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'that' child!

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by cat_fanatic, May 19, 2015.

  1. Hi all. I work in a large secondary school as an LSA. There's one student ( who i shall simply refer to as child A ) who seems to be hell bent on causing me grief. Particularly if I have to reprimand them, although on all occasions where I have done so it has been fair and appropriate. I've tried the softly softly approach, praise, the heavy-handed-stay-behind-and-speak-to-me method, behaviour points, tactical ignoring. Nothing seems to have an effect. Child A has also been on report several times, on and off, during the year or so that I have worked there. The behaviour does not change-rudeness, backchat, sarcastic comments, 'why is miss in our lesson anyway?' type comments, ignoring, laughing behind my back, the list goes on. Child A is very much the ringleader in their peer group and appears to get kicks out of behaving badly. ( how many more like this!!!! ) All I can suspect is that this student has been used to getting away with murder for so long and now someone is pulling them up on it, they don't like it!! I don't know where to go from here; teachers I speak to keep telling me to be firm, follow the behaviour policy etc-but seriously what good does that do? Child A has had three weekend detentions within the last year but the behaviour continues! Surely proof that schools actively fuel unwanted behaviour because there is no 'absolute sanction' for the children. I am now filled with anxiety every time I enter this class because of this youngster's vile attitude-and knowing that nothing works.

    Please help! Is there anyone else out there who is always dealing with 'that' child??
  2. re

    re New commenter

    This child perceives you as the less powerful adult in the class and is therefore choosing to challenge you rather than the class teachers. By demeaning you he is increasing his standing with his peers. Enlist the help of the class teachers so that you form a cohesive united front. Then keep on with the school discipline policy. You will eventually wear him down.
  3. MrsAinTheDen

    MrsAinTheDen New commenter

    These are the hardest ones to deal with I think...There is also something to be said for this child's self esteem. One who feels they have to demean others in order to feel good about themselves must truly have very little self esteem or confidence. While, for all their bluster, these are often quite insecure. Now I know that does not help in any practical sense but I have had one of these and Itried best not to react to anything said in the company of other students. Or if I did, it was to turn, smile and say something along the lines of (and in a most gentle voice) 'sorry love, what was that, I missed it?'

    Invariably, they would repeat it or a version of it but a joke is never as funny told twice in a row to the same audience. and even when they did chuckle I just kind of dismissed it with an 'Oh' or something like that. The flip side was taking time out of the lesson time to spend time getting to know them. I discovered, after requesting some 1:1 time to talk to the child that the child was really unhappy, the child felt neglected and unimportant in at home. The child's sense of self worth was at rock bottom and the only place they got any affirmation was when they made inappropriate jokes in the direction of the adults and made their class mates laugh. While having a few 1:1 sessions and talking candidly and honestly about that persons behaviour, and suggesting that perhaps they were better than that did not change the behaviour all round, the child was a lot less rude towards me. Maybe that was my lucky break or maybe it was a viable tactic but I run pastoral interventions now and 1:1 before any kind of group intervention is always the way as a child will rarely honestly open up to you in the company of friends and teachers.
  4. aowensey

    aowensey New commenter

    I would agree with both responses. The child must have very low self esteem and I think if you have some 1:1 time with them, to get to know them better you would probably find the underlying reasons for their issues. Has the class teacher spoken to their parents? How have they responded? That can be a big indicator of the support - or lack of it the child gets at home. If your school has a counsellor they may be able to help in finding out what is driving the child to behave this way.

    Keep going with the sanctions and rewards too. The class teacher should also be fully involved, they are lucky to have you and ultimately the child is their responsibility.

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