Students who Talk Back

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ll1301, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. ll1301

    ll1301 Rookie

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    Nov 8, 2013

    I have a HUGE problem with students talking back in class. I am a first year teacher in first grade, and I am AMAZED at how rude these kids are. They are disrespectful too. When they are doing something wrong, and I re-direct them, they ALWAYS back talk me. They will be talking and I will say, "Please stop talking" or "Please don't talk while I am talking" and they will reply with "I wasn't talking!" when clearly, they were the ones talking. I have a huge issue with whining and complaining too. When we transition to a different activity, they will complain and say "awwwww" like they are complaining and seem uninterested. I have been trying so hard to get this under control, because I am scared to death I will have an issue when I am observed by my principal. What advice do you have when dealing with talking back, complaining, and disrespectful students?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 8, 2013

    "I wasn't talking"... You are now, sweetie. Stop please.:D
    The whining...I tell them there's no whining in __ grade....then ignore them and move on.
    Fist graders generally want to please. Manage behaviors and keep it moving...praise kids who are doing the right thing. The ones who aren't misbehaving will get the hint.
     
  4. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Nov 8, 2013

    I tend to use, I know so and so will be .... I also do say it is a silent time. I tend to skip the please be quite, the please often is taken as a choice. I will wait till all are silent (it can take a while but they do figure it out). I also try and be sure I have been clear in my expectation of silence. I note who is doing the stuff expected either on paper silently or I thank those who are helping out and ready to listen. I have my talkers move to solo seats when needed after saying it once. I have my whole class go to their desks and try again and again and again if needed. I have the entire class take a seat where ever they are and try again... if needed. I have them practice over and over what I expect in transition. I model what I expect from them. I have students model it. I set clear expectations of when it is okay to talk and when it is not okay to talk. I do not argue with the children. The most I say is this is not an argument or we can talk about this privately at recess or after school. I also tend to just look at the child if they try and argue. If it is serious disrespectful behavior I will walk with them to the outside and have them talk to me privately at the time.

    I also tend to train the class that they get to keep negative comments to themselves, basically they can say "yay!" and mention how excited they are to do something, but cannot say "Aww" I don't want to. We discuss how it feels to be all excited about something and hear some one else say it is no fun or that they don't like it. It usually takes a little time; but not too much.
     
  5. live

    live Companion

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    Nov 8, 2013

    If ever a child complains, talks back, or shows disrespect of any kind, I tell them that we don't _________ (whine/complain/talk back/whatever) in my class and then I don't even give it any other attention. If they continue, I just tell them that it's not up for discussion and then give them the option of staying in for recess to learn about respect (or some other reasonable consequence). Usually they choose to stop. If not, a consequence follows.

    It's important to be very firm and consistent with them, so that they know that a consequence will follow their behavior. I don't engage in an argument or debate with any child.

    When they kids are doing an excellent job about staying positive and focused, I always make sure I tell them so (whether individually or as a group). I try to make it specific & personal; some of my kids came to me with some baggage following them from previous years so they're learning to take pride in being a better student/person.
     
  6. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Nov 8, 2013

    Praise one student who is following the directions and then say, "I wonder if anyone else can do it as well as Susie"... they will fall into line pretty quickly.

    Don't argue with children. Use a firm tone and state the direction. If they don't follow the direction or they start to argue say, "Are you going to do it now or during (recess, choice time, insert fun activity here)?" and then honor their choice. Be prepared to follow through.

    If they are whining I say, "Please don't whine at me. Use a grown up grade 1 voice". They usually stop after that.

    I also train them how to respond to something they don't want to do. We talk about how when they go "Awwww" it's disrespectful to me because I planned the activity and it's not fair to the kids who are excited. I've taught them to say, "Okay Miss Scrimmage" in response to a direction they don't like. This keeps their attitude from ruining it for others.
     
  7. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Nov 8, 2013

    Fred Jones devotes several sections of his book, Tools For Teaching, in addition to training teachers at his workshop in how to deal with backtalk. Jones notes the biggest problem teachers encounter with backtalk is their own backtalk. The "technique" he recommends is quite simple in theory but one of the toughest to master - Shut up! He likens backtalk to a play "produced and directed by the student in which there is a speaking part for the teacher. If the teacher does not accept the part, the play bombs. If he/she does it's show time!"

    It's not unusual for students to backtalk or argue with teachers. They are not grown up yet and can make immature decisions. What is unusual is to see a grown-up act like the students they are trying to discipline. Anything the teacher says in response to backtalk will become the incentive for the student's next backtalk.

    When teachers practice at Jones' workshop they take turns being students and backtalking to the "teacher" (partner) from nice to nasty in attempts to get the teacher to talk and/or become angry. If you have a trusted partner - spouse, colleague? - it pays to practice outside of class. This is mainly due to our biology (fight-flight) which is screaming at us to DO something which most often manifests itself in opening our mouth.
     
