What would you do with this student?

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Linguist92021, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 20, 2013

    This 9 grader is a very interesting case, and not really sure how to help the situation.Out of all the students he is the only one who is still consistently misbehaving, every day. All the other behavior problems usually have 1 bad moment (or class period), I either have a consequence, or talk to them, or both, and then they're great for 3-7 days.

    This is what he does:
    - disruptive, trying to talk to others, getting them involved (but not really loud)
    - uses profanity, like many other students, but not directing it towards me
    - tries to get the other students to misbehave. They actually don't listen to him! It's interesting and kinda funny. For example he would try to tell others to speak Spanish, because I don't speak it, but they just ignore him! He tried this a couple of times and no one even reacted to him.
    - sometimes comes in, sits down and says: 'I'm not doing shxt today!' My response is: 'ok, well then you can leave' This means he's going to another classroom that's kids suspended from class due to behavior, and there are other consequences with it. He stays, which is fine with me, I wasn't telling him to go, it was an option he could choose.
    - his biggest offense is being disruptive and defiant.
    - he does do his work, not all of it, because misbehaving stops him, but he does more that I though he would. So he's not failing his classes, although he didn't do well on any of his tests.

    This is why it's so strange:
    - he is looking at me 75 % of the time! Not in a weird way, but I have his full attention! So this indicates that he's looking for some kind of reaction from me, trying to test me, get to know me, to see how far he gets, etc.
    In response I have tried everyting:
    - followed my '2 warnings, you're out' rule a few times, where he received detention or was suspended from the class (this is a bigger consequence). This happened more than with any other students. Then next day he continued the problems.
    - gave him more warnings, changed his seat, etc, didn't work
    - ignored him, just acted like he wasn't there. (He would use profanity and then look at me. He would use a gang-related term, then look at me.) When he talks he's not loud, but I personally can't ignore that. Maybe other teachers could? Didn't work.
    - had heart to heart talks with him about 5 times (in 3 weeks). Didn't work
    - principal talked to him, probation talked to him, other teachers talked to him, didn't work.
    - he's a perfect little angel in his other classes, we don't know what the problem is.
    - the only thing that seemed to work is something I'm not proud of and I don't want to keep it up: putting him 'on blast' in front of the others. One day I just had enough of me trying to tip-toe around him (had all these talks of 'how can I help you, what is it that you need to be successful in my class' and none of it made a difference). I also was just told that day that he bragged to others how he back talks to me.
    So I had enough and basically let him know in front of others that 'everyone else is able to follow my directions, he's the only one that doesn't want to, I had enough of that, and I'm tried of babysitting him. On top of that none of his friends find his behavior amusing, when he told them to speak Spanish, they ignored him, they don't care, etc'. I didn't raise my voice, I just made it firm. He got quiet for the rest of the period.
    I know this may have been humiliating for him, but this was going on for over 2 weeks at the time. And it was infuritating for me to know that he brags about backtalking.
    He knows what he's doing, he's just playing. So I did this another time, and it worked. But yesterday even others in the class were like 'just send him out of the class! This is so annoying'. I didn't send him, because although he was disrputive, he wasn't as bad as in other times.

    One more thing that's interesting to me:
    he's not disrespectful to me. So when i ask him to come to me because I need to talk, he comes. Willingly, almost like as if he needs it. He would sit there, looking at me, listening attentively. I could talk as long as I want to, he'll stay. I tried this out last time, i talked to him for 7 minutes, he sat there, while the others were enjoying their free time, and he didn't complain. When i ask him if he has questions, or I ask specific questions, he doesn't have any, or the answer is 'I don't know'. Then he goes, and the next day he acts the same way.

    We called home Friday (so far I tried to call twice, but the mom doesn't speak English), so the secretary translated. Mom said she'll talk to him.

    My P said to try this with him: every day, take 10 seconds and tell h im: this is what you did right today..., this is what you did wrong: ..." don't look for answers, don't say anything else.
    I tried it Friday, and will continue on Monday.
    But we're just stunned.
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 20, 2013

    Sorry this was so long. This is 3 weeks worth of stuff :)

    You could say that I'm not consistent with him, but it's only because I was trying different approaches.
    It does seem like he doesn't have a propblem with me specifically (otherwise he would ignore me) and maybe he wants my attention. But when I gave him positive or my negative attention, it wasn't any different than when I ignored him .
     
