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what would you do?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by breadmaker, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    Please could anyone help/adivse me. I have a difficult y1 class whom through patience, consistency etc. I have turned around and they are now doing really well and although they still have their moments, overall our days are fun and happy.
    However, 1 child from a notoriously difficult family has had so much time off- odd days- no real reason other than thats how the family operates, that he has not been through the above process with the rest of the class and is still where he was in septemebr with regard to behaviour.
    The other children are totally sick- and I am too!- of his hitting, punching, name calling and them being unable to walk acorss the room without him abusing them in some way for no reason, other than that they might do something to him so he has to get in first- this is the explanation he gives when questionned.I have followed the school sanctions until I am blue in the face.
    I am wondering whether to up the anti somewhat and get the rest of the class to explain to him en masse, why they don't want to play with him, be near him etc. He would have the learning mentor to support him, so he wouldn't be hung out to dry totally.
    As you can guess, I am not 100% happy with this approach- which is why I'm posting on here- but I really don't know where to go with this and feel that maybe peer pressure could have some impact on this boy who is actually intelilgent enough to undertsand things, but his reactive and provocative behaviour is habitual and no matter how many times he says sorry, it's all just water off a duck's back.
    Thanks for any replies
  2. That's not even an option, you would be struck off. Article 28 of the CRC forbids any discipline in education using physical or mental abuse, and you are required to consider his dignity.
    I think that if you want his behaviour to improve, you are going to have to use the learning support mentor in a more positive and proactive manner. I will write up some strategies on word and paste them in later, otherwise I will accidently close this window right before I finish!
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I have done a circle time type approach to children with this sort of problem before. They say 'I feel bad when you......because.......and I'd like it better if you......'

    The child being spoken to has sat next to me in the circle and often starts to snuggle up a bit, so finishes with my arm round them. We finish the circle time with everyone writing something they do like about the child on a large piece of paper and we pin that up somewhere for us all to see.

    There has never been any loss of dignity nor any question of emotional or mental abuse. It is all gently and kindly done.

    It works alongside a total non acceptance of the poor behaviour. You act violently...you leave the room. You call people names...you leave the room.
  4. If you are asking every child to say something negative about one child, that is completely disgraceful. It's no less than bullying and absolutely appalling. You can achieve the same goals using a little more tact. I find it difficult to even imagine how you would explain that to a parent.
  5. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    As usual, minnie comes up with a good idea. Circle time sounds appropriate.
    This child seems to have fairly complex needs and social difficulties. A restorative approach, carefully handled and properly planned, might have beneficial effects on his interaction in class.
  6. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    If the pupils were saying something negative about the pupil, I would agree - but you read minnie's post carefully, the children are making comments about the behaviour of the child, not them personally.
    A phrasing such as "I don't like it when this happens.... I like it when it's like this.." seems appropriate to me. Criticise the behaviour not the child, and give them positive feedback about what kind of behaviour will help them be more successful in the complex interactions of the classroom. This child is rarely at school, and it is absolutely appropriate that his classmates are encouraged in a nurturing environment to give him the guidance he needs to get on better with them, especially if he himself realises there areproblems with how he's getting on.
    It is a risky strategy, though, and requires a teacher who is comfortable dealing with the teaching of emotional intelligence. I certainly wouldnt think it as an ad hoc thing to be done regularly.
  7. Or it may isolate him, damage his self-confidence and remove his feeling of safety within school. This isn't appropriate at all. Telling a child how awful they are is counter-productive, it makes more sense to make it non-personal. You can still do a circle time, perhaps 2 pictures of a boy and one can be the things that make a good friend and the other things that make a bad friend.
    Don't make it personal, the child could be withdrawn by your learning support assistant at the end to further the work done in the class.
  8. Year 1 children will not be able to distinguish between behaviour and child. They will say they don't like x because he does x.
  9. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I fail to see how a restorative approach could damage his self-confidence and isolate him.
  10. You fail to see how all the children in his class saying something negative about him with the teacher leading, would damage his self-confidence and isolate him?
  11. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    Thanks for all your replies-plenty of food for thought. The other thing I forgot to mention is the daily complaints I get from the other parents about this child and the "so what are you as the teacher going to do about it?" Yes, I accept the child's dignity etc., but other children are going home bruised and upset so what about their right to come to school ion peace? I feel I have tried SO hard with many different approaches. HT just says "the whole family have been the same- just batten down the hatches until July."
    I am glad I posted on here as it's given me a raincheck on where I go from here with this particular child. All very complex this kind of situation. My real frustration is that I know I could have moved him on like the rest of the class if he had been along for the ride every day.
  12. I don't think it has to be a choice between the two, I don't think it's acceptable at all for him to be behaving in this manner. But equally he doesn't deserve to be put in a difficult position.
    I think the time has come for you to request support from your LEA Behaviour Support Unit. There are endless reasons that children behave poorly, but there is always a reason and you need to find out why.
  13. ^ not meant to sound snappy, I can tell that you've really tried to support the class and it's just a bit of a slap in the face when 1 child doesn't conform!
  14. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    You are talking about minnie's Circle Time, which I have agreed is a risky strategy, but I think could have positive results.
    I am talking about a restorative inquiry. Now, can you tell me how you think a restorative inquiry would damage the child's self confidence?
  15. I would use a positive approach rather than a negative one. I would find something the child is good at and help him/her to work in this area. Once they are feeling better about themselves they will respond in a more positive way to others in the class. Then and only then, i would remark on the new positive behaviour and this would enable me to refer to previous negative incidents.
  16. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    I took on board your comments and suggestions and we did a circle time where puppets represented the child and others in the class so no names mentioned. The child in question told us that he thought it was fine for the puppet to go round being nasty to others and that he wanted him to be his best friend cos he thought he was "sick". He didn't think the puppet needed to change his behaviour at all.
    I do take on board your comment about finding things he is good at, but tbh, he rarely shows much interest in anything other than playing in the sand,water and then he throws sand in other's faces, thumps the water so everyone gets wet etc.etc, which is obviously where he is developmentally. The conflict comes when he is asked to do something he doesn't want to- he then almost uses the abuse as a diversion tactic. Having 80% free choice in reception meant the situation wasn't as bad as he only had 20% of the day to rail against and he did and spent most of his adult directed time in the corner. Holidays tomorrow, maybe things will be different after that.........................
  17. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I doubt it, unfortunately.
    child has little social awareness, and is unable to define for himself
    the difference between socially acceptable and socially unacceptable
    behaviour. I think you need to get together with management to plan a series of interventions that will build the necessary emotional awareness through one-on-one coaching and restorative enquiry. It will take time, but it is essential that this child begins to be supported in finding ways of behaving acceptably towards his peers before destructive patterns set in.

    Well done for trying the puppet approach, though!
  18. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    I know that hoping for a miracle after the holidays is the least likely thing to happen, but I am also in a school were the Learning Mentors are taken away from their work with children to teach and I mean deliver and mark sessions for an allocated group for the SATS in Y6 so that they are more likely to get their levels.It has only just occured to me that management is the real stumbling block here as the school ethos is not geared towards emotional health at all. Previously i have worked in schools where it was regarded as important and so I have felt able to come off timetable as and when to respond to children's needs.
    Thanks for your interest in my post.
  19. Well done for trying the puppet approach
    Yes, I liked that too.
    '.... management is the real stumbling block here as the school ethos is not geared towards emotional health at all...'
    Are there any programmes / strategies that worked in your other schools, that you could try to interest your present management in?

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