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Old 01-27-2018, 05:34 AM
 
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I am curious. How many of you are having major issues with student behaviors? Iíve noticed in the past five years an increase in students with severe behavioral issues in kindergarten. I have a theory that some of this is related to the opioid crisis and children being conceived while the parents were using. My kindergarten team has about 8 students with severe issues out of 54 students. In a typical year, we usually have one or two students. My other kindergarten teacher friends in my area are also seeing the same thing.


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Old 01-27-2018, 08:15 AM
 
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Across my very large district (92 elementary schools), Kindergarten is recognized as the toughest so far as behavior this year. My P says he is hearing it at all the district meetings. It's frightening because we don't have much in place to support teachers, the troubled students, or the students placed with the troubled ones.
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:47 AM
 
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We are seeing the same trend in our small school district. I've been teaching for over 30+ years and I've observed the change in the students who enter K. I think there are several factors contributing to the trend in our district, along with parents' drug use.

Society has changed. When I was growing up, neighbors looked out for each other. All the neighborhood kids played outside and you knew if you did something wrong, someone would see it and your parents would hear about it. Through play, you learned social roles and rules. Now, sadly, many people don't even know their neighbors' names. Due to safety concerns, some children don't have the freedom to play outside.

Some children don't have an opportunity for imaginative play. I love technology and it can be engaging, but it can be misused. I feel that children, who play a lot of video games, miss out on the chance to build communication skills, coping skills, as well as, social skills that they would develop when interacting and playing with their peers and manipulating their environment.

When I first started teaching K back in 1980's, many mothers did not work. They were available. They volunteered and were involved in the schools. Now many families need both parents to work. They cannot easily take off to attend events or volunteer in school. We have found that many of the events planned for our needier students are attended more by the families of the students who aren't struggling-even though we have offered them at different times during school and in the evenings.

Parenting styles have changed. Some parents feel guilty about not being as available and try to make up for it in other ways. Other parents had harsh upbringings and go the complete opposite. There is no balance. Parents want to be their child's friend and want their child to like them. They are afraid to say "No" or to give consequences for fear that it will upset their child. As a result, the children don't have the chance to develop coping skills. Then they come to school and all of a sudden, they have to follow someone else's schedule, do things they don't want to do, get told that they can't do something they want to do... and they fall apart. Children want and need boundaries. It helps them to feel safe and build confidence. (This doesn't mean that they won't test the boundaries.)

Some children are just tired. They have to get up early to go to daycare because their parents work. Some are dropped off at daycare between 6:30AM-7:00AM and not picked up until 6:00-6:30PM. That makes for a long day for our little guys. For some children, their day isn't over when they get picked up from daycare because they have an outside activity like dance, soccer, Daisies... Then there is still dinner and bath time. Some children have TVs or electronic devices in their bedrooms and stay up later than their parents think.

Families don't have the same support systems that they used to have. Due to job situations and other stuff, they don't live close to their extended family so there is no one to help them when something comes up. i.e. Child wakes up and is sick and has a fever. Most daycare situations won't take sick children and parents can't afford to miss work. (If they don't work, they don't get paid.) So the parent medicates the child to bring down fever and sends him to daycare/school crossing his/her fingers that the child makes it through the day.

Family situations have changed. There are more single-parent families and families going through transitions. Nasty divorces and custody battles have an impact on the child, too. Some parents are not emotionally-available to their child or use their child as a pawn.

Despite efforts to get the information out there to the general public about our preschool intervention program, some parents seem unaware that it is available. (We offer an inclusion preschool class for three year olds and an inclusion preschool class for four year olds. Speech, occupational and physical therapy services are provided to identified students.)

Some parents don't have the opportunity to see their child amongst their peer group and are not aware that their child's development is not the same as peers. i.e. speech The parents are so used to hearing their child's misarticulations or immature language that they don't realize it is a problem and don't seek help before the child starts school.
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:56 PM
 
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I actually don't have any major behavior issues this year (thankfully!), but have definitely seen a change since I started teaching kinder 20 years ago (what?! How can I be that old?!). I agree whole heartedly with iteachk. And I also think that a HUGE part of it is that we are expecting these babies to do things that they are just not developmentally ready for. If we were able to focus on social skills and school readiness as opposed to academics I think that a lot of the behaviors we are seeing would disappear. I rarely have behavior issues when we are doing art projects or hands on games or just letting them play...
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:18 PM
 
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I agree with Sbkangas5. We are requiring our K students to do things that are not developmentally-appropriate for some. Hence the students get frustrated and act out. Just because some 5 year olds can do it, it doesn't mean that all should be required to do it. Too often it seems that higher ups try to solve problems by pushing more things down into Kindergarten- instead of thinking that it would be better to spend more time building the strong foundation in K.


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Old 01-29-2018, 04:04 PM
 
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I agree with everything mentioned above.
My mantra for several years (until I sadly gave up because no one listened) was "Just because they can doesn't mean they should!"
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