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kinderlady7 kinderlady7 is offline
 
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How to react when a student tells you no
Old 09-30-2019, 04:15 PM
 
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I've recently made a post about my chaotic kindergarten classroom. I think some of the chaos is receding and I am slowly being able to go back to teaching. We've started centers and everything!

Now, my biggest problem is students telling me no. I tell all of my students who start to show signs of saying no or do tell me no "I will give you a choice. Would you like to do (whatever task I asked them to do) or have to have a consequence?" (move clip down/lose play time/whatever is appropriate). Some respond well to this but others do not. If they choose not to follow directions, I ask them to move their clip down. Some students will do it, others refuse. They know if I have to move their clip for them, it moves down two spaces. So they usually do it the first time.

HOWEVER, today something new and frightening happened. One of my girls who is very opinionated acted out in a scary way. When I asked her to return to her "boring seat" or desk seat after screaming out and hitting another student on the carpet, she said no, as I expected. But then, we had a major power struggle incident. I am not happy with how I handled it, not because I did anything inappropriate, but as a teacher, I should be able to handle behavior problems without getting into it with a five year old. I called her mom right then and there and she ended up going to the office for being disrespectful (in the form of snatching the office form out of my hand and laughing at me saying "I don't have to listen to you").

This isn't the first time this has happened and not the first student it has happened with. I have other students who are constantly acting disrespectfully. And this has been our character trait of the month, so I have worked to teach them all sorts of ways to be respectful to everyone! I'm feeling so discouraged! Any advice?


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Wow...
Old 09-30-2019, 04:51 PM
 
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How did the phone conference with the parent go? Did she have any suggestions? Does she see this behavior at home with refusal to do things there? So many times though, this behavior starts in the home. Parents need to be supportive of the school environment and also enforce them with consequences.

What did the principal say? Do the other children look up to this girl and want to emulate her behavior? Did the principal have any suggestions?

Sounds like you certainly have your hands full.
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Kinderlady and the no child
Old 09-30-2019, 05:25 PM
 
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Get yourself a copy of Teaching with Love and Logic stat!!!!!

It will remove the power struggle and put all the responsibility back on the child.
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Parent Conference
Old 10-01-2019, 02:51 AM
 
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According to the parent, this behavior never, ever happens at home. She told me to make it through the day with her and that she would have a good chat with her at home. So, I would say it went alright. She didn't have any suggestions for me at school.

And the principal never got back with me. I'm talking with her today, although I'm not sure she was aware of the situation, honestly. Sometimes, the students who go to the office do not make it to the principal.
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First
Old 10-01-2019, 11:02 AM
 
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Celebrate your successes.

Kids crave attention. Negative or positive. When a student tells you no immediately look for ones following directions. Slowly approach those and gently and quietly praise while making eye contact. You can change your emotion.

Call the office and quietly ask for the offender to be removed. When that student is back in class do not bring up yesterday. Watch him until you catch him doing something you want him to be doing. Approach speak quietly make eye contact and brief verbal praise. Maybe with this one just a smile and nod. If you can maintain eye contact he will probably speak to you. Accept anything he says. Reply with a simple oh. Move on noticing others

Keep moving, noticing, praising, assisting, etc. It is supposed to be joyful. You can make your teaching experience joyful, rewarding, and beneficial


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Old 10-01-2019, 12:05 PM
 
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If a child says no, then I also say no. As in "no recess".... of course I teach fourth grade so it's probably different.
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:18 PM
 
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This brings to mind a very defiant second grader I had years ago. After telling the class it was time to put their reading materials away and get ready for math. One little girl froze, glared at me and said quite sternly, “I don’t take commands!”

I recall using Happygals method.
Quote:
When a student tells you no immediately look for ones following directions. Slowly approach those and gently and quietly praise while making eye contact. You can change your emotion
Some kids make you earn every penny of your paycheck.

Last edited by Renea; 10-01-2019 at 01:04 PM..
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:17 PM
 
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Love and Logic is wonderful. I also recommend getting it. It helps tremendously with kids who want to engage in power struggles.


You mentioned that you give choices. IMO choices are absolutely key for getting buy-in, but the choice you gave as an example was not the best choice to give. The more choices you give kids the more they will feel in charge of their learning and their day, and the less they will try to find that control during other times and in other areas. Choices can be given a lot. Do you want to work at your desk or on the floor? Do you want to use the fat pencil or the skinny one? Do you want to sit by me or by your friend? Do you want to do your work now or at recess? Choices need to be given that still give you the desired outcome, but that gives the child some control as well.



If I have a child that says no, I do not engage at that moment, even if it is killing me. I say something like "we will talk about this after I do ____" - in a very calm voice - and then ignore them and move to another child or another activity. It de-escalates the situation and removes the power struggle when I am not present to engage.



It sounds like you are on the right path with your class! Hopefully that will continue and you will learn what works well with your students. Kindergarten is definitely one of the most rewarding grades, but also one of the most difficult!
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:22 AM
 
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I walk away, take a sip of my drink, and take a deep breath. After 20 years with these little people a verbalized "no" from one of them still makes my blood boil

I gush over the other students and their great behavior. I have a private chat with the child after I feel confident that I am calm enough to not lose my job over what I say
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Say no to child
Old 10-05-2019, 09:43 AM
 
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My experience has been that going to admins or parents usually does not solve the issue with the child but makes more work for you as the teacher in the form of forms to fill out, meetings to have and phone calls to make.

Having a power struggle with a five year old in front of other five year olds can be devastating. One choice is to ignore the behavior. Another is to address it and when she says no, ignore her until a future date when she wants something and then tell her no and remind her it is because she told you no. Spend time in a fun activity with the other children and ignore her in a way that she cannot tell her parents that you purposely did something wrong but she feels left out.

I know these are silly mindgames, but usually the child wants to be liked so if she sees other kids having fun and the teacher spending time with them, she will want that too and might shape up.

More and more recently, going to admins and parents just makes you have a reputation as a teacher who cannot handle her classroom. I know this is bull#### but that's what I have seen.

My coworker who teaches prek just had a similar issue this week. The student stole her stuff, she called the parents and principal. The mother freaked, claimed that the teacher is "labeling" her son a thief, asked for a principal/teacher meeting and threatened that the child's father was also going to be present at that meeting (whatever that means: they both have neck tattoos so maybe she hopes to intimidate everyone).

Now my coworker has to lose her planning period on Monday to deal with this whole situation. The principal might take her side internally but she will not stand up for her in front of irate parents. And the parents can now use this situation in the future to claim the teacher "doesn't like my son" or "is racist."

The easy way out would be to have a private chat with the prek student, start pretending to cry and tell him how sad his stealing makes you and keep colorful objects away from him in the future.


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