Ugh! Runner in Kinder?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    So we have a student who seems to be used to getting her own way. When she started school she was in one teacher's class-went home saying she was mean, wanted to be in this other class. They moved her :eek:. Now she wants to go back to her 1st class and of course, they aren't moving her again. Well she started throwing tantrums daily-crying, screaming, throwing things. The crying doesn't even have any tears-just screams (everyone on the hall can hear her). The teacher puts on a Dr. Jean cd and turns it up, she screams louder.

    There was a sub in there Wednesday and apparently between ancillary and coming back to her room, she disappeared. They found her at the bus stop at the end of the block. AP talked to parents. Next day, went to the restroom with another student, ran again.

    Today the teacher was out again and they put her in my room. We were going to the restroom as a class and then I couldn't find her. Looked everywhere, caught an admin in the hall-ran outside to look for her (wearing clogs with a pretty high heel for me, not good running shoes). She had ducked out a side door, ran through the parking lot, down the street about a block and had been picked up in a car by a school parent!!!! Child told the P that she's going to keep running away until they tell her mom she doesn't have to come back to school.

    So the solution - P e-mailed everyone and said don't let her go anywhere during the day. Ummm, they go to lunch, they go to ancillary, recess, dismissal, restroom-are we supposed to chain this child to us? 3 days in a row same inappropriate behavior, thanking my lucky stars that nothing happened to her today and hoping they won't give her to me again (although they probably wouldn't trust me now anyway:unsure:).
     
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  3. prek176

    prek176 Companion

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    Sounds like it is time to get tough. Looks like she tantrums until someone gives in to her. You guys have your work cut out for you!
     
  4. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Wow.....she cannot be out of anyone's sight, even for one moment, if walking in line, etc.

    What a huge liability.....to be found outside of the school campus, TWICE!!

    If I were the parent, I would be livid!
     
  5. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    Wow - has the school counselor been involved? This sounds very serious!
     
  6. kidsandpups

    kidsandpups Companion

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    We had a first grade runner two years ago. There was usually a junior high boy around that could run the child down, pick him up, and carry him back to school. There's no way his teacher would be able to catch up with him. It was getting dangerous because he'd end up around the corner and down the block in a not that nice neighborhood. The principal finally had to ask the family to take the child out of the school.
     
  7. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    We have runners often at our school- usually they don't make it outside before someone catches them though! Is there anyway that the doors can be locked from the outside so the only way the child could actually leave would be through the main doors? Then, if they could be monitored, at least she wouldn't leave school grounds.
    On the chasing children note- we have been told not to do it; to leave that up to admin. or a counselor. If we were to chase a child trying to catch them and they run across the street away from us and get hit by a car (God forbid), we could be liable...therefore, we are technically not allowed to chase the children (although of course that is always gut reaction!)
     
  8. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Have you had mom come in and be with her during the school day? Here, my understanding is, a parent can be required to come in and manage their child or not have the child at school. It may take a certain amount of suspensions though.

    Have an administrator go everywhere the teacher can not go with the child. Do not allow the child on the playground.

    Have a meeting with mom and admin come to an agreement, then bring in the little delight and inform her of mom's expectation. Have mom agree to home consequences if she continues to run. Explain all the consequences she will get to little delight.

    I would have the admin contact mom annd inform her if you don't let the little one go anywhere she may wet herself. You also need to inform her the little one will have an opportunity to change but only when the teacher is able to walk with her. That might work to kill the fun in this for the little one.

    Do you have lockable gates? At one school I worked at the school was locked at all but one gate every day from the morning bell to the end of the day.

    Have the councelor meet with the child. It does seem very strange for a five year old.
     
  9. teach2read10

    teach2read10 Companion

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    Counselor

    There's definitely something going on with this child that merits some counseling. It's really dangerous for her to engage in this behavior. It also puts the district in a position to be sued when something bad happens.
     
  10. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I don't know how things work in your district, but with this MEGA-safety concern, it sounds like a TA would be required in order to stick close to this child at all times.
     
  11. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Locking the doors in that manner would surely violate fire codes and would be very dangerous.

    I agree that someone does need to be with her at all times and the counselor needs to get involved.
     
