Why picking your battles is a poor strategy

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Peregrin5, Jul 19, 2013.

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  1. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    As I stated multiple times, it's easier in elementary then secondary. I teach in an inner city school with kids absolutely dying for adult attention. I've never been accused of playing favorites with my approach. I have special stools in my classroom that move- all the kids want to sit on the them. Certain kids get to sit on the stools all day long every day. Other kids only get them as a rare reward. No resentment- AT ALL. Yes I can't control their emotions but I can talk to them and explain why things are the way they are.
     
  2. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Yes, another good example. I use headphones- not even attached to music or anything, just a way for kids who get distracted easily to cancel out any noise or distractions around them. I let all the kids try it a few times (taking turns because I don't have enough for everyone.) But the novelty wears off pretty quickly and then I only use them for the kids who actually need them. This might help avoid the resentment. All the kids got to try out the headphones and they realized there was nothing that special and extravagant about them and some kids realized they didn't even need them. So when the other kids got them they didn't think twice about it.
     
  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I agree.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Okay, obviously in a situation like this I would be playing the fair bit. To me this isn't really a big deal. Where it gets to be a big deal is when someone expects me to allow a student to blurt in class because they don't believe the student can behave properly in class.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Well here's the thing... I don't believe these students couldn't survive with that mentality of "I can't bend the rules for you". At least not gen ed students. If a student literally couldn't survive in a gen ed class because of that then that is a warning sign that the student needs to not be in a gen ed class, because he or she is bringing down the learning of everyone else in the class. There are all sorts of tips and tricks that can get Joey to raise his hand for a short period of time, but they all fall short of getting him to realize that that is the expectation of the class and him, and if he wants to be a part of it, he better shape up and follow the rules. Whatever short term solutions you find are usually exactly that. Short-term.

    When you let it go for these students, even a few times, it lets them know that they are held to different standards, and that you don't believe they can follow class rules, and maybe they can't. But again, they need to be put with the resources they need in that case.

    Maybe you do let it go to keep your teaching on track, but while you let it go, you keep in mind that Joey needs some special resources that you cannot offer him in your gen ed class.
     
  6. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    It did. That was the most glaring issue I saw. How can every child in class be treated equally in regards to rules and expectations when some of the students by law have to receive accommodations that other students may view as unfair?

    I guess that's what bugged me most about the article - it was presented as black-and-white and failed to account for all the gray areas in between.
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    This concept of his is a familiar one and he's written about it before and mentioned the exception of 504s and ieps. In either case the accommodations should be either not utterly huge like "Suzy will not be called out on misbehavior" or an accommodation that can be given privately, otherwise the student so obviously needs this accommodation that the other students should understand.

    Not saying they always will... I've had students complain about a student that obviously had autism and the accommodations he received but these particular students were not well developed socially either.

    Also for those saying that this is a difference between elementary and secondary I did want to point out that the author of this article works in elementary just to provide some context.
     
  8. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    So how do you handle a kid who blurts out?
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    They receive the consequence described in the classroom management plan. First offenses are usually just warnings, and it scales up from there for repeats.

    If a student is a constant blurter, then there is a larger underlying issue there that needs to be resolved.
     
  10. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    How do you resolve those larger underlying issues?

    The kids I am talking about, consequences of a behavior plan don't mean squat. Those have been tried since kindergarten.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Then consequences that are more effective need to be tried. Consequences never mean squat. They need to be applied consistently for them to be effective and they need to be something that the student will respond to. For instance, if you run a classroom that is fun and exciting each day, and you are a teacher the students enjoy seeing, the best consequence is not being allowed to participate.

    That works only if you create and foster a classroom environment that students want to be a part of.

    If a student isn't being affected by disciplinary action period, and any attempts by you to reach out, then you need to get him to see a professional, because there may be underlying psychiatric problems.
     
  12. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yeah, I get this. This is the goal of every single teacher I know. Some are able to do it better than others for sure, but nothing new here.

    So you refer people who blurt out to sped?
     
  13. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    What are some consequences that you have found to be effective over the years. I understand the participation one. Can you give a list of other consequences you have used successfully over the years?
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I have never had a student who would continue to blurt out consistently every day, to the point where they would receive a call home or a classroom suspension each day. But if I did, and the student received a classroom suspension every single day despite my best efforts, I would recommend the student to special services, yes.
     
  15. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Thank you for taking the time to respond.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2010/06/26/classroom-management-plan/

    The plan only works with rapport, influence, and a strong classroom presence. I would recommend reading more of Michael's blogs.
     
  17. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    This is Captain Obvious stuff.

    I suspect you only have your students for 1 hour a day?

    I think most elementary teachers will tell you they have students every couple of years that this stuff just does not work on without adaptations.

