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The Dan The Dan is offline
 
Joined: Jun 2010
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The Dan
 
Joined: Jun 2010
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One on one eighth grade behavior student
Old 06-16-2010, 04:54 PM
 
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I'm a 23 year old guy recently out of college and I recently got a job at a graded school as a para educator. I've already gotten a kidwho I will be assigned to. Its an eighth grade girl with bad ADHD and dyslexia. She has behavior problems and learning difficulties. I've been told she is not a brat, she just causes a lot of trouble and she's been through a lot of hard things. I've been told I can barely take my eyes off her or she will be causing trouble within a few seconds. I'm not really sure what kind of things she would do but I heard she is incredibly sneaky and may not know how to have fun without doing something bad. She stays in the regular classroom for academics, but is allowed to leave and take a break when she needs with someone. I'll be with her for homeroom and free time, all the classes, lunch, recess, and study hall which we will go to the special ed room for.
Like I said before, I can barely take my eyes off her so I wasn't told this specifically, I was told to judge it a little bit on if I think she needs supervision doing certain things certain days. Like if its not been a good day, I might decide to walk her out to the bus or whatever. I wanted to your ideas on how to judge that kind of stuff.
I was also looking for ideas on how to make sure not to judge her, how to help her behave better(I thought something like show her activities that she might like so she could do them more often and be more occupied), I would like advice on how to get to know her and what it will be like the first day and the first few days. What can I do in situations like when she has to go to the bathroom but I want to walk her there, that might be a little awkward, and other situations like during free times where the whole eighth grade is allowed to walk around the halls and different classrooms, how can I watch her but not be following her the whole time? and how can I watch her during lunch and recess?
She is a little aggressive but has not thrown anytihng that can hurt someone in school, and she has never badly hit someone or physically assaulted them. I don't know the correct words for how to describe what I know of her but I would say a little bit angry and aggressive(not insanely bad) but it is definetly there, very very hyper and impulsive, doesnt ever think about what she does, may be a little lost and doesnt know what she likes and doesn't know what to do. She is very hyper and very active.
And I am really looking forward to this.


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blueheron blueheron is offline
 
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I worked with a charming young lady
Old 06-17-2010, 05:11 AM
 
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with many behavior issues when I IAed. What helped was adopting a constant demeanor of calmness to the point of blandness. She'd display an inappropriate behavior, and I'd state the consequence for continuing the behavior in a very bored voice, and move away to give her space. Space was crucial. Her brain switched gears very slowly, and she needed time to process, and to feel as if the behavior change was her idea. Working with her was a constant experiment of giving and removing freedoms, but she progressively held onto freedoms for longer times. For example, she got to have a locker in the hall. She abused the privilege of having a locker, and I removed the lock for a time, and then only allowed her to visit it once a day. Or, I'd allow her to walk in the hall by herself if she called from the next class. She'd blow that one by wandering off or becoming a hugging bandit to some poor dismayed boy.

Space was so important. Not giving space would guarantee a huge power struggle, and a heightening of behavior towards violence. She was violent towards herself and things, but not other people. I was horrified the first time I saw her punch herself in the face, but my reactions made her do it more. She needed her own desk area, and things that were just hers.

She taught me a lot, and I am a better teacher for having worked with her.
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Piperton
 
 
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:22 AM
 
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Dan,

I am going to be very blunt but don't get offended. It is not towards you but the system you will work for--be careful:

1. I am a college educated paraprofessional (para educator, etc) I am female.

2. You should not be with a female student with these type of issues. It is more for your protection than for her so you will not be accused. You should not ever be "ALONE" with this student. I am sure the special ed. teacher will provide support for you concerning these issues. You should not walk her to the bathroom. Be very careful the position you are getting yourself into. Do you have a union?

3. The only advice you need on the student must come from the special ed. teacher. She should have a clear behavioral plan, IEP goals, etc. The special ed. teacher is responsible for you "getting to know the student." The special ed. teacher is responsible for carefully reading that IEP to see how you can help her. The special ed. teacher is responsible for carefully reviewing the child's behavioral record. The special ed. teacher is fully responsible for ensuring the the student is with a matched para. who can help the student succeed. You should just enjoy your summer--such concerns are not yours to worry about.

4. You bring up some good points--make it clear that you do not want to be alone with a female student. I do wonder if her parents know that she has a male para. If the parents are educated and involved--they would not pair you with her. I suspect that the parental involvement is limited and the system is using more experienced paras. with other students.

5. Bottom line is that you have nothing to worry about--your working relationship with the student is determined by the teacher--not YOU.

Just enjoy your summer and work carefully with the teacher and be very honest about your concerns.

Like you--I love my job--But, I think it is important to work with the teacher as a team and not assume that I have to take the leadership role in managing students.
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Liz Liz is offline
 
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:33 AM
 
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Baby steps. I think building a great rapport with your student will help guide you. Knowing what behaviours to expect can help you plan as being prepared is essential. Know what you are going to do when situations arise and if you are not sure remember to ask. I was fortunate enough to build a great relationship with a more experienced peer and also the team I worked with when I first started out and was never afraid to ask when I wasn't sure. I also remember learning how imperfect I really am...my poor ego! I spend a significant amount of time observing a new student initially and keep notes. You may want to have a casual conversation with your student regarding her experiences with past para eductators to break the ice. You could ask her about her likes and dislikes, her goals etc and then tell her what your goals are for her, what your expectations are and what your response will be to certain behaviours. Be prepared to be tested too! Part of the fun! I usually review IEP goals with the students I work with so that I am sure we are on the same page. Finally, all teachers are different and will expect different things from you so talk to the teacher and find out what his/her expectations will be as ultimately they will or should be directing you although this is not always the case. Good luck...you are about to embark on an incredible journey!
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