When do you involve admin?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by bewlove, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Apr 28, 2015

    Hi, friends!

    I had am extremely chaotic day. I have a student who is extremely disrespectful and I am having trouble handling. I wanted some second opinions. This student is in fourth grade, home life is less than ideal, and he is always making poor decisions. I have tried both consequences and reward systems without prevail.

    Today, I was teaching, and he was being majorly disruptive by moving his desk. I was telling him to stop moving his desk because it was distracting, and he said, "Okay, okay. Be quiet." While rolling his eyes. :crosseyed

    I tried to handle it correctly and said, "Excuse me? You need to clip down. It is never okay for you to tell a teacher to be quiet." He made a big huffing, arguing, and eye rolling scene, so I had him step in the hall to cool down. Quickly after, we went to recess, where he walked a few laps and then went and played.

    On our way back in, I asked that my students be quiet because testing was going on. He is just talking away and laughing when I remind him to be quiet, so he clipped down again. He still continues, so I told him if he failed to follow instructions then he would have isolated lunch. Well, lo and behold, he still is talking and flat out ignoring me like I'm not even speaking to him. So I told him he would have isolated lunch (because at this point he has clipped down twice and is still ignoring me). He then responds with, "Okay, great! I love sitting by myself at lunch and I can't wait! I don't even freaking care!"

    Now, I realize this is just mouthing off and that he does care, but this just infuriated me. I calmly told him to come with me and walked him around the corner to the office, where my P is. I opened the door and said, "Would you like to tell P exactly what you just said to me?"

    She pulled him into the office and chatted with him, then sent him out.

    Anyway, fast forward to this afternoon. I had to meet with her anyway, and his situation was brought up. I mentioned that I was sorry that I sent him so abruptly, but that I didn't know what else to do with him and that a couple of other teachers had mentioned to me that he needed to be in the office for behavior, which made me feel that maybe I wasn't being firm enough.

    She proceeded to tell me that how I handle him is my choice. I asked her what she would like me to do, and she said that unless he is being vulgar to just ignore it. Now, I know that ignoring can save me a lot of stress, but at the same time, I feel that by ignoring it, I am allowing it. She did say that sending him out of my room or to another teacher's room is appropriate.

    She also asked him what he needed to be able to follow the rules. He said he wanted to go to another teacher's class for the rest of the year. My P told him if he was good for the rest of the week, she would consider that. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Now he is going back to my other students and saying that, and I had a couple of other students get in trouble in my class today, and there response was "Oh, I'm going to go to Mrs. So-and-So's class." Obviously they don't get to make this choice, but just the fact that they run around saying it when they're annoyed now (this isn't all of my kids, but a couple little classroom challenges).

    Anyway, I just am uneasy because I don't want her to think I can't handle him or sent him to the office for a stupid reason, but at the same time, this disrespect is constant.

    I try individual conferencing, I have referred him to the guidance counselor, we have a points reward system, and I have some communication with home but his guardian is currently upset with me about a different situation involving DCS, and I don't think that would be a wise person to contact right now.

    Anyway, what is your take on this situation????? Should I have involved admin at this point? I know my P is probably right, after all, I am a first year teacher and she has been working in schools for her entire career! I guess it is just hard for me to swallow allowing a student to be so disrespectful without a consequence.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 28, 2015

    I would have tried other options before involving admin:

    Call to parents
    Incentive chart
    Observation by child study team
    Intervention and referral committee meeting
    Loss of recess...other consequences

    I WOULD NOT send him to another class...you'd be giving him too much power....which it seems you're doing anyway.
     
