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when things go bad


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Feb 22 2003 - 12:12:07 PST

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526

>....If you are able to give me some more clues as to how to
> deal with the H.S. Quarterback, who is a tenth grader, who refuses to quiet
> when I teach and is constantly vying for someones attention, I would really
> appreciate it. The most intolerable part is that he sasses me daily!!! I
> have sent him to in-school-suspension to make him think, but he will
> probably come back as cocky as ever! I would love to have some ideas that
> would be creative to give him the attention that he obviously needs, without
> having the rest of my students suffer in the process.
> Sincerely, Idus in southern Mississippi

Ahhhhh. I had a little charmer like that this past week myself except mine
was probably shorter and smaller than yours (grin). Aren't they a delight?!
I'm guessing you've done the usual like a little one-on-one inspirational
technique? Have you tried a little humor (which is REALLY hard when you're
pissed) to defuse the situation, get the classroom relaxed, and perhaps make
him look childish to his peers so that THEY wind up policing his actions?

My charmer was asked to remove his hat in class which is a school rule. He
didn't. When I asked again he stood up, walked over to me, took off his hat,
stretched out his hand with hat, and dropped it on the floor right in front
of me. Sweet little thing...8th grader. I smiled at him and told me he
really should hold on to his possessions so they wouldn't get lost. Kids
started giggling and the tables were turned. (Lordy that was so hard to
do...not to lose my cool as I was sooooo mad!) His hat stayed on the floor
until he was forced to pick it up later. Later we had some one-on-one. I've
been through 4 detentions with his bad attitude/sass so I've started the
ball rolling with the counselor and VP to have him removed from my class.
Whether or not that happens, I don't know but I feel good about the

 It's that "gotcha" moment they're looking for, isn't it?! One up-man-ship
they so desperately need. I think the best possible way is using humor and
get the class to buy into YOU instead of the student which humor will long as it's not personally directed to making fun of the
student. You have to leave them with some dignity in tact or it's not
workable and it's opening another wormy can.

Same thing goes with the one-on-one. You don't accomplish much if this
little talk is one-sided or if you don't give him any space for keeping his
dignity or expressing his viewpoint. Sometimes it's not possible to work it
all out. Then it's on to a good paper trail, parent call, counselor, VP,
etc. I've chalked my charmer into a "personality conflict" and freely admit
to it. Now it's on to other avenues. That's the advice I'd suggest.