under attack by 8th grade

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by magister, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. magister

    magister Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2012

    You ever have a class where one student, a type who is not into the lesson, makes an scene about not sitting up straight or facing forward, and when you politely ask that person to pay attention, one or more students suddenly jump in and try to defend their classmate? They attack you, saying "What did she/he do wrong?" or "She/he wasn't doing anything," and because you're getting attacked by three or more people, you can't focus on any one and regain control.

    How do you deal w/this?
     
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  3. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Oct 18, 2012

    My standard response is, "The only student you need to worry about is yourself." I don't engage in any arguments with students, because they will always try to continue until they get the last word!
     
  4. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Oct 18, 2012

    Tell them to mind their business.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2012

    Take are of yourself, it's a big enough job.
     
  6. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Oct 18, 2012

    I'm sure this has happened to many of us. Don't let the other students get involved. This is not their battle to get into.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 18, 2012

    "What did she/he do wrong?" or "She/he wasn't doing anything,"
    - 'don't worry about it!'
    - 'mind your own business'
    - please stay out of it'
    - 'I'm not talking to you'
    - 'this doesn't concern you'
    - 'I didn't ask you'
    - 'this is not your battle'
    - don't get into it
    - 'if you want a 30 minute detention, this is a good way to go' (I like to use humor, they always get it, but instead of laughing, they get silent)

    :)
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Oct 18, 2012

    I also tell them to MYOB.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2012

    "Please focus on yourself."

    This is one reason that I usually handle discipline issues privately in a one-on-one conference with students. If I think that there's a chance that either the student will become argumentative or shut down, or if I think that the other students will rally together in support of that student, I don't do any corrections in front of the rest of the class.
     
  10. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Oct 19, 2012

    "You aren't their lawyer."
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 19, 2012

    Just curious, how do you handle something like this privately? In this scenario, the teacher is dealing with one student, and others are jumping up to defend him. There isn't a way to handle them privately, they need to be 'shut down'.
    Or do you mean to handle the first student privately? I know we're supposed to do discipline in private, but there isn't always a way to do that :(
    Or if there is, tell me!! I've just spent a week with with 8-12 graders, who mostly act like 8-9 graders. Constant attempts for side conversation; one student makes an off topic / funny / inappropriate comment, 2 more jump in, 3 laugh, 1 gets upset, etc etc. I can't handle it privately.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2012

    When I say that I try to handle it privately, I mean that when I talk to the kid about his behaviors, I do so in a way that other students can't overhear. If I'm teaching and I notice inappropriate behaviors, I might stop the lesson and tell the student that I'd like to visit with him in the hallway. Then I would conference with the student about his behaviors and choices, explain my expectations, and help direct the student towards making a better choice. This conversation can be completed in under 30 seconds, out of earshot of the rest of the class, so it won't be a distraction or disruption.

    In my experience, if you handle the first or most obvious disrupter in this way, the rest will back down. If they don't, then I guess we will have multiple conversations in the hall. If students continue to behave inappropriately after a private, focused conversation with me, then there will be some more serious consequences, ranging from moving seats to referrals to the office for failure to comply with a teacher directive.

    So in this way I agree that students who cause disruptions need to be "shut down". I just think that the shut down needs to happen in privately whenever possible. I do my best to avoid giving a show to the rest of the class by engaging students publicly. My classroom isn't a forum for foolishness.

    Now, I do think that there are some students who do respond well to a quick call-out during class, even in front of peers. Earlier this week I had a couple of chatty students in the back of one of my classes. I simply said, "Ladies, that's enough" and continued with my lesson. The students stopped talking and got on task immediately. I guess they just needed a reminder from me. Evidently they aren't the type who will attempt to escalate the situation. If they had been, I wouldn't have handled the situation like I did.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 19, 2012

    Thank you, that makes sense.
    I wonder how I could do that, because where I am, we cannot step out to the hallways. For one there's nowhere to go, and two, our students should never be left alone, even for a quick second, even if I'm standing in the doorway. At the 2 schools where I am, the officers have a quick, straight forward policy "if they act up, kick 'em out', but i don't believe in that, I always try to diffuse the situation, give them warnings and some chances, and it usually works out well. But I want to make it better. My master teacher during student teaching told me to walk up to the student, and privately whisper to him, that's how the should be disciplined. I agree, have done it before, but in this environment, we're not supposed to even walk down between rows (it would be an easy chance for a student to grab my butt, etc) So it seems like there is no way to discipline privately.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2012

    I stand in the doorway when I take students outside, so I'm never leaving the rest of the class alone. Since my body is positioned away from the rest of them, my voice doesn't carry towards them, so they can't hear what I'm saying.

