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Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Moderator: Tempo Gain

Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby Achtung Baby » 01 May 2012, 01:15

Hello all,

I could use a little bit of advice as to not only dealing with a student with major issues, but with a management staff who are super reluctant to deal with this up front.

I teach English at a buxiban. In a class I teach 3 x a week, there is a boy- aged around 10 or 11- with severe conduct issues. Repeat behaviors include:

-Threatening to kill other students if he sees them at elementary school
-Putting another child in a headlock
-Using curse words (both English and Chinese) in class
-Shaking tables while other students are trying to write or focus
-Invading other student's personal space
-Use of obscene gestures- middle finger, crotch grabbing, slapping his bottom in a sort of "kiss my ass" motion
-Refusal to work in groups or poor conduct when working in groups

This is not a stupid child- his English skills are quite good; even if attention issues prevent him from always doing a stellar job on his homework.

Some background- the other kids in this class have been together since kindergarten, and he is relatively new. Every time I broach this subject with the Chinese staff at my school, that seems to be the excuse. At first, I took their word for it and decided to do everything I could to make this boy feel welcome. I made him the winner in class games, always said "Good job", encouraged him and tried to reward him when he displayed good English skills. I absolutely do not tolerate any bullying in my classroom and will not allow the other students to pick on him under any circumstances. My Chinese co-teacher always just says he "needs love" and my attempts to be allowed to contact his parents are always offset when I am told that I need to say something good about him in communications as well.

I know that he is on medication and that other student's parents have called about him before. There seems to be, perhaps, a cultural barrier- I think maybe they think that I am frustrated by the lack of attention he pays in class or his poor homework/test scores. That's not it- he's routinely displaying antisocial and violent behavior and I'm really tired of forcing the other children in the class to tolerate it. Any advice?
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby chalouie » 01 May 2012, 09:50

Have you taken it up with the owner or director of the school? This student sounds bad for business.

Does anyone ever drop him off or pick him up from school? Perhaps you could attempt speaking with this person.

Find out the school's disciplinary policies. You may be able to use some new methods to deter his behavior.

Sometimes, we have to deal with this if we value our jobs.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby Achtung Baby » 01 May 2012, 10:20

I've discussed this with my direct supervisor, who understands my frustration and told me to write a note to the parents in his most recent progress report. I have but whether or not I'll be permitted to actually send it home remains to be seen. Apparently, his prior buxiban didn't report any problems like this and he supposedly doesn't have behavioral issues at anquinban- it's just this class (allegedly). I haven't taken it up with the owner/manager of the branch. I could probably file an incidence report of some kind. Any more thoughts?
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby ceevee369 » 01 May 2012, 13:18

Achtung Baby wrote:I know that he is on medication

Imagine his med's are related to schizophrenic behavior? Can happen at very early age and lead (soon) to bad bad things.
You can't just rely on the utter wisdom of your local advisors though should write a formal incident report. If things do go wrong - you have proof (asking to let it sign for reception might be handy) That way - you might be protected.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby sandman » 01 May 2012, 13:24

He's drugged? And your school doesn't know with what? Fuck it. Not your problem. If you DO know the "medication" then you can start to at least have a look at the Intarwebs. Might give you a clue on how to approach it.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby PapaAzucar » 01 May 2012, 13:43

If it is possible to spend more one-on-one time with him, do things like pull him out into the hall to speak to him whenever he acts up.
You may have to do this several times to get thru to him.
Tell him that he needs to cool down (or "time out") outside in the halls. And he is welcome back into the class whenever he agrees to behave.
And you may have to spell out what it means to behave like no profanity, no fighting (headlocks), etc.
One of your classroom rules should be "Respect everyone".
This kid may need you to explain or even model what it means to respect others.
You can even do role-playing games with the kids to show what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

If it is a medical condition, then you need to get the school and the parents involved.

As a last resort, if the other parents are complaining about this specific kid, then tell the parents to complain to the school director, or threaten to pull their students from the school.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby Homey » 01 May 2012, 13:52

If your school owner/managers are anything like mine it's futile to even talk to them. Many seem quite dense when it comes to issues like this. They cannot be made to see all the good students you will lose over time, and instead just focus on this one. Sadly, many clueless owners see the only possible bad behavior is not paying on time. If the parents pay on time, then it's a good student.

Good luck and I hope your school management is not this way.

If they are, you will always be the bad guy for making waves, no matter how bad the behavior is.

