New Teachers

Managing Potentially Dangerous Behavior

Last week a student in my class was unusually badly behaved. I redirected him away from playing with scissors several times because I was afraid he might hurt someone with them. My attempts to reprimand him or discipline him were ineffective; he refused to respond when I confronted him about his behavior. I realized later after talking to my mentor that he had not taken his ADHD medication. My mentor contact the administration for support in handling the student, but they were not very helpful. The student behaved slightly better when the administrator was in the room, and returned to his original behavior when the administrator left. What steps do you take to handle a student who is on the edge of creating a very dangerous situation, but hasn't quite crossed the line?

Jannah Fitch
Jannah Fitch
370 Activity Points

The first thing to do would be take the scissors away from him so he did not hurt himself or someone else. Explain to him why you are doing it so he understands. At that age he will probably comply. Another thing is to look up ADHD and learn as much as possible about it and how to handle problems. Were his parents notified so they can be more careful about him getting his medication on time? ADHD children can channel their behavior if they are particularly interested in some subject. You might ask him to help you with the lesson if this is feasible.

Betty Paulsell
Betty Paulsell
48540 Activity Points

While subbing in a first grade classroom, I had students playing with scissors too. It's pretty scary when you see little ones throwing scissors across the room. What I did was immediately change their cards to yellow because they have already learned to not play with scissors. If the children are on yellow by the end of the day, they get a note home and their parents have to sign the note. This was a good way of changing their behavior. I hope you were able to solve your behavior problems with this student!

Corrie Armstrong
Corrie Armstrong
490 Activity Points

As a special education teacher I work with students with ADHD among other disabilities. I would find out if the child has an individualized education plan (IEP) or 504 plan. In the plan there are program supports for being in the classroom. Often these supports include positive behavior supports that are known to be effective with the student. If not, ask the special educator who is his case manager should be consulted for assistance with this unsafe behavior. Safety first says the student should not be given scissors until you find out if there are specific techniques and approaches to work with this student. Even if there is not an IEP or 504 plan ask your special education team for suggestions on how to re-direct this student to reduce potentially dangerous behavior.

Margaret Stout
Margaret Stout
3400 Activity Points

Margaret-

You have given really good advice. If the child has ADHD, then he may also have a 504 plan or IEP. If not, then maybe the teacher can begin the RtI process so he can get the help he needs. Immediately, however, after contacting the SpEd teachers for help, it is a great idea to search the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) web information for tips and tricks to use.

Generally, you'll need replacement behavior for the inappropriate behavior, and some sort of reward system for times when the student demonstrates expected behaviors.

All the best,

Naomi Beverly

Naomi Beverly
Naomi Beverly
19130 Activity Points

To learn about ADHD this is one of the better resources I've found. It's for parents but has a lot of information about education and ADHD: http://www.additudemag.com/ This expert has excellent information about dangerous/aggressive behaviors: http://www.livesinthebalance.org/educators-schools Some students with ADHD have sensory regulation issues. Do consult with an Occupational Therapist before using these. Here is a website to learn more about what they are talking about or if they give you equipment to use, it will help explain why: http://school-ot.com/Sensory%20Strategies.html

Margaret Stout
Margaret Stout
3400 Activity Points

My attempts to reprimand him or discipline him were ineffective; he refused to respond when I confronted him about his behavior. I realized later after talking to my mentor that he had not taken his ADHD medication. My mentor contact the administration for support in handling the student, but they were not very helpful.

I'd also make sure you document this very carefully. What you tried and who you contacted.
I'd try some non confrontational interventions ( IE as suggested by using yellow cards)

Glad you have the support of a mentor.

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
42070 Activity Points

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