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Out of control pupil

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Rachie2011, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Hi, I have recently qualified as a teacher. I have just started at my new school which is in an underprivileged area. My class mostly all come from difficult backgrounds and are quite challenging. The problem I have is with one particular student, a 5 year old girl. I understand that she has serious family issues at home - although I don't know to what extent. She is completely out of control, in the past 2 days she has tried to escape from the classroom several times. She has ripped down the displays, she has hit me, spat at me and shouts at me and the other students constantly.

    My TA is new and as such she is not in a position to help. I have spoken to other teachers at the school including the deputy head and I have just been told to try and reward her good behaviour. I have done this, but to no avail. Because of the background that most of the children come from, the school has a policy of no shouting. We are not allowed to raise our voices or get angry with the children in any way.

    I have tried giving her extra responsibilities to make her feel more special and important, but this has just served to inflate her sense of self importance and she is becoming worse. The other children are not learning and are starting to become more disruptive as well.

    I am at a total loss as to what I can do. I have no support from the TA, the staff don't know what to suggest to help and the school's policies mean that I am fairly restricted as to what I can do. Any suggestions or ideas would be very warmly welcomed.

    Thank you.
  2. Does the person who has your class for your ppa time have a problem with the kid? Maybe you could discreetly observe how they cope with her.
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    What are the sanctions available to you?

    As far as your post says, she had has no consequences at all for her behaviour and so at the moment thinks it is acceptable. She will of course get worse and worse until she finds a point where you don't tolerate it and so there is a consequence. She then learns that is the limit and so will come back and carry on behaving how you have allowed her to.

    If she was in my class I would not have tolerated any of the behaviour you mention. Every single one would have meant she was removed from the room or sat by herself. The hitting you and spitting at you should have resulted in a trip to the HT at least.

    Definitely be positive and reward her good behaviour, but also be stern and punish her bad behaviour. You need to do both, repeatedly and consistently.

    The other children have seen how she behaves and have seen her be (effectively) rewarded for it. Naturally they want the extra responsibilities and praise and so are copying her behaviour.
  4. Rockchick2112

    Rockchick2112 New commenter

    The kind of behaviour you describe sounds just like the type of behaviour I witnessed when I worked with a child who had pathological demand avoidance syndrome (which is on the autistic spectrum). Of course, your pupil's behaviour may be linked to things going on at home, but it sounds as if it could be more than that. I wonder if your school's SENCO has any ideas on how best to support the child? If she does have some particular special need which is causing her to behave like this, then she should really have support from a TA who has had appropriate training (eg Team Teach).
  5. I have a similar with a boy in my class who is 9: our whole staff have received mapa taining to correctly restrain him until he calms down. This would at least be a start. Your slt have a duty of care to you as well as the rest of the school, so I would get a behavioural action plan together between you, ta, senco and head. The child shouldn't actually be in school until a handling policy is in place.
  6. Hi,
    I have nothing but sympathy and empathy for you, the kind of behaviour you are witnessing and being on the receiving end of will not go away without specialist help. It is possible to tell children off without shouting but just doing that is not enough. This pupil needs a referral to the educational psychologist followed by, possibly a placement in a specialist facility and support from other agencies not just support from school. I speak as a teacher who has worked in pupil referral units for 18 years across the statutory age range. This child needs some prompt and specialist help and it is imperative that your school requests support sooner rather than later. I wish you all the best in your conscientious endeavours to improve the opportunities for support that this little girl has. You sound like a kind, reflective and empathic teacher which is exactly what all children need but some need help over and above that, due to particularly difficult home circumstances.
    Kind regards and do let us know what happens. I wish you well.
  7. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    It's not the TA's problem.
    Sounds like you have a weak head. Sadly, not much you can do without support from senior colleagues.
    1. Seek support.
    2. Look for a new job.

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