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You can't make me / I don't care

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by cat_kin, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. cat_kin

    cat_kin New commenter

    I'm teaching a year 3 boy who is frequently wheeling out this old line when asked to do his independent work.

    I've tried the partial agreement (That might be the case but... ) however I'm not sure where to go with it after that. The problem being that he doesn't actually have any outside playtime/lunchtime that I could make him do the work at because he's kept in for other reasons I won't go into now. He even says "I can't have a consequence because I don't go out".

    Last year he was quite disruptive and the solution was to get him out of class so he wasn't disturbing others, so taking that into account he's done really well so far to actually stay in class without any major disturbances. I just need to get him working now / wanting to work...

    Any ideas gratefully received!
  2. Partial agreement sounds good, I would do the same with 'you can't make me', agree that you can't but that there are very clear consequences for not doing his work. Or is that a really bad idea? I'm no expert, just going on gut feeling.
    In terms of making him want to work, could you give him targets? You say that its when he does independent work so I assume his guided or pair work is good. Might be worthing bigging him up a little 'oh x you'll be really good at this because you did...on Monday' and then giving a target 'I'm going to do y for 10 minutes, when I come back I want you to have done...' A sand timmer might help him focus. Rule a line in his book for him to write up to or a number of questions to do or points to have made or whatever.
    I know you're trying to avoid him being removed but its sounds like he wants your attention and the best way to get it is to refuse to work so you have to coax him. If he is sent to another class he can't get your attention. But perhaps he's a bit small for this. Are parents supportive? My initial reaction would be to say that you
    can't keep him in so instead you will ring home. Do so and continue each
    time he doesn't work. Once the work has built up past about 2 peices I
    would call parents in and show them what he hasn't done. I would jump on
    the 'I have no consequence' straight away - Oh yes you do!
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I would set up a reward system whereby he gets a reward (that he really, really wants) for doing the work and doesn't get it for not. Go with a 'no skin off my nose either way' attitude yourself, because he will try the 'don't care' argument in order to make you give up.

    I think you are right to be concentrating on keeping him in class and behaving in ways that allow others to learn and it sounds like you are doing a great job with that. Maybe, if this is new to him, he doesn't actually know what being in the classroom all lesson actually involves.

    I would also go totally OTT when he does do work and send him off to the HT, last years classteacher, anyone who will see him and make a fuss of him. Show him that he gets lots and lots for doing the work (worry not a lot about quality for a few weeks) and nothing at all except a shrug of your shoulders and no reward (whatever is set up) for not doing it.
  4. cat_kin

    cat_kin New commenter

    Thanks so much for both of your great ideas.
    All sound so straightforward but you lose the plot sometimes when you're in the thick of it!
    Thanks again, will put these into practice straight away tomorrow.

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