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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
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Student yelling during instruction, P won't let me send her out
Old 08-18-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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I made a much longer post about this student on the behavior board, but I felt like it was just getting way too long and tedious and I'm sure not many people would want to read it!

I have a student who is on an IEP for EBD an obviously she's a handful. Her IEP behavior plan that was written from last year says that after three "strikes" we call mom, and after 6 strikes she's removed from the classroom. However, we have a new P this year that is absolutely adamant about kids not leaving the classroom for any reason other than them being a danger to themselves or others.

So on Friday, this student is sitting under my small group table just yelling her head off while I'm trying to teach. It was completely ridiculous- none of the kids could even hear me over her. I tried to teach for several minutes and ignore her hoping she'd stop, but no such luck. She'd stop for maybe a minute and then go right back to it. We'd already called mom, so I called the P to get her removed from the class. As soon as the P shows up, the student is happy for the attention so of course stops yelling.

The P refuses to remove her from the classroom and basically chastises me for even calling in the first place, even though it's in her IEP! Her response to that was, "Then it needs to be rewritten. I'm not taking her out of this classroom." They are rewriting the IEP on Monday.

How am I supposed to teach with someone screaming over me and no consequence I can give her? Mom was supportive of me calling, but the girl wouldn't even get up to talk to her so it didn't do much for her behavior.

I feel that it shouldn't be the responsibility of my 22 other 9 year old students to try to tune someone yelling out to try and get information. What can I do?


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Old 08-18-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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This clearly isn't the LRE for her. I would document when she disrupts the class, how often, etc.

If the P isn't going to support you, I think it would be helpful if you could call someone in SpEd (is there a SpEd supervisor, psychologist, etc) that can support you and help the P see that this isn't the correct placement for this student?

Her yelling is interfering with the learning of others and that's not acceptable.
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Been there done that
Old 08-18-2012, 11:00 AM
 
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I am so sorry.

My student who yelled also ran to the door and kicked the door over and over while screaming. I really felt sorry for him as he was obviously miserable. Sensory overload for an autistic student starting at a new school was the issue. However, I had 21 other students who were scared of him and needed to be on task and learning. It was my worst year in 21 years of teaching. I had several other students with issues as well and they all fed off of each other.

I have no wealth of knowledge to share, but maybe ask Mom what soothes this child. Maybe that will be something helpful you can use.

What about putting her on a contract with rewards and consequences? Maybe that would work. Maybe the reward could include a special time with the principal. They could play a game together or have lunch together........ I would get the principal involved if at all possible. That way she will have the opportunity to see some of the behaviors.

Good luck.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:06 AM
 
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Quote:
I feel that it shouldn't be the responsibility of my 22 other 9 year old students to try to tune someone yelling out to try and get information.
Absolutely, it isn't their responsibility! This is the issue that the public (and apparently your principal) doesn't seem to get. When the children with special needs don't get their needs met, it makes the other children not able to learn and NOBODY gets an education. It makes me so annoyed! sorry, rant over.

Couple questions:
What is she yelling when you're teaching? Has anyone asked her what it is she wants? Is she aware enough to understand that her yelling is causing A, her not to get an education, B, the other kids not to be taught and C, the other kids to hate her. Is that what she wants?

You could do a couple of things:
1. Stop teaching when she starts in on her yelling and wait for her to stop. The other kids will wait. Explain to her beforehand that you will do this. Do it EVERY SINGLE TIME that she starts to yell. You won't get through many lessons in the short run but it might help in the long run.

2. I hope you're in the IEP meeting on Monday and ask for ideas of what to do when she starts yelling over your teaching. When they say, "this and that needs to happen", ask "who is going to do this and that? There are 22 other students that need their education." And "what do I do with the other 22 students while I'm doing this and that? Principal, would you mind coming in to teach a lesson so I can see what you mean?"

I feel your pain. I have a feeling that I'll be having this same pain this year.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:14 AM
 
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I asked her what she needed when she was yelling and she said "I don't have a partner." We weren't doing a partner activity at the time, but we often do them in my class. I had moved her desk to the side b/c the school psych suggested it and said she had her own desk last year. When I told her that I would give her a partner if she would get up and get her book, she refused. A student near her said, "Do you want to be with us?" and she yelled, "Noooooooooooo!"

I am documenting every instance to the point where I have four typed pages after only one week.

Unfortunately, I was not even informed of the meeting on Monday until the parent mentioned it to me on the phone and the sped teacher said something after school on Friday. I plan on e-mailing them and saying that in the future I need to be in her meetings because I am the main person in charge of enforcing her behavior plan. I also typed up a list of my concerns and what I've already done and plan on attaching my documentation log for her. It's a ton of information to read through...but I feel they need the info, and they wouldn't have to be getting it through e mail if they had included me in the meeting. It's during my reading instruction and we don't have building subs or anything, so I can't just simply ask to go.