  8. live

    live Companion

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    Nov 8, 2013

    While this may work with some students, I'm also quite certain that this approach might not work with others. At the district I worked for last year, ignoring behavior (including talking back) would eventually lead to the child to yelling, swearing, or using his/her friends to taunt the teacher. Doing nothing was perceived as weak. If the teacher stepped off the stage, then the student would only take advantage of having the spotlight.

    Not that any arguing or back-and-forth should happen, of course, at any time. But it was important to say something that either made a joke of the back talk or something that said, "yup, I'm still the boss."

    But then, shutting up would probably work well for most students in my current district.
     
  9. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Nov 9, 2013

    Ignoring behaviors rarely solves the problem. If the behavior is truly attention seeking then ignoring may work. But for most students a quick response and redirection is more effective for nipping smaller behaviors before they escalate. I'd rather take a quick second and deal with something minor than be dealing with large issues that take away from more learning time.

    If a student really won't let an issue go I say, "I've heard your words. Now respect mine." and I walk away.

    I had a student last year that tried to argue with me constantly and would actually follow me around the room arguing. I started giving him the direction once and then saying, "Thanks for following the directions," in response to everything he said after. I sounded like a broken record and he eventually got the message that what I'd said was not up for discussion.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 9, 2013

    If you build good relationships with students, when a student talks back when you give them a consequence, the only thing you need to do is walk away, or perhaps give them a knowing look and walk away. For many students talking back is a somatic response. They could completely know that they were talking and maybe even didn't intend to talk back, but because they're trained to do it at home, they'll do it at school without even meaning to.

    By ignoring it and letting the consequence stand you don't get into an argument with the student (which is never productive), the student understands that you know better and you KNOW he was talking, and it will cause the student to reflect on his actions rather than getting angry further and thinking only about the argument that you've engaged in.
     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nov 9, 2013

    live, This is the problem with trying to give a great strategy over the internet in a teacher's forum. Loomis is correct. Fred Jones' approach is great and works great in highly dealing with back talk. It does not say to not do anything and allow back talk. It shows more when to engage and when not to. At the beginning, it is best to keep silent and not engage the student in their foolish game of back talk. That is what the student wants. Punishing or reprimanding the student later for this back talk is always an option.

    Before saying something doesn't work it is best to actually read the book, attend the seminar, or both. It is not possible to tell everything in this strategy over the internet in a teacher's forum. Trust me, I have dealt with back talkers for years and Fred Jones' approach is the best one out there. In order to know why, a thorough reading of the book or attending the seminar is necessary.
     
  12. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Nov 9, 2013

    I agree. Ignoring behavior in group situations does not work.

    In actual application there is no ignoring. The technique (skill) is how to remain calm in the face of provocation. It is part of Limit Setting, a series of body language moves which signal "I mean business". Of course, any technique not performed correctly has a nasty habit of failing. Hence, the common perception it as simple as merely ignoring behavior. Many students view a teacher they can jerk around (get to talk) as weak.

    Jones did not make up this technique. He got it from watching teachers in real classrooms, some with kids kicked out of regular schools. As part of training teachers are, also, taught when Limit Setting may not work. To say this technique will work with every student who backtalks is not realistic. In too many backtalk situations it is the teacher who becomes the biggest disruptor in the room and, when students are in need of a role-model demonstrating how mature adults handle problems, they get more of what happens at home.
     
  13. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Nov 9, 2013

    This is outstanding advice! I hope lots of rookies read this. Right now I have a student teacher who is experiencing some management problems, and I'm going to share this post.

    I also had her reading this blog about power struggles with students.
     
  14. live

    live Companion

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    Nov 10, 2013

    I actually don't recall saying it is a poor strategy. In fact, I said it would work with most of my current students. I was simply pointing out that it did not work with previous students that I have had, and that it is important to keep students in mind...
     
  15. live

    live Companion

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    Nov 10, 2013

    I do agree with what you're saying. Arguments with students are unproductive and also damaging. Regardless of the way a teacher deals with talking back, it will not be successful if positive relationships with students have not been established.

    I was just noting that it's important respond to backtalk based on the students themselves. I completely understand ignoring talking back, but I also think it depends on where that back talk stems from. For many, like you said, a knowing look will serve as the only consequence they need. For some students, depending on their personal backgrounds/personalities, more has been needed.

    At least in my experiences. Others may totally differ.
     
  16. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Nov 10, 2013

    There is a difference between ignoring back talk and not engaging in it. By ignoring it you don't deal with it at all and give no indication that the behavior is unacceptable. By not engaging you repeat the instruction, take on a firmer tone, say "I will not argue about this" or give 'the look'. All of these communicate to the student that they are stepping out of line.
     

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