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How do you handle "I don't care"??

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alexserica alexserica is offline
 
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How do you handle "I don't care"??
Old 02-09-2012, 12:49 PM
 
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I have a student who has been a major behavior challenge this year. Screaming at other students, tantrums, kicking walls, throwing books....however, this past week he has started something new. When he moves to yellow or red, or I have to ask him to adjust his behavior, he shrugs and says, "I don't care...I DON'T CARE!!!!" in front of the whole class. I have several people who assist me when I have to have him removed from the class, but I can tell my patience with this NEW issue is reeeeally thin. It sends a terrible message to my students and shows complete disrespect. I am a 3rd year teacher, and this is the first time I've dealt with this "I don't care" thing, let alone all the other things that are going on with him. I have a very good, well behaved class apart from this student.

So...how do you respond when a student says "I don't care" to you? How can you show the other students that this is unacceptable behavior? How do you not get in a power struggle? I will not do a power struggle and do not want my other students feeling like this remark..or attitude..is acceptable.

Thanks for any advice!!


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Old 02-09-2012, 01:47 PM
 
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My advice would be to find out what's really going on.

In my experience, a kid who "doesn't care" is really trying to save face in front of their peers because they really DO care.

As for your other students, they know the behavior isn't acceptable. I have a sweetheart this year who can definitely be a challenge. I have told my students on numerous occasions that we do not reward ridiculous behavior with attention... so they ignore it (as best as they can) and that usually removes the thing he is seeking and the behaviors can calm down.

Good luck! I've had quite a few sweeties like this and it really is all about building a relationship with them, figuring out what is really going on, and letting them know that you care for them and will keep them safe at school.
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Talk to the student privately
Old 02-09-2012, 04:48 PM
 
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Tell him that you care about him and that you want him to be successful. Ask your colleagues for suggestions. Do you have a school psychologist who might have tips?
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i don't care!
Old 02-09-2012, 05:01 PM
 
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I have heard this quite often in my 25 years of inner city school teaching! I usually do not react to it at all other than to say "Well, I sure do care about you!" A pp is right in saying that it is really just an attention getter and he most likely really does care but has to save face in front of peers. Have you tried a behavior plan with him where he has to meet a certain goal in order to get a reward? This works for 95% of my tough kiddos. Have you called the family to help you understand where some of his behavior issues are coming from. It sounds like he needs a little extra from you. One time I had a very difficult student and I would just leave him little notes on his desk each morning to let him know how much I care about him and what he does in my room... Bottom line...he really does care and probably just wants to know that you do too, and you won't give up on him...
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:26 PM
 
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It is probably stemming from something in the home. He probably sees mom or dad act this way and is redoing it at school. Take advantage of a moment when he has been romoved from class and you have the other students without him and talk with them. Tell them Jonny is working on his behavior but you need their help to help Jonny also and tell them what you want them to do. For instance no laughing or reacting. I remembering having this conversation with a class once when I subbed and it did help.


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Old 02-11-2012, 01:21 PM
 
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I agree with all previous posts, and I'm sure you have tried to figure out the cause for his poor behavior. When I am pushed to the brink of saying something (and I KNOW this isn't the best choice because we're supposed to ignore, but we all know it's very difficult with certain cases/children) I say something like "Well I wish you would care because your poor choices are going to lead to....." and fill in a consequence such as loss of recess, detention, parent contact, etc. and then I always end with "so I hope we make better choices starting now". I also like the previous idea of saying "Well I care about you". I am definitely going to use that!! Thanks!
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