  4. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Sounds like there are 2 possible routes, both involving restructuring the attention he receives from you. First, consider sending him to a different class at first sign of problem behavior - no warning, etc. He has to stay for 10 minutes if he goes, then can come back. If again, he has to stay for 15 minutes. When you deliver the consequence, deliver it neutrally and without appearing to be too concerned. Immediately after asking him to leave (within 2 seconds), continue right back with your lesson and ignore him if he doesn't leave, then if he doesn't leave after 30 seconds remind him again then continue right back with your lesson.

    A second route would be to find ways to deliver positive attention to him contingent upon good classroom behavior. This obviously is dependent on you having something to give, such as being able to meet him for lunch once a week or something. Potentially generate a few different options and ask him which he would prefer. Consider being very open and straightforward in your approach (Frank, I know you really like interacting with me, and I appreciate that. I'm getting the sense that you're saying the things you're saying because you want to have a conversation with me. It may be more interesting to you to meet at lunch once a week, since the way we're doing things now is getting you in trouble quite a bit. Would you be interested in that?)

    You could also try a combination of the two. How do you think each of those would work?
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 20, 2013

    Do his other teachers speak Spanish? Is there something about them that is different from you, besides being at the school longer? Not sure if this is something, just another route to consider.

    I definitely agree with choosing a behavior plan (probably something that most other teachers are using) and stick with it. If this means sending him out of class daily, then do that. He needs some consistency.

    I would not spend your class time talking and working things out with this student. It is taking away from the other students. Hold him after class or pull him from lunch/study hall/after school to have these discussions. Don't use the class time that others students need to learn.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 20, 2013

    Mopar: I only addressed him twice on front of the class, and I agree it's wrong on so many levels, I definitely don't plan on doing that.
    The only difference between me and his other teachers is that they're male and I'm female. One doesn't speak SPanish, the others do. This student is bilingual, so the language is not the problem. They actually don't have to call home, because he behaves in those classes. There is another teacher who started in August and he still has some problems with his classes, problems that I don't have (for example during state testing my classes were 100 % awesome, his were talking for 20 minutes and wuldn't settle down. They play practical jokes on him, but my P said they won't do it to me, because I have a different aproach) But he doesn't have a problem with this student.
    The only other difference I can think of is that my lessons are probably more rigorous. That's the biggest complaint always about me :), at an school. I give them the amount of work any high school teacher would, but it's not above their level. We do most things together, so there is a lot of scaffolding. But like I said he does most of his work. He might resent me for all the work, but that would probably show by him refusing to do it, which s not the case.

    I didn't mention, but these are the positive consequences I have for individuals and classes:
    individuals: I have a box of 'goodies', it's mostly food, and the P is ok with it. Small sizes of Takis, (the most popular), chips, gummy bears, juice box, cookies, things like that. At the beginning of every class I choose 1-2 students and at the end I announce if they earned a prize from the box. This has actually caught on real well. I chose this student several times, and let him know privately that he didn't earn it.
    - the whole class may earn 4 minutes / class towards Friday's free time, during which I have cards, dominos, chess, puzzles, etc. Students are very motivated by this. This is an all or none approach, so while it's unfortunate that behavior-issue students will also enjoy the free time, the class can lose minutes due to one student's disruption if that one student involves others and it becomes a class-problem.

    EdEd: I don't think he would prefer to eat lunch with me. During lunch they can hang out and play basketball, which they always do.
    I told students that during break (10 minutes) and during lunch (35 min) I will be in my classroom, they can come in to get water, eat their food, sit and chat, even play some of the games I have (chess, cards, etc). I have some students come in and stay the whole time, others come and go, a lot of them prefer to stay outside. This student may certainly come in and hang out with others, but like I said, I don't think he would want to hang out with me. I think he would find it silly if I suggested that he might want to stay with me.

    Sending him to another classroom for 10-15 minutes could be disruptive to the other class, and to mine. I think he would continue when he comes back, but at the least returning to the classroom would disrupt the lesson. These students can get distracted so easily by someone coming in, they always want to talk to them, etc. I think it's better if I send him to the suspension room. I don't want to do that, unless I really have to, my goal is to keep him in my room.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    And I agree with the consistency, now that I've tried a lot of different things, I need to and want to stick with one thing. I think this should be the same thing that other students have, he's not any more special than the others, so I don't think I should give him breaks. I'm just trying to find out what could be his motivation, because that would help.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 20, 2013

    Being female may be one reason why he is more disruptive during your classes. It's not excusable, but may explain some of the difference.

    Maybe talk to your principal about using the suspension room more with this student. You can spell it out for the student that if he behaves he can stay in class. If not, he will take his work to the suspension room. You will give him the two warnings (or whatever you use for the other students), but that is it. After the two warnings, send him to the suspension room, even if the behavior doesn't seem bad. Be sure to have the work to send with him.
     