    I've held these sorts of conferences with students at my desk, as well. I'm always careful to position myself in such a way that I'm facing the wall or corner, so that my voice carries only toward the student I'm talking to. I keep my voice low (usually in that "this is not acceptable" tone), so there's no or minimal danger of being overheard by everyone else. Try it. It works.
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 19, 2012

    I'm going to do that. Now that I thought about it, I've done it a few times, but it was not when there was an issue to deal with, but at a moment when I had the time to talk to a student, who obviously had some issues, (but was calm) and I just wanted to talk to him, hear him out, encourage him, anything. It worked.

    But here is another problem. I'm not sure if I want to have a private moment with a student when his emotions are boiling. They can be very unpredictable, and although nothing has ever happened to me (and didn't look like it was going to) I can't help but sometimes remind myself who we're dealing with. In a meeting they just made an example, that we had a student who's locked up for stabbing someone in the face. Of course we don't know who it is - don't want to, anyways- but now I'm even worried about handing out sharp pencils.
    So what if i try to privately discipline a student, call him up to me, and he'll get physical? deep down, I think that's why I always kept the distance approach. (not good, but it worked).
    But I'm gonna try it, and see what happens :)
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2012

    If you're afraid for your safety, then you need to get the student out of the room immediately. That's probably why your school has a policy of kicking out students when they start to act up.
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Oct 20, 2012

    Let me add that I did have to resort to something other than MYOB with two students two different years. In both cases, the culprits were boys who had an amazing ability to derail a class with their mere presence. The other kids almost worshiped these two boys.

    Nothing we did to either of those kids did any good at all. They spent countless days in both out-of-school and in-school suspension. They were given detentions. Parents were called. Schedules were changed. Boys were put on hallway restrictions due to issues in the hallways.

    The one thing that finally worked in my classroom was when I started handing out consequences to the kids who were giving attention to the poorly behaved student. Thankfully those kids weren't the hardcore types, so they had parents who were going to put up with none of that kind of behavior. Some of the kids had never been in trouble for things either, and they quickly decided that they'd rather not be. Removing the audience for the really bad kid helped tremendously.
     
  18. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Oct 20, 2012

    I love reading everyone's responses! Gives me some good ideas.

    I usually say, "Mind your own business, Nosy Rosie!". Regardless of if it's a boy or girl :lol:
     
  19. worrywart

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    Oct 20, 2012

    How about ' if I wanted your opinion I would ask for it'.

    Those 8th graders can be hard to handle!!
     
  20. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Oct 20, 2012

    Unfortunately, I had a student say that to me yesterday. This same student has developed a major attitude over the last few weeks and has gone out of her way to be rude, disruptive and disrespectful in my class. I've sent referrals to the office for more serious infractions (like leaving the classroom without permission), but the P has not had time to follow-up on them yet. I ignored the comment at first, then went to the student privately and told her she would be in Silent Lunch for 1 week due to her continued disrespect. That actually seemed to have an almost immediate effect on her behavior and she was well-behaved for the rest of class. Of course, she was hoping her compliance in class would get her out of Silent Lunch, but I told her that wasn't possible. The consequence was the result of her actions over the course of a couple of weeks, not just the one incident.

    I had another student become upset when I took her phone and turned it into the office (as per handbook rules). I had her in class right after this. She was very upset about losing her phone, so she decided to be extremely disruptive and make rude comments or remarks every time I spoke. I ignored the first couple, then stopped the class and told the student she had ONE chance to get herself under control and stop disrupting the class, otherwise she would be going to the office herself. She decided to quiet down after that.
     
  21. PolarBear

    PolarBear Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2012

    I started the Behavior Book suggestion from another thread this week, and it's been working.:thumb: Many teenagers aren't the least bit afraid of a detention, but are terrified of you actually picking up the phone and calling parents/guardians. I've kept those phone calls on a positive note (he/she is a great kid, but I'm concerned that they aren't bringing work to class and would rather socialize. Looking at their grades, they need the extra support...).

    So far, knock on wood, o good.
     
  22. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Oct 20, 2012

    8th Graders--ouch!--The rules for them are different. To win, there is less room for error than the other grades. This is what I'd suggest.

    1. Prevention--As hard as it might be--try to never reprimand a student in public. Walk up close to the student, and try to give a non-verbal cue. If that doesn't work, you may need to give a short worded reminder. "Sit up please." If any other student says anything, completely ignore them and put all of your energy on the student at hand. Place all eye contact on that student. Then, wait patiently for the student to comply. If student doesn't you can continue to wait or ask to see the student after class. Then resume teaching. Personally, I would have a small consequence for a child who doesn't respond after being warned, but that depends on the rules and consequences in your room.

