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EAL student with explosive anger.

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by camronfry, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. camronfry

    camronfry New commenter

    I am about to start doing some anger management work with a student who seems to bottle up his frustration until it becomes too much to bear and then he explodes in a big ball of fury at both teachers and other students. I have not taught or worked with him directly before, so don't know him that well. I'm intending to do things like getting him to identify what triggers him off and avoiding those as much as possible, identifying when the anger is building and trying to come up with ways he can 'diffuse' himself and finding activities he can do that help him let off steam. He's been at an English speaking school for a while now and his spoken English is pretty good so there shouldn't be too much of a language barrier.
    I'm just wondering if anyone has got any really good tips/strategies to help students take more control and calm themselves down?
  2. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Sounds as if you know the best way forward yourself!
    Things like drum therapy to change emotional states work well. If it's any help, when I was a senior manager in a secondary school, I had a "punchbag" in my office for one boy who learned that if he could contain his anger for the rest of the period, he'd get chance to let off steam with no questions asked at the next break!
  3. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Whatever it is he needs to realise he is still in control of his behaviour however he feels and mustn't use it as an excuse. However just because his English seems good doesn't mean that there isn't too much of a barrier. Maternal tongue is not so named by accident. He will still prefer to express or be more effective at expressing emotions with his mother tongue. He needs to be able to continue to develop expression in his mother tongue to develop his overall cognitive ability.
  4. camronfry

    camronfry New commenter

    Drums and a punchbag are both great ideas, I think the drums might be a bit more practical idea for me though!
    The point about the Maternal tongue is an excellent one as I think effective expression of his emotions lies at the root of this, I think I'll try and incorporate use of his own language (Korean) into the sessions somehow.
    Thanks very much for your contributions.
  5. Having worked with students with EAL and anger issues I have found the firework analogy works best. Get them to make a firework, which represents anger on the trigger write down what makes them angry, on the firework write what do they feel when they are angry etc.

  6. I work with children with BESD. A book that I found useful early on was 'A Volcano in my Tummy' it has very simple tools and strategies which have worked for me very well.
    I work with Primary aged pupils, however, these strategies could be modified to suit older pupils too...
    We use a 'feelings wall' in our class and children can place their name card onto an image depicting a particular feeling or emotion. At a glance you can see who is likely to need additional support before behaviours can be triggered or escalate.
    Children have made there own type of scale that can communicate with you in a non verbal manner i.e thermometre, dial, sliding scale etc - these work well for the younger pupils.
    A group excersise which worked extremely well was to mind map 'behaviours', 'triggers', 'consequences' and 'feelings'. Each sheet was divided in half to explore negative/less favourable behaviours, triggers etc as well as positive/good behaviours. The children were able to share their ideas and collectively identify the route causes of both positive and negative behaviours, triggers etc and came to realise that they could turn events round with the right frame of mind, a kind word etc.
    Use of a time out / chill out card - given with instructions for use! Can be very effective if not abused.
    Visual reward card with simple targets; earning stickers or cards quickly to earn a reward at the end of each day/week/term whichever is more appropriate.
    Writing a 'Social Story' can also be very powerful and have a profound effect on specific behaviours.

    hope these ideas help.


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