    For example. I have had the student who blurts out. Parents have came in several times, they don't care. The student loved football. I changed our fun Friday to Football Friday. This had a very positive effect...but it was an adaptation to that student.
     
  18. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    As I stated, the author of this blog teaches elementary, so it works for younger grades.

    And as stated, just having the classroom management plan is not enough. Having a plan and following to the letter consistently and constantly everyday is simply the foundation. The rest comes from building a classroom environment that students enjoy attending, and building a classroom presence that students respect.

    It sounds like Captain Obvious stuff, but if you're still having issues, I can almost guarantee that you're missing one or more parts of it.

    Michael's latest blog post is actually a very good recap of most of his philosophy.

    If you're looking for a specific strategy on what to do with a student who calls out habitually: http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2013/05/11/how-to-handle-a-student-who-habitually-calls-out/

    Changing your fun Fridays to Football Fridays for this specific student feels a lot like a short-term incentive, and I can almost guarantee that the novelty will wear off. You can at that point, try something new, but it will be just as short term. It certainly will do nothing to help other teachers down the line. Ideally, you will want to change a student's behavior and path permanently. Short term rewards and bribes will not do this. It will just teach him that if he blurts out more, teachers will give him Football Fridays.
     
  19. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    100% agree. That's why I asked you several times for specifics on how to change the behavior, you gave none.

    That behavior plan you did give, will work for 95% of all the students. But you will have students over the course of 6 hours where that plan simply will not work.

    If I followed your plan, that child would have been suspended every single day over the course of 7 hours. After 1 meeting with the parents, you wouldn't have bothered with a 2nd.

    So if you have some other specific examples I would love to hear them. We have teachers like you in our school. They simply end up sending the child to the office for half the day. Doesn't change their behaviors.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    How do you change their behaviors, Pashtun?
     
  21. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Teachers like me don't send students to the office for half the day. They deal with it in their classrooms.

    If you have followed your classroom management plan to the T, and you are sending the student to the office every single day, and the parent is not being responsive (which frequently happens), then it may be time to seek professional help for the student, if you believe that he cannot control his blurting.

    You also state that this happens over the course of seven hours. With younger kids often, you will reset the consequence ladder half way through the day. I'm sorry that you don't much like my advice, and seem to believe that it will fail no matter what you do, but it's up to you to figure out whether or not you plan to take a close look at your management strategies and see what you can do to improve them. I can't tell you what to do with your students or classroom.

    I wish you the best of luck.
     
  22. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I don't think I have been able to change many of the behaviors that have persisted from kindergarten through 4th. I have only been able make adaptations that have minimized the effects on that given student and on the rest of the class.

    Giving more hands on activities for a kid that is easily distracted has helped with that kid, but it hasn't really changed his behavior, it has just been modified at that particular point for that activity.
     
  23. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Again, very captain obvious stuff. The plan you describe works for most kids. I am talking about the ones it doesn't work for.

    I will look at how they reset if half way through the day. I haven't read that part. Seems odd making 2 phone calls or giving 2 warnings. But iI will try to find it.

    If you think that plan is fool proof, I wish you the best of luck.
     
  24. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    If it was obvious, then you wouldn't be having problems, because you would know what to do. :/
     
  25. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Make a poll.

    With those consequences and rules. I bet the overwhelming majority of elementary teachers will tell you they have students every year where that rigid plan will be ineffective.
     
  26. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    And unless you knew which teachers were effective teachers or ineffective teachers, that poll would tell you next to nothing.
     
  27. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Well of course, this is the internet we can say anything. The same can be said for the true effectiveness of your claims in your classroom.
     
  28. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    A bit off topic Peregrin. But would this same approach to behaviors work outside the classroom?

    Could we stop all crime by applying it?
     
  29. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Not my area of expertise.
     
  30. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    What would be the difference?

    The plan is based on rules and consequences. If it changes behaviors in the classroom for everyone as you claim, wouldn't it likely change those negative behaviors outside the classroom?

    Rule. No Stealing
    Consequences
    warning
    arrested
    home arrest
    jail time

    Wouldn't this be effective to changing behaviors?
     
  31. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Hm. I'm wondering if you're purposefully ignoring the statement I mentioned again and again and again.

    Having a classroom management plan is the foundation. If kids hate being in your class or don't respect your influence, the classroom management plan will not be enough.

    If we had a society in which everyone was wealthy, had everything they need, felt the government cared for them, and they wanted to remain a functioning part of society I can bet, that the crime rate would be drastically lowered.

    But hey if you want to just continue to complain about not being able to control your students rather than doing anything about it, and refusing to accept your responsibility in the matter and make excuses, go right ahead.
     
  32. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I accepted that you would send these students to SPED. YOU replied linking a captain obvious management plan and continued the conversation.

