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Thread: Teachers physically touching students

  1. #19

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    You do have to follow it up at home Di - and you want them not to just have respect at home because it needs to carry on outside - where ever he is.
    Respect doesn't always go both ways in my eyes - to clarify, elders should always be respected. They aren't perfect but if it doesn't mean if they don't show you respect, that you degenerate in retaliation. I taught my daughter it's always about HER behaviour no matter what she is facing.

    DD was really awful to her PE teacher (and I was called as a result) - I agreed with her stance (wanted to do soccer instead of cheerleading) I didn't agree with the way she carried on at her teacher in front of everyone.
    We talked about the best ways to get your point across (and how to do it with style!), I explained how losing control and yelling means NO ONE listens to you.



    Do you attend parent/teacher interviews regularly? You can get a good feel for the teachers and establish a relationship of some sorts. This way I learnt what a kind and gentle maths teacher DD had, and that her german teacher really was kind of a biartch (but she still wasn't to be rude), and told DD if she was ever unkind to her lovely soft-spoken english teacher again that she wouldn't be going out for a week.

    ETA - Aww hun - getting caught smoking on the oval isn't awesome either. It doesn't matter if he doesn't want to do the work. We would all love to only do the good/easy parts in life. All the boys love the hands on part.....which will be no good to any of them if they can't spell 'automotive'.
    Last edited by Lulu; July 28th, 2010 at 03:55 PM.

  2. #20

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    Dianne - I don't think that having teenagers sounds very easy or straight forward. It is a tough situation to be in because I agree with you that it is difficult for you to give consequences to him for things that happen in the classroom. While I was a behaviour management teacher, the advice we gave to parents was that it was the school's responsibility to give consequences for behaviour until the behaviour became an inconvenience to the parents and then the parents needed to reinforce the consequence. I think it was about respect for the child and not double discipline for issues that had already been dealt with but I also worked with primary aged kids and things were a lot more straightforward.

    I think the teachers are calling you because they have no idea how to manage the behaviour themselves to be honest. High schools generally don't send kids to the principal like they did in primary schools and the teacher is a lot more responsible for the behaviour management in their own classrooms - the teachers may be feeling very unsupported and have no idea what else to do either.

    Some teenagers respond to strong consequences and others really don't because it is actually not about how strict parents are, but more about the teenager themselves. Some teenagers realise very early on that they don't have to let consequences affect them and if they choose not to care about what is going on around them, then they are very difficult manage. I was a very compliant child and teenager and did what my parents told me to. Their discipline and management worked on me because of the sort of person I was. My younger brother would shrug his shoulders and just take off with friends and not come back for a couple of days. He chose to not be controlled by them and so he wasn't.

    For this reason, I think we need a different approach to teenagers. I don't have teenagers and have never tested out my own theories so ignore me if you wish, but I don't think negative consequences work on teenagers. Teenagers are in that stage of life where they are transitioning from dependence on their parents and the other adults around them to independence as their own adult individual. They are experimenting with their freedom and chuck into that mix that their body is producing hormones to make changes but there are no set levels (think the first few days after having a baby when your body doesn't know how much milk to make so it just goes ballistic until it figures out the right levels) so they have a lot of extra stuff going on.

    I would recommend reading a book called 'Parent Effectiveness Training'. I have just read it. It has some pretty challenging concepts in there (for me anyway) especially in the first few chapters, but keep with it because it really makes a lot of sense by the end. It is about how to change the way that we talk to our kids and teenagers. I am a big fan of the line of thinking that if there is a continuuing behaviour problem going on, often it is our own attitude that has to change rather than the child/teenager. This book just gives some new strategies for talking to kids/teenagers about what is going on in their life and talks a lot about active listening.

    Anway, very side tracked from the title of the thread. I agree that teachers should not touch students if they are uncomfortable with it - actually, I think all physcial contact should be avoided when a teacher is correcting a student's behaviour. Touching in those circumstances is not only inappropriate but puts the teacher in a lot of risk. I saw a teacher touch the chair of a child that she was telling off one day and that child threw themselves on the floor and despite having witnesses to the incident, the teacher underwent full investigation from the Education Department. She was eventually cleared, but she left herself wide open. Also touching a child in those incidences, can lead to a violent outburst in return because touching kids crosses a boundary and if the teacher is the first to break that boundary, the child can often slap the unwanted touch away. Sometimes teachers do need to take responsibility for how they inflame the situation as well. I am not saying the student is innocent, but our actions can provoke behaviours in others and I have done formal observations of teachers who get into power struggles with kids and very quickly start playing a victim role because they have it in for the kid from the beginning. Teachers are just human too and just like people in society behave like that, there are teachers that also behave like that. Their classrooms become their power realms and some kids don't respond well to that kind of authoritativeness. Sorry, I am getting side tracked again.

