What to do with this student???

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by misswteaches, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    Aug 23, 2015

    Sorry...this is super long because I am still venting!
    My second grade student seems to be impossible. I would never say this aloud because I have hope for all students, but that is how it feels.

    On the first day of school, he was blurting and making random noises almost immediately. I followed through with my behavior management system which I had discussed with the class already (warning, clip down and -2 minutes of recess, clip down and parent contact and -5 or more minutes of recess, office visit) and spoke to him at first recess. I spoke with him about what I could do to help and he very sweetly, apparently sincerely asked me to write a reminder note on his desk that he could look at.

    As soon as he came back in from recess, he was back to the same behavior again. He was very close to having an office visit by the end of the day. I spoke with my principal about the situation.
    The second day, he was even more challenging. I had to keep him in for a couple minutes of recess and spoke with him. Again he seemed very sorry and sincere about wanting to do well in school. By lunch, however, he was close to an office visit again (due to the constant interrupting, near-maniacal laughter directed at other students, whining about tasks, inappropriate noises, dancing around the classroom, etc...) I sat with him and a few other students in the lunchroom and spent some time trying to get to know him. Most of what he told me was not true, which made me wonder how sincere his promises to do better were.

    He ended up being sent to the office twice that afternoon. I have never sent a child to the office before, but I was at my wit's end. I had reminded, spent time here and there trying to build rapport, encouraged every moment of good behavior, been consistent with my management system, moved him to an isolated seat to work, and still the behavior continued. Fortunately my principal is very understanding and recognizes that I would never send a child to the office twice in an afternoon unless I was really stumped! She told the student that if he was in the office again we would speak to his parents which seemed to motivate him somewhat.

    The third day of school, I again spent some extra time with him in the morning switching his desk to a taller one that fits him better. Another student helped him move his things and treated him with amazing patience and forgiveness. I was truly hoping for a better day!

    Sadly, I am not exaggerating when I say that he spent the majority of the day in the office. The same behavior continued regardless of anything I did (the same consistent management system and reminders of what would happen if he was in the office again). He also made a violent comment that made me begin to worry about whether he might at some point exhibit dangerous behavior.
    The principal and I sat down with him and the parents after school. All we determined was that he would not be allowed to watch TV if he didn't behave well in school.

    I have no idea how to deal with a student like this. I have never before worked with a child who was not motivated by rewards, not reached through positive contact and encouragement, not afraid of going to the office or having parents contacted. He is truly setting the tone of my classroom and I hate it. I have glimpses of what it should be like when he's out of the room, but obviously sending him to the office constantly is not a solution -- it's a quick fix for the sake of consistency and the other kids' learning. He's not my only challenging student, but he is the only one who seems to be unmanageable. This is not exactly how I hoped my first year would start. :confused:
     
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  3. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Aug 23, 2015

    I have a great resource across the hall from me, our resource teacher. It doesn't matter if the child has an IEP, IAP, or no plan at all. She'll come by to "talk" and observe the child and offer advice. It's been a lifesaver. If you haven't yet, talk to your sped and resource teachers. They have training in dealing with lots of behaviors. They also can give advice on starting a behavior plan or referring the child if needed. Don't be afraid to reach out to others. It doesn't mean that you are ineffective, in fact, it shows that you know when you know it's time to ask for help. Good luck!
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Aug 23, 2015

    Was this student at your school last year? If so, it may be time to talk to his first grade teacher to see if he displayed the same behavior, and if so, how it was managed.

    You won't be able to fix all the behavior at once. Choose one and work to eliminate it, then move to another one. The website interventioncentral.com has some amazing behavior interventions.
     
  5. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    Aug 26, 2015

    Thanks so much!
    Unfortunately we are a private school with no resources or SPED teachers.
    He wasn't at our school last year and frankly his family hasn't been very communicative. They are aware of the issues but aren't equipped to manage him effectively.
    I will look into interventioncentral.com -- thank you!

    Today was slightly better with a stellar "just two" trips to the principal's office. Yay.
     
  6. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    Aug 26, 2015

    The great irony is that I am licensed in SPED but as a first-year teacher I am just trying to apply what I know! Not to mention teaching two grade levels. Ahhh!
     
  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Aug 26, 2015

    One thing I've learned (the hard way) is to avoid, if possible, constantly changing procedures to eliminate misbehavior; (although, on the other hand, I've know teachers who have successfully managed this way--but I've learned it doesn't work for me). The research indicates that when a teacher keeps changing procedures, the students immediately respond to the change, but soon it loses its effect and another change is needed. Young elementary students rely on consistency. Although specific interventions will possibly be necessary, at the same time, I would advise against straying too far from your established classroom procedures.

    I think you and the principal are doing the right thing, working on the immediate situation and involving the parents as soon as possible. (I would advise against using parental contact as a threat, though; they are the child's partners in learning, not someone for the child to avoid).