    2. If you don't do this and reprimand the student from a distance. I'd have a notebook where I write down the students who are talking back to you. I would then do 2 things. One I'd talk to them 1 on 1 and let them know that you will not tolerate that behavior in whatever way you'd like to phrase it. Be clear and direct. Without an audience 8th graders are much different.
    The other thing is I'd call the parents. This is what I'd say--(pretend student's name is Maria.)

    Hi Mrs. Ramirez. This is Maria's math teacher Mrs. Johnson. Hi, I was hoping you could help me with something. Today in class, your daughter Maria was listening very well in class. Another student though was not. That student was making it difficult for Maria to learn, and I know we both agree that we don't want anything to interrupt with Maria's learning. I told that child to _________ (i.e. stop talking) and to pay attention. I was really surprised because Maria started telling me to not tell this child to stop talking and she started to tell me that she wasn't doing anything wrong. I really want to be able to keep an environment where Maria can learn, so I was hoping you could talk to her about this.

    Guess what?...Maria won't be giving you any problems the next day.

    I am not going to make light of your situation. 8th grade is a tough age. I do know the previous techniques helped a lot when I taught 7th grade.
     
  23. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Oct 20, 2012

    Caesar753

    This is one reason that I usually handle discipline issues privately in a one-on-one conference with students.

    Exactly!
     
  24. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Oct 22, 2012

    I enjoy this thread and have a different sort of similar problem... when I try to work in private with one kid, they might respond with, "But 'so-and-so' is doing it." [as if I LET the other student do this act of misbehavior]

    So, for example, I ask a student to please remain seated until dismissed and they tell me that "so-and-so" left without being dismissed. And while that may be true [the other student may have left w/o being dismissed], it wasn't MY intention that he did so.

    Or... talking out... "So-and-so is talking out of turn and you didn't say anything to HER!" Right. And that is because I caught you first, or decided to deal with you first, or whatever...

    I asked a girl to please pick up some trash she had just thrown on the ground (we were outside doing an experiment) and her response was something along the lines of "there's other trash out her on the ground" and I said to her, "That doesn't make it right" and then she replied, "I didn't say it did." Etc.

    How do you repond to those types of comment?
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 22, 2012

    We're not focused on those other students right now. We're focused on you. Did you or did you not leave my class before I dismissed you?

    Use the broken record technique and keep bringing the topic back around to what it should be focused on. Don't let students sidetrack you with distractions and irrelevant issues.
     
  26. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Oct 22, 2012

    Apply a little love and logic in the first scenario. Address the defenders.

    "Oh! That was SUCH a bad choice. You seem to have misunderstood our roles in this classroom. I will have to do something about this, but not right now. Try not to worry about what is going to happen later. Now, the best decision you can make is to return to your seats voluntarily and understand that my business with her is none of yours." Smile, and indicate their seats.

    "I will speak to each of you later privately, and we will conclude this misunderstanding of your role with the appropriate consequences for each of you individually. Now, back to the lesson..."

    Walk away, allow no further discussion, handle it in private.
     
  27. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Oct 24, 2012

    I actually tried the "This isn't Facebook. I didn't ask for your comments" the other day and after that? Dead silence before I heard a quiet mutter of "**** that was good." No problems the rest of the day.
     
  28. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Nov 7, 2012

    Cafeteria Dismissal

    Yes, I know this in my head. I THOUGHT I had tried it, but let me specifically try it this week and try to be aware of what is going on. This issue continues to come up.

    Mainly, it happens during my cafeteria duty when I am supposed to be dismissing students by table (there are about 6 tables of 16 in my section) OR during my morning duty time when I am one of two teachers in the gym, watching kids sit on the bleachers until we dismiss them one section at a time (once the first section is dismissed, the others start to get up). I also know that one of the problems with morning duty is that there are a different set of teachers doing duty each morning and I think we all do it differently (I mean... we have the same rules, but I think we have different strictnesses).



     
  29. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 9, 2012

    I don't say anything. I stand there and stare at the student who attempted to do the defending until he or she shuts up of their own accord and returns to their seat. I then return my attention to the initial offender if they have not followed my instruction and repeat my instruction again calmly and quietly.

    Usually by this time though, they have already followed the instruction.

    I may talk with the defender and perhaps the perpetrator after class privately, and inform them that that behavior is completely inappropriate and it needs to stop or further consequences shall follow.
     
  30. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 9, 2012

    It's funny how sometimes with your worst disruptors, the best and most effective way to deal with them is to simply ignore them, and deal with the people who react to them.

    I have two students this year who require this type of interaction. It's tough though remembering to ignore them sometimes because what they sometimes do is just so funny or elicits an automatic response.
     

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