One good thing, it sounds like it's only one student. You are lucky.

Physically separate him from the rest of the class, and don't hesitate to make him write, stand facing the wall, or whatever punishment your school will allow. Start it the second he acts up, and don't let up. Many parents coddle these little criminals in training and make them much worse. Your only hope is to start slowly teaching him simple cause and effect. Don't get angry and if possible don't show any emotion at all. It's just simple cause and effect and there's nothing you can do about it. It's a pain, and gets tiring, but you can never let up and be the nice guy. If you let one bad behavior slide without an effect, then it becomes two, three and snowballs from there.

One other little "trick" that seems to be effective is to tell the other students to complain to manager. They say something like "little Jonnie hit me", you take care of the issue in your classroom, but also tell the other student to report this to the manager. In this twilight zone, buxiban managers will listen and give much more weight to what the students are telling them, then what you are telling them. This is one opportunity to use it to your advantage. When students complain, they all of a sudden think that little Jonnie might be a problem.
Why not???

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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby funkymonkey » 01 May 2012, 14:10

chalouie wrote:This student sounds bad for business.

Exactly. A student like that can cause many other students to quite the class. Better to lose one rotten kid than five good kids. :2cents:
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby jimipresley » 01 May 2012, 14:30

I love you guys sometimes, I really do. Which buxibans do you work for?

When you quietly ask little Jacky to kindly stand up and leave the classroom does he unquestioningly comply? When you spend quality corridor time with him, gently but firmly explaining why his classroom indiscretions are disruptive, antisocial and a blight on his future career as an English major and World Citizen, does he nod contritely, feeling ashamed for his hard-working parents; embarrassed beyond belief at his disregard for their sacrifice, and thus shamed, slink back into the classroom intent upon mending his selfish ways and becoming a model student of the lingua franca of The Developed World?

Pull the other one, lads.

Tell young 12 year-old Andy to get out of your classroom for being a little bastard and he steadfastly refuses? Whatcha gonna do then? Put him in a headlock, rip him from his desk and drag him kicking and screaming into the corridor for a good old-fashioned 1 on 1? 'Cause if you don't, your authority in that classroom is FUCKED.

Make him stand up? Recite passages? Do extra writing? Separate him from the rest of the class? And if he says "No. Bu yao. Suck my EGGS!"? Whatcha gonna do then? Go downstairs and cry to the laoban who's inevitably going to do sweet fuck-all?

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not being all high and mighty. When I did "cram school" work, at the first sign of a finger or a "fuck you", AYE ripped them out of their desks and dragged them kicking and screaming into the corridor. Left them to wail outside like little girls. Eventually, the first perpetrator was allowed back in and I never got an OUNCE of shit after that. I didn't give a flying hoot about what "medication" they were on. I'm not their therapist or social worker. I see them for an hour or two a week. Get with the program. MY program.

I worked at a standard, common-or-garden buxiban. A glorified fucking aftercare centre for kids whose parents are slaving for the God Of Money, and overwhelmed with guilt about not spending enough time with little Maggie, allow her to stay up until one in the morning watching TV, so she doesn't get enough sleep to handle the shitty, mundane workload of school and buxiban the next day.

You guys are obviously working at Montessouri Institutes of Higher Learning and Compassion where parents, teachers and owners have a loving and joyous hands-on approach.

I have to giggle sometimes.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby Mother Theresa » 01 May 2012, 14:45

I'm glad jimi mentioned Compassion, because I was just about to. Heck, I will: I empathize with you for the difficult situation, but please show compassion for the kid. I may have missed it, but I didn't see you mentioning his family situation. That may be the problem.

My girl is in 2d grade and a new boy just joined their class who, I was told, often acts and speaks aggressively, uses foul language and has other behavioral problems. My wife also learned from the teacher that his father abandoned him as a baby and his mother's in either jail, hospital or also abandoned him, so he lives with a foster family. We discussed with our girl and asked her to please be kind to him, because the girls can sometimes be cliquish and exclusive. So she has made some efforts and it turns out he's actually a sweet kid -- just a little (ok, a lot) rough at times. The other day she reported that he said he missed his mom and my wife and I teared up a little.

Anyway, I don't know why your kid is so rough, but it's got to be either nature or nurture (or both) and, either way, it's not entirely his fault. Kid's are the product of their environment and some of us are less fortunate than others. I hope you can help him a little to find some peace, for your sake and his.
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