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Re: Middle School discipline problems


Date: Wed Mar 05 2003 - 17:03:25 PST

When I have a kid like that in my class (and everyone has a kid like that in
their class..let's face it) what works for me is asking him to pass out
paper, take paper off bulletin boards, errands, any simple task that makes
him feel like a big shot. I work with under-priviledged kids in the inner
city-West side of Chicago, and my students are starved for any attention and
they will get it no matter what. They will do the most bizarre act to make
sure they are the center of attention! I think this might be the problem
with your student. He is needy. If you show anger, you are playing into his
hands. He is in a power struggle with you, and he is winning, I hate to say
it. He is winning. Kill him with kindness. For example, say to him, "Hey,
Joe (or whatever his name is)..I need your help in passing the art supplies,
etc." Can you lend me a hand?"
You may be surprised there is a good person underneath all that aggressive
behavior. (Could he be special ed?) The solution may be that simple too. He
can be a helper and in the meantime you can ignore ignore ignore silly
stupid show-offy behavior on his part. You may just wear him down not giving
him this needed attention.
I learn later, with my students, that dad just left for stint (his 12th or
100th or whatever) in jail--or even mom is back in the slammer. Or I learn
that mom and/or dad was arrested for drug-usage. Or I learn there was a
death in his family or that he or she is sexually abused and they place him
in a foster home or grandma's house. I can go on and on ..... What can you
do in that case? He is angry and he is taking it out on you. There is a
reason that he acts different than the others. He needs understanding and
support--something that is lacking obviously in his personal life-no doubt.
Why would he act in this way?
I know you have to be patient and boy, this is soooooo hard because you
really want to throw him out your window, doncha?!
 I learn from observation too. Some of the teachers in my school are so
terrific with this type of behavior especially the special ed. teachers. I
observe these experts and soak it all in like a sponge. I try to approach
these probs. in my own way and not ask admin. or disciplinarian. They also
like it if you solve your own problems too-in our school. (They hate doing
their job--too much work!!)
Hope this helps. Try it out and let the group know. That's what we are here
for! Good Luck!
Jill (BT)