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calling all teachers! How do you deal with delinquent kids?
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steffers
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:23 pm      Reply with quote
hi everyone,

I have a full time job as a flight attendant, but i teach as a substitute on some days off from flying (the two jobs actually complement each other well.)

I teach mostly French Immersion High School (classes usually filled with over achiever/type A personality kids), but today i was called to work in a "special ed" class. I showed up thinking I would spend the day with kids who had difficulties in various areas, as I have in the past, such as kids with autism, down's syndrome, etc. Instead, unbeknownst to me, I had the "Life Skills" classes all day, filled with kids who don't care about themselves, let alone school!

It was a disaster. And i wasn't prepared. I had to fill out various reports in the principal's office at the end of the day. I'm sure you can imagine what I went through today!

So.......when it comes to delinquent behavious, any tips, in general?

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Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:11 pm      Reply with quote
If you were in North Carolina, you'd send them to the principal to get paddled!

When my friend started student teaching high school in Illinois, her co-op told her not to smile or be at all friendly until the students understood that she was in charge. He made her write them up for small things....but they respected and genuinely liked her.

Do you think they mistook you for a pushover because you were excited?
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Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:14 pm      Reply with quote
Do they allow spanking? J/K I don't know how to deal with delinquent kids who just don't care. I'd probably just send them to the principal's office if they cause a disturbance in class.
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Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:34 am      Reply with quote
My field/specialty in therapy was working with abused kids and also serving as a delegate for the court to decide custody in some disputes. I always found that by trying to relate on the childs level and encouraging them to talk about what they are interested in and then relating it to your topic worked well. Boring or monotone encounters do not work, nor being overly parental or authoritive. Be interesting or different, be confident, maintain eye contact, have open body language and show no fear. They want to relate to someone who is NOT a parent, but can serve as a role model. They don't care about themselves for a reason. You have to show them that they matter and that they are unique and special in whatever way you can find. Not an easy task and hard to do in a day, but it can be done. (That works well with a house full of teenagers too.) I also mentor troubled teenage girls still and it is difficult to convince worth when they feel it isn't there. Good luck with your task.

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Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:39 am      Reply with quote
Steffers,

I wouldn't even know where to begin. My friend out of college went to teaching high school, I believe it was Geometry, but the lower level so she has had some problems with kids that just didn't give crap about anything let alone their academics. I don't know exactly how she did it or managed but she did. For some reason instead of looking at them the way everyone else did, she looked at them in a different light. She challenged them, and didn't give them any slack because of their background, it helped in her situation, but who's to say it works for everyone.

Let me first off commend you for being an educator, I think it's one of the toughest careers out there, to educate our youth today. So I applaud you

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steffers
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Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:34 am      Reply with quote
Wow, thanks for all the great insight everyone. I like the idea of being a role model without being a parent, i'm sure there's some truth to that, and getting them to talk about what they're into would work too. At one point their discussion turned to graffiti, right in the middle of a spelling test i was "trying" to give them. (Note: -most of them just doodled throughout the whole test, and i felt like an idiot for calling out a list of 25 words that they weren't even writing down!) So i suppose if i were their regular teacher, i could make spelling tests about things they cared about, like graffiti or snowboarding. To them, i'm sure, the spelling test was so boring. I'm sure there was a lot of hidden talent in that room, they just have no outlet for expressing it.

I've just never seen such brazen behaviour, and like i said, i am used to teaching Type A personality kids, who actually ASK if they can present their work to the class. So yes, i was a fish out of water yesterday! At one point, i decided to "pick my battles" and let a girl in the back of the room doodle while listening to her Ipod, seeing as she really wasn't bothering anyone else, until i realised that the Ipod was so LOUD that i could hear it from the back of the room. When i asked her to turn it down, she first ignored me, then swore at me, then when i told her to "take it down a notch", she threw a chair, and i got a "*&#@ you!!" So i did what came next and told her to "get out." I've never had to do that before, and it bothered me all day and all night.

If anyone else has tips, please chime in, i appreciate it!!
Merci beaucoup!
steffers

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Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:10 pm      Reply with quote
Geeze, if I got a response like that from a student I'd chime back with F*@K you too Laughing j/k.

Honestly I don't know how you do it. Being in AP classes myself throughout high school I dreaded classes that meshed with my other pupiles, like gym where they had room to 'goof' around. Stand your ground with these kids and don't let them see that they've flustered you, you give them a little leeway and they probably will take advantage of it. I feel kids like this do come around, but all in their own time.

Best of luck!

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Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:16 am      Reply with quote
Haha I guess the good thing about Singapore students is that they aren't that bad - all they do is have crushes on their young/relief teachers :P My junior signed on to teach and he was sent to teach students of age 14-15. And the poor silly honest fellow was tricked by some girls in his class to give them his home address and lo and behold some girl students turned up at his house with cookies and flowers (yes my junior is a guy!). His whole family was laughing their heads off at his charm and to this day we're still not letting him forget this Bad Grin

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Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:48 am      Reply with quote
AnnieR wrote:
My field/specialty in therapy was working with abused kids and also serving as a delegate for the court to decide custody in some disputes. I always found that by trying to relate on the childs level and encouraging them to talk about what they are interested in and then relating it to your topic worked well. Boring or monotone encounters do not work, nor being overly parental or authoritive. Be interesting or different, be confident, maintain eye contact, have open body language and show no fear. They want to relate to someone who is NOT a parent, but can serve as a role model. They don't care about themselves for a reason. You have to show them that they matter and that they are unique and special in whatever way you can find. Not an easy task and hard to do in a day, but it can be done. (That works well with a house full of teenagers too.) I also mentor troubled teenage girls still and it is difficult to convince worth when they feel it isn't there. Good luck with your task.


Very well said AnnieR,
Steffers, you need to give them hopes that you really care about their wellbeing. Even though they don't care about themselves, they might still reciprocate if they can trust you.
Good luck.

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Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:45 am      Reply with quote
steffers, I would think that where you are a substitute teacher they would not have put you with children with behavior problems unless making you aware of it before hand. Does a substitute have a say in classes they are assigned to?
steffers
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Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:20 am      Reply with quote
Winnie wrote:
steffers, I would think that where you are a substitute teacher they would not have put you with children with behavior problems unless making you aware of it before hand. Does a substitute have a say in classes they are assigned to?


Well the only "say" i have is prior to accepting the assignment. I can decline if i know the reputation of a certain class, or teacher, or school. Once i get there, it's a little too late. As a new teacher, i'm often in a position where i don't want to look like i can't handle something.

I totally get one of the above comments about caring about their well being. I could convey that if i was their regular teacher, and i agree that it's necessary, but right now, as a sub, it's hard to do that.

Generally, from grades 7-10 (age 13-16), i spend most of my time with my "bi*ch" face on. It works, except with the delinquent classes, i guess!

Yesterday, i taught in a class where the kids obviously run the show, according to the other teachers. So here i was really stuck with trying to alter behaviour that their normal teacher accepts. For example, in grade 7, this teacher lets the kids come in and out of the classroom whenever they feel like it (they just write their names on a board and leave, and no limit to the number of kids doing that at a time), and he also lets them eat in class. These are 13 yr olds, who pull out noisy bags of large Doritos, and leave crumbs everywhere. I was totally disgusted. The teacher is obviously fine with this. The teacher's desk was a mess too, coffee cups everywhere. Some people are just piggy. I felt like i was teaching in a cesspool of germs.

I told my husband that when i get my own class, i am running a tight ship!!

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