  4. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Apr 28, 2015

    Thanks for the response.
    If you read at the bottom, those are some of the things I've tried. :)

    He loses recess almost daily (but I usually don't take the whole time so he can burn energy- but I have before), he has a reward system that is currently being used (he earns hourly points), I have called and written home with minimal support, and I have referred him for counseling which he has had twice in the last week.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 28, 2015

    Sorry I missed those steps....I still wouldn't necessarily get admin involved...just create a paperwork trail, reflect behaviors on report card and make it very clear you are the one in control. I do think he's been given too much power in this situation. He knows he's gotten under your skin and now your admin is poised to let him switch rooms (which isn't good for A LOT of reasons, IMO). Keep up the consequences, clip him down, keep parents in loop, send him for more counseling and don't let him see he's bothering you...sometimes you've just got to deal with what you've got....there's not a lot of time left in the year. You can make it.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 28, 2015

    Usually when I talk with administration about a student or even another teacher, it is first to ask for advice and troubleshooting instead of a flat-out escalation. I'll ask if I can run a scenario past my principal and see if we can talk through the problem. If it gets to the point that I do need to escalate the problem, she already has all of the background information from me as well as the solutions I've attempted.
     
  7. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Apr 28, 2015

    Thanks so much for the reply. He has been to office recently, so my P does know some of the regular issues I have with him. I like the idea of discussing it with P first.
     
  8. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Apr 28, 2015

    He does know I'm irritated with him lol. I agree there is too much power, too. I am worried about him but also just worried about P's interpretation of this whole thing. I'm so eager to please and I feel like I failed a little bit today by taking him there.
     
  9. leecook

    leecook New Member

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    Apr 29, 2015

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Apr 29, 2015

    Your admin gave you some good advice. Ignore the mouthing off. You admitted he knows it gets under you skin, but you keep giving him the power to get under your skin. I understand why you feel that ignoring is allowing, but when no other method has worked, this is sometime the thing that will work. Adhering to your non-working methods and ignoring the principal's advice may keep this student going by fanning the flames.

    Since this is a long standing problem with him in your class (and probably previous classes), I can see the principal considering a class move, especially if the admin sees that your methods have not resulted in any improvement. It is not an often recommended approach, but sometimes it is the best approach because you have reached your end and it is possible the student has reached his end with you a long time ago (even if his issue with you has nothing to do with you).

    Sorry he is so hard to handle. I don't condone his behavior, but I do agree that some of it just needs to be ignored. An eye roll, while disrespectful, isn't going to hurt you. I've seen adults who can't control their disrespectful facial expressions. Most times it is exasperation or frustration that other see as disrespectful. If he complies with the command (stop moving the desk), that is the bigger battle.
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 29, 2015

    I agree that the best advice is to just ignore the behavior. It has been my experience that the other students in the classroom are able to tune out even the most behavior challenged classmates.

    While you are ignoring, continue to hold him to the same standards as the others. He doesn't do the assignment in the required amount of time, his paper gets picked up with the rest and he gets the grade he has earned.

    If the rest of the class has earned a treat for some reason, and he hasn't, don't listen to his whining when he doesn't get the treat. A simple "I'm sorry you didn't earn the treat" and move on.

    Good luck...kids like that are really difficult and you won't be able to change the majority of his behavior in the time left, but maybe your life can get a little easier.
     
  12. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Apr 29, 2015

    I have not seen this. When I have students who are extremely disrespectful and I ignore them, it tends to spread like wildfire through a select few other students. I also always have a couple students who get very annoyed and exasperated with the behavior challenged student, and of course there are the students who are extremely distracted by their disruptions.

    In my opinion, yes, you can ignore certain things (like the eye rolling), but only to a point, especially if the student escalates the behaviors.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 29, 2015

    Right now my philosophy of when to involve admin is when a student has done all of the following:

    1. Broken the rules.
    2. Is being defiant by not obeying me when given any consequence (i.e. not moving to time out, not calling their parents, etc.).
    3. And is continuing to break the rules or be a distraction to the rest of the class. (i.e. this includes distraction caused by aforementioned defiance (since I would have to stop the class until he follows his consequence))

    In that case I will call admin. I haven't had to do it at all this year however, which is great! I was thinking I would have to do it for my two new students who were starting to be defiant, but soon after they stopped being a disruption and took their consequence.