  9. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Apr 20, 2013

    Linguist I should have asked before making suggestions about any other variables (e.g., only woman) - apologies. Sounds like the lunch idea is out, and I take it from your response there is no other way to provide positive attention. It also sounds like you suspect that may not be the motivation?

    It terms of sending him to other rooms, your main objection seems to be that it's disruptive, but it also sounds like what's happening now is disruptive. If sending to other room had the possibility of disruptions decreasing over time, would that potentially be worth it? I've seen kids sent to other classrooms with not much disruption if handled the right way, and it sounds like he doesn't have trouble in other classes or with insubordination with you.

    Still, it sounds like maybe it has less to do with attention potentially from your new statements - i.e., that it may be gender related, or related to the amount/difficulty of work you give. I guess I'm wondering where you're leaning in terms of purpose of behavior? Definitely would make a difference in terms of strategy direction.

    In terms of consistency, I also agree with mopar and sounds like you already recognize there was a lot of strategy-switching going on. In the interest of consistency, it may make sense to attack the issue with the assumption of a certain purpose of the behavior (e.g., work avoidance), even if you switch up strategies.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 20, 2013

    Do most of the students speak Spanish?

    Maybe he would take to a special job in the classroom. Something that needs to be done and he might enjoy. I've had success with taking out the recycling, wiping down the dry erase board, recording notes on an overhead, being responsible for the absent work folder.
     
  11. Creator Coach

    Creator Coach New Member

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    Hi - this is very interesting and I can see how you are caught between discipline and encouragement because of his behaviour and your good approach.

    I can add a couple of observations that might be useful or not. Firstly... when he is disruptive what do you want to have happen? Can you express this clearly to yourself. You like some of what he does - entertaining, polite, obedient-ish... but not other behaviour. This is perhaps confusing him and you!? Spend some time writing down exactly what you want him to do. Then you can tell him more clearly. And maybe break a pattern of behaviour.

    Secondly when you next talk to him ask this question "What needs to happen for you to avoid disrupting other students because we all need to learn and enjoy these lessons?" Then wait and listen to exactly what he says. By asking this in this format his unconscious gets a shout! Because he may not know himself what is to be done... and sometimes this question can reveal to the student just what she or he needs. So he will at least answer this for himself.

    These are techniques based on the language models of NLP. Good luck.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I thought about that. In the lock up we had some students who were womenizers, pimps or just not willing to accept females as authority. Our interactions / problems never improved. But these were obvious cases, as the students would be disrespectful towards me, ignore me, and wouldn't acknoweldge my presence in some cases. With this guy it's the opposite.
    But it could be that I'm a female teacher. Who knows, his mom could be a sweetheart and I'm giving him structure and discipline and he doesn't know how to react? Or it could be a lot of other scenarios stemming from this. I guess I should ask the P about the female relatives.

    There is a female student who is a huge problem in every class, except for in mine. she's an angel with me. She told me herself that she likes me because I treat her with respect and I don't let the male students walk over me. My P said that her mom is herr BFF and she respects strong females, like the P, our psychologist and myself.

    I will bring it up. I think it will be ok. I haven't been sending a lot of students there lately, so I think that as long as there isn't a large number of students sent out and she knows I'm trying to work this out with this guy, it should be ok. I've been wondering how the student sees this whole thing, he might look at me as weak, because I'm not sending him out. The bragging pointed to that direction as well.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I will certainly ask the P about this. I'm sure that I could set this up with another teacher who wouldn't mind. The only thing I'm not sure about is how other students would react? I don't want them to see that I'm making exceptions for this student, only because he's been so persistently 'bad' this long. Other students would be given detention or suspended. so I want to make sure it's fair.

    There was another student would was a much bigger problem. My P would sometimes say herself 'I know my limits, and that day he was my limit'. Since I talked to this student's mom, emailing her every day, touching base with the student for 30 seconds every day (thanking him / recalling the positive behavior) he has completely turned around, and there are no problems. I didn't make any exceptions for him, so why should I for this guy? So this is my only objection.


    What do you mean by this? I'm not sure I understand it.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Thank you! You've raised some good points!
    I think I'm clear with him, but maybe I need to be clearer.
    For example when he's talking, I often just stop and wait. I do this a lot with everyone, because they know what they're doing and if I always said somethng, I'd be talking a lot.
    He stops, but then later on he continues. So I tell him 'I need you to stop talking', but I'm thinking that's not clear enough?
     
  15. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Another strategy that worked for me was talking with the student about how instruction was important and if they are disrupting instruction, they must understand and be able to do the material without the instruction. A few days of trying to do the work without instruction, helped to turn the student's behavior around.

