Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby Homey » 01 May 2012, 15:12

I absolutely agree with having compassion for the difficult children, but not in the normal politically correct sense. This compassion has to be balanced out with wisdom. More coddling is not compassionate and not wise. For some, being downright strict is the most compassionate thing you could offer.

Many kids with these issues need structure, need discipline in their lives. Most people seem to think that if you are tough on a kid that they won't like you or your not being compassionate. This is completely false. I'm so much stricter than any other "teacher" that has "taught" at my school by a long shot. I don't believe in the 'give em candy and play games' mentality. The strange thing is that my students love me, and rarely like the coddling candy dispensers that come and go so frequently.

If you care, then you will be strict when it is appropriate. This is the most compassionate thing you can do. We teach so much more than just English and we need to be aware of our influence even when it appears there is none.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 01 May 2012, 15:16

MT: This whole attitude is why the modern education systems in many Western nations (and increasingly, Taiwan) are going to the dogs. It's all about feeling sorry for the class fuckwit. What about feeling sorry for the kids whose educations get disrupted by these little pricks? What about the teachers who can't do their jobs because of these little devil spawn? Where's the compassion for the people who suffer the collateral damage of all this nonsense?

Nothing has made me more conservative, paranoid and down right misanthropic than being a teacher. I am on the frontlines of our descent into the cultural abyss.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby Mother Theresa » 01 May 2012, 15:28

GuyInTaiwan wrote:MT: This whole attitude is why the modern education systems in many Western nations (and increasingly, Taiwan) are going to the dogs. It's all about feeling sorry for the class fuckwit. What about feeling sorry for the kids whose educations get disrupted by these little pricks? What about the teachers who can't do their jobs because of these little devil spawn? Where's the compassion for the people who suffer the collateral damage of all this nonsense?


I never suggested feeling sorry for him. I suggested compassion, but apparently you're not familiar with the concept. Never mind.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby Battery9 » 01 May 2012, 18:13

I have never worked at a school where the bosses cared much about problem kids. ANd sorry, but if he is on medication he must have shown this type of behavior elsewhere.

I know it's extremely hard, but try not to blow up at him. It's probably all he knows. There is also a huge problem here, often I talk to my co-worker, and the parents always finds a way to make her come back to me all sweet and smiley, telling about how we should be patient with him. Like she is the one dealing with him! For some weird reason people care sooo much about NT5000 a month from one problem kid, that they would rather loose 4 good kids. All that I can think of , is that the parents threaten the school in some way. I once lost 5 students over a kid on meds that used to ask me for help, and as I came closer he would stab paperclips into my hip. He also saw I had a blister from a motorcycle burn and he kicked it. Still have a scar.

just think that you deal with this kid for a couple of years, they're with him for life. Unfortunately his life is not going to get any easier. How long has he been in your class?
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby finley » 01 May 2012, 18:47

I know it's extremely hard, but try not to blow up at him. It's probably all he knows.

No, probably not. If you were actually allowed to talk to his parents, I'll bet you'd find they are complete fuckwits who alternate between thrashing the hell out of the kid, and letting him run riot. This is guaranteed to produce a kid with problems like you describe.

The fact that he is on medication is irrelevant: there are very few qualified psychiatric professionals in Taiwan and their skills are not valued much. The standard procedure is to hand out a big bag of pills rather than attempt to find out what the problem is and fix it. In this case, he is NOT schizophrenic, he doesn't have ADHD. He's just a screwed-up little shit. True, it probably isn't his fault, but he's still a little shit.

I'd add a +1 to the posters above who basically suggested operant conditioning. The first second he starts acting up, sling him out the door. Ignore everything he does out there; he's not in your classroom, ergo not your problem. As soon as he starts to behave himself, "reward" him by paying attention to him again; be nice to him if he does something that deserves it. A genuine smile and "well done" is probably enough. Under no circumstances allow him any control over the consequences of his actions: only you decide whether to make his life hell (when he deserves it), or when he gets to be treated like a human being. Do this absolutely consistently. Never make an exception to the "rules". It works pretty well on most animals, and kids aren't much different.

He may eventually get the idea that you are actually on his side, and he may confide to you exactly what's happening to him at home. Pray that this doesn't happen, because you will probably feel the need to crack some skulls.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby Brendon » 01 May 2012, 20:37

I never had a lot of luck with dragging kids kicking and screaming into the corridor -- it's the only thing you can do when they call your bluff, but at least for me it never turned a bad kid into a good one. I suspect they get plenty of that from their regular schoolteachers and possibly parents, and that it's part of the problem.

One thing that did help with a few of the really bad kids was finding an excuse to spend some time with them outside class, in a non-punishment context. Working on a speech for some bullshit competition, waiting for their parent (or whoever) to pick them up, doing make-up for a missed class or homework -- things that the Chinese teachers generally do -- are a good chance to build a bit of a personal bond.

If you can find a natural way to do that and just hang out with him for a while, even a half hour, you may find that he comes to see you as his friend / ally / surrogate father and completely changes his behaviour in class.

Or not, but like I say, it worked for me sometimes.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby finley » 01 May 2012, 20:45

I never had a lot of luck with dragging kids kicking and screaming into the corridor -- it's the only thing you can do when they call your bluff, but at least for me it never turned a bad kid into a good one. I suspect they get plenty of that from their regular schoolteachers and possibly parents, and that it's part of the problem.

It's not punishment. You're just allowing the rest of the class to get on with their work. However, he does need to understand that if he acts up, then he's out of the class. Whether he considers that punishment or not is irrelevant. It's just something that naturally and inevitably follows his acting like a dick. Conversely, acting like a human being brings certain rewards. It's the association, and consistency of action, that matters.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby Homey » 01 May 2012, 21:36

First couple of years I didn't hesitate to grab them and remove them from the classroom. It worked great, and had the bonus of instant attitude adjustment from all the other students.

These days, I'm not so reckless. I follow the "never touch a student" rule. I would prefer it the old way, but I know things could get real ugly. The local teachers can likely get away with it forever, but not whitey. In some cases the kids are nothing compared to their dysfunctional parents and we all know the school certainly isn't going to hesitate throwing you under the bus to save themselves from more problems.

I would highly recommend rethinking this particular strategy unless you happen to be a very lucky person. I'm not, and a man has to know his limitations.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby PigBloodCake » 01 May 2012, 22:00

Frankly, the entire educational system, from the West to the 'wan, has been "pussified".

Who the hell knows autism, Asperger, ADHD and what not last century? Compassion? More like corporal punishment back in the ol' days.

You disrupt the class, you're getting the whip. You didn't do well, you're getting the whip. Hell, I got 98 back in 2nd or 3rd grade and I still got 2 lashes (every lash for each missed point). There was absolutely no excuse back then NOT to have perfection.

Nowadays......totally pussified.
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Re: Child with severe behavioral issues- help!

Postby finley » 01 May 2012, 22:06

There is a big difference between maintaining discipline and beating the crap out of kids as a substitute for teaching. I have never met a single Taiwanese person who has achieved some sort of enlightened perfection from being squeezed out of the rectum of Taiwan's educational system.
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