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Improving behaviour?

idanyberg Assistant Kindergarten Teacher, Portland, OR

I work in a kindergarten class with 19 students and 2 teachers, we are doing French immersion and about half the group understands French while the other half of them are beginners. It's now been a month since the term started and we are still having a lot of disturbances in the class.

I have been reading the book "positive discipline for childcare centers" without much solace. We have a child in the class who has never been in a pre-school before starting kindergarten and who would climb up the curtains if left unsupervised. The child rolls around on the mat during circle time, screams in people's ears unprovoked and will just turn into spaghetti if you try to walk him over to his seat. He simply cannot stay in one spot during rest time, circle time or snack/lunch time. When you ask him to do something he will simply say/scream no but will usually comply after some whining and stomping his feet etc.

The other day when he was rolling around in the circle making the entire group go wild with laughter I removed him and put him in the office with our director. He later came out and sat down to eat his afternoon snack perfectly still and quiet. However, the next day he does the same thing and when I go to get him from the office he tells me he likes it in there, and that he doesn't care about going back to the classroom. Does anyone have any advice on how to proceed? Our policy is not to do time out. The removal from the group seems like a logical consequence when the child is making it impossible to proceed normally and to manage the group. My hope was that he would want to return to his friends, to make him realize how boring it is not to be with his peers and to "want to belong" in the classroom. But if he doesn't have that motivation, it doesn't serve it's purpose. Perhaps he's just so smart that he knows to tell me he likes it in there, thinking I will not bring him back there. Every day I feel like I am failing.

What can I do to improve this child's behaviour, seeing as how I am not supposed to reward or punish and no amount of calmly explaining what to do and how to behave seems to work. Asking him the what and how questions about his ideas for solutions for the problems we are having, usually results in him saying he doesn't want to be in school, that he should stay at home. I'm sure there are lots of very experienced teachers out there who have handled situations like this before, I would be incredibly grateful for your input.

Thank you for reading,

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It's Boring

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After moving to San Diego and not finding full time employment, I am a sub. What I have found if the material the teacher has left me is boring so are the students. When middle school students are bored, troubles arise. I like a class where all learners are engaged in learning. I modify the material to compare history to what is happening today. At least a few more heads popped up and look interested. Short videos can start great conversations. I know how to press play... Just set me up and I can really teach some cool stuff. I am bored when the students are just to copy answers out of the book...

Band teacher from Bowling Green, Ohio

[quote]Alex Molnar also wrote

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[quote]Alex Molnar also wrote a book: "Changing Problem Behavior in Schools". It's all about the role of OUR thoughts, attitudes and beliefs play in chronic problem situations, and how to change that.[/quote]

I think this is an aspect of dealing with students that is too often overlooked. Prescriptions for how to deal with situations are only as effective as our ability to really connect with the good intentions.

Band teacher from Bowling Green, Ohio

[quote]Alex Molnar also wrote

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[quote]Alex Molnar also wrote a book: "Changing Problem Behavior in Schools". It's all about the role of OUR thoughts, attitudes and beliefs play in chronic problem situations, and how to change that.[/quote]

I think this is an aspect of dealing with students that is too often overlooked. Prescriptions for how to deal with situations are only as effective as our ability to really connect with the good intentions.

Band teacher from Bowling Green, Ohio

[quote] To pull off any

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[quote]
To pull off any approach though, you have to be able to get yourself into the best cognitive and emotional place. Otherwise, you'll make a lot of mistakes with kids. That's part of why I developed "A Tool Kit for Teachers" (www.itsjustanevent.com)[/quote]

This seems like the best advice for the situation. This child doesn't seem to be comfortable in the classroom setting. He needs to feel like this is where he wants to be and that he wants to gain your approval. Not sure of the exact strategy for how to get there, but that seems like a goal worth pursuing.

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