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Unsure how best to approach this (pen banging/tapping)

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by happymrjames, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. I am having a similar problem with one particular child. I haven't yet exhausted all 'positive' means....... but am a little resigned that the issues need to be addressed at a higher level (this is rare for me, but does happen with a very small amount of pupils).

    The situation that you are describing either needs challenging at a higher level, or you have to ignore it and allow it to affect the learning environment. Obviously, the second action is not acceptable - therefore, this must be pushed upwards.

    In my own case, I have created a word document that details the exact amount of disruption that is caused (how many hours/minutes etc of lesson that have been disrupted, and how much disruption has been caused to other students/the learning environment). I have also listed all things that I have put into action to try to resolve this - with a short note, on each occasion, appended to say that this hasn't worked....... In my view, written evidence is hard to ignore. The fact that this document exists (and that you have given it to SMT and asked for assistance) does somewhat force SMT to take this matter seriously. If an inspector comes into your room, or you have a complaint from a parent of another pupil in this class....... then you have lots of evidence to support you - and SMT should realise that this evidence would not support them....as they would not have provided the necessary assistance.

    It may be that 'on call' is hit and miss (it is also in my school). Therefore, this must be a higher level of management, with a greater range of sanctions that deals with this. Give them the detailed notes of the problem, and supporting notes/evidence as stated above and ask them for assistance - either that they suggest alternatives for you, or so that they take over this issue.

    It is not always possible to find the answer if you are a teacher. It MUST be the duty of management to support the teacher on the occasions when this is needed - either with practical advice and support, or school sanctions.
  2. I had a persistent chair-tipper who was distracting and attention seeking so I tried everything I could think of to stop the boy tipping on his chair. Detentions, standing up, writing lines etc.
    Then I had some training on Dispraxia, which the boy suffered from quite severely. Tipping on a chair falls completely within dispraxic tendencies so I ignored it and focussed on his progress in my lessons giving praise for anything I could catch him doing right. His behaviour gradually improved over several months and although he kept up the chair-tipping, he went on to do well at GCSE, beyond all expectations.
    Okay, so pen tapping/banging is more distracting to others but this boy seems to be attached to the pen. Will he use the pen to do some writing? Have you asked him why he does it? Don't suggest to him any reason, such as attention seeking. If he says he doesn't know, ask him to think and write down why he does it.
    Try giving him lots of attention with a positive tone of voice - not reprimanding, as you talk to the whole class or when you move around the class seeing how pupils are getting on, such as saying hello, how are you, how's it going etc - don't expect any reply. Good Luck!
  3. I felt quite frustrated reading all of the messages until your reply :)
    I have a seventeen year old son who was constantly in trouble at school; both primary and secondary. I went to several meetings with the heads and heads of year etc. He was in the 'on call' room more than his classroom at one point...why? because he was pen tapping!
    I begged for years for him to be assessed because he was essentially an intelligent child, who was loving and well behaved at home. As he was constantly in trouble for pen tapping he gained a reputation which led to him misbehaving in other ways out of pure frustration of not being understood.
    I finally had him assessed and the consultant was shocked that my son had not been diagnosed earlier because his symptoms were so obvious. He has ADHD and has been on a drug to help with this ever since. His behaviour changed completely, he became focussed, no pen tapping, went on to do well in his GCSE's and is now at college (as well as having his driving test next week). People are always commenting on how polite, helpful and generally nice he is and I am very proud of how hard he is working to reach his goals.
    I do not believe that any child is just badly behaved; there will always be a reason and this poor boy needs someone to understand him. It makes me feel quite sad.
    I hope you manage to find out why he is behaving the way he is and that this will ultimately help the whole class. Good luck.
  4. I used to work in a class where a boy use to always be drumming on the table so I just told him to do it on his leg.I dont know if this would work, but why not see if he would agree to do the tapping on his leg instead of the table.
  5. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Obviously I haven't really made it clear.
    This student isn't just absent-mindedly tapping his pen. He is deliberately thumping it against the desk to create disruption, and has laughed in my face and the HTs face when reprimanded.
    Anyway, he has been subdued for him since coming back after the holidays. I am hoping my firm approach in the first half term worked [​IMG]
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Then keep on and on and on sending him off with SMT. He may well not care and may laugh in their faces. But they will care and will not be laughing. Leave them to deal with him.
  7. Bellow at him until he cries. Keep doing that until he stops tapping his pen.
  8. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Minnieminx, thank you but this is not an option. We are a small, rural comprehensive. We do not have a large staff and do not have SLT available to take away students who are behaving like this.
    At any rate, as I said in my earlier post I have not had any problems from this boy since coming back after the October half term. Long may it continue.
  9. I had this problem in all my lower school classes. I checked with the Deputy and then offered up the following consequence:
    For even one mini-tap with a pen, the tapper would be required to do 100 pushups there and then in the classroom (real, proper man push ups). Everyone was warned....if a person had the energy to tap, they had the energy to exercise.
    Only one child had to do push ups....it nearly killed him, but everyone saw (and heard through playground gossip) that I meant business. The tapping miraculous stopped. Nowadays, if anyone accidentlly begins I just do a silent "air" push-up and it is enough of a reminder...that's if their classmates havent allready reminded them.
    Thats how we do stuff in the Antipodes!
  10. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    have only skimmed through this thread so sorry if i have missed it but have you involved parents?
  11. Mirror his behaviour by tapping your pen for the first 5 minutes of your next lesson, (really loud and rhythmically, until all pupils are completely tired of it, then stop when they are all holding their ears.....
    Apologise for how selfish and childish you just were and that you had a bad morning and you wanted to get attention to make you feel better, because thats what some people do, believe it or not.... Say how sorry you are for disrupting their learning and explain that it was a really childish way to behave and it wont happen again.
    Continue your day as nice as pie, especially to the boy who has now thanked goodness you didnt mention his name in the same sentence as a babyish four year old.
    Never mention the incident to him again, or praise him for stopping doing it - he knows, you know - that's all that matters. [​IMG]


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