    In the long range, professional psychological or medical help might be needed. Could what was described be symptoms of ADHD (but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion immediately), sydingham's chorea (not sure of the spelling) covered up with other misbehaviors, child abuse, inexperience in social situations (a common problem for children today), and many other root causes.
    I hope you soon have better days, but it sounds like this child is in a school just right for him with the best teacher he could possibly have! I know many teachers would have despised such a student from day one, but you are approaching him with love and concern--that's the best medicine for any malady!
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2015

    Missw...sending a kid to the office should be judiciously used for the most extreme situations. Calling out and dancing around the room is usually manageable in the classroom:2cents: and as a first year teacher sending a student so frequently is going to send the message that you can't manage behaviors.

    With your sped background, have you considered that this student's behavior is not under his control and that there may be some underlying organic, psychological or learning sues that are influencing the behaviors you are seeing?You may want to contact the child's prior school and inquire if there are records, testing, reports that can be shared with your school. Definitely kep anecdotal records f his behavior and any interventions you use to manage eh advisors. These should be shared in a conference with parents if the behavior or snt improve and at that meeting you could inquire about his last school, suggest they discuss your observations with their pediatrician.
     
  9. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    Aug 29, 2015

    Thanks for your input, everyone! I definitely do think there is something beyond his control at work here. I also know that his background and history are very rough. My observation is that he is attention-hungry and wants kids to like him, but so far he does not respond well to positive reinforcement. When I comment on a positive behavior, he immediately starts acting out. It's really odd. Any thoughts on this?

    The past couple of days have been worse with him. He has been pushing and slapping kids...yelling in their ears. Yesterday after recess I had him leave the room for his own benefit because so many kids were angry at him.

    I agree that sending to the office is a last resort, but I honestly don't know what else to do. I have to stop his misbehavior in the classroom because it is distracting, disrespectful, and inappropriate. Nothing I have tried so far will stop the misbehavior -- not rewards, consequences, moving his seat, positive attention, ignoring... If he cannot stop what he is doing, he has to leave the room.
    Our school has very high behavioral standards. His actions would never be tolerated for this long except for the fact that he is a new student.
     
  10. smoothrunnin

    smoothrunnin Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2015

    What make's him tick?

    I would suggest trying to figure out what makes this kid 'tick' and try to win him over somehow! What about a reward system that is implemented every half hour or so. Choose one behavior you want to target and work on that even if there are a lot of behaviors. If he earns so many 'stars' by recess, he will get....... For instance if he does not yell out, in half an hour, he will earn one star. If he has earned 4 by recess, he could carry these over to lunch and try to earn 20 by the end of the day. Sounds like he needs very frequent, immediate rewards even if it is only a star on a chart or a booklet. It can be amazing what some kids will do for that star, check mark, or whatever it is! I will also suggest a resource. http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/
    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  11. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Sep 6, 2015

    Hey misswteaches - missed this the first go around, just seeing it now. Hopefully things have been fixed/improved, but if not here are a few thoughts:

    1) The primary goal is to figure out the underlying cause - there may be one underlying cause leading to multiple problems, or different causes leading to different problems. I would start with trying to identify the biggest problem, the finding the biggest cause. Create interventions around it, and see if that changes anything.

    2) In the meantime - the buy you time and make your room functional - I'd consider a very frequent reinforcement system - I would suggest using tickets, points, etc. and giving him one every time he demonstrates your target behavior (I might start with something broad like "staying on task" so it encompasses a lot, but is also easy to define and teach him). Based on the behaviors you've described, I'd suggest a reinforcement schedule of every 2-5 minutes, if not more frequent. Then, have prizes he can trade those tickets/points in for at the end of each half-day (before lunch, then end of day). You can also do a lottery whereby a certain number of tickets give him a pull from a bag of pieces of paper with potential prizes listed on them, some saying "Sorry, Try Again."

    3) Your punishment classroom management system is probably not going to work with him because a) you run out of "ammo" way too quickly, and b) he'll quickly become desensitized to your punishments and quickly start to not care. These "flip a card" or "move a clip" systems tend to only provide a little extra incentive to behavior for already pretty well-behaved kids - they seldom work for difficult kids.

    4) Collect data, document it, and share it routinely with folks - on/off task data, frequency counts of bigger behaviors like temper tantrums, simple rating scales you complete at the end of the day, etc. I would bet you'll end up in a referral process, and can save yourself a step of having to "go back and collect data" if you've already done it.

    Any thoughts?
     
  12. smile3

    smile3 Rookie

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    Sep 7, 2015

    really good idea eded, it seems you have a behavior background-

    First you want to document the student behavior and the goal is to find the function- is it at a specific time, attention seeking, sensory, tangible, or escape?

    I would only send a note to home if the student is interrupting the entire class/ the parent might be able to provide some insight on what's going on
     
  13. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Sep 7, 2015

    Thanks smile3 :)
     

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