How Are Bullies Like Struggling Readers?

Last week one of my student's took $20 that wasn't hers. El Molestador and a buddy have been tormenting The Scowler. Baby Face continues his generally antisocial behavior. I have done my best to create a classroom based on clear expectations, consequences and rewards. But in spite of my efforts, it seems like my students are making the same mistakes over and over again.

Why is this? I've had countless conversations with these students and the whole class about what respect should look like. I've had conversations with their parents. They've had reflection time, been placed on individual behavior charts, and lost whatever privileges I can take away (choice time, computer time...). Regardless of what interventions or consequences I put in place for these kids, there doesn't seem to be a change.

I'm wondering what else I can do at this point. At a certain point, I need more support from the parents. If the parents are unwilling to put real consequences in place at home, or just outright unavailable, it definitely makes my work harder. But if I'm going to take responsibility for kids' academic growth, regardless of parental involvement, the same must hold true for their social and emotional growth. So, just like I've done with my kids still struggling to read or subtract, I'll have to think of new interventions for my kids struggling to treat others with respect.


Mad Jack said…
You're pretty much stuck in one place. You are unable to exact any punishment that the kids fear, and you are unable to restrict any privilege that they want badly enough to forgo the immediate gratification of their bad behavior.

Personally, I'd bring back the paddle and apply it as necessary.
Kimberly said…
I feel your pain. When I was in the classroom, I also discussed with my students the importance of respect. I told them that if they want people to respect them, they need to respect those people (whether it was their peers, teachers, etc.). I also kept hitting walls. They just didn't seem to understand the concept. As a result, my teaching and their learning was constantly interrupted because I was forever "putting out fires" between my students because of the lack of respect they had for each other and myself. Good luck.
Lisa Riebe said…
Sometimes if you have them pick a role model at the beginning of the year and then follow that role model's behavior (you would need to make sure it is a good role model). They will need to know that their role model will make mistakes and they can learn from their mistakes. Then when they screw-up ask them,"What would your role model do in this situation?" It doesn't hurt to have them write a letter to their role model - also encourages spelling. Hope this helps.

Popular Posts