    However, I would be careful using this too generally as it might backfire...
     
  16. EdEd

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    My experience has been that the issue of fairness can be dealt with if it's something the student needs. In terms of detention, by all means if it will quickly address the issue and avoid the fairness issue go with it. But, there may be some limitations with using detention at the frequency you might need to address the issue.

    If you issue with fairness is more on of ethical, moral, or philosophical issues yourself with treating him differently (as opposed to the practical issues that come up with different treatment), I'd point out that differentiated instruction is rooted in the same philosophy that fair doesn't mean equal or same.

    In terms of my last question about purpose, you've mentioned several possible reasons why he's misbehaving. It probably makes sense to figure out the why before moving on the the intervention phase, so brainstorming strategies may be premature. For example, strategies for work avoidance could be directly counterproductive if the issue is attention - seeking.
     
  17. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 22, 2013

    He had a totally different attitude today. Even his face looked different :) He tried to be good, made sure that I knew that he was doing his work, asked for help, etc. Actually got on some other kids' cases who didn't want to behave, he actually laughed as he did that, because he probably realized how different he was now.
    I gave him my full attention in a positive way, but I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. I also gave him a job to do (when I had to send something to another classroom, I sent him.)

    I had him for 2 periods, unfortunately in the second class he gave up half way and stopped working. He was a little chatty, but I didn't send him out, because today was just crazy!! I had a lot of students who weren't behaving, so he was actually in the good category, especially considering how he has been.
    I'm beginning to think that Mondays may be rough: these kids have no structure at home, so they can do whatever for 2.5 days, drinking, smoking weed, partying, staying up until whenever and on Mondays they're coming off of it.
    There were a couple of more shootings this past weekend, so that could have added to the difficulties.
    So while he wasn't what I would consider 'good', this was a HUGE improvement.
    The only things I regret is that I couldn't catch him dring lunch to chat with him for a minute (I will make it up tomorrow before school) and I wanted to call home to let his mom know of the positive changes. I needed the secretary to translate and she was tied up, and a lot of things were happening after school. Let's hoipe tomorrow is going to be good and then I'll call.
    Let's hope he'll continue on this path.
     
  18. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2013

    I'm glad to hear that things went better for him today. Just keep being consistent with your expectations and follow through. And definitely give mom the positive, even if today isn't so great. You can mention how good yesterday was when you talk about the not great behavior (if need be).
     
  19. Linguist92021

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    Apr 23, 2013

    Today was pretty good as well. Not perfect, but oh, so much better :)
    I did catch him during break, before I had him in my class, and like the P suggested I mentioned the things he did right (and thanked him, told him I noticed them, and was very impressed), but also mentioned the things he still needs to work on. Of course it sounded better, and I was focusing on the positive. I asked if his mom talked to him he said yes, told me what she said, etc.

    So he's still all eyes on me, but I'm giving him my positive attention. He says some funny / silly things, that imply that all along he wanted my attention, but didn't know how to get it. What's interesting is that I did pay attention to him, but there was very little p[ositive about it, because he gave me mostly negatives from minute 1. So now he's got more of what he seems to want.

    Like I said he wasn't perfect, he still talked here and there, but other students were, too. I think he's still testing me, and I feel that he did earn a little leniency (just a little), so I'm not coming down on him too hard, but I do redirect him.

    I asked the secretary to make a phone call with me, to let the mom know how everything improved, she said she can just call, tell her what to say, and I don't really need to be there, because she's not getting a lot of feedback from the mom. So I assume she made the phone call, but I will check tomorrow.
     
  20. Dabruzr

    Dabruzr New Member

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    I noticed that you said he wasn't disrespectful to you later in your post but much of the behavior you described is blatant disrespectful to you! This kid is good in his other classes but bad in yours. He brags that he gets away with stuff in your class to others. Sounds to me like you need to break down and become a bitch! This sounds harsh and goes against everything we learn in Teaching 101, but some kids need a powerful, in control person who makes it clear you won't take their crap. I've been teaching over 14 years and have had this happen to me. Once I put the kid on blast (it only took once or twice) the behavior stopped. Be consistent in enforcing discipline. It sounds like the consequences need to be increased--going from a phone call home to suspension. I really think this kid is taking advantage of you though and I know it's not a good feeling. Good luck.
     
  21. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jun 15, 2013

    Well, as my later posts said things did improve. After that I didn't have problems with him and he was easily controlled. The interesting thing is that not too long after he got locked up, I don't know what he did, but he was gone for the rest of the year. And the interesting part is that he wasn't even on probation before that.
     

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