Teaching ESL

How do you deal with conflictive children?
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Author:  arguset [ Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  How do you deal with conflictive children?

Hi, sometimes I have to deal with difficult children who don't understand anyway of discipline and most of the times you don't have the support from their parents -sometimes you are even given a threat!-. I'd like to know if you have to deal with situations like these and how you do that.
Greetings to everyone!

Author:  Malikariverbaby [ Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:58 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi there.

I sometimes have problems with kids in my class but I am luck that their class teachers are quite supportive.

I really wouldn't put up with it.

I have sent kids out of my class if they have not responded to warnings to behave.

Another effective thing is for them to lose time off they playtime. When I do this I immediatly give them a 5 minute penaly and if anyone complains it goes straight to 10. This is to show them that I mean business. I try to give them opportunities to regave the minutes during the class but I always leave about 2 minutes so that they understand that I will follow through.

You can also use a penalty card system where a card is placed on the table of the child who is talking. If they are quite and another kid is talking or messing about move the card to that child's table. The kid that has the card on their table at the end of the lesson has somekind of consequense eg missing 5 minute of their playtime. If no one is misshaving you can return the card to your table. You can also have several cards on the go.

I have been teaching for 25 years and know that parents can be a bit tricky sometimes. However no one has the right to speak to you in an unplesant way. Some parents just don't see what little so and so's their kids are. I had a parent freak out at me because I was making him do dance in the sports class I was doing and the boy wasn't joining in. I had said this on his report and the dad just wouldn't have it, saying that the boy was in all sorts of sports clubs. I pointed out that I could only comment on what he was doing in my classes. Anyway this parent then went mad at another teacher and was finally told by the head mistress that he was not to talk to any of her staff without her being present.

Just try and stay positive! Do you have another member of staff who can support you?

Author:  arguset [ Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:03 pm ]
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Yes, thank you for your advices. And I've tried these actions: penalty time and sending off the class. But there are children that they just don't care. You can tell them whatever and they just feel the same way. Luckily I have the support of other teachers but it's so stressing.

Author:  Malikariverbaby [ Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:23 am ]
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That is really sole destroying. I had a class that I just couldn't connect with and I was finding myself dreading teaching them. This term I have asked the teacher to stay with me and have added the younger kids to the class.
This seems to have worked and at last the kids are learning something :D

It can be very hard to find what works with a group of kids like that. How old are they?

Author:  arguset [ Mon May 04, 2009 4:34 pm ]
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That's the most sad part. They are just 6 and 7 years old!!! How will they be in the future? The good think is that these conflictive kids are just a minority, but they can destroy your class mood in a second.

Author:  hawaiibadboy [ Mon May 04, 2009 7:42 pm ]
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My soul was almost "destroyed" when I taught at public Schools :(

Now at my School I tell them to get out and tell the parents to go to another school that takes money over lack of discipline!!


Author:  arguset [ Wed May 06, 2009 3:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

I know that public schools have the danger of having problematic children with a non-structured family, but that's what I've been searching for. It's not to say that I'm complaining about those children who missbehave almost every day, but I am just looking for fine solutions. Sometimes I wished to send these children home for some days, but in fact I like to mend the situation if it's possible.

Author:  Malikariverbaby [ Sat May 09, 2009 12:48 am ]
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6-7 yr olds can be a real pain!
I have a kid who has massive issues and he is 7. In fact I think he is autistic. He can completly destroy my class. Recently he has been showing his bum and looking down my top :(
I really think the class is too much for him particarly as I am doing alot of singing and moving around the class.
I love working in public schools, as you get a really mixture of kids but I really could run out of the class screaming sometimes :shock:

Author:  arguset [ Mon May 11, 2009 4:10 pm ]
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Yes, i know! :D And sometimes one has the "urge" of smashing them against the wall and other unpolite actions! But, really, it's just the feeling of the time. I don't know if when I'm older I will be able to keep the cool mood. I hope I will, :roll:. Just kidding!!! I know that we will be able, but we just have to have the ability of not falling down and keep going on. Trying to have a positive thought all the time. :smt023

