Bullying of Teachers 1 – EERP

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44 thoughts on “Bullying of Teachers 1 – EERP”

  1. This is not a response to ideas for a document.

    Your suggestion by Abbey Parks reminded me that I follow, however loosely, and depending much on the maturity of the class in question, Chris Biffle’s rules.

    There are rules and there are “games.” The most important games are the “Teach, Okay” and the “Scoreboard” games. The most important rule is “Make your teacher happy.” It supercedes all the others, and leads to my occasional question, “What do you think you could do to make me happy?” Sounds really bad, but the entire class will then have suggestions for the kid: “Sit up straight! Stop fidgeting! Shut up! Look like you want to learn something.” I just stare at the kid until s/he answers something appropriate or fixes the behavior I had in mind.

    It is a very manipulative system, but I use it to varying degrees as needed for teacher support, especially with the most immature groups. The scoreboard game that weighs in the teacher’s favor when kids act up is very effective…it gives me a chance to smile every time something would otherwise push my buttons, and I can act mad when they’re perfect. The other day in that English class that I mentioned, I used the point system when I had the feeling that my group was not going to do the cloze reading in the way I wanted. They are supposed to follow along, and when I stop, fill in the next word (sound familiar?!) … in complete unison, no extended notes, no shouts, etc. I told them in advance they would get two minutes at the end of class for free if they had two more points than I did. It did not take long for my glee over imperfections to make them pull together and pay perfect attention. They ended up with three extra points and were as happy over two minutes of free time as they would have been with a movie in any other class.

    Chris’ rules also require the call-and-response that we do in TPRS classes. I sometimes use his “Class, class, classity,” to which they have to answer, “yes, yes, yesity,” in the same volume that I spoke (a shout, a deep voice, a whisper).

    I practice at the beginning of the year the class response to infractions. If the whole class throws a two into the air and then makes a talking mouth (see the rules; there are different sets for elementary, middle, and high school…I use middle school for both MS and HS) when someone talks out of turn, the class actually gains a point, rather than losing one. It has never happened that a kid would do that on purpose to help the class get points, though if it did, I would tell them that the period for that particular rule was over.

    In my upper-level Russian classes, I don’t do the “Teach, Okay!” rule, but I use the idea as a brain break. “Now tell your neighbor the story.”

    I used to use the Biffle system very strongly for the entire first semester with my middle school kids (don’t teach MS anymore, sadly), edging off as the kids needed it less. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why some of those same kids (now in their fourth year of Russian with me in their sophomore year) are so well-behaved in class. I did it lightly at the beginning of the year with my awful English class, and am now pulling it out as a life saver for that group, but hadn’t even paid attention or shared. Sorry. Forgot where I’d got it and how far it has taken me.

    The coolest thing about the site is that somewhere it says you can introduce this to your class at any time in the year. I highly recommend it as a way to turn behavior issues around. It’s fun. And it works.

    1. I tried to go to the site listed but my computer can’t find the web page. Is there another place that I can look. These ideas sound like great ideas and I would like to read further.

    2. The class, class, classity idea reminded me of something that I used to do at Daycare with my pre school class. To get them to quiet back down I would start clapping a rhythm and continue until all were doing it too.

  2. Go Ben!
    I provide transparency with my expectations with students. Rules are explained and reinforced in English, and mostly applied in Spanish, but that’s optional. I foresee, at the start of the year, an explanation and discussion with my classes that includes ME as one of the people in the room deserving respect at all times. I anticipate this being useful to ME because I have a physical difference that’s unusual (funny shaped cranium) and we know how mean kids can be about anyone who’s different. As I am bald, it becomes more visible and I feel more vulnerable, so getting this doc/plan explicitly in place will help me. Ben Lev

  3. This is a good idea, Ben. I agree that a plan like this is necessary, ESPECIALLY for newbies like me. I never know how to react to situations of misbehavior, disrespect, etc. My first reaction is to usually send the kid to the hallway for a minute to give myself a minute to think about what the hell I’m going to do or say. Even then, I still have no clue.

