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Behavioral Problems at School and How to Help

Please note, this post is not about either of my children (at the moment) thank goodness!

I hope no parent reading this post needs this information, but in case you do I’m sending you a big blogosphere hug! Here is some education for you as a parent, about the tools an elementary school teacher has at her disposal to help a child who is having chronic behavioral issues. I’m writing them out in a continuum, from a starting disciplinary measure to the most extreme.

For Starters

  • Notes home (the teacher is probably saving copies)
  • Calls home (the teacher is probably making a record of these in her file)
  • Loss of recess (the teacher is probably keeping track of this too)
  • Staying after school (not really done any more, in my experience)
  • Moving seats

Getting Stickier

  • An isolated seat
  • A seat with a cardboard “office” around it
  • Being sent to the office (some teachers do this as a starter step)
  • A conference with mom and dad to set up a behavioral plan (this is when all of those notes the teacher has been keeping come out)

Really Hairy

  • Sending a child to a lower-grade classroom to “shame” them (I don’t like this option)
  • Sending a child to an upper-grade classroom to “make them afraid” (I don’t like this option either)
  • Sending a child outside the classroom door to work (doesn’t work in CA schools because of the open floor plan)
  • In-school suspension
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

And Now For Some Out of the Box Ideas That Can Help…

  • Recess –This should be obvious, bud sadly is not. Make sure the child gets to go outside and play!
  • Stamp books— Make a little book by the child’s desk and stamp it every time you catch the child being good
  • Tactile discs for kids to sit on –Sometimes this helps kids with ADHD focus
  • A classroom microphone for the teacher — Research has also shown that this can help children focus
  • Sending a child to a lower-grade classroom for a few hours to feel safe, clear his head, and take a breather
  • Paying attention to low blood sugar issues.
  • Sending a child to walk a labyrinth
  • Providing fidget toys for children
  • Providing “a cave” in the classroom for children to take a break in
  • Figuring out the hot-button times for a child, and then asking the school district to consider providing a Para-educator, adult volunteer, or older student buddy for those time-periods

Finally, one of the symptoms of being a chronic know-it-all is that I love to offer help and advice. 🙂 If you would ever like to email me privately with specific situations or children in mind, I can be reached at jenbrdsly at yahoo dot com.

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