Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The New One

My not so new new kid has been wreaking havoc on my classroom.
Transitions are hard for him, and he has been bounced around from classroom to classroom for 2 years now, so I've definitely been holding his hand through the last month of getting used to instruction in my room.
But each morning gets worse, and the days less productive, so finally today I told him he would not be allowed back in to my classroom without a parent conference.
After spending the day in suspension, his foster parent was at my door when we dismissed.
At what point is the environment not right for the child because it is not right for the rest of the children?
Maybe a 12:1:1 would work for him somewhere else, but because of his history here, the dynamic in this room, with these students, does not work.
He needs consistency, and our school has given him nothing but inconsistency, and with new paras every day, my room is not as predictable as he needs it to be.
We must figure out a way to lead this kid to success....starting with tomorrow.

1 comment:

Zuzuzpetals said...

Hey Miss G - this is in response to a response you put (just found it! how fun was that!) to a post I had awhile back about lunch detention.

Okay, here's the set up and if it sounds remotely like what you do, let me know and maybe I'll have tips which could help.

We have three lunches (large school) - 9th and 10th grades, only, in the building. Teachers may assign up to four times of lunch detention to students. Lunch is 25 minutes long; that's roughly the equivalent of an afternoon detention, which is two hours.

Do they disrespect me - well, they're teenagers, so, (chuckling) yes. How do I combat it ...

"Carrots"
1 - I learn their names. When I see them in the hallway, I say hi. When they come to detention and I've learned their name (usually the first day, definitely the 2nd) I tell them it's nice to meet them but I hope I only see them in the hall after this detention session.

2 - I frame everything I ask them to do - stop cursing at the table, stay seated and silent, not wave to their friends who are out in the general commons area - within the statement, "I really want to give you credit for being here today, but I can't if you aren't following all of the rules." Many variations on this - toward the end of detention, I say "you've been here almost the whole time! I know you didn't really want to be here, and I want you to get credit for it ..."
Lots of calm repetition.

3 - At the end of d-hall, we clean the tables in the commons. When I say "we," I mean we - I clean the tables with them. There just seems to be something about me doing it with them; I don't know.

Sticks
1 - if they aren't silent enough, refraining from cursing, etc., I'll pick the "weakest link" (I know that is awful. This is a worst case scenario - I've got 27 kids, very restless, possible fight break out situation) and speak into his/her ear that he/she needs to leave because they will not receive credit for today. It's a conversation only we hear and it's hard to let the mayhem continue while I do it, but once one kid has left/example made, I can usually get things back to "normal."

If they don't get credit for d-hall, then it goes back to teacher who may double it or assign after school or worse (referral to principal which usually means saturday d-hall).
I have a form I give them when they arrive (I created it) with some positive info at the top and explanation of how d-hall works on it. They sign it and turn it into me at the end (helps keep kids from straying instead of cleaning tables). I can send you the form or post it if you are interested.

Sorry this is so long :). Every school is unique, so there may or may not be anything worthwhile in here.