  12. SpecSub

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    I wish locking doors on the outside was an option at my own school, where we have a couple of runners. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to do that or block exits because of fire codes.

    Good point about not chasing the kids! But you're darned if you do, darned if you don't chase them, because if you don't chase them and they still run into the path of a car, you could be held liable no matter what your administrator told you. And the child will still be hurt or worse. :(

    Is it me, or are the runners and violent children ruining our schools? We are having a terrible time this year.
     
  13. SpecSub

    SpecSub Comrade

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    Unless the child has some disability, the parenting is generally the cause of these behaviors.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There's a sped class in my building where the teacher has used a door alarm to prevent 'runners'. She keeps the door closed and the alarm sounds if anyone opens the door.

    Kid should get some guidance/therapy/counseling.
     
  15. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I have a boy in my room like that - a 'bolter' they call him. He has a one on one aide for that very reason. With 20 kids, the teacher (me!) can't be expected to make sure this child doesn't run off at every second. Good luck!
     
  16. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I agree it's a liability-but I'm not sure the teachers are to blame for this. We can't spend a whole day with our eyes on one child-it's just not possible-when they were in the restroom I have to monitor both the girls and the boys restrooms-when I was checking on the boys, I guess is when she snuck out the door. We can't stay with her through lunch and ancillary-and I don't think it's fair to the rest of the kids for those teachers to have to focus only on that child. The teachers noticed right away and reported it.

    At what point to parents and the children themselves become responsible for those actions-yes, she's 5, but she knows what she is doing. It's a conduct code she is repeatedly breaking-if it was aggression and she was hurting other children, would that still be our fault? Oh and we don't really have a counselor. She "retired" and now works part-time, which means sometimes she's around and sometimes she isn't. We don't have any aides that could be spared for the whole day-they are spread very thin with their duties already.

    I agree something is going on with this kid-I think she's spoiled and used to getting her own way all the time. I kind of wish they would give in and expel her.

    czacza-that would work but she never runs from the classroom -it's when they are in the hall going somewhere as a class, she just slips out-maybe an alarm for the child-like the ankle bracelets? :)
     
  17. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    We are also told not to chase a runner... and that if they leave the school then they call the police and it is a police matter. I bet if a cop picked up this girl it would make an impact on her. she needs to be scared straight! lol

     
  18. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Some sort of alarm that would sound would the classroom doors open?

    In nursing homes they have gadgets that attach to wonderers. They beep when they get 'out of range.'
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wonderers or Wanderers? :lol:
     
  20. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I was wondering that too czacza :lol:
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Just don't wander!
     
  22. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Yes, parents, admin, and teachers -the whole staff - need to be in on this one. Use some love and logic. "Gee, I am so sorry, you can't go out to recess because children who run off from school have to sit inside with the teacher and can't go play." Then she must be totally ignored - NO SPECIAL ATTENTION! If she is always one-on-one with an adult, NO SPECIAL ATTENTION. If she throws a tantrum again, have a plan to quickly line up the children and leave the room. Have another adult ready to stand outside the classroom door so the child is safe, but when I did this, the tantrums ended instantly. No audience, no tantrum! Ha!

    Get counselor involved, and parents must enforce painful consequences at home - such as, "Oh I am so sad honey, but little girls who run off and scare their teacher, they don't get to watch any tv, no computer, no blah-blah. You will get all those privileges back when you show us you can stay at school and not make people scared." "Oh yes, your best friend/classmate's birthday is Saturday. That is so sad! Little girls who run off from school don't get to go to parties. It is too scary for everyone. You will get to go to parties/swimming/skating once we are sure you will obey the rules and always stay with your adult. That's so sad!"

    You get the drift. This is totally unacceptable! One five year old has the whole school's attention! Who is running this thing anyway?

    I agree completely - one teacher cannot be left in charge with this child - what about all the other crazy, but normal, things five year olds do? I had one in my class 2 days ago and just happened to look up as he was sticking a staple into the electrical outlet! sheesh. Hope they get everyone on the same team and nip this right in the bud. I have had runners before and it takes years off your life, let me tell you.
     
