stay firm, quick, and assertive.
     
  6. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 22, 2015

    Definitely true!

    He was a complete gem both days. I've partnered him up with a student who's totally into being helpful with reading things and helping him write.

    So far he's responded to my honest praise when I catch him completing a task that I've asked.

    He's a reluctant reader and writer, so I've got to come up with a few tricks and accommodations to help get him through those tough times.

    His IEP doesn't have anything to offer for accommodations in those areas. I'm guessing he was so reluctant to do anything last year, they kind of gave up on him; which didn't do anything to help this poor kiddo.

    In two days time, he's chorally read with me or another student, taken 3 AR tests, and passed all 3, and has successfully written two words without help on a paper---yeah, 3 words doesn't seem like a lot, but for this kid and on his own, it was a miracle! ALL done without candy, stickers, or rewards too.

    I'll have a jar of Smarties and M&Ms stashed away to offer a little reward here and there as needed---for him or me. ha!
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 23, 2015

    That is such good news. I agree, a few independent words can be a huge accomplishment!

    This is a new year for this student. Much could have changed for him. Also, your approach toward him may be different than others which is making him feel unchallenged emotionally which leads him to take some small chances.

    I do hope it continues to go well with him. Have you thought about how you will approach him when he really does need some discipline? He may need an approach that will discipline without the shame that comes with many approaches.
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Aug 23, 2015

    I really try to help build a growth mindset with my kids....I start immediately with discussing mistakes and the importance of mistakes and working hard....I don't know that this is going to take an immediate affect on your little guy, but establishing a classroom community that embraces challenges and mistakes should help. The idea is we become smart through the correction of our mistakes, so when we make mistakes in class we are excited; mistakes are opportunities for learning. I had a kiddo last year who also would become frustrated easily...I think the atmosphere of the growth mindset helped him a lot, but he still had days that he would just become frustrated...but hopefully just planting that seed will prove to be fruitful, even if it doesn't happen immediately, or even this school year.
     
  9. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 23, 2015

    Thank you! He's truly a sweet one that seems like he needed a fresh start.

    He's one of those ones that follow you around and pull on your arm a little to get your attention to ask for help---I must be use to it, because it doesn't bother me. I didn't think he'd pick up on my hand signal to wait while I was talking to another student and let him rest his hand on my arm---but he did!

    Discipline will be an "as we go" thing at the moment. I do have recess to "hold over him"---he loves his time to play outside! I've been successful so far with just reminding him that he needs to try and complete what I ask (which is very minimal at the moment to help build him up in all areas) so he can go outside. You're so right though. He needs to know that he's capable and can do things, even with mistakes---without shame.

    Thank you!
     
  10. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 23, 2015

    Such great advise and wonderful start for your kiddos!

    I do the same with making sure we're all on the same page of learning happens because we make mistakes, not because we know everything. But, I'm hoping this little guy will slowly pick up on those social cues as well. I know he's missing a lot of social cues with being able to accept that he's made a mistake or not passing tests.

    Thank you!
     

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