Would you want to know?

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Charlie Trahan, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. Charlie Trahan

    Charlie Trahan Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2019

    So, I am trying to become a teacher and will be retaking my exam in September. As the school year approaches and I'm thinking of being a teacher myself I started thinking about my foster sons (soon to be adopted) teachers. We have had over 16 kids in our home but none were nearly as old as my son. He is 10 and going into 5th grade. He definitely threw us for a loop. He behaves AMAZING at home, (minus some normal, lying, acting out etc.) but at school...from what his teachers told me he is way less than respectful and had the principal called on him several times. Which NO ONE told me until the end of the year last year. He came home with no homework, which i was like okay cool he was telling me was finishing it at school or there was none. Then I got his report card and found out there was indeed homework. It was ending up in the trash in the after school program. No one contacted me to ask what happened to six months of homework but i know my son was also making claims that we weren't allowing him to do it at home or not allowing sufficient time...which I don't understand why no one called to confront me if this was a real claim.

    After Dojoing his teacher several times and never hearing back i involved the principal because my son was biting himself when becoming frustrated (he was claiming he was being bullied) on top of me not knowing what was going on with his grades. Turns out my son lied a LOT. He wasn't being bullied in fact he was creeping girls out and I can understand why after hearing what the teacher had to say. He was telling teachers one thing and me another, he was acting VERY terrible which i never knew so couldn't implement punishment at home...there was a lot more. To get to my question. So my son has less than stellar behavior at school and does not like school. He is behind like most foster kids and has several special needs in an IEP. If it were you to be his new teacher next year. Would you want to know ahead of time and conference with the parent to come up with a game plan? I planned to forewarn the teacher he has some interesting behaviors during meet the teacher then schedule a conference to go over in detail. Or would you prefer a clean slate to view him a few weeks in then I would conference later without preemptively being warned what we saw last year (and affecting the new teacher judgement). Something to note, he is attending a new school.
     
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  3. Charlie Trahan

    Charlie Trahan Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2019

    Oh, and once i found out about the homework and it started showing up but then he decided not to do school work(basically he played during class). Every Friday i picked up his school work, bad grades (if that teacher allowed redos) and home work that didn't make it in from the front office. If he chose not to do work during the week, that is what his weekend consisted of. I will say once he saw we were a united front he got way better and more respectful toward the teacher. Work started getting done and his report card improved significantly.
     
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  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Aug 9, 2019

    Honestly, I'm not sure what I would do because I haven't been in that situation but why didn't the school contact you as soon as the problems began? Maybe you could have gotten a handle on things sooner.
     
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  5. Charlie Trahan

    Charlie Trahan Rookie

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    I literally don't know...I was super upset no one was responding to me and even MORE upset once I found out these issues were a thing and I had to get all these people involved to hear about it. Apparently my son was being told by the principal he was contacting me when he was being pulled from class but once i didn't bring it up at home my son knew i was not told so he hid it, obviously. I'm not sure if there was a disconnect. As in the teachers involved the principal but the principal didn't do anything or the teachers thought he was calling. I just don't know what happened here. That is basically why we switched schools. I could have nipped this if i knew. Now I feel like we may be trying to control something overtime since im sure he is a child and he will attempt it again knowing he got away with it awhile last time.

    After our conference only one of his teachers started emailing me about when he was having a really bad day or good day. It was great cause i was able to handle things at home. AT the end of the year that teacher said he made a complete 180 and was doing amazing. But I just don't get why they put up with that behavior. They could have had a lot less stressful days if they just wrote one email, dojo or called me.
     
  6. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 9, 2019

    I have had a few kids in foster care and I always appreciated the foster parents being involved. The more communication, the better! The hardest one was a boy who wasn't with a family, but was living in a group home -- my only contact was a case manager who wasn't easy to get a hold of. That one was really tough.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 9, 2019

    I think you need to meet with the teacher sooner rather than later, with your son present. Stress your son's positive traits, but don't be afraid to bring up some challenges that you want to work on together. Your son needs to know that you and the school will work together to help him maintain a positive outlook.
    I don't know how long you have had your son in your home, but as a child in the foster system, he probably has not had many opportunities to feel that people love and support him. His testing behaviors should decrease as he realizes that you are holding him accountable, not as punishment, but to help him become a responsible member of society. He will learn that you love him unconditionally, something that has been lacking in his life.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Your son is in a rough place. He's moving towards middle school, he has trauma in his history, and has had a rough time of school. He only has one chance at a first impression in fifth grade, and I'd do everything possible to make it a successful one. If it were me, I'd lay out some of the information and request a meeting at the teacher's convenience. Since he has an IEP, it might be easier to try to work through his case manager. Particularly before school, I'd expect you would probably have an easier time getting them to sit down with you to go over things.
     