Author:  mulanmulan28 [ Fri May 22, 2009 10:07 pm ]
Post subject:  hii

hhmm....i teach in a course which contents of about 10-13 students in a class...small class...and im sure it's easier to control them...but anyhow, what i tell here might be useful and worth for you...one way i usually do to that "special children is trying to give them more responsible in the classroom, such as pointing them to be the leader of the class....(i ususally call them as police boys)....the one who always helps you to bring your stuffs to your office together with you when you finish teaching....it's a good chance to do the approach to them...so next time, they will see you up if they want to trouble you...because at least, they tell themselve that you have trusted them to be a good example to others...and it will give possitive influnce to their participant in the real class activity...may it work for you ;-) ;-)

Author:  arguset [ Fri May 22, 2009 10:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thank you for your reply, but in my particular case I think it won't work because this kid is too aggressive and if I make him the police boy of the class he may hit the others. He has such a domineering personality!

Author:  mulanmulan28 [ Fri May 22, 2009 10:36 pm ]
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well what we need to do at the first is to build the concensus among him and the rest of class....show him how they try to trust that "police boy 8) ..what its function and tell him the reason why you choose him...because you trust him .....it need the communication anyway hehehhe.....

Author:  ematmos [ Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:58 pm ]
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I have had some success with disruptive kids using a combination of the following. Offering performance related awards, giving the students more responsibility and giving praise for even the smallest "effort"

The reward depends on the kids. I'm in Japan so little stickers at the end of class work most of the time, but you could reward them with a game they like, or anything that will motivate them (It doesn't have to be English related, but sometimes it helps especially if you have parents or other teachers around who expect the kids to be "learning/studying" all the time.)

It often helps to have some sort of scale or measurement that enables them to see how well they are performing at any given time during the class. I use a scale from 0 to 3 (about 3 steps to reach the next sticker/point) and a magnet that either goes up if they win a game, help me or another student, etc. or goes down if they break a class rule (usually after a countdown from 5 to 1). They only get 0 stickers if they've been deliberately and constantly disruptive, and 3 if they've been really good. (I'm too stingy to give out so many stickers!)

The praise part, I think is most important. No matter how hopeless the kid/s behaviour there is usually at least one instance where they do something good, even if it is sitting down quickly one time. It takes time but most kids will want to earn more praise and acknowledgement and therefor modify their behaviour accordingly. Usually I praise them at the time (you may have to keep it simple if their English is poor) and once more as they leave, just for the hell of it.

The "responsibility" part is pretty much the same as the policeman method described above although I usually start with something small, like the "magnet monitor" (the kid who gets to move the magnets up and down at my direction). I would recomend to at least try this with your kid, he mey surprise you (he may not, of course! But you can always revoke the privelage).

I use these methods with my 5 to 8 year old kids and it works well (most of the time)

BTW my class rules are pretty simple. No punching, kicking or fighting. No teasing. And when Dan is talking everyone else is "not talking".

Apologies for my spelling and if you need any clarification I'm happy to help. Also I would love to hear about what works for you (You'll definatly find something if you keep looking!)

best of luck,


Author:  flora [ Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:22 am ]
Post subject: 

As any teacher, I also had to deal with some difficult children, and, talking with older teachers, I found some ways to deal with them:
- make contracts with them (for example: "I raise my hand before talking"). The child fills it every day and at the end of the day or week, you check with him and discuss his progress. It give sthem responsibilities and makes them realise their efforts and what happens when they make them.

- class debate every end of week: this deals more with the problems within the class. The other children can then explain why this behavour disturbs them. The only thing is you'll have to take care not to point to the same kid every time. This debate has also the advantage that it's a way of teaching kids democracy...

- Giving responsibilities (see what has been done following Freinet): the system is based on have to/right (to have certain rights, you need to respect certain rules). It works with various steps symbolised with coloured belts (as in Judo): 1 step gives new rights and is reached if you respect some rules.

But then again every child is different, and as for one you'll have to be very firm, for another one, you'll have to be more comprehensive (for example telling them that if they think they're going to explode, they can get out of the class for a minute, time for them to calm down).

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