What do you want from your AP

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by bandnerdtx, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2015

    So I'm now entering week 7 of being an assistant principal at a middle school, and of course, I'm starting to see the same students again and again.

    A lot of teachers send kids down to me for being persistently, mildly disruptive (talking while the teacher is talking, getting out of their seat without permission, not being prepared for class, etc.) Most of the time the teacher has contacted the parent prior to me seeing them. Sometimes the parents have been contacted multiple times.

    My policy is that if a child is in my office, I'm going to call the parent. So that's the first thing I do... but what other kind of discipline do you think is appropriate for this type of behavior. I don't want to put them in in-school-suspension because these kids need to be in class. Is lunch detention enough? What would you think about a letter of apology? My goal is to help the kids LEARN how to correct their behavior and understand that what they are doing is hurting everyone's education in the classroom.

    What are some of the practices of your best assistant principals when it comes to this type of behavior?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2015

    Are you the only one who handles discipline at your school? Do you as admin not have a progressive discipline policy?

    It takes a lot for me to send a student out of the room. If I bother doing that, it's a big deal. It may not be arson or something, but the kid's behavior is at a point where it is so egregious that I cannot allow him to remain in my class. The absolute last thing I want is for an administrator to give him a slap on the wrist or have him write a half-hearted letter of apology (unless this is the student's own idea and he seems sincere).

    I would want to see the student lose something of value to him. Lunch detention does that because he can't socialize with his friends during the lunch period. After-school detention is okay, too. Sitting out from practice and the game that week if the kid plays sports, having a required parent conference, in-house suspension--these are all decent options to me. I do think it's important for students to be in class, but this can't happen when it is at the expense of the other students and their ability to learn.
     
  4. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2015

    There are three of us who handle discipline, and yes, we have a progressive policy. I'm looking for possible alternatives to the norm. When I've given the same kid lunch detention over and over, and I've even given him ISS once or twice, AND we've had a parent conference (or two), and the behavior isn't improving, then clearly we need to try something new. I'm just wondering what works on other campuses.
     
  5. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2015

    I agree with the others. I feel like too many times I send a student down (who is a regular) my admin's hands are tied as to options and so he/she gets sent right back. The students who are always in need of discipline know this and often brag that nothing will happen as they leave. Therefore, I handle a lot of discipline myself. I call parents. I bring in the student during recess or lunch. I assign a detention after school and stay for it. Sometimes none of these things work. Parents don't care, kids don't care, and they skip the teacher assigned detentions.

    These students should be kicked off all extracurricular activities as part of a behavioral contract. I get the say as to whether he/she goes back. They should have to clean the bathrooms during detention, not sleep or stare at s piece of paper. I feel like we should stop giving them a break. Zero tolerance for their continued inappropriate behavior. If you're sent to the office again, you've got detention. It you rack up detentions, you're suspended. If you're suspended over and over, you're expelled. I know... easier said than done.

    In my day we had a Dean of Students/School Safety Officer who was an ex prison guard. He would walk misbehaving students to and from every class, eat lunch with them, have them help him with dirty jobs, etc. until they knocked it off. That worked!
     
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  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2015

    I'd like my AP, and any administrator, to remember what it was like to be a classroom teacher, to understand what we do and why we do it, to be a coach not a critic :)
     
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  7. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Oct 11, 2015

    If I wrote up a student for being out of their seat or unprepared for class, my admin would laugh at me and throw away the write up. I would be reminded to review procedures with the students and handle those things myself. If teachers are doing write ups for little things, perhaps you could remind them of consequences they can assign.
     
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  8. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Oct 11, 2015

    I agree with other posters - by the time I have to send a student out of class to see an administrator, I have tried everything I can think of and nothing is working - the student is interfering with my and my students' ability to do our jobs and I need him/her out of there. I wish I could help with suggestions, but I do not know what you should do with that student - all I know is I don't want him/her back until he/she is no longer disrupting the class. It is vital to have an administrator to back up the classroom teacher - we are on the "front lines," and dealing with the dynamics of a class of 30 is much harder than dealing with only one student. I am sure hoping that you find your solution, because we sure need your support.
     
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  9. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2015

    Our school wide "rule" is that if they are sent to the office during class, they don't go back to class that period. So, in the immediate, we have that. I guess what I'm looking for are types of unique consequences that schools use that seem to be effective. Taking away extra curricular activities is great... if the child is involved in any. We have 1200 kids on our campus, and many of them do not participate in any kind of outside activity. For the ones that do, the threat of losing that privilege does work wonders.

    We are not allowed to use "manual labor" type consequences (like cleaning the cafeteria, etc), so those are out, however, I do believe they would be very beneficial.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 12, 2015

    Is Saturday detention an option?
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 12, 2015

    This year I was disheartened that I actually had to call my admin to deal with a student, especially this early in the year. But, it ended up working out. The student actually enjoys my class (so that was a huge piece of leverage).