    When emotions are high, it’s hard to think logically and think of something to do. Having a document like this to go by will be extremely helpful. I can’t think of any suggestions right now, but maybe after reading a few from others it’ll get my brain working.

    Do you think it is also important to look at the root of the problem? I think one reason why children think it is appropriate to disrespect teachers is because society as a whole does. We are a societal punching bag, you can’t watch Fox News for more than an hour without hearing somebody bash public school teachers. They’re hearing it from the media, from their parents and our administrators don’t back us up. I pray the day will come when teachers are respected once again in this country. I’ve recently put some serious, very serious, thought into getting an TESOL endorsement and getting the hell out of this country.

    1. Over the decades we in language gradaully lost any credibility we may have once had due to our shitty teaching. No blame, it was just those decades before Krashen threw his Molatov Cocktail into the front of the store in the early ’80s.

      Now, with teachers in all fields flailing (young teachers in their 20’s dealing with vicious kids not much younger than them), the buck will stop at our own desks. Not that any of us use desks.

      Chris, my initial response, perhaps the first “move” I personally would make before tossing the offender out the door, is to stop all talking, sit down at some desk, let the class feel what just happened, and then, after a pause, say, “Yes, I don’t see well.” – just affirming the statement that caused the abuse. Just affirming that yes there is something there that the kid pointed out.

      Of course, I am no psychologist, and this could be the absolute wrong thing to do, but it is what I advised my friend with glaucoma, and another who was there who has had cancer with visible results of that.

      I feel that the human qualities of just sitting there, acknowledging that there is a difference with other teachers, and letting it just fill the room, is a first step. I don’t know. It is what I would do, but then how do I know, as my claws are razor sharp from 35 years of this so I wouldn’t really know what I would do.

      So I have offered two concrete things here, just sitting with the comment that was made, acknowledging the newly arrived gorilla in the room, and also I said that idea about possible meta-emotional self reflection by the class with a possible physical sign that regiesters their opposition to the words/action of the bully on the teacher.

      And I know and appreciate what was said about maybe not going to the kids on that. But I am going to stand by the idea of a student silent police force, “upstanders” as Chris said. I think it can work. I think that the kids who have to experience bullies in our class should be given something, anything, to learn what it feels like to confront those who cross them and others around them.

      1. I like your response, sitting there for a moment and then acknowledging what was said while showing that it was an inappropriate comment. I can’t think of anything better in that type of situation, flying off the handle and yelling and screaming would only give the bully what they wanted.

        I must admit, I didn’t coin the term “upstanders”. I’m on our school’s bullying prevention committee, training other teachers in the bullying program we are getting ready to roll out, the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program. This program is all about changing the culture of the school. We talk about the ‘bullying circle’: the students who bully, the followers or henchman, the supporters/passive bullies, passive supporters, disengaged onlookers, possible defenders, defenders and the student who is being bullied. We also call the passive supporters, disengaged onlookers and possible defenders “bystanders”. The defenders are ‘upstanders’. The goal is to turn the bystanders into upstanders who stand up to the bullies, make it clear that we will not accept bullying and we will help those who are being bullied. In my opinion, it is the best program out there as it isn’t just a “zero tolerance” program that is all about punishment. This program tries to change the culture and empower the kids who don’t like the bullying but don’t do anything about it.

  4. Michele’s “I just stare at the kid until s/he answers something appropriate or fixes the behavior I had in mind. ” Is pretty close to what I do too. I stop and stare at the student. It can get very uncomfortable, but the kids get it. I have to admit, if I’m really pissed, I put them outside the door till I calm down or have time to write the referral and call someone to come get the student.

    I definitely like empowering students with a signal that tells their classmates they are out of line, because ultimately that is how a civil society needs to function. Everyone has to enforce civil behavior not just those in authority.

  5. Getting students to police students is ideal, but will be very difficult. More than ever, students will support each other over a teacher. The code of silence is the strongest I have ever seen it in nearly 30 years in the classroom. There are reasons for that, but that is another post.

