Students with anger management problems

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by a teacher, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. a teacher

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    I have one student whose writing is awful. It's almost painful to read. I have told him that if he doesn't want to work on improving it he will have to type his assignments. What would you all do?

    When I grade and return an assignment to him and he's not happy with the grade, he will walk away with it and exclaim, usually with foul language, about how the grade is not fair. At this point I wait until the class is almost dismissed before I call him over to get his assignment, so the group is distracted by dismissal and doesn't notice him. How would you all handle a kid like this?
     
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  3. Leaborb192

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  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Give a choice (Love & Logic approach):
    You may choose to write it neatly enough that it can be read, or you may type it up. (You seem fine with either solution, so I'm hoping those are two good choices) Stick to that, give a low score if necessary...if there's disrespect after you've given that choice and they've made their choice, can you just write them up?
     
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  5. a teacher

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    I've told him both options. I would gladly send him to the Dean, but it seems unwarranted. Other options on how to respond to the anger? I have heard of other situations where anger-management problem kids have freaked out about grades. How do you defend against that?
     
  6. Linguist92021

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    I have 3 students with terrible handwriting. Student A and B are just lazy and sloppy. I told everyone, every time there is a writing assignment " if I can't read it, I can't grade it" and " you don't need perfect handwriting but I shouldn't have to strain my eyes and go blind trying to read your work" student and A and B received several Fs because I couldn't read every other word. Once I asked each student to read it to me, and they couldn't. That tells me that it's just sloppy, because if it was just bad handwriting, there would be a pattern to it and they could read it themselves.
    Both of these students will fail this semester, and although failed assignments are a big part (it is an English class with essays and writing) other work also contributed.

    Student C has terrible handwriting and the worst spelling I've ever seen. Yet, I can almost figure it out, because it's not just sloppy. When I asked him to read what he wrote, he had no problem. This student feels very insecure about his writing and often doesn't do it. He was failing for months, but then I noticed he actually paid attention and verbally gave me perfect answers as well as very good scores on multiple choice tests. Because he was trying ( and I was able to motivate him), I gave him a final (50 questions, all multiple choice) about the book we read. I ended up not using this for the class, they didn't get a final about the book. But told this students this could replace many of his chapter test scores. And guess what. He did fantastic, remembered things from the book 3 months prior. He will end up passing.
     
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  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Is this the only class where the student reacts this way? I ask because we just had an incident at my school where a young lady went completely out of control. In her case, it was almost expected based on her past behavior, and we were able to intervene in a manner we knew would deescalate the situation most quickly. Can you talk with this student's other teachers / guidance counselor to gauge if there is something else going on?
     
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  8. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Can you talk to administration to see if they have a preference? If you've given them the choice, and they choose neither, then they get a 0. They then have a choice to react to that in a productive way or a way that causes others issues (including you), and if the latter, I'd hope that administration would stand up with you for that! Can't hurt to have the conversation, at least. Good luck!
     
  9. a teacher

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    Okay so an update. I didn't get any answers that would help, so I guess it's okay I'm reading these now.

    I passed back the kids work and he went ballistic. He came up to my desk insisting that he knows the material, his answers are adequate etc. He was loud and disruptive, so I told him I will discuss specifics after class. As he went back to his seat he continued to mouth off (and get this, something I've never even heard of a kid saying) he starting saying my class stunk, that I didn't know what I was teaching, that he knows the subject better, etc. So I took him into the hall and let him know that attitude won't be tolerated and called the Dean's office to have him picked up. Ridiculous!

    The Dean came by to get the details and said the kid still hasn't cooled off.
     
  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  11. MrsC

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    I was going to suggest oral assessment as well. If he can tell you what he knows, he is demonstrating his understanding of the concepts.
     
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  12. Leaborb192

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  13. MissCeliaB

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    If his answers are correct, but difficult to read, I can understand his frustration. What standards are you grading, the content of the class, or handwriting? Does he have access to a computer or other device to type his answers in class? Have you checked with other teachers to see how they handle his handwriting? Usually by high school if a student has that severe of deficits in handwriting they have a 504 plan and some kind of adaptive technology and a plan in place. He should not have reacted the way he did, and may need to work on some skills to manage his anger. However, he may have a valid point, however inarticulately he may have expressed it.
     
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  14. Leaborb192

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  15. a teacher

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    Look, this isn't the issue (how to assess). The kid can write legibly if he tries. The point is that he doesn't want to put the time in because he is arrogant and thinks he knows everything about the subject. There is no reason to hold him to different standards as he is not a special ed student. Also, what about the fact that he insulted me and said my curriculum (which is stellar) was bad (he put it in much ruder terms). Hello?!
     
