I have been teaching, assisting in the instruction of children for coming up on 25 years within the next year or two. I have noticed a tangible serious change in BEHAVIOR in my ~classroom~ in that time.

Silence... once "easily" enough obtained 20, (even 15 years ago), literally now cannot be achieved. Sitting still and "eyes on me" looks like a pinball game of bodies and heads, bodies spinning endlessly. Among the Pre-K groups (maybe understandable, maybe) going all the way through to college students!

Literally brief instruction (under 60 seconds) is not possible. without someone talking and frankly not caring in the least... and often literally not "understanding" the problem with doing so. Again the little kids maybe you could justify that behavior, but week after week, they fully know the rules, using RED-YELLOW-GREEN. (Basic behavior mod 101)

But the college students (8 X literally cannot, will not shut up and find nothing wrong with talking during instruction like their younger counterparts!

So my obscene monologue aside (my apologies), what behavior(s) are you forced to tolerate at some level in your classes? As a martial arts teacher, one would think they might be "afraid" of the consequences... push ups, sitting out, rote repetition of some "boring" technique, any number of invented/completely meritless fears (eg...he'll kill us... he'll beat us...)...

Their assorted behaviors I am confident sound familiar to one or two of you, make my sugars soar, and inwardly cringe. Safe and controlled (in most respects), lessons get taught but these behaviors definately interfere. What role do ~their behaviors~ play, interfere with what you are teaching?

Anybody else have their sugars rise when you teach because of such behaviors?

Stuart (Feeling like the character of the Chief Inspector in a Pink Panter Movie after Cluseau drove him insane)

Tags: add, adhd, behavior, counsel, diabetes, frustration, teaching

Views: 29

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Stuart,
I know you posted this several months ago. I was recently diagnosed as type 2 diabetic. I am a Junior High Special Education teacher and work with your intensive needs students. I deal with different types of behaviors on a on-going basis. I teach more functional life skills, cooking, cleaning, craft type projects etc. It is a challenge on a daily basis. But depending on the types of behaviors I see that day I re-vamp my plans accordingly. (I don't want major behaviors while cooking as this could be a safety concern). To answer your question, I've noticed that my sugars are pretty high, especially after high stress days. I've also noticed that I am much more susceptible to those pesky germs that they are so kind to share. I've noticed that being a teacher and a diabetic is not easy by any means.
I teach Alternative High School. Most of the kids have absolutely appalling social skills. I have every type of learner from one extreme to the next in my rooms. Luckily, part of Alt. Ed. is the emphasis on small classes so I rarely have a class over 12 students. But those 12 or less can seem like 45 most days. I have adjusted my teaching style so that there is little to no teacher led instruction because they cannot focus on me for more than 30 seconds. When I do have to address the students and they begin to talk out of turn, when I correct them they look me in the eye, apologize, then continue talking. It is mind blowing sometimes. I try to flip the entire process on them by making it all very student centered so that we don't waste time trying to get through a lecture that is interrupted constantly. When I do have to speak to them I try to speak as loud and forcefully as I can without being obnoxious so that I can drown out all other distractions as best I can. This is all fine and dandy for now but these kids turn into those college kids that cannot handle a lecture based college course. This is sad since the majority of college classes, especially through the first 2 years, are instructor-led lecture-based classes.

However, my sugars do not seem to rise because of the students. Since they are very active and I need to be all over the room to maintain order, my sugars are more likely to go low than high. School actually helps me a great deal when it comes to keeping my sugars balanced because of the regular schedule and constant activity.
Hello Roosterluke:

I can do one far better than that -ggg-. Consider.

Take your TWELVE kids and then put them in MY "classroom", where punching, kicking whether solo or as a group activity some type or kind of physical intensity, and potentially physical contact of some kind is a norm of completely appropriate behavior.

Frightened cringing...

Have to use words to explain basic ideas/concepts, but more than a literally a few words and they will not penetrate at all. It is fascinating and often pretty vexing. If they can explain what we're doing, its a "miracle" and a good day indeed.


A lot of my kids were the same type you describe when they were in traditional classrooms. "Traditional" of course being a term that somehow includes classrooms with 35 kids with every type of learner in the spectrum represented. Many of my students show tremendous improvement in our alternative environment mostly because of the smaller class sizes. I think with the push for inclusion and the provisions made for special ed in NCLB that the only way you can achieve is to have a much better teacher to student ratio. My best class had 8 kids and I was able to give each kid the individual attention they need. It is extremely rare for any sort of physical contact happens in the room. I couldn't tell you what the difference is between my experience and yours except that different populations of kids behave in different fashions I guess. I am in a rural area where all of the kids have known each other for most of their lives. The biggest issue we run into at our school is simple laziness. A verbal boot in the ass usually does the trick with those kids.

Good luck with your bunch and hang in there. Even the kids that p*** me off the most still have something I like about them to keep me wanting to work with them.
I am a psychologist in the schools now and used to teach Alt Ed. I agree with RoosterLuke. It is hard when you have ONE student with an Emotional Disability, but then put a dozen in a room to feed off each other and you really have a handful.

I always (still do) felt like ignoring inappropriate behavior - as long as it isn't dangerous - was a useful strategy. That type of kid is often looking to get you in a battle and when you engage all h*// breaks loose. They win ;)

I had a professor once note that by trying to talk over the noise you increase the noise. He would always suggest talking in a near whisper. Granted, kids with emotional/behavior problems sometimes don't seem to care what you are saying and this won't work (heck 'neurotypical' kids sometimes seem not to care!) but it is worth a shot.

I sometimes found that having an ally in strong leader in the classroom was good too. It has to be a "cool" kid, though, or the others don't care when they stick up for the teacher. I once had a kid with borderline personality disorder go to the office and get admin because he thought a student with ODD was being rude (he was, that's what they do, though ;)) I was choosing not to interact/acknowledge the ill behavior and giving choices but the first young many wasn't having it. He tricked me, though. Said he needed to go up about some fundraising thing of something - i don't remember. I'll tell you, though. When you have a 300 lb kid on your side the others sometimes shape up quickly!

Lots of school psychs are trained in behavior mod and would be happy to come in and do a functional behavior analysis with your kids (given they have time). Sometimes it is really hard for the teacher to accurately identify what is causing the behavior and even WHO is the cause when you are trying to teach and manage way more kids than should be in a room. A second set of eyes and ears can be useful. Someone who can simply observe and not have to think about the rest of the shenanigans of teaching!




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