  23. teacher 2009

    teacher 2009 New Member

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    I am a second year teacher and one resource I use EVERYDAY to help me solve behavioral and academic problems is called the Teachers Resource Guide (it is like a dark red). Published by Hawthrone, I think? I can honestly say this was the best advice my mentor gave me. I bought the book on amazon- i bought it used for like 70.00. It was the best 70 dollars I spent so far for my classroom. If there is a problem that is happening in my room there is a solution listed in that book! It lists like 30 ideas for every issue including your precious runner ...Good luck!
     
  24. Mrs.Z.

    Mrs.Z. Companion

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    shock collar, like the electric fence for dogs (JK)
     
  25. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I bought a door chime from Radio Shack for about $20. It dings everytime someone opens the door. Although annoying, it prevents lost children. It can be turned off when not needed. It was a good investment for the peace of mind it gives me.
     
  26. JRTLover

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    LOL :lol:

    But seriously, there has to be some at home punishments or else this girl will not respond to anything you can do. She will just see school as even more mean and controlling and that mommy is her safe haven. I'm sure she is given whatever she wants at home, hence the classroom change, so this needs to be a parent issue for real! If she can't behave and not potentially get lost/hurt herself, then she can't come to school. Of course, your admin should be helping you more...
     
  27. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    We have a runner...lucky for us he has a bad sense of direction. When he runs most of the time it is down the hallway that deadends in my room. He is also a screamer...so he is running and screaming all the way.

    He also screams when he hears the word "no". You don't even have to be talking to him. Just say no...and screamimg starts. So much fun to listen to all day. He is two rooms away and it is like he is in our room.
     
  28. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I agree with the TA idea! God bless you for having to deal with this...Most outsiders looking in think teachers have it so easy. Holidays off , weekends off, summers off, only working about 8hrs a day etc. That is so not the case!! Teaching is hard!!
     
  29. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Boy did they make a mistake when they took away corporal punishment and duct tape . . .
     
  30. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    mrachelle - that's funny ( I know it's really not) but I picture this kid running and then realizing, hey I'm in a classroom again.

    Well, she's done it twice since I posted-luckily the kids saw it both times and they caught her at the sidewalk. She is incredibly sneaky. The teacher (who had heart problems this summer by the way and this situation certainly isn't helping) had the whole class at the restrooms-the way it's set up boys and girls are on separate sides. She bent down to tie a students' shoe and boom-the little girl sneaks out the door. It's very stressful to have to worry about that one child for 8 hours straight every day.

    We had a field trip yesterday and luckily the teacher put her foot down and said she is not going. So child spent the day with the admin. I think she is absolutely loving all the "special" attention. The teachers have to personally pass her off after lunch, ancillary, at dismissal she has to hold a teacher's hand the whole time. You can see her just smiling-I think it's a reward to her.

    She does have a counseling appointment this week, hopefully the family will take this seriously.
     
  31. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    When my son was younger, he was a runner too. It wasn't as serious as the one you describe but I pretty much had the same attitude with his kindergarten teacher. It was my fault due to my parenting, and I should spank him.

    Well something in my gut said to look a little deeper and find out why he did the things he did and I'm so glad I listened. As it turned out he had Aspergers Syndrome, but at the time we all had no idea.

    You know if this child shows other signs like speech problems, OT, sensory ect, it probably would be a good idea to suggest a referrel to special ed.

    Also does this child have problems with transistions? I wondered because you said she only does this when the class is moving down the hall to somewhere else.... Thats a transistion.

    I hope things work out for this child and she gets the help she needs, whether Aspergers or even just the obvious anxiety.
     
  32. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Our runner has Apsergers. He is not sneaky, just fast. Last year my door was open to the playground. He took off from his aide on the playground and ran into my room. Luckily I heard him coming and never missed a beat and reached out and caught him. I don't know who was more surprised--me, the kids, or him. I just held on to him and kept teaching until the aide came and got him.
     
  33. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    Great "teacher reflexes". I bet the little guy didn't expect to be caught so quickly.
     
  34. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    You're right-we shouldn't automatically blame the parent in these situations. It just seems like with this kid she has been spoiled and is very used to getting her way. There still has yet to be any consequence for the running away from the parents, the mother has not even come up to the school for a meeting-it's always the older brother.