    I think you are well within your rights to ask the teachers not to touch your DS. To be honest, she sounds like she is touching him because she feels out of control of the situation. Yelling in the face of a student is the sign of person who is out of control and teenagers are exceptionally good at picking up on that.

    There are some things in life you can change and there are other things you can't. You can't change the teachers attitude, you can't even necessarily change your DS's attitude, you can only change yourself and how you approach the situation. The best thing for you to do is probably try and get a few different strategies if you feel that it is not working at the moment. You are in a tough situation too because you are also trying to maintain some form of relationship with your teenage son and having to be the bad guy and deal with school's left overs at the end of every day is not always the best relationship building steps.

    Anyway, I am not really sure what point I am trying to make. I don't have teenagers yet, I have worked minimally with teenagers but I do understand the issues are complex and delicate and what works for one family, doesn't always work for another. I guess 'power over' forms of behaviour management (while not at all ideal) work on smaller children, but on teenagers, you need to appeal to their growing independence and need for recognition of that.

    I will stop waffling now since I have written this whole post and don't really think I have a point ... sorry.

  3. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by diannescruffy View Post
    Ok, so what should I do, any suggestions appreciated.
    OK, We recently had a problem with our eldest child. He is only in year 4, but what we did can apply here too I think. His problem was a total lack of tolerance towards the kids who aren't as smart as he is so he was acting out in class calling out answers etc. So for 2 weeks after initially speaking with his teacher I was in constant contact with her and we took things day by day to make sure he was improving. What we did at home was to find out exactly what the problem was (frustration at kids not knowing answers etc and not being called on to answer it himself) then I told his teacher what he told me and we all worked together to get him to change. and within that time, just by me asking him at home how he was going and the teacher helping in the classroom we were able to get him to turn his behaviour around. At your sons age, they are quite egocentric, meaning that they think the world revolves around them, so they are unable to see that there is a problem with their behaviour and when you ask, it's probably that all the teachers are on his back and picking on him, yeah? but in reality, he needs someone at home to make him accountable for his behaviour, because rarely do teachers just pick a child to have a set against, there is always a catalyst and 9 times out of 10, it is all in the students head kwim?

  4. #22

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    Thanks Trillian, I'm going to have another talk to DS and let him know that if his behaviour continues at school there will be consequences at home. I will also let him know that I will be ringing his teacher and asking her to keep me informed. I have always gone to interviews, they have only been with his home group teacher, usually unless there is a problem you don't see any of the other teachers.

    Regards,
    Dianne

  5. #23

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    I have found when teens (I have 2sds's and 1x sdd as well as my own 18yo) is that you have to lay the boundaries are clearly as you do when they are 3.

    This auto course will get him nowhere if he continues to act like a turkey. No one wants to employ a turkey so you have to give him the bigger picture so he can see how his behaviour stuffs HIM up in the long run. Then he makes his choice.

    They get what you mean by "stop it" but sometimes they don't know what to do to replace the negative behaviour - so give him some tools for that. Like I said - asking him what he could do to prevent another classroom screaming match (whilst reminding him of his own responsibilities when it comes to his behaviour) might surprise you.


    GL xoxo

  6. #24

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    Thanks Lulu.

    Regards,
    Dianne

  7. #25

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    Actually Lulu with the smoking he was suspended for a day, I didn't receive a phone call in that case. Comparing the two I would have thought being suspended would warrant a phone call to the parents.

    Regards,
    Dianne

  8. #26

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    Did you get a letter from the school though? They would have notified you somehow?

    At the end of the day though, you have to take back responsibility for your DS and his behaviour - it really isn't the schools fault and you should try and take back blaming the school as your focus.

    It's just my experience that even as they get older and grow away from you, or get taller than you that you think they don't need you to spell things out for them. They just do - it's sort of like the parenting needed goes right back to what it was when you needed to help them get dressed. It's just a different kind of attention.

    xoxo
    Last edited by Lulu; July 28th, 2010 at 05:39 PM.

  9. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lulu View Post

    They get what you mean by "stop it" but sometimes they don't know what to do to replace the negative behaviour - so give him some tools for that. Like I said - asking him what he could do to prevent another classroom screaming match (whilst reminding him of his own responsibilities when it comes to his behaviour) might surprise you.


    GL xoxo
    THat is exactly what we did with him, we told him to think of other things during the times when he felt frustrated, like a happy place LOL and telling him ways of how he could take his mind off it really helped.

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