    I talked to my AP (so that is an important step, pulling the teachers in, to talk about the student, figure what they've done so far, and generate ideas on what to do next). I got her permission to set the kid off the the side, unable to interact with the rest of the class in any way or use the computers (it's a computers elective), and we talked it over with the parent too. This was temporary until he could prove to me he was ready to be a part of the class (meaning following the rules). If this didn't work, he would be moved out of the elective (with the blessing of the AP).

    At first the kid didn't take it seriously, and thought his regular behavior could continue. When he saw we were serious, and he wouldn't be able to have any of the privileges of a regular student, his behavior changed drastically. I eventually let him rejoin us, and he takes everything I say seriously, which is huge for this kid, because he's having a lot of trouble in other classes as well for not respecting the rules of the classroom.

    I'm still working with him, but I guess what I'd suggest is:

    1. Meeting with you, teacher, and student. Maybe pre-coach the teacher not to fall for any verbal traps from the student or speak very little if it's that kind of student. Have the teacher report on the behavior, allow the kid a few seconds to explain if he feels the need to. Present some solutions that you and the teacher have brainstormed prior.
    2. Some consequences might be losing the privileges of a student in that class (meaning unable to answer questions, talk with other students during group time, and being sat off to the side). Further disruption may result in phone calls home and in school suspensions.
    3. Maybe loss of elective classes or extra-curriculars if behavior continues.
    4. Loss of lunch-time socialization time by spending lunches in the office or with admin.
     
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  12. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2015

    Peregrin, those are great tips! I sat down today and talked to 2 teachers in particular who are having issues with a few of my frequent fliers. I think we made some real headway!

    Caesar, Saturday detention is not an option, but that would be helpful!
     
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  13. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Apr 9, 2016

    I very much agree with extracurriculars/ electives being taken away (temporarily, usually), when that is an option.

    Another thing that I've found helpful from my admin is when they take some time to help the student practice appropriate behaviors to replace the inappropriate behaviors. This is in upper elementary but I think it would probably be helpful for older children as well. For example, if the child is chronically disrespectful, maybe you can practice with that child more appropriate ways to respond and role-play with them to practice it. One of my more problematic students has REALLY benefited from practice with how to respond to adult redirection this year, and how to apologize gracefully.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 9, 2016

    Same thing as Caeser and others said: the "punishment" has to be inconvenient for the kid.
    - lunch detention, or after school detention, whichever seems that the kid cares more about
    - losing out on sports. Sports seem to mean a lot to a lot of the students, sometimes just a talk with their coach is enough, because the coach will then remind them that they can lose out, and the kid stops the behavior
    - losing out on clubs, field trips, etc.

    Besides punishments, you should of course always find out what the problem is, ask and listen to the student, so they don't feel that they're always being punished, and no one cares. Sometimes there are real reason they're acting out and they need help.
    Some examples I've seen:
    - kid is talking way too much in hopes of getting his seat moved, because he has a problem with the student sitting next to him. You would think he could just ask the teacher, but kids don't always know how to solve their problems. In this case you can send him out and give him detention all you want, the problem is not solved.
    - they have something going on at home, and they act out. This happens a lot. Once I had a girl who was always good, respectful, quiet, etc. One day she would not stop talking, even to warnings, redirections, etc. I asked her what was going on. She said "ma'am, you have no idea what I had to deal with this morning. My dad got really mad at me for no reason, snapped at me and threw my chocolate milk out of my hand. It spilled all over my shirt, I had to change and I was late and I'm mad. I'm just trying to cheer myself up and not focus on this, that's why I'm talking so much"
    This was early on when I started at this school and it taught me that often something is going on in the inside.
    - the kid is talking / acting out trying to impress someone, and the punishment actually makes him cool
    - the kid is trying to make friends, fit in, and is trying to be a class clown, thinking the other students will like him
    - OP,. if I remember correctly you taught in alt. ed. I'm not sure if you're at the same school as AP, but in case of gang issues, the kid will act up / act out to prove himself. Trying to impress others, etc.
     
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  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 9, 2016

    Just wanted to add, that sometimes rewards work well.
    I'm at a small school,. and the kids have a strict dress code (black, white and gray only, no jeans, no colors, no logo, etc). Friday some kids can wear jeans (teachers vote for them). Sometimes we have free dress day, as per the discretion of the P (they can wear jeans, khakis, and colors other than blue, red or burgundy)
    There are times the P announces that if we have no detentions that day (none at all), the whole school can have free dress the following day. This helps the kids check each other, and the kids know that if they do get detention, the entire school will know who ruined it for them, because detentions are announced over the radio.

    While I wouldn't reward the kids who always have detention with something when they don't have detentions (in other words, I wouldn't reward a student just for doing what he's supposed to), I would offer up school wide rewards if there are no issues.
     
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