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Reception class with some very difficult children, help please!!!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by blueberries, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Evening all! 

    I am currently working 3 days a week with a reception class who have some pupils will serious behaviour problems due to issues at home that I won't go into here.

    Some of the things that happen: 
    * 1 little girl is lashing out at people within 5 mins of coming into class. Ice had to physically restrain her twice to stop her hurting someone. Same child has thrown sand at other chn, disobeys rules, refuses to come
    And do group work 
    * another girl has awful tantrums, screaming, crying, threatening to hit other chn with various toys
    * a third girl provokes the other two and is generally quite sly. Mocking chn etc.

    I am totally alone with them as there are only 22 of them so they don't  get in a TA. half the class wont listen half the time so whole class carpet times are pointless.

    It was not great today, I spend half my play time crying in the toilets. Not that I can tell anyone as they would assume it's me rather than the chn ( I'm an Nqt). 

    I know it's only 3 more weeks but please give me some advice as I am dreading spending time with this class next week! 
  2. I don't understand.... Have you started recently in this class or have you been there all year?

    You shouldn't feel like you can't ask for help just because you are an NQT. If you wait then eventually you will be observed and then you will be strung up for behaviour management...always best for you to be the one instigating the need for some help.
    That aside, you need to do some serious thinking about WHY these children are acting in this way and WHAT you are going to do to encourage them to change.
  3. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Give those horrible children a big hug first thing in the morning. Expect the worst. Then you will be equipped to deal with it.
    Lots of circle time. Lots of stories limit teaching survive the day.
    It is not your fault that these children are like this.
    talk to you tonight more about what you can do
    Don't cry in the toilets it is not your fault. You are part of the solution not the problem.
  4. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    I have had a horrible day, Fridays are mega hard just now and the mix of children on Fridays is very trying. Enough about me.
    Your needy children are your priority and everything you do needs to be directed at dealing with this because unless you do, the whole class will suffer.
    NQT? It is a hard job this early years lark but you will survive and you will learn from this experience.
    What works for me might not work for you and what works for some children does not work for others. Just is like that.
    Emotional Well being. Make it a focus in your planning. PSED rules OK.
    Make a display, question table, etc, gather books about issues, about feelings, get photos of faces sad, angry happy etc. Big it up. Get mirrors. Without vocabulary and modelling these children do not have any way to express themselves except by "acting out".
    Engage parents. Make or find a leaflet to send home about talking about how you feel. Put in the planning.
    Give all your well behaved children a certificate at the end of the week to celebrate how well they have behaved. This makes you feel better because you see most children are OK most of the time.
    Decide on and stick to your sanctions.
    Spend time with the whole class talking about rules and write them down. Refer to them big time when children break them.
    Focus on your difficult children and find them being good. Don't leave it to escalate while you teach reading and writing. For now, concentrate on social skills and emotional skills.
    If you need to justify this by doing well being and involvment assessments which red flag your needy chidlren. Talk about traffic lights, your have some on red alert.
    Use a big egg timer? if you have one to give immediate time out for a specified time.
    Talk to the other chidlren thus "She can't help it she does not understand". Get them on board to be sympathetic and they will help.
    Use conflict resolution strategy. Approach with open hands and ask what has happened, rephrase and put in positive light, find solution, help chidlren to do this. BIg key skill for future life. Google it if you do not understand what this means. It is the key skill from the research that we had recently. Do not blame, and get angry, just resolve conflicts.
    Your babes in trouble lack social skills. And also, your other tots quickly get into a mindset of blame. Undo this and point out the good in the troubled children. Circle time really helps.
    Always end the day with kindness and a big hug. Start and end with love and not trouble and you will all feel better no matter what hideousness the day has brought you.
    Come back for more support every day until the end of term.
    Give yourself loads of rest and job because you are doing a great job.

  5. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    I did not mean a leaflet about how you feel as a teacher but about talking about feelings.
    Have job not job this weekend.

  6. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Joy joy not job arghh
  7. LauraJeanD

    LauraJeanD New commenter

    NellyFUF bless you for giving all that lovely advice!
    One thing I would add to is your issue of the class not listening to you. I find that the best way to get around that is to pack your whole class carpet time with excitement and mystery. If the children are engaged from the start then they will want to hear what you have to say. Use your voice...if you speak quietly then they will have to strain to hear you. Praise the well behaved children in a quiet voice. Also finger rhymes and action songs are good to get them all involved from the start...ones that wind down into quiet voices and ahnds in lap are good ones. Then straight into praising the ones who are sat nicely. Then STRAIGHT into what you're doing with them on the carpet. Short sharp bursts.

    Maybe this will help?
  8. clawdeer

    clawdeer New commenter

    I have a reception class with some very strong characters in, so use a traffic light warning system...
    no-one is on the traffic lights to start with, if they break one of our 'rules that keep our class happy', they are warned verbally first, but then persistant offenders go on green, which is still just a warning. i write their first name on the green circle, so they have a consequence for the action, they hear the warning and they see it. if something else happens that day, their name moves to orange, which is a 5 minute time out from choosing, where they sit and calm down and think about how they could have made a better choice. we always discuss what happened, and what would have been a better way of doing things and what they should try and do next time. etc. if they do a third thing that day, there are no more warnings, they go on red. i have only used red twice all year, as it rarely gets that far. red means they have to go and see the year one teacher and talk to them about what has happened.
    Every day every child starts with a clean sheet, and no-one stays on the traffic lights more than a day, their name is rubbed off at the end of the day.
    i really stick to this and the children all know that this is the consequence for their actions, it is really successful, and to be honest i dont need to use it often as they really dont want to end up on the green at all.
    I do have a reward system which they all love, which is if they do anything kind, nice or good at all, they can take a gemstone from the basket of gemstones and put it in a tinkerbell pot i have. they love getting gems, and this positive reinforcement really encourages my class to behave.
    i also try and 'catch them being good',they could just be sitting staring into space (but aren't hurting someone else) so i say "I really like the way you are sat soooo nicely" especially the strong characters. it surprises them, they like getting the praise and then they do eventually start being better behaved.
    I had to introduce some sort of visual sanction / reward system for the particular kids i have, it may not work for every class, but it has worked for me this year.
    hope this helps[​IMG]
  9. Thank you all for such fantastic advice, I will be taking it all on board.

    Love the traffic light idea as a visual system, Will try and put into place on my 3 days. Do you think it would work even if they didn't have it on the other two? ( The other teacher doesn't like any sort of system)
  10. clawdeer

    clawdeer New commenter

    Yes, i think so, they will associate it with you, as different teachers often have different methods, and kids adapt. hope it goes well :)
  11. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Would it help to ask the two day teacher how she manages the challenging children?

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