Even if my P were on board,my district doesn't even have an alternate placement for EBD students, and on top of that mom is pushing for gen ed room 100% of the day (she currently gets sped pull outs, b/c she is very low as well).


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Whoa!
Old 08-18-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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I would ask the meeting to be postponed until you can meet. If they are rewriting an IEP the classroom teacher has to sign off of it. That is totally unacceptable for them holding the meeting without you.
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whoah
Old 08-18-2012, 11:55 AM
 
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YOU are a part of her IEP team and you are legally required to be present, if only briefly. Point that out. your prince should either leave the meeting to cover for you so that your input can be included or have another teacher cover your class. You have both the right ant responsibility to be there. Don't let them exclude you and then jack you into making accoms. that you can't do, won't work in your situation.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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They're not calling it on an IEP meeting- I really don't know what the plans are, if they're planning on just discussing new expectations with mom or what. I assume they're redoing the behavior plan at this meeting, but I realized I just assumed that and wasn't told for sure, so maybe they aren't doing it yet. I told mom on the phone that I was unable to follow her current behavior plan because students were not allowed to be removed from the room per the new principal's rules. Mom seemed VERY surprised, and when I said we would probably need to have a meeting to create a new behavior plan, she said, "Well, there is a meeting on Monday." I should have asked the sped teacher if it was an official IEP meeting.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:48 PM
 
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When I had an ineffective principal such as yours appears to be and a similar situation, I emailed the principal with the problem and copied the Sped director and the superintendent. The problem was taken care of quickly. I HAVE been with my district for over twenty years and it was the ONLY time I have ever done this--however, it was necessary in order to protect the rights of all of the students to learn.
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Maybe
Old 08-18-2012, 12:53 PM
 
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parents of the other students will complain. That might get you some support and the child some as well.

If a parent complains to you that their child can not learn due to all the screaming tell them you understand. Then tell them your hands are tied they need to express their concerns to the principal and the superintendent.

Hope this issue is resolved quickly somehow and you have a good school year.


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Old 08-18-2012, 02:54 PM
 
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What does the SpEd teacher have to say about this? She's also responsible for the behavior plan and should have some input in this. I hope the principal is ready to go to court over the IEP not being followed. Someone should point that out to him.

No offense but your principal sounds like an ineffective donkey's butt!

Also, if you stop teaching and wait for her to stop screaming I would time it. However much teaching time she takes, I would take from her lunch/recess. If you can't remove her from class, don't let her hijack your class. I wonder how much of this is choice. If she starts her screaming fit tell her, "If you choose to scream I will wait for you to stop but however long it takes, that's how much of your lunch/recess you will owe me." Just a thought. Don't give her the power.
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After reading this post
Old 08-18-2012, 03:20 PM
 
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I am so glad I left teaching. I remember trying to teach dealing with the same sort of problems you were trying to teach in. You have a sympanthy.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:01 PM
 
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The sped teacher says she agrees with me (that the kid needs to be out of the classroom), but of course she is bound by the same rules by the principal. This is my first year at this school but not my first year teaching. I guess in the past the sped teachers have dealt with a lot of behavior, but this year the P wants to make sure that SHE is dealing with behavior, not them. Like I said before, even if the P were on board I guess the best we could do is get a para, because my district doesn't even have a separate EBD program or classroom- they just don't believe in it. There are several of children like this at my school who in most districts would be in alternative programs but we just don't have one. My last district didn't either so maybe it is a regional thing (I am teaching in a different state than I grew up in).

We have an extra afternoon recess every day and this student already misses hers daily. We have one of the teacher stay in for our grade level team for "detention" and send all of the kids who have flipped their cards to yellow or red there. Honestly, I don't think she even cares. With how crazy she was being yesterday, I thought for sure she wouldn't even get up and go to the other teacher's room for detention, but she got right up and went with no problem (after refusing to speak to her own mother on the phone). She probably likes all of the attention. If I take away her lunch/recess, I have to be the one to stay in with her, and that's my lunch time. Sorry if it's selfish, but I need a break- I don't want to have to give up lunch with my friends to sit with her.

I work in a very low ses urban school. Although none of my other children have problems that can't be dealt with through normal classroom management techniques, we just don't have a ton of active parents that would call and complain. Most of our families are hispanic and I find after working with this culture for several years that most of them just don't think it's their place to complain to the school about things. A lot of these kids have been in class with this girl for other grade levels, so they expect it, but in the past at least she's been removed from the room after she escalates.

