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JBarrett
 
 
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JBarrett
 
 
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Student outburst
Old 02-08-2020, 12:10 PM
 
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Hi just hoping to gather some ideas or insight on how to handle two of the students in my classroom. I am not the teacher, but the assistant,and after a long discussion yesterday we are at our wits end.

Two of our highly intelligent students have daily meltdowns over things that really aren't a big deal. The first one melts down whenever he feels like he is behind and feels rushed or he doesn't understand a question you present to him or sometimes thinks he didn't do anything wrong but feels like you are accusing him when your not. I will elaborate on the last bit, before mass Friday I reminded all students to genuflect before entering the pew. I asked several who were in the back of the line if they had done so and he proceeded to lose it getting upset that I had asked him the question. I did not raise my voice or use a tone that would suggest he hadn't done it. The teacher was standing beside me and she was as perplexed as I was by his outburst. The student is a sweet guy but this behavior isn't normal and we need to find a way to help him through it. I had tried to have him do deep breathing when he felt upset but after a few times he shouted at me they were stupid and didn't work so he refuses to try them anymore.

The second student has total meltdowns. Will throw himself on the floor crying and whining. He is usually told to knock it off and do as he was told, which he will do but I'd like to get him to just not have them.

Unfortunately that would mean always letting him be first and always getting his way, even at the expense of all the other students. The other students are now not wanting to play with him at recess or when we have playtime in the classroom because he will throw a fit and that usually ends in them all getting talked to or in the case of recess the ball being taken because they can't work it out, this only happens when we have to repeatedly tell them to find a way to make it work. He is also a very antsy child. We have him on his own island in the back of the room, by my desk, so he can move around while working which he is completely fine with and actually prefers it that way. I think he's bored and could be doing 1st grade work, but he is immature emotionally and its holding him back. He doesn't like working with others when we do our stem boxes because he has to actually work with the other person and not just do his thing. It only goes well if the person he's working with is easy going an lets him just do his thing.

In both cases I suggested the school counselor get involved, but the teacher doesn't think it will help. I disagree completely with the emotional aspect of their outbursts I think its exactly the road to go. They both need to learn ways to work within themselves to get control of their outburst and we don't have those tools to help them, which is why I have turned to you all. Anything you can give me besides good behavior rewards would be great. I don't think those truly work and in life we don't get rewarded for doing what we are supposed to do. We praise all the students when they are deserving of it and extra on these two when they get through something we know they usually melt down during.

I know this is long but I really want to find a solution to helping them. They are really great kids and I'd hate for this to be an issue though out their school career or just pass it to the next group of teachers.


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Old 02-08-2020, 03:12 PM
 
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I actually have to disagree with your lead teacher and say absolutely get the school counselor involved. He/she can help them with social skills and emotional regulation, which is exactly what both of these students seem to need. It also sounds like the second one may have some anxiety, which again a counselor is trained to address. They also might have some tools for you to use in the classroom as well.



Since there are two of you in the room (what a luxury!) I would do my best to front-load things for these two students, especially at times when you anticipate a meltdown or problem might happen. For example, group work or play time. Pull aside the students and discuss your expectations before they go to play. Talk about what they can do when they start to feel frustrated and things aren't going their way. Ask them what would help them feel better when they are starting to get frustrated. A calm down spot? Favorite stuffed animal? Place to lay down? Paper to draw? Help them identify something, and then make a space for it so they can start learning to regulate those actions and emotions.



The on the floor crying and whining - I ignore that. None of my energy is going to be wasted on it, because trying to talk to a child in the middle of a meltdown doesn't do anybody any good. I talk to them after, once they have cooled down and can carry on a conversation.



Have the behaviors been discussed with the parents? What do they do at home when it happens? Is there something that works that can be used in the classroom?


Good luck! These students are so hard, and yet they need us so much. I hope you are able to find something to help them be successful in the classroom.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:45 AM
 
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Thank you for your response. With Student #1 we do affirm what the expectations are and when the meltdowns start tell he is ok and we will wait for him to finish or let him know its not a big deal to us and just catch up, but it doesn't make it any better. He is a perfectionist and it takes him longer to do things because of it. This mostly happen when it is class work and we are doing the work as a class or there is a time constraint like centers oh and art class, but that's a whole other thing.

Parents have been contacted, student 1's parents see the same behavior at home and are at a loss and want the counselor involved. Student 2's parents and teacher have had a hard time connecting because of schedules but have discussed that he too is this way at home and they ignore it mostly. I honestly don't see anxiety in #2 as I have a child with severe anxiety issues and I don't recognize the cues in him, maybe #1 but not #2.

Both students are given instruction when we know there will be an issue and they still occur. They can't control it at all. When they do calm down it's like nothing ever happened and they are happy as clams. I just don't want this to grow especially for student #1. He grabbed my heart the first day he walked into the room, I see so much potential in him and I want him to succeed, but I can see this putting a label on him that he doesn't need and want so much to help him. Student #2 and I had a rocky start but he's a great kid and smart as a whip. Aside from the outbursts when not getting his way, I think mostly he is just bored. His reading and math seem to be at a first grade level, does poorly on mandated testing because he gets bored and just clicks on things. He doesn't like Science or Social studies because they aren't hard enough for him yet, but loves being involved in hands on projects for stem time.

I honestly feel deeply that this is something that needs medical attention and outside counseling to help us get a handle on. Maybe I'm looking for affirmation that I'm on the right track.
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:38 AM
 
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Student #1 does sound a little anxious to me. It could have been a bit of a shocking transition from home to school expectations (especially if he didn't do preschool) and there may be pressure from someone at home or in his extended family (usually unintentional) to "do his best" in school. - Since you said he's a perfectionist, he may be misinterpreting that, as little ones often will. If the parents agree with seeing the counselor, I'd say do it now, before he picks up the idea from anyone that that's something to be nervous about too.

Student #2 sounds like he's leaning toward (not crossing onto, but not too far away from) the mild end of the autism spectrum - really smart but unpredictable things really throw him. That could be why he prefers to work alone and would rather lead the line than have to follow a different kid every day. (When it's not his turn, try having him always be behind the same quiet, well-behaved classmate.) And if he's bored, there's nothing wrong with giving him a little bonus work in Science and Social Studies - something really easy to find or make like a word search related to your topic or something like that.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:46 AM
 
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I have wondered if he isn't mildly on the spectrum. I think I have the teacher convince to suggest counseling for student #2, or at least and evaluation. Plus having our school counselor watch him during recess and a few times in class. We have two counselors, one witnessed his behavior the other day a little during a class counseling session. But I don't think she has talked to the teacher about it and the counselor with a better understanding these behaviors has been on vacation the past week.

Thank you for your feedback, anything that help is a blessing. I just want the little's to do well.


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