    I was done when you said you referred them to sped when your plan didn't work. I find other adaptations that I can do in the classroom, when the captain obvious plan fails, I refer to sped as a last resort after I have tried other strategies.

    I have never complained about not being able to control my students, I have simply had to use other strategies and adaptations other than the foundation plan.
     
  33. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I'm sorry for assuming that if you ask a question that you actually want it answered.
     
  34. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Right, but we know even with that, as you admitted it won't work for all students. That some students will be referred to special ed as you said.

    I simply have said, there is more to classroom management than your black and white captain obvious plan, that before sending them to SPED their are other strategies you can use. There is another layer to classroom management other than that plan that every teacher has.

    The plan you link is 100% guaranteed to fail some kids. You send them to sped, I have other tools in the toolbox before I send then to sped.
     
  35. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    You asked me what consequences I use. Not what the layers of my classroom management plan are.
     
  36. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I asked repeatedly, go back and read the posts.

    Your response was the simplistic behavior plan you listed and the classroom environment.

    I said this doesn't always work.

    You replied, then they need to be sent to SPED or another professional.

    You were asked, you went with the cliche answer.
    Yeah, I asked. You responded with the standard classroom envirnment and consequence plan, we both agreed these don't always work. I have another layer, you refer them to SPED.
     
  37. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    It's an inclusion class, not a general education class. And to say the child needs to be in a completely different setting because of something as trivial as calling out is absolutely ridiculous in my mind. If it was a plethora of things that were actually affecting his academics or the academics of the other children in the class then and only then would he need to be in a different setting. Not every child with an IEP needs to be in a self-contained special education setting. Simple accommodations can go a long way in letting the child participate in a general education or inclusion classroom.

    Imagine you're Joey's mother and you have a conference with the teacher. Yes, he progressing great. Yes, he's getting along with the other students. Yes, he's on or very close to grade level in most subjects. Yes, he's completing his work. But you know what ma'am he can't stop calling out. So we need to put him a different class that better meets his needs. I feel he'll learn not to call out if he's in a class with less students.

    Honestly, at 8-years-old this doesn't have to be an IEP students. I've had 8-year-olds with no self control. What would be you solution for them? You can give a consequence every single time the kid calls out- but after the 100th consequence the kid really isn't going to care anymore. I guess that's when you start getting them classified for special ed?
     
  38. FourSquare

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    It is so hard to judge classroom management plans without understanding the individual teacher's context. Things change based on classroom dynamics, cultural factors, teacher experience, administrative support, etc.

    That being said, I've never thought of equality and equity as the same thing. I think kids can be held to high expectations while also being flexible. Examples:

    • All students are expected to working independently in centers. Mary has trouble focusing for an entire 20 minute center rotation, so she has her own schedule where she switches 4 times instead of 3.
    • All students are expected to keep their hands to themselves. Michael has trouble with this, so he's given a koosh ball to play with underneath his desk.
    • All students are expected to complete an exam. Mark has better pacing sitting on the floor, so he completes his exam by himself with a clip board.

    It's not a matter of Mary gets an extra center and I don't! Michael gets to play with toys and I don't! Mark gets to work on the floor and I don't!

    There has to be an understanding of individuals. It reminds me a lot of this comic:

    [​IMG]

    Someone consistently blurting out would be an unlikely Special Ed candidate unless that behavior was paired with significant academic issues and violence issues. Things I would try first:

    1. Don't engage! More importantly, teach the class not to engage. Most verbal issues (in my experience) go away when the kid's not getting any attention.

    2. Work talking into the class....think/pair/share, cooperative learning, etc. Why fight it? Talk! But about school. :)

    3. Listen. I had a shouter who perplexed his teachers for years. We figured out that for various reasons he was unable to communicate with his family at home. He spent most of his time in his room and almost NOBODY talked to him. So he came to school ready to explode. When I got him one on one and just let him say what he had to say, his disruptions cut down significantly.

    I completely understand being consistent....but we can also seek to understand. And if we don't model flexibility and understanding, where will our kids learn these skills from?
     
  39. Sm2teach

    Sm2teach Companion

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    :yeahthat:
     
  40. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    The thing is I have never encountered a student whose ONLY problem was that they continued to blurt out, even after being told to raise their hand to speak, and being given consequences for it, and the student really wanted to be a functioning part of the classroom, and I don't know any teachers who have either.

    If there is continual blurting despite all odds and I mean he literally cannot control himself period, then that is something that needs to get checked out.

    I simply believe that kids can learn and correct their behavior barring extreme circumstances. And I refuse to simply give up after a second or third time if a student continues to not follow the rules because that would be giving up on the child himself.

    It's simply not going to cut it for him in the higher grades to blurt every time he has an answer, and I think teachers do a great disservice to younger children by simply giving up and letting Joey do what he want because they don't want to deal with giving him consequences anymore.
     
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