  16. MissCeliaB

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    I've had some of my best students lash out sometimes in the most cruel ways. I always remind myself that they are children and are still learning how to cope with emotions and express themselves. It's part of my job to teach them that. Since I teach speech, I try to model what we learn in our curriculum. I ask to speak to them in the hall. I use a three-part statement, like "When you say that my curriculum sucks, I feel upset because I work hard to plan activities I think students will find interesting." Usually, the student will apologize. Then I ask, "What can I do to help you be successful?" and then "What will you do to help yourself be successful?" It doesn't work 100% of the time, but it's the best thing I've found.
     
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  17. TeacherCuriousExplore

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  18. a teacher

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    I hear you but that is not my style, which is no-nonsense. A kid talks trash, they are going to receive the consequences. I am treating them like young adults, not like children.
     
  19. a teacher

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    Did you have something to add?
     
  20. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    If you're wanting only ideas that are only circling around consequences, then ask for that!

    Personally, I try to listen to all ideas, and while I may not follow any one of them specifically, I at least try to glean something from that that I can use to adjust my approach. Don't dismiss something just because it isn't "your style"! Just don't go 100% in that direction, then.
     
  21. Linguist92021

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    well, I'm sorry if my thought out response didn't help you. I put a lot of effort into describing what I did with 2 students, and explaining my no-nonsense attitude, which is what you're looking for.

    Next time just say "thank you for the responses everyone" instead of saying none of this helped.
     
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  22. Secondary Teach

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    Edit note: my old post is now moot as, a teacher, has apologized. Sincerely. On a side note, having a delete button would be nice every once and a while.

    :)
     
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  23. a teacher

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    Sorry. I appreciate your effort. But of course I'm going to say that I have not gotten a fitting solution if it is true. It means I still need help.
     
  24. a teacher

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    This was the helpful response. Here are your choices. That's it. You want to whine about it, get out of my room. I'm not going to enable stupidity by saying my feelings are hurt or letting the child dictate my methodology. It's called living in a society.
     
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  25. a teacher

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    What old post?
     
  26. MissCeliaB

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    This post seems very confrontational to me. Tone is so hard to judge on the Internet, so I'm hoping it's just me interpreting it that way.

    Yes, students need to experience consequences for their actions. Any student who disrupted my class that way would meet consequences. In my room I use phone calls home and after school detention typically for actions like this. I did not understand that you only wanted advice for how to discipline a kid, I thought that you wanted advice on how to help minimize the outbursts of a child who has trouble controlling anger. Honestly, I dont have many disruptions in my class, even from students on behavior plans, because I have built a reputation for being a calm and fair teacher,and for having strict classroom management. Both elements are important to my classroom environment.
     
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  27. Leaborb192

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    ,
     
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  28. MissCeliaB

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    I agree, both about starting day one building relationships with students and building trust in the classroom and about how on forums we get only one side of a situation.
     
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  29. MissB123

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    I have a similar student, in 4th grade. I am an inclusion teacher and he is classified, but kids are afraid to be near him. Next week he is being transferred into a BD (behavioral) class because of his many actions and language.
     
  30. a teacher

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    It was very weird. Basically the kid was fine all semester. Then I noticed at a certain point that as I would pass back papers to him with low grades due to sloppiness and poor responses, he would get angry and make rude comments on the way back to his seat. I ignored it hoping it would not continue. Then finally the kid had a meltdown in one particular instance. I had him removed (as I related before) and then followed up with the Dean and we had his mother called.

    Anyway, the story is now over because we met with the parent and she and the kid decided he would not take my class for the second part next semester. He was dropped from my course. I am of course happy, because now I don't have to deal with him, but I am also left wondering if I left anything out in my approach. You all talk about building relationships so these things don't happen, but I had a good relationship with the kid until his meltdown. I dealt with it swiftly, professionally and efficiently. When the parent came in and was not 100% supportive (she had some concerns, but that was because the kid had told her things that were not true), I was able to argue my position in a way that could not be disputed. I was proud of that.

    It turns out the kid did have a history of behavioral problems and was classified with emotional issues, though he had apparently slipped below the Dean's radar. It's actually kind of weird, because this is the third kid this year with some kind of emotional disturbance who has been taken out of one of my classes. The swiftness and quietness with which it is done however, leads me to believe that our counseling staff is used to issues between kids and teachers and that it must happen regularly at my school. They don't seem to think I have any shortcoming, otherwise I assume they would say something to me. They just seem to figure, "Hey, we don't want to deal with this kid (or parent) so let's just pull them out of this class. It's only an elective anyway."

    What do you all think?
     
  31. Leaborb192

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  32. Linguist92021

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    You can't help every kid, there will always be on that will just not like you, blame you for his failures, etc. In unlucky cases the parent is supporting the kid's distorted view. In even more unlucky cases, the parent has a loud voice, complaining to admin, and in response it's easier to take the kid out o f your class, To me it feel like saying the kid is right, it's all your fault, but this is the easiest solution if the parent wants to complain higher up. Just take it, be happy , especially knowing that you did everything. Now it's one less problem.
     
