Very difficult situation...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by AdamnJakesMommy, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Oct 6, 2013

    One of my students is not only a discipline problem (which I know is my scope of authority) and has been refusing to do any and all work whenever he happens to be at school--he also is demonstrating some serious non-academic issues. Since I just started this position, I now I feel I have enough to warrant requesting a parent conference, which I will do next week.

    However, with that said, there is one particular aspect to this child that I'm not sure what to do about. I know he was seeing a social worker (heard the mother say it). The child cannot control his temper, whenever he is given no recess for failing to do his homework (a common punishment given to everyone who doesn't do their homework) he gets angry and starts pulling at his hair. He had done something (I can't even remember what) that warranted me documenting it on his behavior log for the week. He became irate that I took his behavior log and wrote the infraction down on it that he proceeded to kick the desk and throw his pencil to the other side of the room. I called a neighboring teacher and arranged for him to diffuse in her room, when I told him he was leaving he just stood there and refused to eave until I opened the door and said he can either leave or get escorted out. I've only been teaching the kid for one week, and have had numerous students come up to me saying he has been calling them names (obviously when teachers are out of range). I have had TWO teachers come up to me and say that this is THE KID who would bring a weapon to school because he doesn't have coping skills for his anger. IMO, this child needs some sort of professional intervention--I know he had been seeing a social worker, but isn't anymore.

    I know these issues have been brought up to the mother before I took over the class two weeks ago because my teammate said the mother thinks we are all picking on her son, she won't acknowledge that he has any culpability whatsoever. I already talked to her about the incident in my classroom when I sent him out.

    What do I do now, since it is continuing despite informing the mother. I'm going to contact for a conference next week to specifically address the not working and bothering other students--but I'm almost fearful that this child has some deeper issues that need treatment. What do I do? I feel like this is such a touchy situation and don't want to say anything that will be out of bounds for a teacher. I also don't know when I should get administration involved.
     
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  3. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Oct 6, 2013

    It sounds like the safety of the student is a concern, and my book, that's plenty of reason to get feedback from your admin and/or school counselor, if you have one. At the very least, you can let them know what's going on and that you're scheduling a parent conference.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 6, 2013

    I'm sorry, I'm confused.

    Are they saying he HAS brought a weapon to school in the past, or that he's just the type that WOULD?

    Because the first is a real reason for concern... but should already be documented somewhere. The second is pure speculation and should be ignored.
     
  5. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Would, not has. I'm sure that his inability to cope with anger and frustration resulting in impulsive outbursts indubitably led them to that speculation.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think it's a HUGE leap from "he has anger issues" to "He has access to a weapon and both the guts and the means to bring one to school."

    I think the other teachers were incredibly out of line to even speculate about it.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Yes, I think the whole weapon suggestion should be ignored. No one knows what someone would do. The kid who might actually bring a weapon to school is the quiet one who seems like the perfect student, but he's secretly being bullied and is bottling up his anger.
    So there's no need to speculate.
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Oct 6, 2013

    Agreed.
     
  9. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Oct 6, 2013

    Have you spoken with your school counselor? He/she may have some advice or be able to speak with the child and/or be there with you for the conference
     
  10. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Eh... I don't know. These days, we never know who has access and every time it does happen, the question of "ignored signs" comes up. Now I certainly don't think teachers should be discussing it in a GOSSIPY way, but if he has demonstrated violence and doesn't seem able to cope with anger, I would mention it to the counselor. If the "weapon" part seemed like it came from gossip, maybe just mention that other teachers have approached you with concern about his violence and lack of rational thought, but I'd never just ignore it completely.
     
  11. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    First, good luck....second, document everything. If he reacts in anyway that you feel is inappropriate, document it. Take everything to your administrator. Don't take feelings or other teacher's thoughts...stick to the facts. When I have had a child like this, I have found that when the special education department director (in my district that is who I would have to go to) doesn't want to deal with it, I send the child to the principal or office. After several trips and the principal getting tired of dealing with the child, they would force the special education director to evaluate the child.
     
  12. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Just for the record, when I was referring to safety, I meant the hair pulling and desk kicking mentioned in the OP.
     
  13. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    You need to speak frankly about the specific behaviors you have seen and concerns you have. Avoid saying "I think". Contact the guidance counselor and discuss your concerns. Ask about tier 2 behavior interventions and behavior consultation with the school psychologist. Ask if these behaviors have been observed before by other teachers or at home and what strategies are successful. Ask for suggestions on how you can work with her. Don't start with the idea that the parent is difficult or that the child has a serious problem, this is all things that are gossip or overheard, get her on your side and work together.
     
  14. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Oct 6, 2013

    This is excellent advice. When you know he's going to blow (no homework for example), it might be worth it to have your principal or counselor doing busy work in the back of the classroom so they can observe what's going on.
     
  15. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 7, 2013

    The one thing this child does not need is to miss recess. In my opinion, he needs to relieve his stress by going outside.
     
  16. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 7, 2013

    It could be a number of reasons why he responds the way he does. Consider though that those responses may be forms of shutting down with uncomfortable situations. Although it
    isn't wise to speculate, it could even be masked anxiety. Please don't, however, assume that. One thing is clear. He doesn't have good coping skills.

    In my experience, kids like this need structure, social therapy (ie, lessons that help them learn appropriate responses), compassion/cool head, chances to bond and feel safe with caregiver (teacher), self-esteem building, and flexible consistency. Triggers need to be noted and problem solved on how to teach them to work through the expectation. Then some things you may want to avoid if it is a known trigger. You and the child can't work on every reaction all time. Identify the big ones and work through repetition and skill building. Work through positive reinforcement.

    It is preferable to have counseling and other supports.
     
  17. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 7, 2013

    I agree.

    Also, are you giving him warnings before writing his infraction in the planner? Maybe if you give him a time limit. "Johnny, if you do not stop doing the behavior, in 2 minutes I will come write in your planner." Maybe just by making him aware of what will happen, will diffuse the situation a little bit.
     
  18. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I like your suggestion about a warning of what will happen and give him a chance to stop.

    With regard to the recess, that's a grade level form of punishment consistent among the classes for not doing homework. I wouldn't say it's mandatory, but I'm brand new and I am not about to go in and try to undo the protocols that have been in place with them for 6 weeks. They know it's the consequence for not doing homework and know when the come into class without it, that's what will happen. They're still outside, they just aren't permitted on the actual playground.
     

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