    The bottom line is that WE MUST STAND UP FOR OURSELVES WITH HONOR AND DIGNITY. Our students have seen precious little of that in their lives. Most do NOT know what it looks like. They know the names of MLK Jr., Gandhi, etc., but do not live in a time when the famous (political or otherwise) do the right thing, do it publicly, and do it simply because it is right. THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.

    My most effective, and sometimes most difficult, suggestion is to call it when you see it. Gossip is my target and I will not allow ANYONE to talk smack about anyone else, even public figures, at any time. This requires diligence and I do sometimes come across as the gossip police, but it is worth every minute. My standard line is” I will never allow others to talk about you like that in my presence, so do not talk about them in my room.”

    Hardest part? Living up to it myself. We are a nation of gossips…perhaps a world of gossips. Finding the line between sharing news and gossiping can be tough. I go back to that cool THINK phrase: Is it True? Helpful? Inspiring? Necessary? Kind? I do not argue with them. Their idea of true or helpful or necessary may be different. It’s my room. If I think that it doesn’t make the grade, then the conversation stops….even if it is between classes.

    That and, of course, the stare. Add the evil smile if necessary.

    with love,

    1. Key point on the stopping of gossip at every juncture. I don’t care how odd they think it is when I say, “You will not backbite others in my room!” I say it whenever I hear a comment. I ask them if they want the 15 min./10 min./ or 5 min. version of my canned speech which I give every time I see a bully in action. And then I usually give them the 10 min. version, which then is not needed after September/October. This point from Laurie could be used in our document as a first point of action, BEFORE the bully starts maneuvering for control. We do need a pro-active, before the fact, part to this document. So far we have these ideas (the fourth I just thought of just now):

      1. Student silent protest move/sign/gesture.
      2. No backbiting rule with instant lecture.
      3. Acknowldeding the gorilla upon its arrival.
      4. If we enforce the no English rule, they can’t use words as weapons.

      1. I like this. These four ideas are really good. We definitely need to go more in depth with #1. We need specifics so we can properly explain it to students and make them realize why it is important.

        #4 is EXTREMELY important. If we enforce the no English rule, our problems are cut by a large, large percentage. I’ve noticed that anytime anything in my class has gotten out of hand: arguing, inappropriate comments, harrassing of other, ANYTHING, it is because I failed to enforce the no English rule. And it is because I broke the no English rule. The minute I start talking about something in English, or allow some kid to start telling some random story about “this one time I…” all hell breaks loose. Some kid has a comment about something somebody said and then somebody else, then somebody else, and so on…. I admit, I suck bigtime at enforcing and following this rule, which caused 80%+ of my classroom management problems.

        1. Don’t feel bad, Chris. I am so fascinated by some of the experiences I’ve had that not in 35 years have I been able to stop relating them to my captive audiences each year. I met Colonel Sanders in Venice on the Piazza San Marco. I had two surgeries in my first two months in France. And, true to form, there we are talking about KFC and the kids not believing me and it’s just stupid. In these later years with stories, it has diminished so much due to the power of PQA and stories, but, still, I need another year to try yet again to break through to the next level of absolutely no English. At least you know these things in your second year. The whole thing that I never really got about my stories in English is that the kids don’t really have any interest in them – not really – and yet we tell them anyway. It’s something that probably is going to occur in a traditional classroom, bc everything about that way of teaching is just so hoveringly boring, but now that we have a way to make a class go by in what seems like 5 min. in the TL, we have no excuses for not doing that and saving the vignettes in English for another place, like the street corner. Joe Dziedzic argues that it builds relationships in the classroom, but I disagree. In my opinion, the only way to build authentic (two way) relationship with kids is during those short meetings with kids in the hallway where we show respect and appreciation for who they are as people, not because we are good at stand up comedy in the wrong language.

  6. Since I believe in catching more flies with honey than with vinegar, I oftentimes resort to an individual behavior contract with the offending student. They tell me what they are willing to work for (usually, a certain type of German candy) and I put it in a contract what they have to do in order to earn that reward. The contract lists the desired behavior/s (no more than three) and the time frame the remains in effect, e.g. if Billy is in his seat and ready to start working when the bell rings, he will receive (insert reward) at the end of class. This might sound infantile, but it does work with most of my students (even in HS). Usually, it suffices to have the student sign the contract, but in more severe cases I also get a parental signature.

