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laughing as you discipline another child

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by purpleflamingo, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. What would you say or do in this case?
    A student made a negative comment about a piece of work and I answer that, "I don't like that comment, stay in break to speak to me about it" (it's not the first time he's been negative and I wanted to speak to him about it) while another lets out peals of laugher that a friend has to say in break.
    I've used the line, "If you think it's funny, you can stay too." but it's getting old and anyway I've noticed sometimes others will also laugh in response to him staying (like a chain of laughing at those who stay in break)
    Obviously it's very inappropriate because it's like laughing at the discipline.
    Then of course they complain they have to stay in break because they were "only laughing" and "it's not fair".
    How do you think is the best way to approach this or explain so it's clear for them that this is not on!
  2. The same boy who does the laughing (and to a lesser extent his friends in the class) do other things which go too far in terms of humour. For example we worked on something serious like a thinking skill lesson of create a society and decide on leadership, rules, etc. His group turned it into a joke like bad people get thrown into a volcano, and they answered questions humorously as their group work to hand in. I'm not against having some humorous comments or some humourous scenarios by any means but I see a trend of making a joke and making light of work, including discipline as above. This boy is quite insecure and immature and I wonder what to do with him and his friends. They are Year 9. I wonder if I might give him a job or something to help him with his need for attention and acceptance but when I think of him helping me return work for example, I see him making a joke of that too, commenting and laughing about bad grades.

  3. greenb

    greenb New commenter

    Would it help to ask him to explain whatever might be quite so funny?
    I guess it is a case of putting him on the spot and giving him the attention he may be after, but I think through making him try and justify himself and engage others in their opinion of the matter, it might generate some self awareness as well as critical thinking?!
  4. "How do you ... explain so it's clear for them that this is not on!"
    Barring things like autism etc my view would be that they know fine well that it's not on, so I wouldn't bother with a long explanation.
    Do you carry out that threat of "if you find it funny you can stay too"? Is it effective? If not, escalate, I guess.
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I would keep as many of them in as were laughing. If they even start to moan they would get a very stern voice and look and I'd say something like: "You were not ONLY laughing. You were disrupting the lesson. You were being disrespectful to me. You were encouraging others to misbehave. You were not working yourself because you were busy being a nuisance. How dare you use the word 'only' to describe such behaviour. If you ever do any such thing again, I will phone your parents and let them know I have given you a detention for being disrespectful, rude, disruptive, encouraging bad behaviour and not working. Now I suggest you sit silently and think how you WILL behave next lesson."

    I've never ever actually had to phone a parent for any such thing...
  6. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    It seems like we teach the same pupils! My year 9s are exactly like that. Yes, if they laugh I count it as disruption and disrespect. It seems ever so funny to everyone else though and once enough people start laughing it's safety in numbers. There are certain words that trigger complete hilarity such as 'oral' and, more recently 'come'. We were doing invitations and they had to translate the sentence: 'I cannot come', and it was considered absolutely hilarious.
  7. Oh no! "Boys, hold on to your balls!" is a bad one in gym. You could respond to this with a "instead of doing French (or whatever) today we're going to discuss sex ed, maturity, growing up etc as you seem to have some issues around it. Work together with whoever normally does that and make sure they're all sufficiently embarrassed that they don't think to laugh again.
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    But I would have found that hilarious at that age, and I'm a girl! It is a bit like year 1s who find the word 'we' highly amusing and anything relating to poo or farting is hysterical. It is a normal developmental stage, rather than serious naughtiness.

    I'd have let them have some fun, accepted that they would find it funny and then settled them down to serious work.
  9. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    Thank you - that's made me laugh. I could try and be more laid back about it, but as the class is generally quite badly behaved the joke's definitely on me.

  10. Minnieminx, the response to "only laughing" is great. Would you take a student aside to say all that or say it while others in the class are listening?
    Yes, some of these are making me laugh, the funny thing with some verbs in other languages is conjugating them is you end up with I come,you come,he comes, etc or another one I've heard teachers have trouble with is I do it, you do it getting we do it, you (all) do it, they do it, etc. Of course you can have many variations of these in many different tenses!
  11. Getting him to explain what's so funny is something where it takes so long to get it out of him (like anything does) that I don't think I have the persistence or time for it. Is the point to embarrass him? To be honest, I never seem to embarass those kinds of pupils since the ones with discipline issues don't care enough to be embarassed... or what is your experience?
    And what could he really say anyway? He might answer, "I think it's funny my friend has to say in break." and then what do I say to that?
    I have followed up on getting them to say in break last time it happened but then I didn't this time. I guess I wasn't consistent there. (I ignored it completely like I didn't hear it, thinking it wasn't worth hearing the complaints and have the disruption that would ensue - or risk the chain of laughter that might break out.)
    Of course I want to have reflected on it to be in a better position next time to react, hence being here looking for advice and others' experiences.
  12. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    In front of the others generally. Or at least in front of whoever heard them say they were 'only laughing'.
  13. One suggestion I've recently been given is that instead of saying at the time that they'll be staying in at break -tell them just before break/the end of the lesson "I need a word with you at break/now about your behaviour in this lesson -we'll discuss it then". That then leaves them no time to disrupt the lesson with arguing about fairness/laughing etc.
  14. joedoggyuk

    joedoggyuk New commenter

    Something serious like thinking skills? Damm. It doesn't get more serious than that. I can't think of anything any more serious than thinking skills. THIS. IS. SERIOUS.
    A 'serious lesson in thinking skills' is an oxymoronic phrase.
    If your success criteria is to get them to think, well done, they thought for themselves. They thought that thinking skills is a joke. And you know what; ha ha ha (or, lol), they'd be right. It is a joke. Thinking skills, Learning styles, SEAL, brain gym and comments about Jimmy Saville: they're all jokes.
    The greatest joke of all? That an educated profession, one that espouses itself on wisdom, should be on its knees teaching these jokes like they were truisms.
  15. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Depending on if it makes you laugh, you could get them to sit and listen to Beavis and Butthead laugh for 25 minutes on a 5 second loop in their own time. The perfect example of children laughing without self-awareness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1agaZinJHg

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