1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Aggressive Young Student

Discussion in 'Personal' started by SBob, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. SBob

    SBob New commenter


    I am currently tutoring a young student (8yrs) who is not in school due to behaviour management issues. I am only there an hour a day and attempt to do a bit of English and a little maths.

    However, when they are on task and interested they are super, but their attention span can be anything from 1 second to half an hour. After which they completely ignore me and their mother or become increasingly aggressive starting by pushing their work on the floor, literally screaming in your face, throwing things (pens, Lego, shoes), pushing, hitting, punching, kicking, pinching and spitting.

    Asking them to talk doesn't, telling them to sit down, using a loud voice to say sit down - nothing just more of the same. It becomes a battle of wills where they kind of hold us hostage with the threat of violence until they get what they want or their mum has to physically restrain them.

    Any tips? Any cunning maths/English stuff?

    NB This child adapts faster than the Borg so the more tools I have in my arsenal, the better.

    And advice for parents too as mother is at the end of her tether.
  2. calamansi

    calamansi Lead commenter

    Why is the child like this?
  3. calamansi

    calamansi Lead commenter

    I think more is needed than "cunning maths/English stuff".

    You're talking about a seriously disturbed child here.
    InkyP, FrankWolley and catmother like this.
  4. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Here's a big clue.
  5. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Is it your problem?

    It seems that the child is controlling the situation. I would end the session and return the next day when they started misbehaving.
  6. calamansi

    calamansi Lead commenter

    OK. Either the child is spoilt rotten or/and is autistic or was born addicted. Sorry to be so negative
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  7. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    So the problem is the problem, and it seems you don't have enough information to what that is. I may start by possibly focusing some of the learning, on how to be attentive. Break your tasks down so they're short (10 minutes). Give them a choice of things that they could do so they feel they have some power over what is happening. If they start getting aggressive like that then you can't carry on, they're not going to just switch back. See if you can notice any triggers that set things off. Has the mother sought out medical advice in case it's a more complex issue?
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Educational psychologist?
    Stiltskin and SBob like this.
  9. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Clearly you require a fidget spinner, a fistful of BluTac, a very expensive small cube of fiddly facets, and a far more professional sense of what a developing child actually requires*

    *disclaimer-none of the recommendations in this list represent the actual views of the author.
    suertesamp likes this.
  10. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Do you have to follow nat cur or anything silly like that? I taught secondary several years ago so I'm not up to date with things like that and apologies if my suggestions may be a bit simplistic or sucking egg instructions. I don't know your remit exactly.

    Pretty obviously, learning is not going to take place so simply give up on it. Are you allowed, by our bean counters to give up on teaching and mess about instead? I would be interested to know.

    8Yr old? Thinking off the top of my head. What about reading a story? Making something out of paper, or a construction kit? Paper airplanes. Play a card game or a board game. Ball game, foot or catch - need a park and decent weather. Christmas decorations, especially paper chains showing that big things can be achieved from simple efforts.

    After winning over the child, then you can start to save the fun activity for the second half of the hour as a reward for the first half hour of the required work.
  11. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I'm not sured what your role is, are you doing LA funded home tuition or is this a private arrangement? Does his mother need to be there? Sometimes children are more badly behaved with the parent there. Have you worked with disturbed children like this before? I think this child needs more than maths and English tuition.

    Also, this might be nit picking, but he is a child not a student.
    grumpydogwoman, TCSC47 and calamansi like this.
  12. SBob

    SBob New commenter

    I really don't know. And it seems the parents don't either. I have asked for further information but everything seemed fine until they went to school at which point their confidence crashed (according to the parents) and it all went downhill.
  13. SBob

    SBob New commenter

    I can try that. Their behaviour can flip from rage to calm contentment in seconds. It is weird, but I shall talk to the mum tomorrow and we can try that. Thanks.
    Jesmond12 likes this.
  14. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    What does the school say about it?
  15. SBob

    SBob New commenter

    Yeah, I wondered about all of those. I am pushing the mum to go to the doctor.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  16. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Aren't the school going down this road then?
  17. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    You could also consider a half-way house where you just leave the room or the house but stay nearby so that you can be called back if the child improves. It will depend upon the exact circumstance if this is possible. Your safety is paramount at all times.

    In any event, you are a tutor not a teacher. The "in loco parentis" bit does not apply, the parent is there and it is their responsibility. Either the child cooperates or you get out of there. Trying to control the situation is not really an option.

    Yes a bit of carrot, as has been suggested, but no stick. You don't actually have one.
  18. SBob

    SBob New commenter

    True. I shall keep asking.
    I like the idea of being attentive and they can be...as long as it is on their terms. So the attention span is there but they seems to have worked out that rage/ignoring/walking off gets them out of doing pretty much everything.
    Triggers seem to be writing - they believe they can't do English though they write little stories or sort of reviews about what they have read/seen on YouTube/TV.
    I am pushing the mum to go to the doctors or be more forceful when working with the education authority as I think an educational psychologist would be perfect.
  19. calamansi

    calamansi Lead commenter

    Where are you?

    This child clearly has big problems. It's not for you to pick up the pieces. You've been given more than you can realistically be asked to manage.
    TCSC47, catmother and InkyP like this.
  20. SBob

    SBob New commenter

    I haven't been given a curriculum so I have been trying to use a variety of material. I've tried baking as a way of sorting instructions, reading, practising weights and measures. We've made shapes and 3D shapes to try understand other areas of maths. We've read books I have brought and their books and books they picked from the library.

    I can't get a handle on where to build a relationship as I feel like I make a breakthrough and then it's gone. Hence asking for advice.

    I will try some of your ideas...maybe planes or a board game.

Share This Page