  33. a teacher

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    Thanks! You are so right. You nailed it on the head. I am very happy, but just curious as to how often this happens in other classes at my school.
     
  34. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    One tiny observation - some students' handwriting is caused by dysgraphia, and all the "want to" in the world won't make it easily legible. Some of these same students don't truly type well, despite their texting, which is not like typing a paper. Personally, no matter how hard the answers were to read, I would have stuck with grading the content, not the perceived sloppiness. If the low grades were strictly on content, all is well and good. If you were penalizing him for his handwriting, I think you were off base, and the student may have taken that as a personal attack. The handwriting deficits may be perceived as a form of disability, and we aren't allowed to penalize students for something outside of their control. I have students who I scribe for, their handwriting is so bad. All I want to know is whether or not they are learning the material. Who cares how it is written? I suspect the student felt victimized.
     
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  35. a teacher

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    No that is incorrect. Firstly, in most cases, the handwriting couldn't be read and thus could not be given credit. The student was told to either put more time in or type. Neither of which he was willing to do. So tough luck, you get a Fail on the assignment. Furthermore, when given an exam to write, the handwriting, while still poor, was legible. Proof again that if he wanted to put in the effort, the work would be o.k. In addition, his answers on assignments were incomplete and lacked depth, despite his knowledge of the material as demonstrated in verbal responses. So again, his choice. The real issue was that he was arrogant, thinking he was an expert on the subject and didn't need to invest the time. Therefore I did nothing incorrectly. In fact, there was nothing else I could have done. And he is not special ed, so he does not deserve any special treatment. Again, the situation was weird because he just kept getting more and more angry about the grades over a few weeks and then had a meltdown after the most recent assignment.
    Was there anything I could have done to avert it?
     
  36. MissCeliaB

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    I have a student to who is very similar to what you describe. He is very bright, but his handwriting is atrocious. Because he was smart enough to compensate, he did not ever get a 504 plan for what is obviously some kid of motor skill deficit. Usually, he is fine, and takes his time and writes legibly. However, when he is under increased stress it is a different story. This kid is in a lot of honors and AP courses and this time of year his work load is enormous. I have noticed the quality of his work decline simply because of how busy it is. He writes shorter and less complete answers because of how much time it takes him to get it done,and how much work he has to do in his other 6 classes. If he hands me something illegible, I make him read it to me and grade it on his knowledge. I've taught the kid 3 years now. I know he is capable of writing. I'm not grading his penmanship, I'm grading his analysis skills and application of the concepts I've taught. Is it possible something like this is going on with your student?
     
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  37. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    You don't really want my answer, as your mind has been made up. I teach special ed., and my own son has dysgraphia. I know how very time consuming and exhausting that can be, and somewhat humiliating when someone, especially a teacher who should know better, chooses to use the disability as a cop out, like you have done in this instance. Would it have killed you to let him answer the questions verbally, since content and learning certainly is what you wanted to grade, right? Since you neither have dysgraphia or have lived with someone who suffers with this problem, you might feel entitled to act haughty and declare that even though this is indeed a bona fide disability, you are without blame. Honestly, it seems that you were all about blame and making this kid's life a living hell, just so you could "teach him a lesson." What many people don't know about this disability is that often typing is not any easier or faster for the individual. I don't know why, but I know that is true.

    If I was a bright student who could give demonstrably good answers indicating depth of knowledge, and I came across a teacher who flippantly told me to "try harder or type", without any understanding of what they were truly asking for someone with my disability, I would become angry with that teacher. A teacher who won't truly work to find a true solution, not a "I'm not to blame" answer, is a source of irritation to students with disabilities. I know that none of this will make sense to you, because you seem quite content to blame the child, absolving yourself of any part in how this played out. I feel that my job is to find a way to teach the material, find creative ways to document learning, and to be an active participant in the learning process. Different kind of attitudes about those students who aren't cookie cutter perfect. I feel for your former student.
     
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  38. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I give your comment a standing ovation. Kids with disabilities are treated horribly in schools by some teachers. Worse than those are those who have a disability and can't get it diagnosed.
     
  39. FourSquare

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    Whoa. I have read too much crazy @#$% on this board today! Time to log off for a while...
     
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  40. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    First, there's a difference between a modification and an accommodation, and having them type a response in this case sounds like the latter.

    Second, you're categorically wrong with the above statement.

    Third, it's called differentiation, one of the basic tenants of teaching.

    I won't even bother responding to the rest...
     
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  41. a teacher

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    No. Differentiation doesn't mean let one kid not do work he is capable of. That's called ENABLING.
    It's also, by the way, the kind of thing so many people complain about when they say the school system is broken (i.e. kids can do whatever they want and are not learning responsibility). Also, most parents would not support enabling of their own kids. This kid's parent didn't think I or anybody else had to call him up and have him give verbal answers to every assignment!
     

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