C. and A. are two of my current grade 1 students. It is a very difficult class, with 6 students who have big behavioral problems. Some already see psychology for anger management. Overall, these 6 students' bad behaviors are not well addressed by the school, parents, and teachers. This leads to a negative and slow learning environment. C. and A. are two of these students with big behavioral issues. Every teacher is struggling to manage their behavior. We have, mostly unsuccessfully, tried Tier 1 and 2 interventions with both students. Each strategy was given an approximate four-week trial.
C.'s tantrums and A.'s off-task and disruptive behavior both create the same sense of chaos in the classroom but must be addressed in a different way because they stem from different weaknesses. We suspect C. of having some learning difficulties paired with behavioral problems. We have made a referral for her to see a behavior specialist. We think that A.'s problems are mostly because he might have trouble transitioning from home, where he has no limits, to a large class ( 29 students) where he lacks personal attention and is given limits and rules.
We do our best to use restorative practices to build healthy, positive relationships between the students and teachers, and our two students and their peers. Our first intervention was to increase our positive feedback fr both students. It was always important to emphasize our students' constructive behavior.
Some Tier 1 and 2 initiatives have helped and we continue to use them. C. has benefited from changing location in the classroom, being spoken to in a calm and neutral tone and having some time out. Avoiding power struggles has been very beneficial for us teachers because they only lead to her having a disruptive tantrum. A. has benefited from consistency and having an individual workspace, he initially responded positively to praise but he become insensitive to it. Because he craves a lot of attention, mentoring has been our biggest success with A. he has established a positive relationship with his mentor who spends some time teaching and coaching him individually. This way he is able to learn and have a positive behavior but it doesn't noticeably change his behavior in the classroom.
Since we began trying Tier 1 interventions, there is only a slight betterment in both student's behavior. They remain, overall, very disruptive and their behavior affects the whole classroom. C. is unresponsive to the behavior contract and does not want to take breaks from her drawing. A. is also unresponsive to the behavior contract and the age-appropriate organizational tools we elaborated for him. Unfortunately, as we reached Tier 2 initiatives we discovered that C. and A.'s parents were disengaged and unwilling to face their children's struggles.
We hope that C.'s FIB, FBA, and referral will give us some answers on how to better manage her and will help her to learn life skills. Now, our overall goal is to better understand the source of her struggling and what we should do as teachers and what the school and her parents could do to help her.
We have asked a grade 6 to volunteer to tutor A. We hope that this will give him a chance to develop another positive relationship to learning and will give him some of the individual learning time he craves. We have also begun an RTI to help him catch up academically. Although we have also asked him to see a counselor, it is much less likely than C. that he has a disability. We hope that the counselor will give him tools to better control himself and give us tools to better managing him.