  9. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Habitué

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    Aug 9, 2019

    Yes, I would definitely want to know and come up with a plan with you before school starts. Usually when parents and teachers are on the same page and in communication, you can avoid a lot of the problems you had last yr.
    If the behaviors were creepy, my guess is that teachers sent him to the office and assumed you had been contacted. 1 thing to remember is teachers get really busy and you can help them by arranging certain check ups in advance or by emailing them.
    I have had some parents I emailed a quick message to daily for a set period of time to let them know if the student completed their assignments and to inform them of the child's behavior that day.
    When a parent follows through with consequences or praise at home, the behavior almost always shapes up. The praise can even include things like letting the child pick a part of the evening meal. Maybe they would prefer pears over peaches or corn over peas.
    I have had 1 child who lied like a rug too to her parents and me that stands out. When in doubt, I'd shoot the parent a quick email to clarify. Sometimes the parent would do the same for me.
    The hardest part is keeping it consistent for a long enough period of time. That is where you come in as a helper. Teachers sometimes have meetings after school, they often have massive paperwork or computer assignments that need to be done, or someone drops by their room to chat unannounced.
    So many things can happen that can make the teacher forget to contact you. If that happens, send a polite, understanding email to the teacher asking how the day went.
    Another thing that helps is to find out the class routines for homework. If you know graded papers and HW assignments come home on Mondays, you can be on the lookout for them.
    As kids get older, teachers have less time to focus on 1 student and expect the student to become more independent. I remember I used to have older kids fill out assignment/ homework books daily. You could add behavior to the book too.
    Then put the responsibility of writing it down and bringing it home nightly on him. He would also be responsible for politely asking the teacher (s) to sign off on his book. If he reported his own behavior/ work wrong, I'd write a quick note ( keep in mind, teachers are hurrying a lot...lol) about it being incorrect and try to call or email to let you know.
    My own son went through a phase of not doing homework a very long time ago. (JR High age) We told him if he did not have that assignment book home and signed, we'd assume he had homework. Since he did not have it at times, we gave him the same assignment each night he came home without it.
    This will date me...lol We made him read an encyclopedia starting with A for an hour and write 2 pages about what he'd learned. We were consistent too. I wish I could say it worked asap, but it took awhile. It wasn't easy either.
    The good news: By 9th grade, he was back on top of things and back to being a normal human being again. :) He learned a lot from the encyclopedias. He grew up to be a productive citizen and really cool person. Do your best to work nicely with the teacher.
    Does his school have an online grading system? If yes, you can check some things from there too. It is not always as accurate because it takes teachers awhile to grade and input. Plus, it seldom includes behaviors. I wish you the best of luck!
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Aug 9, 2019

    Talk with the teacher, but include the special ed teacher who handles his IEP. I had a student one year who I suspected was cheating on tests and assignments, and was stealing things. I watched, and waited -- not wanting to accuse an innocent child, only to finally catch him in the act and tell the parents -- and they said "oh he is always stealing things. Nothing we do to punish him has ever changed that!" How I wished I had known. We could have nipped that in the bud right away, but instead I kept giving him the benefit of the doubt, after the benefit of the doubt -- which just ended up re-enforcing his inappropriate behavior. It took twice as long to help him to stop because of that.
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 10, 2019

    I would want to know all of that, and I would want to create a plan for communication with you right away. Then, together, we could work on a plan for your son based on his behavior. If knowing that you and the teachers are a team matters to him, then you’ll want to make that clear from the beginning. He can still have a fresh start even with the teachers knowing his background. You risk running into the same lack of communication from the teacher if you leave them in the dark to figure this out about your child on their own. They may not think much of his behaviors and decide they aren’t worth contacting you about right away if you don’t tell them about this historically being an issue.
     
  12. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Aug 11, 2019

    Pre-informing the teacher or not, either way has advantages. Whether informed or not, the most critical time to check with the teacher would be about 2 weeks into the year, and again, after another couple of weeks. More importantly, however, is to avoid labeling the child as having this or that characteristic behavior; rather, the child is growing and learning how to appropriate more positive behaviors. If he is behind the other classmates, he's going to develop defense mechanisms and because he is only 10, these defense mechanisms are not going to be mature. (Even adults don't always choose adequate methods of dealing with difficulties). It's important, also, that he not feel labeled as "not as smart" as the other kids. That is baloney! He progressing differently that the others, and yes, he needs an IEP, but in today's culture, that becomes a label of inefficiency, which is a lie. Worse yet, when students with IEP's do begin to outgrow their original plan, sometimes they are stuck in the same old same old; when kids outgrow their sneakers, they get new sneakers: when kids outgrow their IEP they should progress to an new IEP.

    At home, I would highly recommend reading aloud on an almost daily basis. I would also recommend regular trips to the library; is there a library dog in your area he could read to? (I was talking yesterday to a library dog owner who was quite discouraged with the lack of kids coming to read to her dog--and the lack of kids even visiting the library). I would deemphasize TV and video games--Roald Dahl recommends in Willy Wonka, do not buy the thing at all--perhaps that's too extreme, but I would emphasize books more than hypnotic looks at a screen. Math can become an intriguing challenge at home. 5th grade...let's see...perhaps a fun math book in the library with interesting curiosities about numbers and calculations would be ideal. When I was 11, I was plagued with arithmetic drills, including extra of the same stuff since I was "behind". I HATED!!! math! Yet, oddly enough, my favorite book that year was a book about math tricks that I got from the Scholastic book club. Another idea is to try various explorations with numbers.

    Examples: 17 is an odd prime number (pun intended). There are many coincidences that can be discovered concerning the number 17. Triangular numbers are fun to explore. Trying to find an equation with the date each day is fun--use only those numbers to come up with an equation (maybe a bit advanced for 5th grade, but then again, a kid's brain is full of surprises. Graphing and comparing the temperature in various parts of the world might be a good project.

    I hope 5th grade becomes a great year for your foster child.
     

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