    I don't think it's the act of transitions that bother her, I just think that's the best opportunity for her to run. If she did it from the classroom, someone would ultimately notice right away. She throws tantrums but it's when she is asked to do something she doesn't want to do-not a change of routine or anything. If the teacher talks louder, she cried louder (no tears, just her screaming).

    But, you're absolutely right there very well could be other factors at play here. It's just so stressful for the teacher all day.
     
  35. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    I completly understand the stress with this situation! I mean my gosh you don't have just one child to watch over you have many!!!! And this one obviously has behavior that needs to change.

    You could be completely right on why she's doing this. Maybe spoiling as you say, But I just like to throw in a few things here, and pleaseeeeee know, I am not bashing you or teachers or anything. I respect your profession more than you know and the only reason I am commenting here is so maybe I can teach a little of what I know, and specialize in and hopefully help another out with this thing called Aspergers.

    Please know many high functioning kids do not get a dx until the age of 8, because they look like you describe. Spoiled. Plus there are no physical obvious signs that you might see in a low functioning child or a child who cannot see. It's the behaviors you see and often times they look like brats. Very smart brats and that makes it harder for people to understand.

    You mention that she screams louder when a teacher raises her voice... are you sure she doesn't have a sensory thing going on with her hearing? My son would fall to the ground in pain if you scratched your fingernails along a bedsheet. He would also get distracted because he could hear the flourescent lights or the sound of the overhead projector when in school and for years he was just described to me as "fine, lazy, unmotivated"

    Also you mention the mother having problems with her older son? You know it's very commen to have more than one Aspie when it comes to siblings and if not, its commen to have the co-morbids too. For example I am not an Aspie, but I do have ADHD, Anxiety and some OCD. I probably have a LD too but was never tested as a child. Dyslexia does run in my family tho.

    Anyway, I am not a Doctor, or am trying to Dx here. I am just asking maybe you could step away, google a few things about Aspergers and just see if any of the Red Flags might fit in her situation. And remember, girls with Aspergers are very different than boys.

    Good luck!!! And please know if this child is on the spectrum, no amount of discipline from the mother (or you) will work if everyone feels she is a Neuro-Typical. Normal Discipline doesn't work for our kids so you have to learn to do it differently.
     
  36. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    Thank you Icare! I think so often we blame parents without looking deeper into the problem. Perhaps she is spoiled, but possibly there is a lot more to this situation than you know.

    A few things mentioned about this child concern me.
    1. Mom doesn't show up for meetings. There could be multiple reasons for this. Mom could be a single parent who isn't able to leave her job during the day for meetings at school. Right now, people are having to make sacrifices to hold on to the jobs they have. It's a bad time to be job hunting (as many on this forum can tell you). Also, there could be transportation issues that keep mom from coming up. Could a phone conference be scheduled with her instead? Also, if mom feels that she is going to be faced with a meeting where everyone's against her (teacher, P, counselor, etc) she may be too intimidated to come. Many people have had bad experiences with schools and have a hard time trusting them.

    Not coming to meetings doesn't always mean that parents don't care or don't want to help.

    2. The little girl loves all this "special" attention".
    Since when did it become such a bad thing to give a child special attention. If she is enjoying this attention so much, it may be that she truly NEEDS some extra attention. If mom really isn't very involved (for whatever reason) then maybe this little girl doesn't have anyone at home to give her "special" attention. Maybe if she learned a way to get some positive attention, the running would stop. Make it a goal for her to make it through a certain amount of the day without running and if she does, have the P or another adult read a special book just with her or take her for a walk around the building.

    3. Everyone in the building knows she's a runner, yet she is allowed to continue to run. If this child were in my class, I would have her by the hand or she would in some way be holding on to me (pocket, shirt tail, etc) so that I would KNOW exactly where she was at all times. The adults in charge should be doing everything possible to keep her SAFE above everything else. The comment about "are we supposed to chain this child to us" came across very uncaring to me. YES! Chain her to you, hold her by the hand, whatever you have to do. I could care less about liability for the school or myself. I could not live with myself if something terrible happened to a child because I was too busy with other children to make sure she was safe. In the case of her sneaking out while the teacher was tying shoes, I would have had her physically attached to me in some way, like I said before, then I would have had her sit down next the the child whose shoe was being tied, and still had her touching me in some way, maybe holding onto my arm. If you know she's a runner, don't give her the opportunity.

