How to Respectfully Disagree with Your Colleague’s Behavior Advice

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a student for whom I have been given a behavior plan to use. It has been unsuccessful, just like every other behavior plan I have been told to use in the past. I have been given a myriad of time- consuming suggestions for how to modify work and his environment to limit distractions. This child takes up a majority of my time in class and even my planning time, which I spend documenting everything he has and has not done. Frankly, I am exhausted. I am afraid if someone tells me to try one more thing, I may not be very professional in my response. Do you have a suggestion for how I could respond in a professional manner so I can take back control of my classroom? I have been to your summer conference and have used the skills I learned with great success, but the way that I am being asked to work with this child is so time- consuming that I feel like I am too overwhelmed to function. – Mary, Columbus, Ohio

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How to Deal With a Physically Violent Student

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I recently attended one of your workshops at my school. You touched on the idea that when a student does something that needs a consequence, you should do the consequence later so you don’t have to stop teaching and so you can come up with something that makes sense. My question is this: what if the student is hurting someone? I can’t wait to deal with that later.  -Pat, Cincinnati, Ohio

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How to Deal With a Bully in Your Classroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a bully in my 5th-grade language arts class. He is verbally bullying one of my other students. We had an anti-bullying speaker talk to all of the students already this year. I have told the student to stop bullying the other student, and I have even put the child who is being bullied at a desk near mine at the parent’s request. Nothing has worked. The bully just seeks out the other child during non-instructional time to victimize him. What do I do now? – Carla, Phoenix, Arizona

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How to Handle a Student Who Runs Out of the Classroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

What would be a logical consequence for a 5th-grade student running out of the classroom and hiding in the building? This keeps happening, and my administration wants to put this girl on home instruction because they feel that it is too big of a disruption to have her remain in school. This girl has a really hard home life and I know that sending her home during school hours will be terrible for her. Help! – Kelley, Cincinnati, Ohio

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How to Hit Control-Alt-Delete On Your Classroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

 

I have about 12 out of 24 fourth grade students who cause issues in the classroom. They shout out whenever they wish. They will get up during a lesson and talk to each other. I have two that throw tantrums when asked to do school work. I have had many things stolen and broken. The stealing and vandalism happens when I am not looking, so I am not sure who is doing it. I have tried positive rewards such as classroom cash but it was being stolen. Grades and behavior comments do not mean anything. After 27 years in education, I am out of ideas. I have signed up for your workshop this summer but I still have 5 weeks of school. Please help! –Jessica, Bexley, Ohio

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How to Effectively Manage Games in Your Classroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I love playing dice/board games with my 4th graders. I have dice in plastic cups. The rule is the dice are “rolled” while they remain in the cups. Most kids are able to do this. However, some students fling the dice out of the cups, even though there are lids on those cups. This is obviously intentional. I feel like if I remove the student from the activity for doing these things, it leaves their partner stranded and it didn’t change their behavior. Any advice?  Renee, Omaha, Nebraska

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How to Handle Kids During Bus Duty

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have daycare van duty at the end of the day at school, and it’s pretty much the worst way to end my day. Kids have their hands all over one another, they scream, they’re not in their lines, they push and shove to be first, and it’s just miserable. I never tolerate these behaviors in class or on recess duty (I’m a specials teacher, so I know every one of these students.) This is throwing me for a loop. It’s not just one or two students. It’s the group as a whole. Everything I’ve tried isn’t working, and it’s a stressful way to end an otherwise amazing day.       -Stephanie, Miami, Florida

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