    I've involved admin for other things however, that don't involve a referral. I asked an admin to move one student to another of my classes to separate them because they were fueling each other's behavior.

    I've also informed them of misbehavior that occurred with students while they weren't in my class, or students I don't teach who were in another grade level. My sphere of influence is very limited outside the classroom and I have to forward it to the admin in these cases.

    My steps for when a student breaks a rule are as follows:
    1. Look at him/her long enough for his/her misbehavior to play out. Then there is no question that I saw what I saw.
    2. Politely inform him or her of the consequence (in most cases a time-out)
    3. Skedaddle away from the student to avoid any argument or hearing any angry responses (which are sure to happen each time). The student is allowed to be angry, so long as they hold themselves accountable for the consequence and move to the time-out table or whatever. All other groaning and moaning I ignore unless it becomes overt disrespect (which is up to you to define).

    When you move away quickly enough, you can ignore whatever angry remarks they mutter underneath their breath and even avoid most arguments with students who tend to be argumentative. It's like, "you have a consequence, okthanksbye".
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 29, 2015

    :thumb:
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    From what the OP mentioned it doesn't seem like contacting parents would do much good. I probably would have involved admin also.
     
  16. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Apr 29, 2015

    I don't think I would IGNORE the student misbehavior as much as I would create a situation in which the student couldn't talk back. I would say something to end the conversation with finality and walk away. If the student DID say something, I wouldn't engage or listen to it... not because I'm ignoring the misbehavior, but because I had decided that the conversation was over. I may even end the conversation by saying, "Now that this is over, do xyz" to change the subject.

    If the student retorted in such a way that it was obvious he wanted attention from the whole class, then I would address it, but if it was just a disrespectful reaction, I wouldn't engage. I gave the consequence and moved on.
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I wouldn't involve admin for this type of issue. If the behavior is egregious or dangerous, sure, but not when it's just annoying and frustrating.

    I recommend practicing and perfecting the broken record technique. I use it frequently and it has always worked well for me.

    I also recommend trying not to let student behaviors get to you. I know that's easier said than done. For many of our students, though, a lot of what they say and do comes from a place beyond their control. We can't get angry, frustrated, annoyed, or irritated with them for that. I've used this analogy here before, but sometimes I look at those challenging students like a sink full of dirty dishes. It's not the dishes' fault that they are dirty, it's just how they are. I can stand there and scream, cry, and get angry at the dishes all I want, but that's not going to fix the problem. All I can do is roll up my sleeves and start scrubbing, as best as I can. Not all the dishes will be sparkling when I'm done, but they will all be better than what they were when they were sitting in a nasty, dirty sink.
     
  18. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2015

    I agree with Czacza and the other posters. The big focus for you right now is to be confident and in control. If he is getting under your skin, that's motivation for him to continue.

    I try to never involve admin. As soon as I do, I'm telling my students that I'm at a loss, that I don't know what to do with them. So admin is only a temporary fix but typically leads to more issues later (unless of course someone is putting others in danger, etc.).

    I do have heart to hearts with kids. Something like this: I know we've had a few rough days (weeks, etc.) and we need to figure out a plan that works for both of us. It seems that sometimes you are just not able to work quietly or follow what we are doing. I'm okay with those days as long as you are not disrupting others. What could we do when you are feeling frustrated? Would stepping out help you? Would a verbal reminder from me that you are distracting too much help?


    Also, the clipping down sometimes prevents us from truly building respect with a student. It typically works with the middle bulk of kids who really don't need it all that much and clipping down is a BIG deal to them. It sounds like you and this student need some mutual respect. I have a FEW very disruptive students in my class. They know that I LIKE them very much, I tell them that frequently, and they know when they've pushed me to my limit that they've have threatened that trust I have in them. So they get in line quickly. Just work on being the adult in control but who values mutual respect and doesn't get shaken.
     
  19. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Well said, Cassie.

    And I would say that there is a difference between 'being a broken record' and not letting behaviors get to you, and ignoring them. Addressing behaviors directly and without creating a situation that allows for arguing (as Koriemo said) are ways of addressing those behaviors. Simply ignoring the dirty dishes will never get them clean, either...
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oh, definitely.