For this specific student, I understand what the P is saying- she WANTS to be removed from the room and spend all day in the office, so the P doesn't want to give her what she wants. I agree with that for her individually, but you also have to think of every other student in my classroom who is not learning because of her. I think the P doesn't truly understand the extent of her disruption either, because when she came in the girl was under the table but just making some random noises (not yelling) and only really disturbing those kids right next to her. One kid told the P he couldn't do his work because of her and the P told him to move to the other side of the room.
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Record It
Old 08-18-2012, 07:17 PM
 
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I would do an auditory recording of the girl, and the noise she makes. You can't legally do a visual recording, but you can turn on your phone, lay it in an area near her without her seeing you do it, and record the noise she is making. I would record it for as long as the noise continues. This will be great documentation when you meet about this child.

In my state, an IEP meeting cannot be held unless the teacher is present. I would arrange to have a sub on Monday afternoon so you can attend the meeting. If it means it is coming out of your sick leave, so be it. I would rather lose a half day of sick leave than have a group of others determine what services I will be expected to give this child.

It sounds to me like this child is playing the system. She knows that if she is rotten enough, the principal is going to rescue her. She wants to go to the office. I am going to bet that last year's principal must have made this a wonderful place to be.

I am so glad you are documenting info about this child. I would make sure those attending the meeting get copies of this info first thing Monday morning so they can read it before they attend the meeting.

Good luck...and please post on Monday to let us know the outcome of the meeting and IEP goals.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:35 PM
 
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I would be very upset about the meeting without being notified. Changes to the IEP need to be signed by you before you are required to implement them. You might have your class visit another teacher when the meeting is happening so you can participate or request someone comes and takes over, you might even point out that you will not be comfortable signing it without participating in the meeting.

The little one sounds very challenging. You might ask that the principal or another staff member comes to the room and ignores her as she yells while you take the rest of the class out for a fun activity such as extra recess, PE, math, science art, or reading lessons done on the yard. If the principals reason is the yelling is an escape tool then that might be a simple way to deal with taking away the escape. The rest of the class gets to escape instead of her. If every time she starts yelling you do that, the screaming will lose its entertainment shortly. The sit and wait might work to since the rest of the class will get sick of it quickly and she might find it embarassing. You might try sending the rest of the class to another class and then just sit with her yourself and ignore her. If she was at the school last year did the other teachers notice any triggers which caused her to do the yelling? One time when I was really fed up with the attention getting yelling temper tantrum I would stand next to the child and just say "I see you want my attention, well, here it is." The child always declared "no I don't" and ended the temper tantrum quickly. She/he also stopped throwing them regularly.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:12 PM
 
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Be careful about secretly recording conversations with people. In many states at least one party must give consent to a conversation being recorded. However, in 12 states all the parties must give consent to the recording.
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alternative placement
Old 08-19-2012, 05:28 AM
 
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Many of the districts around me do not have an EBD placement either. Administrators like to say they do not need it and/or do not want to "scare" parents by having that room in their building.

However, you can place a child in another district's program or a private program at the home district's expense if it is deemed the appropriate LRE.

How does the girl behave in resource? Is that teacher keeping behavior data to show Mom and compare with your data.

I have worked with a student like this in the past. Even ignoring did not work. If the child saw everyone shut down, that was a reaction they wanted.

Are comfortable having Mom come in and observe?

Keep harping at your princ and Mom. Do not let them get away with claiming they "did not know" the severity of the behaviors.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:22 AM
 
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"official IEP meeting" or not, if any documents are going to be revised, the entire IEP team must meet and you are part of the team. Don't let them keep you out of the loop here. Insist that you be present. Even if they are revising the behavior plan and nothing else (and they really need your collected data for that, they need to show whether the old plan was working or not) you need to be present and provide input. YOU are going to be responsible for implementing the plan, so you need to have a say.
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I would add
Old 08-19-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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I would ask the principal that, when called, she NOT enter the room right away. If she stands outside of the room, out of the student's field of vision, she will have a better understanding of the severity of the behavior. If you had a two-way intercom to the office, you could accidentally bump the button to on and let that stream into the main office for a while.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:03 AM
 
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Forget the others, her yelling constantly is interferring with her own learning.

Now, I don't mean don't be concerned about the learning of the others, but when talking about LRE it is ALL about the student with the IEP whether we like it or not. So, focus on how she is not able to learn in the environment.

Also, you need to move up the sped chain because failure to implement the IEP is a huge problem and can get your school and you in big, big, trouble if the parent/guardian knows the law. It, you know what it, will hit the fan if she is an advocte for her child and finds out no calls were made, no send outs were made, and her child screamed all day long and no learning was happening.