    I understand the challenge of taking time away from the other kids to deal with her. But ultimately, who needs the teacher more? The other kids will manage fine. And, spending a few concentrated days or weeks focused on stopping this behavior will benefit everyone in the class in the long run.
     
  37. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Tiffharmon,

    I love the way you do not pass judgment on the child or the parent. It is so easy to become frustrated at the involved parties (particularly the child or the mom) but it is these very kids who make us better educators and make us think out of the box.
     
  38. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I think the tone of your post was very accusatory and even mean. I posted this to see if anyone else dealt with the same issues and to vent. I got some good advice. I do care very much about children-all the children in the class. Usually this site allows us to vent without judgment-I think you were very quick to judge me and teachers who were dealing with this. I'm not saying expel her, but more support from her parents and the administration would make it much less stressful.
     
  39. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    I wasn't trying be accusatory or mean, but trying to give a different perspective. We as teachers tend to see only how children and their behavior impact us at school, but fail to see the big picture and understand where the behavior comes from. I have dealt with many runners through the years as well and many times without parental support. There are ways to continue teaching the other students while ensuring the safety of the runner.

    I also happen to have a child that can be a runner at times (although never in a sneaky way-only when extremely angry-and never outside of the building.) I have NEVER had an issue with him running anywhere other than at school but have been made to feel that it is my fault for allowing it to happen. He faces consequences at home (and often at school if I am available to deal with it in the moment.) every time he runs. However, he has no consequences in his classroom because his teacher "doesn't have time" to deal with him when this happens. So, he gets out of whatever it was that he didn't want to do, gets to have the attention of whoever is trying to catch him, and gets to choose the time he wants to come back and join the class. He only does this at school.

    I get really tired of parents who are trying to do everything they can being accused of not caring about their children.

    I did try to offer some suggestions, but obviously they are going to take some time and sacrifice on the part of the teachers. I do believe this behavior can be controlled with or without the parents' help. Children are very capable of learning that there are home rules and school rules and will generally comply with time.

    Here are some more suggestions. Take them or not.
    1. Being able to feed your child usually comes before any issues related to school. Again, you have to see the big picture. Jobs are hard to come by right now. Often parents are so overwhelmed with life that anything other than surviving day to day has to take second place. Regardless, if this mom isn't going to help, the school is going to have to find a way to help this child be successful at school while protecting the other students' educations.

    2. I still feel that she needs to be taught other ways to get attention-if that's why she's doing this. Make it a school wide effort. Every time she does anything good, praise her for it. If bathroom time is hard for her, give her some incentive to keep her with the group. Put her in the girl's restroom as the paper towel attendant. Give her a laminated list of everyone in the class and have her check off who's gone to the restroom. A little boy I had last year loved to count how many kids had finished. He would walk down the line counting over and over until everyone was out. For a little while, the other kids protested a little that they didn't get to do it, but soon they just learned that it was his job and they accepted it. We allow kids to do things all the time that other kids can't do. The only time it's an issue is when it happens to be a behavior child.

    3.Obviously one person can't hold her hand for the entire day, but several different people throughout the day could. You said that she only does this during transitions, not in the classroom, so it isn't necessary to hold her hand in the classroom. But walking in the hallway and during restroom breaks in definitely do-able. It isn't my favorite thing to do, but I have, in fact, taught while holding a child's hand, having them hold on to me, sit on my lap, or sit in a special spot at my feet. The safety of my students comes above anything else, including curriculum.
    I have no idea how you got "teacher's should not even have a break for lunch" from what I said. Nothing is impossible. Sometimes it just takes more effort and sacrifice than we are willing to give.

    I'm not trying to judge. But sometimes it seems that teachers would rather just get rid of the problem children than work to solve the problem.
     
  40. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Oct 18, 2009

    I feel slightly silly asking this trivial question, but...what is "ancillary?"
     
  41. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    Oct 18, 2009

    Actually, I teach PreK. My kids are also very high-maintenance and require buttoning and tying (and much more). It is very possible to take care of the other kids and still teach while dealing with this type of behavior. But, you have to be proactive and take the time required to make it work.
     

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