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Do you have any effective suggestions for dealing with a classroom full of emotionally needy and oppositional defiant students?

I am a public school teacher and have several students who are oppositional and defiant and several other students who are very emotionally needy, which makes my classroom of 22 very challenging with behavior. Even the paraprofessional who works in my classroom gave up with trying to discipline and maintain order prior to her going on maternity leave. The substitute paraprofessional has been working with children for over 30 years, which means she is very old school with discipline and she too has given up with this classroom. I am under a tremedous amount of stress due to the MANY, MANY behavioral problems in the classroom. I have tried many different strategies, contacting parents, verbal redirection, positive reinforcement, punitive and natural consequences without success. Now I am being targeted and blamed for all the behavioral problems. Do you have any effective suggestions? I have taught for 10 years, help!

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 9:33 AM on Feb. 7, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (14)
  • Daily structured routines can help sometimes.
    mamadita

    Answer by mamadita at 9:38 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • My dear sweet lady... I wish I had some advice for you. I don't have a background in education, but I do have a special needs child, although he's really not oppositional in school. The only thing that I can tell you is PRAY & PRAY HARD! Have faith in God, that He will intercede for you somehow, by either sending you the right paraprofessional, or by showing you a miracle for your faith and prayers. And I'll try to remember you in my prayer list as well. Please contact me, if this prayer gets answered at some point k. Much love, and best wishes ~ one of God's servants~
    RepentantSinner

    Answer by RepentantSinner at 9:43 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • I have wondered about one of my boys being ODD but haven't taken him to be tested and probably won't since labels won't make a difference in the matter.

    I don't have much advice but I homeschool and I struggle with him as well. Discipline with him needs to be enforced. I have to stick to my words, if I don't he uses it against me later and things get worse. When I know he's going to be difficult and not do what I ask him, I give him 2 choices. He can chose to do ___, or he can chose to do ___. Either way, I set it up so I'm still getting what I wanted out of him, but he feels like he's in control.

    I'm not sure what kind of problems you're having in your classroom and I'm sure with having a college degree to teach, you've done everything you know how to do. How old are the students?
    ReneeK3

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 9:47 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • I just realized this was posted in 5-8 age group.

    Here's an idea:

    Give each child 3 checkers (pieces from the game) at the beginning of class each day. Their goal is to behave well enough to keep their checkers. If they misbehave, they lose a checker. At the end of the day, children with all 3 checkers get a "good behavior" slip. When they collect 10 slips, they get to pick a prize out of a prize basket (or some other kind of special reward). If they lose all of their checkers in a day, a note goes home to mom and dad.

    My teacher did something very similar to that when I was in grade school and it worked. It's the only thing I can come up with for you :(
    ReneeK3

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 9:54 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • Have you talked to the principle for support. I would think that if they were emotionally needy that thye would put the kids in counseling. As for behavioral that is where you reach out to the parents there could be issues at home or the the child may have AD/HD, ADD, or learning problems where they are either bored because they are not challenged or they arefrustrated becuase they cannot do the work.
    Ibelongtojesus

    Answer by Ibelongtojesus at 9:57 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • aww.. You know every year it seems there is what we parents refer to as "that class" .


    My son was in it his 6th grade year. He felt so bad for the teacher as he was retiring that year. My son would tell me he felt bad that his teacher was retiring with that as his last memory.


    When you have your board meeting and in service days I hope that you are talking about this issue... You need to be vocal about what is going on, strategizing and asking for fellow teacher support.


    You are not the first teacher that has been in this situation. The administration  is well aware of that.


    Good Luck!

    3gr8tKids

    Answer by 3gr8tKids at 10:42 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • YOU need lots of prayer and hear are some good books we use  Tough Love .... Let the children know you love them but be firm in discipline It is not easy.                                  .. http://www.ask.com/web?q=Tough+Love+by+James+Dobson&qsrc=6&o=8101&l=dir

    yovonna

    Answer by yovonna at 2:34 PM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • As a mom of a special needs child, I would love to share some techniques that have worked wonders both at home and in the classroom. My son went from throwing desks and hating life to being a well adjusted loving child who is a teacher's dream student. Most of these kids do like structure, rules and schedules. It makes them feel safe.It is how your present them that makes the difference. Talk to them at their eye level in a calm voice. Smile it makes them wonder why you are smiling. Rewards are a great tool. Be consistent. Don't give them more attention than absolutely necessary for bad behavior. Praise praise praise good behavior.


    PM me if you would like some specifics. Good Luck and thanks for asking.

    CelticFaerie

    Answer by CelticFaerie at 4:43 PM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • I passed your question on to a friend of mine who is a teacher who deals with special needs children. She has been a teacher for as long as I've known her ~ over 30 years. I've added her response below. If you would like to contact her directly just PM me and I will give you her e-mail address.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I bought (it is expensive, but they have a payment plan) the program called "Total Transformation" There is a website. The program really empowered me to BE the one in control and to stand firm in all my directives. I have THE most difficult group I have had in years. It helps. Of course, I have to modify it for some children because I've such a serious variety of students and abilities. You are welcome to put her directly in contact with me if you'd like.
    cheaperbydozen

    Answer by cheaperbydozen at 7:29 PM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • Thank you ladies for answering this question, hopefullyothers will see and read and answer. I am research the program Total transformation.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:43 AM on Feb. 8, 2009

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