I would explain to the P that the IEP describes what needs to be done and you are required to follow the IEP. Also let the P know that IEP meetings can be called at any time if the present IEP is not working. However, if the P doesn't even want the child sent out according to the IEP, I can bet he won't want the alternative which is a more restrictive and costly environment for this child.

Now, not sure where instruction comes in play or counseling comes in play for this student because sending a child out after 6 occurrences really isn't a method of teaching the child to stop. Seems it was a compromise to aid in learning of the other students and sanity for the teacher. Apparently, the methods put in place for this child are not addressing the emotional needs.
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needs some squeaky wheels
Old 08-19-2012, 08:26 AM
 
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If the P doesn't want her in the office, make arrangements for her to go somewhere else...a SPED person, nurse, specialist of some kind, guidance counselor, another teacher that she might have a rapport with....

I have had students like this for the last two years in a row. One had an IEP, and one did not. I had no problem getting the one with the IEP out of my room (he had assaulted enough teachers previously), but the other was a real problem. The behavior mod specialist from the county, psychologist and everyone else involved couldn't figure out a plan for this kid and the mother didn't even want him tested. Usually, I'd send for the guidance counselor or the nurse... but there were times that neither could assist me and I was on my own.

Clearly, you cannot teach with a child screaming in the room. Six chances IS way too many for this kind of offense. She is disturbing all the other students in the class from THEIR learning. This is the time when you pray parents will speak up... if enough of them do, I bet she'd be removed permanently.
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Documentation
Old 08-19-2012, 11:58 AM
 
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So it's not illegal to record a student without their permission? I think that sounds like a good idea. I honestly think the P just thinks I'm exaggerating.

Also, what do you think of this: So far, I have been documenting all of her major incidents using a format like this. I know people always say "document everything", but I'm honestly not sure what that's supposed to look like. (this is not exactly what happened or her real name for privacy reasons, but this is the format)

Time/Date: 8/17, morning, reading class, 90 minute incident
Action: Following the advice of the school psychologist, I took Bobbi's pencil box to keep on desk to minimize distractions in class. When Bobbi came back from specials and saw where her pencil box was, she went over to it and started throwing the contents down on the floor. When the box was empty, she tried to leave the room. Since I was standing in front of the door, she saw that she could not get out and threw herself under my small group table and began crying. I told Bobbi that she could take a few minutes to calm down and then would either need to decide to call her mother or sit back down and begin reading. Bobbi began making loud noises and kicking the chairs under the table.
Consequence: I called Bobbi's mother to inform her of the behavior. Bobbi's mother asked to speak to her, but Bobbi would not come to the phone. I promised Bobbi's mom that I would call in the afternoon to give her an update after continuing through the school channels.
Result: After I hung up the phone, Bobbi began yelling out random words and noises every few seconds. I ignored the behavior and continued teaching the lesson for several more minutes, but had to stop teaching and start the students on independent work because they could not hear me over her. I called the office to remove Bobbi from the room as outlined in her IEP behavior plan. The principal came to see Bobbi, but did not want to remove her from the room. After the principal left, I had to move away from the door to begin assisting students with their small group work. When I moved away from the front of the room, Bobbi left the room without permission.
Notes: Bobbi was brought back to the room by the principal about 40 minutes later. She went to her desk, but put her head down and did not begin working.

Is this okay? Am I writing too much or is there anything else I should be writing about? I am also thinking about making a daily tally of how many minutes she is actually on task and/or listening to instruction (honestly, tallying the minutes she actually IS on task will be a lot easier than tallying the minutes she is NOT on task). On Friday, I believe this would have literally added up to be 6 minutes or something- for the entire day! I just thought of the idea this morning and I thought it might be a powerful visual for how little she is really getting out of the class- and focuses on HER learning needs without me having to bring the other students in.

Also, to reply to some earlier posts, unfortunately I am not allowed to send her out of the room with anyone, not just the office. Last year she went to see the school psych sometimes but the P is adamant that all behavior stays IN the classroom this year and that other professionals (sped teachers, psych, etc.) are not dealing with behavior. She will start to get sped pull outs the week after next for academics, but that's only a small part of the day and is on a set academic schedule, not based on her behavior.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:56 PM
 
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I know budgets and staffing are tight, but do you have a person who could come in for a day (or part of a day), sit in an unobtrusive place, and keep the tally for you? It could be a running time record documenting the behaviors that are observed. It would give you one more objective source of documentation, and your attention won't be split in quite so many directions during that time.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:12 PM
 
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One of the most effective things I have done to get the message across that a student's behavior is negatively affecting the other children and the child's learning is use a tally chart. Even fifteen minutes or ten minutes off and on through the day can show a pattern of disruption. I made a chart. I would just mark the times the issues happened and keep tallies of what was happening so if I had a moment at 10:10 I would observe and mark then again at 12:45 and on and on...

