Learner Related Issues (Attention Seeking/Hostile/ Aggressive/Defiant…
Learner Related Issues
Attention Seeking/Hostile/ Aggressive/Defiant Behaviour
discipline students privately
“I will no longer hear…” set the boundaries
Challenging GROUPS of students
Behavior is always different in groups than privately
Develop a personal behavior agreement with the ring leader. So they don’t feel they have to parade their insecurities in the way that they do.
establish ourselves as a respectful, confident leader, kids learn to trust us
behaviours that in the past have obtained attention
climbing on tables
they are looking at you to see if you notice
Asking appropriately for your attention
give kids your attention (while they are doing something appropriately) before they engage in inappropriate behavior, on a frequent basis
the child has been without attention for awhile (so now it is valuable)
Staying out of power struggles/arguments
If they are complying, which is your immediate goal, you can deal with the attitude later. “
, I need you to sit down.” ... “I appreciate that you sat down, and we’ll talk after class.” Both calmer, can help them gain control of their behavior.
Defiant student tries to hook you in to a verbal exchange: Listen, acknowledge, redirect to the task at hand, defer to a future conversation
Redirect, not escalate (try non-verbal).
Level 3 intervention strategies
Clear, direct messages
“I” messages: I want, I need, I feel, I will (increases the chances of cooperation and decreases the chances of confrontation)
Avoidance of failure and embarrassment
Make students aware that you know the behaviours they are exhibiting are about avoidance and then teach explicit strategies to overcome the avoidance.
Naming the behaviour and offering support. For example: “You are doing x to avoid x, is there anything I can do to help you?”
Use of metaphors for learning, e.g. Monarch Butterfly
They feel a need to purge, it’s not that easy to just eat more.
It is real, dangerous, and can be recovered from
Limiting food intake and trying to lose weight is especially concerning for that age group since their bodies and brains are still developing. Also, starting these habits so young make their eating disorder harder to treat
Most don’t receive treatment
Kids are bombarded with images of perfection in the media, instinct to copy their idols
Raise the issue of eating disorders at different times throughout the year in a general fashion – may encourage students to talk to you about it
Normalize healthy eating as it comes up in classroom discussions.
Help students understand what a healthy body image looks like: being fit, but not too thin. Mental health as well as physical health. Teach media literacy, focusing on realistic body images.
Be aware of increased risk taking behaviours and report to parents and school team.
Avoid making comments on body image or appearance as these could be taken the wrong way.
In a private setting, discuss your concerns with the students in a supportive and non-punitive way. Ask the student for ways that you can help.
Be flexible with work completion and memory, which can be negatively impacted by restricted food/starvation.
Provide resources to the student and parent on eating disorders and counseling options
Approximately 2 out of 10 girls in any school class are at risk for developing an eating disorder
Hospitalizations for eating disorders up 119% in children under 12 in the past decade
81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat
42% of 7- to 9-year-old girls want to be thinner
Self-mutilation & Self-harm
They feel better after doing it. Adrenaline release.
Attention-seeking, a fad
Negative coping mechanism. Not knowing how to cope with the stressors in your life
Manifestation of other problems
anxiety and depression
mental health problems
Self-harm stops them from doing anything worse
Not feeling good about yourself
Get professional help if they are suicidal
Mental health awareness in schools
Help them grow in emotional resilience
Let them know they are not alone and they can overcome it if they put their mind to it. Close family members, friends who really do care for them.
Very serious, can lead to suicide
They don’t want people to know they are self-harming
Girls AND boys are susceptible to this. Kids from nice homes too.
Cut when angry, in places no one would see (hips, legs, arms etc). Cutting makes the anger go away.
Cutting, scratching, overdoses
Depression & Anxiety
Teach relaxation techniques (e.g. progressive muscle relaxation, thinking of a safe space), help identify thinking traps (put ups vs put downs, think positive), social skills, executive functioning (organizing etc), flexible thinking
Create a safe and supportive environment, ease anxiousness before it becomes a chronic problem
Raise awareness of the issues of anxiety and depression in school, tell students they can come to me if they are struggling with such issues
Refer students to professional help if necessary
Recognize changes in student behavior and demeanor, show you noticed and they can talk to you
Characteristics of Anxiety
Complicated to recognise, thus often undiagnosed and untreated
There are many types
Constant worry, intense panic, being unable to relax, avoidance of situations that may bring on these feelings
affects an estimated 1 in 6 people
If left untreated in students, it can potentially lead to absenteeism, withdrawal, low academic achievement, poor relationships with classmates, difficulty coping with social situations, other disorders, alcoholism
Characteristics of Depression
Major signs: deep feelings of sadness, reduced interest in previously-enjoyed activities, restlessness, feelings of worthlessness, irritability, social withdrawal, suicidal thoughts, weight loss, insomnia
Very important to seek treatment
persistently low mood
Causes: genetics, personal life events, traumatic childhood, drugs and medication
Potential treatments: anti-depressant medications, therapy, social support
Negative stigma still exists
Treatment, Education, Understanding