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spunky7 spunky7 is offline
 
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When Students Refuse...
Old 03-05-2017, 05:53 AM
 
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I am a first year middle school teacher. I have posted on here about my classroom management struggles before but wanted to get some more feedback. I plan to resign within the next month. Non-renewal is a real possibility and I don't want that to happen. I plan to move by the fall and am not sure if I will go back to teaching after that.

Anyway, to my question. What do you do when a student simply refuses to do anything you ask? I have a student who runs around the classroom, screams while I'm teaching, swears, breaks my things, throws things, and refuses to work. I give assigned seats and he refuses to sit there. He has refused to leave the room when asked. Refuses to work and does what he wants instead. He will not participate. He won't even have a discussion about it. I tried behavior reflections and he threw it away. I have tried various consequences. I have contacted parents. I have given many detentions but the behavior doesn't change. I've taken recess and given essays to write about behavior. I'm thinking detention is just not the way to go but I don't know what else to try. I have tried getting to know him better and forming a relationship. I have tried ignoring the behavior like some have suggested but then other students see that as unfair. I have also tried rewards. Nothing seems worth it to him. His behavior affects the behavior of other students as well.

After all this, I do not believe he is a bad kid. I want to be a good teacher to him but feel like I don't know how. I believe he has great potential and is very bright. I feel bad that he hates me. That's not the kind of teacher I want to be but I also don't want to be a pushover. I want him to be happy in my class even if he hates the work. (My class is not his favorite subject)

I plan to observe some veteran teachers in the next few weeks but was also looking for any advice you might have since I have tried all advice I've been given and am out of ideas! Thank you!


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Old 03-05-2017, 06:06 AM
 
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Try to observe some classes that your problem student is in. Watch specifically for how the teacher handles that student. Not every strategy will work for you (even if it works for another teacher) but you are likely to get some useful information for methods you can put into practice.

Talking with this student's other teachers might also get you some ideas...but watching is even more useful.

Perhaps you can get admin to allow you to shadow the problem student for a day. I bet you would learn a lot!
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:23 AM
 
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Ask your school psychologist to observe him during your class.
Can you get your admin to step in your class and catch him then pull and talk to him?
What did the parents say to you? I have had some parents willing to pop in class without their kid knowing they were coming. They also told them they would keep coming in whenever until the kid would straighten up. The kid would lose a privilege at home if caught acting up too. If they ground him for one day at a time it helps. Parents who ground for longer than one day give the kid no reason to behave for that week or month because the kid is already grounded.
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:28 AM
 
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Are you in a private school? Is he with you all day or just for one class? What have the parents said?
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Old 03-05-2017, 07:09 AM
 
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This is a public school. I do plan to observe some classes he is in if I can, but I feel like he will behave for them. I know there are some other teachers who have issues with him as well, but they also don't know what to do. Parents are supportive but I feel like they also don't have answers. Admin has been involved in the past, but no major consequences. I may need to keep getting them involved until something changes. I guess I just wish I could figure out an answer beyond just consequences. I know teachers shouldn't take things personally but I really feel like he just hates me and that's one of the reasons he acts this way.


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Old 03-05-2017, 07:27 AM
 
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I have had a few like that. I try to say hello to them as soon as they walk in. Show positive attention to focus on good things. I also give them simple things to do for me: count 20 papers , put the markers on the board, so they feel helpful. It will take a while. Behaviors like this usually are a sign the student needs attention. Talk to your school guidance counselor for tips.
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Old 03-05-2017, 07:45 AM
 
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First of all, we have had difficult students like this at my school. Usually, they were known as being very disruptive and defiant. Sometimes there were major parent issues and the student was on some type of medication. However, as a seasoned teacher, I wouldn't put up with this:

"I have a student who runs around the classroom, screams while I'm teaching, swears, breaks my things, throws things, and refuses to work. I give assigned seats and he refuses to sit there."

Even if it was DAY ONE, I would call for someone at the office to come get him. Refusing to sit in his assigned seat is insubordination. If he won't sit, why should anyone sit in their assigned seat? I do three strikes, so if he is calling out then the third time, I go through my consequences. Follow through. When I have had students like this, I follow my plan PLUS email the principals, parents, guidance office, last year's teachers, and other teachers on my team. I've never had a situation where it was like, "Oh, Miss Hope, he's just perfect in his other classes." No, even the students may indicate that this student is a chronic problem. Throughout the time I have been teaching, I learned that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you follow your plan with no results, then refer him to the office. Let him get suspended and have a parent conference. Then, maybe he needs tests for SPED or emotional support or something. They might put him in counseling or adjust his meds. This is completely unacceptable. IF your school and team are completely unsupportive, then do resign! We have some tough students, but we are not expected to put up with this nonsense for an entire year (that much!)

When I was newer, I certainly would plead and relationship build, blah, blah, but it doesn't work. This kid needs limits. If your admin. is completely unhelpful, I would put this kid in the hallway or just send him to the office. No one can learn in this environment.
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Old 03-05-2017, 07:55 AM
 
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I talk to my students about what fair looks like in school. Sometimes it may seem like kids are getting away with things and they probably are because the goal is to get them going down the right path. However, they won't get away with it forever. Their incentive for behaving now is that behavior is habitual. Although kids test the limits, especially in middle school, the kids who are truly defiant will need to adjust their ways in order to be successful in adulthood. We do change as we get older, but for deeply rooted beliefs and behaviors, it requires something great to change. My school has a lot of former students who are either dead or in jail now. For the most part, they weren't saints in middle school.

Not participating is fine after you've done your part but disrupting the learning of others is not. Tell him if he's choosing to fail, he needs to do so silently. He should just put his head down and go to sleep. You can occasionally try to intervene and try to motivate him but don't kill yourself trying to get HIM to learn. DO fight for the ones who WANT to learn though.
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Old 03-05-2017, 08:07 AM
 
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Have you tried calling security to have him removed every time he is being so disruptive? Is there an ISS room that he could go to for your bell whenever he is refusing to be a student? I know that sounds harsh, but I think it sounds like he is distracting to the point of harming the educational rights of the rest of the class. I have only had to go the "call security and have them removed" route once in my entire career, but it was effective. The kid saw that I was serious and meant business....and by being removed, he lost his audience.
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Old 03-05-2017, 08:18 AM
 
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What about choices? Give him three choices of where to sit. That way he has some flexibility but you control his options. I find that works well with some of my high flyers. Instead of telling them what they have to do I give them two or three choices I can live with.


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Old 03-05-2017, 08:56 AM
 
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Maybe I will try the choices to see if it works. This is a difficult class overall. I often feel like the kids aren't learning because of the chaos. Then they act like I'm unreasonable when I give consequences. Whenever a student from this class comes into my room during another class they're shocked to see students behaving. I feel like the bad behavior is contagious. I guess another issue is when you have several students misbehaving it's hard to give detention to half the class! I feel like once this kid starts in, the others do as well. Consequences aren't working so I may just need to keep involving administration until something happens. Some days are better than others. I don't want to give up on this kid and just wish I could help him.
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Old 03-05-2017, 09:38 PM
 
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i agree with Mshope. Review your discipline plan with the entire class; then stick to it. Either the child and/or parent will see you mean business and change; or the admin will get the message and get involved. It is not a negative reflection on you. It's just unfair to your other students to have their education constantly disrupted. Good luck and bless you. Been there, done that.
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