When in ten minutes I had 15-30 or more tally marks it helped me get the support I needed. I then was able when things improved to document the difference also using the same method.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:12 PM
 
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Somehow I posted twice
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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This may sound harsh but if my principal thought I should just suck it up while this child completely disrupted my classroom and made it impossible for me to teach and for my students (including this one) to learn, I think I would contemplate why I was standing in front of the door.

Seriously, you need a FBA (functional behavior assessment) to find out what is motivating the child's behavior. Once you figure out what function the misbehaviors are currently serving for the child, you'll be in a better position to put a plan in place to deal with them effectively.
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hehe
Old 08-19-2012, 03:31 PM
 
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ideas::

a quiet table - if she is making noise what about having her put on headphones and listen to books or lessons on tape or even music while she does her work?

manipulatives - can she have squishy balls to hold or those balls w/ the soft things you find at walmart to hold and bounce whiel she listens to you? what about giving her a exercise ball to sit on while she listens?

Desperation suggestion...have a parent volutneer int he room and sit with her and do the work with her....or just work on something in the room - it will either help or else she will hear the commotion and complain to the P. hehehehe, okay maybe this isn't the best idea.
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Details
Old 08-19-2012, 05:54 PM
 
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You're detailed notes and observations are fabulous. There's nothing wrong with writing that much and it will be helpful to the team. I would not record her. I would ask the principal to stand outside the door unseen be the child. Obviously when the prince walks in, she's getting the attention she wants and calms down so of course your prince thinks you're exaggerating. 5 minutes of that, even from outside the door, ought to be a fair demonstration.
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Behavior plan
Old 08-20-2012, 04:42 AM
 
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You should be at that meeting! If you think the behavior plan she has will work with the removal then you need to be there to defend it! You need to go in with your documentation and then ask the case manager to see the documentation that was written after the behavior plan was put in place last year. The principal alone cannot dictate how any part of the IEP should be written. It is a team decision.

Make sure you are in that meeting! I can't stress that enough! If there is a safe place for the child to go to gather herself (resource room or behavior room) then I personally think the behavior plan should stand if it was working before. I work with kiddos like this all day and sometimes they need the down time when the work is a too stressful.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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My experience has been that when a child needs reprimanding and the principal won't do it, is because they don't want to deal with the problem.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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Was the issue resolved at all today? Were you able to join the meeting?
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update + question
Old 08-20-2012, 05:54 PM
 
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So I went down to the sped offices this morning and told them I wasn't comfortable signing any IEP documents or making any decisions about what goes on in the classroom unless it was a meeting I was attending. They were very understanding (unlike the P, they're all very approachable). The sped teacher said they were just meeting with mom today to talk about the beginning of the year and what kind of things they were going to be doing for her- apparently it was mom that wanted to meet. I did send them my behavior documentation so that they could show mom and will continue to document everything. I'm meeting with the sped teacher tomorrow to talk about everything.

Today the student was great in the morning, got upset right before lunch and then threw one of her fits. As soon as she knew the other kids were lining up for lunch she got right up and got in line. She was REALLY bad at the end of the day...she screamed for at least 40 straight minutes, but same thing, as soon as I called for the kids to put stuff away and start packing up, she got right up off the floor and got her backpack. So to me, that shows she consciously knows what she's doing and is in no way "out of control" or in some sort of "sensory overload." I reward any kids I see doing their work when she goes into a fit, which actually seems to work...all the others work really hard to show me that they are focusing and being good, but they can't possibly be concentrating that well! The teacher next door actually came over at the end of the day and said she was disturbing his class as well (he said he knew it wasn't my fault- this girl was well known throughout the school before I got her).

Here's what I'm wondering. She is going to sped for awhile at a set time tomorrow. Should I attempt to talk to the kids with her out of the room, and what should I say? Most of them are doing a great job, but I wanted to point out that pointing/laughing or alerting me every time she does something is actually encouraging her to do it more and also thank them for doing their best work under the circumstances. I do mention these things in the middle of her tantrums, but with all the screaming and all, I would like to have a more sit down conversation about it. However, will it look bad to be talking about a student when they leave the room?
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You probably will get this too late
Old 08-21-2012, 06:01 AM
 
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If you are going to talk to the other children, I would simple tell them that you know it's difficult when little Susie is upset and that you are very proud of how well they are doing trying to ignore it and continuing to work and that they should keep up the excellent work. Then try to get as much quality learning as possible in while you can.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:09 AM
 
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used2b has excellent advice.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:11 AM
 
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Are you able to record her behavior? If so, I would do an audio and visual recording and send it to the P cc the SPED supervisor.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:02 PM
 
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I've done this dance with a 6yo boy (developmentally, emotionally, and academically he was more like a 4yo) and two 7-8yo girls who were, like your little friend, well known as holy terrors by all adults within the school.

