Question Detail

How to deal with rude and disrespectful students?

Feb 3, 2015 7:04pm

I have two class periods with a handful of rude and disrespectful students. My classroom environment is a math technology classroom where the kids must work on an online math program the entire class period. I do not teach any math subjects, but am there to tutor and assist. All the kids work at their own pace and are on different topics all the time. All my students are the lowest achievers in math and are the behavior problem kids. My class size is about 25 students and I only have 25 computers. These kids do not care about learning and their parents do not seem to care if they learn at all as well. I have moved students, kicked students out, written DRFs, talked to the kids one on one. I am running out of ideas. I feel like they treat my class as a joke. They ignore me when I speak to them and talk back to me when I ask them to stay focused. It is disappointing because I keep hoping the kids will act better, but every day I am met with disappointment. I need more suggestions! Thank you

  • Math / Technology
  • 6-8
  • Behavior


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    • Feb 18, 2015 6:28pm

      The main problem in your class seems to be the students' lack of engagement with the material. Is it possible to discuss the choice of on-line program with your curriculum manager?
      As your class consists of low achieving maths students they may have missed out on mastery of basic mathematical concepts - possibly some of them have dyscalculia and/or dyslexia. Have they been assessed and given appropriate intervention? Is there funding for them which could be put towards a more rewarding computer program they will want to use?
      Also, you need support from your school. It is crucial that the school provides you with support and PD - please talk to the appropriate colleague to ensure your health and well-being are being taken into account too.
      If your students have work they enjoy, and you are in a position where you feel emotionally supported, and confident with maths instruction and advice, the outcome for all would be much better.

      • Feb 22, 2015 4:33pm

        I agree with Terri that there seem to be some deeper issues here with engagement with material, and possibly some very difficult challenges with it. One of the leading causes of misbehavior is frustrated students! I hope that you are able to talk with your district and get some help in this area.

        If you are not able to change the program or get some support, Jasmine has a great idea for a reset. Having the students lead it is a great idea. If you are worried about the students not taking it seriously, see if you can have another teacher or principal in the room just as a presence and helper for this discussion. Perhaps there is a teacher in the building that has had success with many of these students that could be a very powerful presence in your reset. Make sure you have your goals in mind, too, so you can make sure your goals are represented after the students have created theirs.

        Whole Brain Teaching has some great ideas on ways to set expectations/rules. They also have a scoreboard game that might be helpful in tracking behavior. If you are able to offer some sort of incentive for positive behavior, some struggling students respond well to that.

        I know you aren't able to really teach that much because of all the different students in different levels. Perhaps once a week you could take 5-10 minutes and play a group game. Maybe it could be some sort of basic skill review, math vocabulary, partner/small group problem solving sharing, anything that can involve basic skills that all of the kids can review, regardless of their current level. Of course expectations would have to be clearly set for them to succeed in this change of format. But the games might make them feel more cohesive as a class and more successful and supported.

        You have a tough job, and I hope that you are able to find something that works for you and these kids!

        • May 4, 2018 6:04am

          My students are teens and are way out of control. all low level learners and discipline problems. every period is that way. They don't listen. here is one typical period one day. Dumped trash out of can on floor, took shoes from another pushed them in my face,poured their soda in trash can, sat on lab tables, hitting each other, cursing need I go on. called administrator deputy came down told him every thing and who did what said if continues call again !!