    It’s funny, I had forgotten all about this until this whole EERP conversation came up. I have been so engrossed with getting the hang of TPRS/CI, that I have let the discipline issues go by the wayside. This is a good reminder to start those contract negotiations again (in a way that will satisfy MY needs, but they don’t have to know that).

  7. I agree with Laurie about the silence thing. We had a small element in last year’s senior class. They were doing things like dropping books from the second floor of the library on the head of a girl sitting below. She was being bullied. The library staff was also fair game. The admin seemed unable or unwilling to take the necessary steps to stop it. The problems escalated. The seniors remained silent until the admin threatened to pull the plug on the prom. They remained totally silent until that point. I guess they were afraid. What I have done in the past which has been effective is to bring the offender in after school for a heart to heart. Once we have each had a chance to state our cases, the student writes a letter/essay describing their behavior, how it’s effecting the class, why it’s a problem and what they are going to do to improve the situation. We sign it and I keep it. If the problem comes back, the phone call goes home and the letter comes out and I take it from there. You know, I thought little Mary and I had an understanding but X behavior has continued…At the end of the year, I usually toss them. Like Michele, I use the class, class call response (love the classity thing) and a combo of Love and Logic and Fred Jones. I learned the Queen Elizabeth stare from Susie – also a classic.It is a whole new world out there. The troubling part for me is their lack of empathy. I have also used Bryce’s line and I paraphrase “You know, I working very hard to make this a great class experience for everyone and it really hurts my feelings when you (fill in the blank). That worked like a charm with a really chatty kid the other day. At the end of the day, sometimes the acting out can be an opportunity to try to impart a life lesson, but no one can allow themselves to be abused by an adolescent. We are doing them no favor by ignoring it or turning a deaf ear or blind eye.

  8. When I did a workshop with Susie on discipline in San Antonio, I remember that part of it was “My Responsibilities” and “Your Responsibilities”. One of ours was to create a safe environment for the students. We need to demand the same for ourselves. Laurie had a great class expectations list that I remember reading somewhere. Laurie????

  9. I am really interested in strategies that can stop a comment once it has been said and is making its way around the room, like shock waves of laughter or whispers, for example after the grape soda comment, or the glaucoma comment. There comes a point where I lose sight of who said it first because it has turned into a whole class reaction. And even if I do, now pretty much the whole class is responsible for it. I really would benefit from some specific response protocols for this kids of situation. Just to make it more interesting, let’s say it is an inside joke or reference that you don’t understand, but you KNOW it is inappropriate or hurtful to another students, but you can’t exactly pinpoint it. That you don’t understand just adds to the joyous mockery on their little faces. The spotlight is on you, they’re waiting to see how you react, you’re on stage. What do you do?

  10. You’re right John, this happens a lot at the high school level. It’s part of the growing-up process. They have a need to put us on the outside. But they also have a need to know that we will delineate and enforce the boundaries.

    Usually I will say something like this:
    ” You have found something funny, but I sense that it is also against my classroom expectations. I don’t need, nor want to know the details. However, it needs to stop. (Pause, meet their eyes.) Now. (Pause, meet their eyes again. Linger if you suspect a ring leader) Let’s start (whatever the activity is) again. (Pause. Smile like you mean business. Real business.)”

    If it surfaces again, I stop immediately. Hold the silence. Say “enough” in a quiet, powerful, nearly-deadly voice. Smile. Nod, as Michele mentioned above, like the Queen of England. Get back to the activity.

    The third time, all bets are off . If I show my frustration, the ringleaders score a point. I just stop the activity, give them the deadly smile, and ask them to get started on some dreary, easy, long, SILENT activity.

    There are times when I will have a heart to heart with a class…but that depends on the group.

    There are times when I will have a heart to heart with an individual…but that depends on the moment and the student.