    The broken record technique is really just to avoid arguments and power struggles. You don't ever give the student the chance to argue with you, so there is no opportunity for any real power struggle. You as the teacher already have all the power, period. "Have a seat, Billy....Billy, I've asked you to have a seat....I'm sorry you feel that way, but please have a seat....Billy, please sit down....I understand, now please have a seat....[ad nauseam]"

    Not letting things get to you is just good practice. You don't need to own students' behaviors, so don't. Be like a duck and let it all just roll off your back.

    I think that there is a time and a place for ignoring behaviors, particularly when the goal of the behavior is to seek attention. If the goal is anything else, though, then ignoring probably won't work.
     
  21. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Apr 29, 2015

    To be fair, many teachers tell students to "be quiet", so it's not surprising when they say it back to teachers. I'm sure he said it with an attitude/tone that was disrespectful, so I wold have had a similar response as you, but I probably would've taken some time to explain why it's acceptable from teachers but his approach was not.

    Can I ask, what is it that you want the administrator to do? Sometimes they aren't able to do much more. They can yell at them, contact parents, take away privileges, all things you can do as well. They can't suspend students unless it's serious. So I don't bring things to administration unless I know it's something they can change. For example, if I have a student that is testing his boundaries and would change if the principal yelled at him once, I'd send him. Bullying, sex, and drugs are automatic referrals to the principal.
     
  22. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Thank you so much for the responses everyone!!! You have all helped me put this situation into perspective. There isn't much my admin can do, I suppose.

    I did try ignoring his behaviors today, but there were still many moments of flat out disrespect (talking to his friends like I'm not even directly talking to him, etc). I have a few class privileges that he will be at risk of losing starting tomorrow (if he receives seven marks for disrespect, he will lose each privilege). I do plan on documenting reasons why.

    In the meantime, I am just trying to keep motivating him with his reward chart and also just remembering that I only have 15 school days left, so not to fret too much.
     
  23. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Apr 29, 2015

    I agree about clip charts. My worst behaved students never did well with them -- they became upset and their behavior got worse. It was too negative. A positive reward chart, as painful as it may be when your student is disrespectful toward you, is much better.

    Some students will also get worse before they get better, or will cycle through highs and lows before they improve. You may find that your student "tests" you to see if you really do have respect for him, by behaving badly. Just do your best to be consistent, aim for a positive relationship, and show that you believe he is capable and important.

    I hope your situation improves. Hang in there!
     
  24. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Is there a reason why this number is so high? 7 seems like A LOT of chances...
     
  25. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    It's high because it's ongoing for the next two weeks. While seven times is a lot of chances, I also know he will probably end up losing one of the events (he got five marks today alone, and this was the first day). I asked another teacher and she suggested the number and so I just went with it.
     
  26. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    May 1, 2015

    So, he gets 7 chances to misbehave over 10 school days? He might need the consequences to be sooner after the behavior. Can you do a daily one? One chance per day. If he loses it, it doesn't count. He must have 2 days during the week that he behaves. Something like that?
     
  27. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Hardly ever. Our P is way too friendly with students and uses them as spies to find out what we are doing in our classrooms I have been summoned twice because of this Stasi-like behavior.
    I only involved them one so far this year because a boy squeezed a girl's breast in my classroom, and if I did not take it seriously there would have been hell to pay. :eek:
     
  28. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    She's baaaaaaack! :lol:
     
  29. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I would ignore behaviors that are not disruptive, they're often just done to get a reaction or attention. Ignore.
    I would give only a few chances, and the time frame for consequences / rewards need to be very short, not 10 days, but maybe daily. The offender the kid is, the more frequent the deadline needs to be.
    Even at my high school, (we also have a middle school class) so kids get a behavior chart, each teacher gives certain amounts of / class (there are categories) and there is a goal set for each day. Over the week the kid gets a reward, I think.
     

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