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Teachermom65 Teachermom65 is offline
 
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Teachermom65
 
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Lessons Learned: Longish Term Assignment
Old 12-05-2009, 05:29 AM
 
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Hi folks,

A few weeks ago, I posted asking for advice on handling ED (emotionally disturbed) kids at the middle school level. No responses were posted, so I must have stumped the audience! Anyway, I thought I would post some lessons learned in case this is helpful to others who are in longish term sub assignments. I think this is a challenge - and an opportunity to learn and try things out.

1. If you have trouble, find out if the kids play sports and go directly to the coach! I struggled and struggled with one class until I had the idea of talking to the coaches. Problems were literally solved the SAME DAY.

2. Even if the student does/says horrible things, call them out and state that behaviour is unacceptable and ask them what they suggest doing about it. You can't undo the past, so asking why is really pointless. Asking THEM for solutions is much more effective.

3. Keep your calm and do not yell no matter how crazy things become. It will help you for those hallway conversations b/c you can really say with integrity "I have always treated you with respect. I know that you (student wants to be treated with respect, and so do I".

4. Seek out other teachers for guidance and only involve the AP's if absolutely necessary. I found going to the administration for advice to be completely pointless. They don't listen (this is obviously a generalization that applies to where I was teaching) and tend to blame the teacher. That is really not constructive. Other teachers offer much better advice and listen.

5. Take things minute by minute and let what happens go. Do not hold resentment towards students or feel like a class is doomed. Things can improve.

6. Do not set up confrontations. Many people told me to kick students out. So, I made the mistake of getting frustrated one day when the class would not stop talking over me...and I said "the next person who talks when I am talking is out of here!" Of course, I set up a situation/confrontation by doing that. I was just so frustrated with the talking and disrespect. I did ALL of the things you are supposed to do (gave the "teacher's look", stopped teaching, used proximity, moved student's to other desks, etc...but NOTHING was working) and was really at my wit's end. However, this turned out to be a big mistake b/c the first kid who talked is generally not a problem at all. I had to send him out or I would undermine my authority. But, it was not the right thing to do and it didn't help me solve the problem b/c the ring leaders kept on and I made a good student mad. Lesson learned, get the ring leaders out in the hall one at a time, explain the unacceptable behavior, and ask THEM for solutions.

Good luck everyone! Subbing is such a great way to test out ideas.


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thanks for the ideas
Old 12-05-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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Thanks Teachermom65! I'm sorry no one had any responses earlier. I must have missed your post, or been totally stumped. I'm far from an expert in ED education. I'm glad you found some ways to work things out. Your idea of calm is so important too. It's hard to maintain sometimes though when a student is exploding. But it's the best thing to do to calm a situation down. I like what you said about asking the students for a solution. Great idea
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An addition
Old 12-06-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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For dealing with behavior issues Ruby Payne www.ahaprocess.com suggest a four part discussion or response to written questions.
1. What did you do
2. When you did that, what did you want?
3. List four things you could have done/said instead.
4. What will you do next time?

Sometimes you have to help the student come up with alternative choices, especially if they have a limited vocabulary.

The lessons you shared are great ones. Thank you.
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Teachermom65 Teachermom65 is offline
 
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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Thanks Broomrider! I like those questions and am going to check out that website.
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