    I only made a student apologize publicly to another student once. It so nearly backfired on me that now I apologize. I say calmly and deliberately to the OFFENDER, ” I am very sorry if I have allowed you to believe that you could ever say anything that offensive (negative, cruel, ignorant…) in my class. I was wrong. I’m telling you now that I do not allow it.” The victim has already received enough attention. The best way to defend the victim is to confront/defuse/shut down the bully ….with dignity if possible, but strength.

    I have, on occasion, overreacted. I would rather err on the side of caution. They know me well enough to know that I care about kids. I wave the BE NICE TO AND ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE flag high, loud and proud. They need to see that I am willing to almost be foolish about it. That is how badly the teens in my building need a role model.

    Sigh…see…I can overreact on this one.
    with love,

        1. I don’t go for anything but a parent phone call on the first offense. I don’t believe that dealing directly with the offender is very productive and that is merely creates more work for us.

          Then, if the parent is an enabler, which is not the case very often, I go to admin and see what they are made of. I make noise and find people who get what is really going on and is willing to stand up with me to stop it. That doesn’t describe many in most buildings. But I find them.

          I don’t believe in second chances with bullies. If they lack empathy, they can also lie fairly well.

          1. Most of the offenders that I have met in my district have learned it directly from home. They have been treated that way, and have seen others treated that way, their entire lives. They do not understand what my issue is at all. Calling home here will do nothing.

            That is why it is so critical that we each know our students and our communities.

            In my room I MUST mark my territory with a stare and an implied snarl. Straight up. To the offender. Back off…this mama bear don’t put up with that in her territory. Anything else is perceived as weakness or permission to continue. Not nasty, but definitely clear.

            In other districts that would be a battle cry. We must each know how to protect our territory in the best way possible. …be it phone calls, admin visits, enlisting other troops…whatever it takes.

            with love,

    1. I say calmly and deliberately to the OFFENDER, ” I am very sorry if I have allowed you to believe that you could ever say anything that offensive (negative, cruel, ignorant…) in my class. I was wrong. I’m telling you now that I do not allow it.”

      That is so powerful!

  11. I’m teaching at an independent school. My student population is not representative. I really feel that I should just stay in the background and keep quiet. However, I do remember how stressful my first two years of teaching was. I was a new teacher to the school, who was working on to build a program from the ground up. Being a young female was another disadvantage, both students and parents were very testing and tried constantly to push me over. In three cases, parents argued about every point in their children’s grade book. One dropped the class for she could only earn an A- in class.
    I was so stressed out all the time and I BROUGHT my negative emotions into the classroom. I probably only smiled to the “good” students and constantly gave a cold shoulder to the “problematic” ones.
    Until one day, I was able to jump out where I was and looked down my doing from above, I started to change.
    A simple principle I made for myself is that caring deeply and acting sincerely. Soon, my students picked on the message. I’m famous for being a strict teacher who sends her students to after school study hall if they don’t finish their homework. However, they also know the warmth I show is from my heart, so it doesn’t hurt my enrollment so far.
    Not every body is going to be fluent in the language I teach when they graduate from my classroom. Nor I would even expect that. However, even some are challenged with acquiring a language for whatever reasons, if when they leave my classroom, their psychological make-up is not damaged by my teaching, they keep their interests in their own learning, I consider myself as a successful teacher. Because they leave my classroom happy and their confidence is intact.

  12. “a kid has just crossed a boundary with anyone else in the classroom, including the teacher”

    Kids know what this is–I hear “too far” when they are talking to one another on almost a daily basis. So, we just need some kind of “too far” gesture, maybe. After my incident with a rude student, I wrote “rude and hurtful” or “kind and helpful” on the board with room for tally marks underneath. It sort of turned into a joke after the first two days, but even now, a student will sometimes say, “hey, that was rude, wasn’t it?” and I’ll mark a tally. I think that a gesture would be less disruptive to class.