First, identify the cause of the behavior. Rudolph Dreikurs identifies the four goals of misbehavior as avoidance of failure, power, attention, and revenge. You have to address each one totally differently or you'll make it worse. For instance, misbehavior for attention can often be solved be front-loading lots of positive attention. If you front-load positive attention on a power-seeker ("I love how you're standing in line!"), they'll get worse (take one small step to the left to be just out of line just to demonstrate their power). It sounds like this child is a power seeker--She wants to show you that you can't MAKE her stop doing anything.

For the 6yo, I ignored him. He would cry and scream at the top of his lungs--Teachers from the other end of the hall would come knock on my door to ask if I needed help. The reason I let this occur was twofold: I wanted the principal to realize the extent (he was not supportive and could hear it), and I wanted the child to realize that he could scream all bloody afternoon and he wasn't going anywhere. At home, they would give in after about 10 minutes, so the habit was built and the poor kid had no other social skills or coping mechanisms for when he couldn't have his way. It took four months for it to subside, and it was in no way fair to the other kids, but like you I was in a small district with no other support. I would just call the class to the opposite side of the room and instruct from there. If they needed to, they'd bring a textbook to lean on while they were writing. I worked with the parents a lot in a "let me tell you what I'm doing and you share what you're doing so he's getting the same message from all of us" way, and gently coached them into stronger parenting (no means no, if you give in after 10 minutes he'll go 20 the next time!). I did lots of debriefing with the child after he was calm (Did you feel good while you were crying? Me neither, I feel sad when you're upset. What can you do when you feel like crying next time? etc). He wanted attention, so I worked to only give it to him in a positive way and to teach him proper coping mechanisms.

Two years in a row I had 7-8yo girls that sound like yours--Power seekers. Like yours, they had no friends and therefore no positive peer pressure that would cause her to be embarrassed when tantruming. One wanted friends, the other had no interest because she'd never had one before and didn't realize the benefit. One would lay on the floor, kick and scream, tell me to shut up and that she hated me, etc. The other was destructive, knocking things off shelves, stealing from others, and once attacking me physically. Both had verbal support from the adult at home but zero follow-through (actually negative follow-through, they thought they were helping but were actually encouraging the behavior).

It was HARD, and I succeeded with one and half-way succeeded with the other. Again, there was some ignoring, though that could escalate the behavior as they demonstrated their power to attract my attention. I found that both had absolutely zero self esteem though they masked it well, so I did a LOT of assisting them FIRST with any work, before even my lowest kids. I'd pass out the math then go right over to 'check on them,' watch them do the first problem, praise the process (You used the doubles! That was smart!), and then tell them I'd be back in 5 minutes to check again. I did a LOT of pairing them with the gentler, encouraging students in STRUCTURED partner activities with a SCRIPT (Play the game by saying ___, the partner does ____, both write ___) so they could build some kind of rapport with others without having to come up with the interaction themselves. I gave power in small, structured ways (Do you want to go to the water fountain now or after you do the first 5 problems?). I spent the first 2 months greeting every day with a smile and a how are you before they got in the room and got in trouble in the first 5 minutes, and then once I had the rapport built I used it sparingly for truly awful behavior such as hurting another student (I'm not smiling today because I'm still upset over yesterday. You were not acting like part of our class and you will have to earn your way back in through your behavior today, or you will find yourself doing worksheets at your desk all by yourself while we do everything else.) but that ONLY works if there's a solid rapport built and there's follow-through with your consequence. Once they kicked off, I avoided physical proximity (I'd send another student to get something for me if it was on their side of the room), eye contact (that's how they'd know I was still thinking about them), or verbal interaction until they were calm. Sometimes that was 45 minutes, sometimes 2 hours. Then I'd ignore it as they joined back into the seatwork or group activity. After they had calmed down and it was time to leave or they suddenly snapped into 'Oh, recess!' mode, I'd quietly say, "You were not behaving like part of our class, and we need to talk about that before you're allowed to do the fun things the class does" and I'd keep them for a short conversation before sending them out to join the others. I kept the work they missed and either sent it for homework (rarely got done), had them do it during specialist time (not allowed, but I did it anyway because if she was already that ramped up she wasn't going to follow directions there anyway and would have ended up in the office), or had them do it at their desk during 'fun' parts of the day (science experiments, read alouds, etc.). If they were doing makeup work in my room with no other kids there, I totally ignored them so that it wouldn't feel like special 1-on-1 time. Important: I *never* addressed discipline for those girls loudly in front of the class (which would have been an opportunity for them to display their power), I *always* made them make up the work before fun things, and I *never* praised for 'normal' good behavior like following a direction, only for the process of what they were doing (You used the doubles to solve that math problem! You found the phonics pattern in your reading and read so smoothly! You were so respectful when you held that door for the kindergarten teacher!).

