Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Daily Struggle

There are two children that are a constant struggle in my world - every minute of every day they push the boundaries and know how to get me fired up.

One kicks, punches and screams at me at least 15 times a day, and now I have hurt my back from constantly having to grab him off other children as he jumps on them, hitting and kicking for no apparent reason. Because of his wrath, I then bear the brunt of his anger...

The other is very purposeful and cunning in the way that he misbehaves, then when asked to sit in a chair for time out, will run away from me pulling faces and singing 'na na na-naaa' and laughs hysterically as I start to boil over.

Worst of all, is that they have started to get in on the act together, doubling their trouble, therefore doubling my anger.

I am done. I have nothing left, no strategies, no ideas, I have tried everything with these two boys and have got no fact, it feels that I am worse off for even trying.

Despite being constantly fired up by them, I actually enjoy them when they are being great, but why can't they be great and lovely for the majority of the time instead of being a devil-child?

Meanwhile - I have 27 other children with their own issues that need my attention as well.



  1. Hi Corrina! Sorry to hear these kids are giving you such a hard time! How old are they? Are these your average school kids or special needs/ at risk children?

    If I were you, I would first establish classroom rules and consequences based on a collaberation with the students. What do they think is appropriate behavior for the classroom? Raising hands/respecting others/ not talking when someone else is? Maybe violence should be zero-tolerance with the consequence being removed from the classroom and dentention. Should they get a warning and then, if they continue, face a consequence? Then let them determine the consequences- extra homework, time out during recess etc. Make an art project out of it and have them each design a poster with the one of the rules/consequences or something like that.

    Then I would try some group-based positive reinforcement. If a day(s)/ week(s) goes by without outburst from any of the students, give them a reward (the goal and reward should be determined by them). Make it clear that if even one student blows it, he/she blows it for EVERYONE.
    You could expand on this with some sort of point system - they earn points for good days and lose them for bad ones and a certain number of points gets them the reward.

    When the a student does have an outburst, tell them their behavior is not okay and unfair to you,their classmates, and themselves and remind them of the consequence they face (which they have determined) should they continue. Then, rather than having an emotional reaction, silently wait for them to finish their tantrum (and if they're being physicaly violent, silently restrain them or have someone come remove them from the classroom) and resume teaching once they have quieted down. I would reccomend enforcing the consequence (such as timeout during recess) later in the day when their anger has dissapated.
    If they're special needs kids or super young, you may have to ammend this in a need/age appropriate way.

    All right lady! That's my best guess and I hope it helps! I hope you are doing well. I'd love to know more about what you're up to, so drop me a letter! Love, Alicia

  2. I would smack them both on the bum and tell their parents they need to discipline them more at home or else your horrible friend will come over there and do it for them. And it won't be pretty.
    A good dose of scraping bubblegum off the bottom of chairs should do it too.

    On another note, good thing I'm not a teacher!

  3. Alicia

    Great ideas...pity all of those things are just a normal part of my every day practice!
    Forgot to mention that they are 4, half of my class don't speak English and that this is a 'normal' London class.

    Kirsten...I vote that you come and do the electrocuting?!

  4. well, in that case, bummer! Electrocution it is :D