    I hope that we can come up with some kind of doc. When I talked about rudeness to my class, I’d say that only half of them “got it”–and this is a school where the “good kids” rule. Many of them said that they saw nothing wrong with being rude to a teacher if they felt that teacher didn’t respect them. I said they needed to show respect whether they felt it–that is expected in the adult world– but I really don’t think I got through to them.

    1. “Going too far”— This reminds me of a situation that popped up a few weeks ago in one of my classes. I have a boy in one of my classes who is diagnosed ADHD, Learning Disability and he has some behavior issues mentioned in his IEP as well. Now, I believe that he legitimately has ADHD because he is extremely fidgety. This kid is also a popular football and basketball player and is known by all to have some major “swag”, he’s a ladies man. He is a constant behavior problem in ALL of his classes and his mom is a bigtime enabler, has gotten into screaming matches with our AP and she uses his ADHD as an excuse for his piss poor behavior………what’s worse is she’s a correctional officer in a juvenile detention center (I guarantee her son will end up there someday, he’s already on probation for breaking into a car).

      Anyways, he’s basically a superstar in my class. I really like the kid, we get along real well and talk about different underground rappers and whatnot during breaks and freetime. And this kid has a tremendous ability to think outside of the box and give fantastic answers during PQA and stories. But he doesn’t follow rules very well. Well, a few weeks ago he was turned around the girl behind him told him to turn around. He said “F– you, B—” and the girl said “Senor, Ty said ________”. Then it turned into this huge accolade of him calling her a snitch and getting all bent out of shape. PLUS, three other girls in the room took his side and were trying to make this girl feel like crap for telling on him. I had to send him to the office because he wouldn’t drop it and shut up. I wrote him up as well as the others who joined in. What happened? The AP was talking about suspending him and one of the other girls because he’s been in her office A LOT anyways. What did happen though was they all got 2 after school detentions.

  13. I’d love the document created to contain something akin to students being ‘welcomed into this classroom’ and ‘expected to be who they are and who they are called to be.’

    Consequences, phone calls and contracts to be included. Parental contacts from a general standpoint, explaining the issue and then individual phone calls as the issues come up. I try to avoid admin. as much as possible. The locus of control shifts too much for my liking. Instead, I focus on forming relationships with the Guidance Counselors in my building, so that when there is an issue, I can go to them. We use Campus for grading. Campus has a Team Communications function where we can log contacts with student(s) and parent(s)/guardian(s). This is extremely helpful in showing trends with students and detailing any gray areas.

    Just as we teach the other behaviors we want to see in the classroom, we can teach the behaviors we want to see in the world. This is a huge issue. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront.

    1. By the time I get off the phone with a parent and realize the need to document same in Campus, it’s dinner time. Do you know what I mean? Therefore, the purpose of this doc – if we get it done – for me is to run the entire show inside my room, so that I can have a life after school, except for those few absolutely necessary situations that show us what our administrators are made of as per the Pigs Can’t Fly series here. I totally agree with everything you said and esp. re the counselors as our friends, but, if we are really to attack this, I say it has to be done within the walls – entre les murs (name of a great film about life in a school in Paris, by the way) – and via the phone, if we can get parents involved. I really like what David wrote and, just so everyone knows, I am dutifully making a list from all that I am reading here for the doc/poster. It is very important that we keep in mind that we need a specific set of procedures defined in a doc/poster here that has teeth in it. I see this as possibly being posted just like the metacognition poster will be posted, for those who are thinking along those lines as well.

  14. I had a girl in my class who had been missing a lot of school and didn’t come for help. She complained how the others “already” know the language or have background and that was not fair for her. ( this is level one so no one has the prior knowledge of the language besides knowing how to say hello at most.) I sensed that she felt pretty insecure (teenager…). She likes to talk back and always has the last words. I used to just walkaway and count to 10 when she says somethings. Even though most people in the class don’t really pay attention to her saying, but this doesn’t really solve the issue. Later, I usually have a stack of note cards handy, so every time if she started to say something unproductive, I would walk over with a note card, and lean closer to her and say that I can’t really talk to her right now, but if there is something that she felt really important to her and that she must speak to me, I want her to write them down instead and I would respond to her as soon as I can. Then I would just continue with the class. She didn’t write anything to me. She later dropped the class…….