Lastly, I definitely addressed the behavior with the class. Yes, yes, yes. When the behavior is THIS bad the kids know what's going on, and they'll get very daring very quickly if you let it continue without acknowledging it. When the student was out of the room, I brought the class to the gathering area and explained that everyone has different things they're working on at school. Some kids work extra on their math, some have goals in reading like getting to chapter books. Some kids have goals about behavior and they're learning to act like a ___ grader. It's our job as a classroom community to help. If Joey asks for help on his math page, his friend helps. If someone is having a hard time behaving, we have to help them learn how to behave correctly. Then we'd brainstorm ways to help, which I'd heavily guide. I would bring up how it feels when you get yelled at and your brother/sister stares at you and how bad that makes you feel, so some kid will suggest not looking. We talk about not answering if the person tries to talk to you because it will take away your learning time. We talk about how sometimes it seems like someone is not getting in trouble, when really the teacher is just making sure that all the other kids don't lose their learning time and they help the student work on their behavior later when other kids aren't around. We talk about ways to protect your learning time (Turn your body, concentrate hard, move to another space if you need to). Get the kids on board, and don't feel bad about giving them a little wink or eyebrow waggle of encouragement when the tantrumer isn't looking (important, or it will fuel the fire!). They'll redouble their efforts for you!

Keep seeking the support of the principal, sped teacher, and mom--The other posters have given great suggestions. It's hard, but try not to show in ANY way that you're upset or engaging emotionally or her need for power is fed and she'll get work. No yelling, no tense face, no quickly escalating consequences. Totally disengage and focus on the others. GOOD LUCK!
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:38 PM
 
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AnonyTeach gave some great suggestions.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:03 PM
 
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What a great response! I'm not the original poster, but thank you
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Try This!
Old 08-24-2012, 01:20 PM
 
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I didn't read all the other posters responses but I remember a situation and a student much like this one.

You have to fight back. Your principal is not showing you any respect. It's not like he or she has to deal with this all day.

I think this ppee or pp is testing you. Doesn't want to deal with it.
Maybe just doesn't like you. Those of us teaching ?? years know what I am talking about.

Sometimes it takes other people to help you. Go and ask pee pee for some help such as a para or aide and make sure someone this pp respects is with you. Document the meeting with notes after and get the other person to sign it. Appear as though you want to do your best and are looking for support. If they do give you help: You always have someone else there that can really say what is happening and it won't just be you.

Perhaps a personal day or two is needed. Tell the sub everything involving this student "must be documented". Take what the sub gives and show it to pp with someone else. Ask pp to sign it in front of you. You are trying to establish that "you" are not the only problem here or the other one seeing it.

Deal with the parent as little as possible and in writing only. Have a daily log book that must be signed each day. If it starts to not come back or come back unsigned- stop sending it. Make a copy of the entire log ( a pain I know) and then give it to the principal.

These are beginning steps. While you are trying to get help see if you can get the student to sit in a quiet corner and draw or go on the computer with headphones. Be a helper in another room. A job in the room like punching out letters.... Nothing punitive. You can't let the rest of the kids suffer anymore. This is not your fault either.

Let me know how this goes. I am curious to see what happens!
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:32 PM
 
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@Polli- It's not just me. I teach in an urban school with a lot of behavior issues. There is at least one student like this at every grade level and the P is doing the same thing for all of them. She is new to the school this year and thinks that the previous admin just let behaviors get out of control. She thinks sending a kid to the office should never be a punishment because kids like being in the office and should only be used for kids who are legitimately hurting other kids or themselves in some sort of blind rage crazed like manner.

Anyway, I have had TWO WHOLE DAYS of no meltdowns with this student! I don't expect it to last forever, but what a nice break. What happened was mom told me if she's screaming or under the table and won't come out or being disruptive in some way and won't stop, I should call her, and she will come to the school and get her. On Tuesday, I called and the student heard me on the phone and got back in her seat. On Wednesday, I called and had to leave a message...but mom called me back while the student was sitting under another students' desk kicking it and yelling. Mom actually DID come to the school, and luckily the student was still doing the behavior when she got there (I thought it would be just my luck if she were sitting there serenely when mom arrived). It was very effective.

