Category Archives: behavior

C Hates His Old Teacher

And I know why.  I feel like I constantly have to keep my eyes on him.  And I feel like I’m continually calling his name.  I’m trying to explain to him that I don’t want to pick on him, but when I see him doing someting wrong, I have to get him to stop.

C tends to get pouty.  When I need him to turn a pin for something, he gets this look on his face.  He seems real angry.  He doesn’t act angry, but he looks it.  And he won’t listen to me after that.  Not for a bit, anyhway.  And he won’t look at me either.

It’s like he’s mad at me for picking on him.  I try to tell him that I’m only calling him out because he’s doing something wrong.  And trust me, I’m trying to give him lots of warning.  But he just doesn’t learn.

The other day I saw him out of the corner of my eye.  It looked like he was tossing something at the girl across from him.  But she wasn’t complaining, so I ignored the behavior, hoping it would stop.  But it didn’t.  He kept doing it, and a few seconds later I heard him say, “Got ya!”

I can’t ignore that.

So I busted him.  Had him turn his pin.  He got up all angrily.  I tried to have him stop so he would listen to me while I asked him why he was made, but he would stop, wouldn’t look at me, and wouldn’t reply to me.  So I called him back to his seat and very calmly explained to him that he’s only in trouble because of the actions he chose to do.

No change in behavior.

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A New Kid

First day back, I get a call from my principal.  She wants to tell me about a new kid I’m getting.  Apparently his dad asked the district to be moved to our school because he liked the way our principal handled students.

This kid – I mean student – has evidently been suspended at least 3 times THIS SCHOOL YEAR, for things like throwing his backpack at someone.  And I get him in my class.

Oh good.

But the principal and behavioral specialist, a very well-liked-by-the-students Mr. Farell, have already met with him and his dad, and he’s going to start out on a behavior contract.  And he’s NOT going to have any of these problems here at Westmont.  Well, we’ll see.

Turns out he’s a nice enough kid.  I’ll call him “C.”  Very well spoken, polite, good looking.

We’ll see.

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A Note from a Student

“Dear Mr. Vander Wall,

B told me something that was really wasn’t (sic) nice about S.  She told me S needs to shut her ugly a face before she brakes (sic) her face.  The a means the bad word.”

I got that from A.  A sits next to S.  B sits at the table next to them.  I have my suspicions that B is a bully and says a lot of unkind things, but I can’t get anyone to corroborate those suspicions.  Sometimes I hear B say something in a mean tone to someone at her table, and when I do I make sure to remind her that we need to talk nicely to the people around us.

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Stealing in My Class

I had two students steal from me in the last 36 hours.  I hate that.  It really makes me feel betrayed!  I hate when I can’t trust my students.

The first case was as we were leaving yesterday.  I was dismissing the tables to put their chairs on their desks, come up and get a sticker or a candy if they had good behavior, and then line up.  We do it every day.  As I called one of the tables up, I noticed one of the boys, Eddy (not his real name) casually reached onto my desk and took some behavior reward slips – we call them Wildcats.  Wildcats go into classroom raffles and school-wide raffles.  Eddy had taken about 15 of them off my desk.

I was so mad.  I made him empty his backpack so I could check it for other things he might have stolen.  Then I wrote him up a discipline note for his parents to sign.

The second case happened this morning.

I have a group of 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students in my class at the beginning of the school day.  We do oral language/ESL stuff together.  After a half hour, I let them come up and get a Skittle from my Skittle tray, and then they head off to their regular classroom.  They know to take one, and I try to thank them often for being good, and I remind them to only take one.

This morning as they were going, I heard a loud rattle from the Skittle tray.  A few seconds later a girl told me that Karen (not her real name) took more than one.  As she was walking out the door I asked her if she had more than one.  She opened her hand and told me she took 5.  I was very sad.  I felt I got along well with Karen, and I thought she had more respect for me than to do that.  I guess I was wrong, and I think that’s what hurt my feelings.

I told her my feelings were hurt, and that I was disappointed.  Then I told her to throw them away, and I turned to do other things.  A student a few seconds later told me she didn’t even throw them away.  A check in the trash can confirmed that (she was standing next to it when I caught her).  I am so disappointed.

I feel like I just can’t trust any of my students now.

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J and His Books, Part 2

So now J goes into the office to bother them about his books.  I get a call after school from the office, telling me J is in there asking if he can get his books, and telling them he paid for them and wants them.  I tell them to put him on the phone, and then tell him to stop bothering the office.  He knows how to get the books back.

He tells me his mom can’t come and get them.  She’s too busy.  She has too many kids to take care of.  Again, that’s crap.  He’s important enough to come and get them.

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J and His Books

J’s mom called.  Said she couldn’t come up to the room because her she has her newborn with her.  That’s crap!  She can come up.  If it’s important enough for her (and her son should be), then she can come up.

I hesitantly agree to give the books to his sister the next day.

But the next day, J has a TERRIBLE day.  There is no way I’m going to give those books to him with that behavior.  So I tell him to inform his mother that I have changed my mind.  She is going to have to come up.

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Field Day

It was Field Day today.  Shot put (heavy balls), soccer kick (accuracy), 50 yard dash, free throws, broad jump, and lemon/spoon race.  I was put in charge of 4th grade supervision, which ended up being a fairly easy job.

It was a fun day, but the sun came out pretty early, and made it pretty hot out there.  I forgot to dress appropriately, so I was out there in long blue pants and a polo shirt.  I was dying.  After the first event, I wised up and called Julie and asked if she could bring me some shorts.

Irene, who has always been a bit unusual, just seemed to be on the spectrum.  She was so excited about the day before we went out there.  She got all worked up, so weird.  After all was done she was crying because she didn’t place in any event.  She even ripped her hat accidentally because she was so mad/sad.

After lunch there were the relays, by grade level.  We squeaked out a 3rd place (out of 5 4th grade teams).  A pretty fun day, but not much done achedemically.  Oh well, 3 1/2 days left!

And I got a burn.

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