  15. Grant Boulanger

    The single most effective strategy in dealing with jerks, bullies and idiots in my middle school classes has been a variation on what’s already been said. I stop class immediately. My temperament in responding varies and depends on the gravity of the comment and how much patience I have. sometimes it’s swift and forceful – Alpha Male demeanor. Sometimes its a calm reminder that usually sounds like, “Kids, we use language to communicate, laugh and have fun. We do not use language as a weapon.”

    When I turn on someone and call them out aggressively, it usually ends up being something I later regret. But the last two years I’ve had a couple of humdingers that, IEP or not, could not be in the classroom without offending. With these, it came down to ONE silent warning then removal.

    1. …with these, it came down to ONE silent warning then removal….

      Removal from the class, right? Like permanently. Awesome. That is what we need, must have, with those very few piggy kids. That kind of unequivocal administrative support. I think back to the period in late fall when Libby was going through all that stuff. We need admin support at the right level, all of us.

      And I see there a nice use of the term “humdinger”, as well, from the Chevalier du Nord.

      1. Grant Boulanger

        No, not permanently. Actually, every day the kid got a fresh start.

        You can come in and try to do what you must do in order to be successful. but, if you distract or disrupt the learning of any other child in my class, you will leave. Daily.

        but, as you can imagine, it usually was the case that the offenders didn’t last more than a few minutes before they did something to distract or disrupt. One, last year, didn’t even get one strike. Any disruption and gone.

        Yes, this was supported by the admin. But it was after a semester of trying other strategies and proving that it just wasn’t going to work for this kid.

  16. My response is always just to calmly ask the student to leave the room. I try to make sure the entire class sees that no student can ever manipulate my mood or emotions. I do a couple fake yawns while everything is tense. Sometimes I will tell a funny story in English. I usually leave the offender in the hallway for at least 5-10 mins. (I know there are schools where this is not possible, but for me in this school its fine.) Then I’ll get the class on some writing thing.

    In the hallway, I’ll ask the student why they were sent into the hallway. Depending on their attitude at that point, I give some sort of consequence.

    I wish I could tell you all I call home 100% of the time. I’m embarrassed to admit I only call home about half the time. It really works. When I’m on the phone with the parent, I always say the following: “Problems disappear when parents talk to their children about behavior.” Even parents that openly don’t like me, will usually say something about how they will say something to Jr. about his behavior.

    The other day a freshman girl who doesn’t like anything about Spanish asked me “Why do you call our parents? We’re not babies!” I told her calmly that it works and I could feel that answer permeate the room.

    Also, I recommend the ruby payne books about poverty. They have been helpful to me to understand “the rules” of children of generational poverty.

    Keep up the discussion, I need to get better at this. Right now I have a freshman Spanish 1 class that I’m losing to English and bad attitudes.


  17. I often hand a kid the hall pass and say come back when you are ready to work with the team.

    I had a girl say something to the effect of “Thank God you finally shut Quoran up. He is so annoying during class.” I often forget that students bother other students and not just me.

  18. It seems like blurting in English is a problem for a lot of us. That’s why the no-English rule is so important to me. I use Blaine’s págame system and the kids know I mean business. The first time a student speaks English without permission (or disrupts the class) it’s a págame and they have to stay for a minute after class to deal with it. The second time the student is out. Nowadays out means taking a pre-copied packet of borrring grammar work into a neighboring classroom + phone call home. I rigorously grade the packet and give the student their participation grade from that. While they’re out I do my best to make the rest of our class as fun as possible, knowing that the ejected kid will hear about it. I can be soooo mean!

      1. … I rigorously grade the packet and give the student their participation grade from that….

        This is what interests me as a possible step 3 to add to the suggestions made today in the Lead Pipes blog post. The student is not removed to the hallway but rather is removed to the back of the room where he/she works on grammar for X amount of time. I will add this in to that blog post of today and see what it looks like. We need concrete steps.

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