On top of that, the student has attached herself to one of the sweetest most well behaved girls in my class and has decided that they are friends. The other girl is putting up with her well, and will stand up for herself and tell her to stop if the student is bothering her. I think (hope!) now that she feels like she has a friend in the class, she's less likely to want to embarrass herself by doing some of her previous behaviors. Yesterday I had just managed to basically have her keep quiet all day and do something at her desk (not always work) and today she actually did much of the work she was supposed to. How do I keep this going and not make the other girl feel like she has this big burden?

She's also been getting her sped pull outs, which has helped tremendously because she's pulled the last hour of the day which is usually the roughest time for her. The real test will be on Monday- since the sped team has all of their meetings on Mondays, she won't be pulled at all.
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So...
Old 08-24-2012, 05:17 PM
 
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... your P isn't okay with the girl being sent to the office, but she is okay with you calling the mother from the classroom and the mother coming to pick her up?
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:54 PM
 
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She doesn't take her, she just yelled at her and sent her back to her seat..seems silly I know, but it was the only thing that worked. The P wasn't that pleased that mom wanted to do it but told me that parents have a right to come in and we can't tell them no.
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Yea
Old 09-01-2012, 02:21 AM
 
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Congrats on two good days! Did you praise her beyond belief for them? If this is attention seeking behavior, make sure she gets buttloads of attention with anything good. Your P needs to offer some better solutions however, if this is avoidance behavior, she is right now to pull her out. Is there another room, hallway or some place that the rest of the class can go? If the student is doing it for attention it will help to remove the audience. As soon as she starts, you and the students just leave and continue the lesson outside. Of course you have to have someone keep an eye on her. I agree with the person that asked about an FBA. In reality, you can't do anything effective with her until you know what payoff she is getting from the behavior.
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record her...
Old 09-01-2012, 06:49 AM
 
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there is probably a voice memo option on your cell phone...when your student flairs up, press and record. It will be good proof for you (providing time/duration/date) and it will demonstrate how you deal with her, and how the classroom is affected. Do not let the student know you are doing so...but bring the recording to the meeting you have with principal and/or IEP team... good luck!!


***you may need union intervention/mediation- there is most likely a claus in your contract about "unruly child" who repeatedly interferes with the learning of others...check it out!
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Greta advice
Old 09-10-2012, 08:08 PM
 
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You have recieved some great advice and you are being extremely patient. I would have been tempted to pack up all the kids and go sit in the hall in a reading circle with them! It's amazing how quick kids settle down when the audience is gone. If she had followed you out to the hall screaming then at least all the other teachers would have heard it too!
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:56 PM
 
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Thank you for sharing such great advice!
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Same problem
Old 09-15-2012, 05:48 PM
 
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I had the same problem two years ago with a third grade boy who would scream and I would teach over it and the stdents would try to pay attention and the classes next door would complan and the new principal would do nothing. However, i would call the guidance counselor who would remove the child but bring him back. Sometimes the screaming continued and sometimes not. However, after a month of this, my husband read the contract and there was a clause to the effect that we as teachers have the right to remove students who are interfering with the other students' education. So after waiting a respectable time each morning, I would call security to remove the child. One day, the child was removed from the classroom and placed in another section where there was team teaching. This was because of the parent complaints. I had very involved parents that year. PERHAPS YOU CAN SOMEHOW GET THE PARENTS INVOLVED SO THEY CAN SAY SOMETHING TO THE PRINCIPAL. The principals usually listen to parent complaints. heard that the principal allowed the child to play video games each morningwith the promise that hewouldn' scream. Talk about a child being in control and getting what he wants! However, thank goodness, it wasn't my problem anymore. Good luck to you.
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Just curious...
Old 09-16-2012, 05:08 AM
 
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Can you record the behavior? Then let your P listen? I think that would be more powerful than saying, "She's yelling during class." People hear what they want to hear, and it sounds like your P is WAY downplaying the situation. Shameful.


Oh! I should have read all of them. Someone already suggested this!
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Another thing....
Old 09-16-2012, 05:12 AM
 
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If the P thinks kids like going to the office, that's easy enough to change. Make it a bad experience!! Of course it won't correct behavior if children like to go. When I was a kid, going to the office was terrible, and all the kids did what they could to avoid it. They should make them write, do math, stare at a spot on a wall....whatever. (Not that you can make this happen, but it's a crappy excuse she gave you).
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