Fabulous First Grade Case Study: Thinking Outside The Box to Manage Disruptions
First Grade Teacher Keller Elementary
Green Bay, Wisconsin
December 10, 2013
This is a case study of one of my first graders who began the year with what one would call quite a reputation for disrupting the class. In this study I will try to show how I had to reflect, change, and implement other strategies/methods in order for him to coexist in our classroom. As I write this about student M, I have just come from having a very tough day with another student that we are currently looking into trying the same strategies. I say this because I am a person who reflects daily on the happenings of ...view middle of the document...
He didn’t seem to get the same memo….he was disrespectful, defiant, disruptive, and the cause of a lot of headaches. Most days I heard “I hate you.” “I’m not doing that.” “You’re stupid.” Even being a seasoned teacher of 20+ years I began to wonder if perhaps my career was over. Should I toss it in the bag and look into a second career?
My school had implemented the PBIS method the year prior and this year we were starting with CHAMPS the classroom approach to classroom management. Okay, I will listen and try to learn new strategies to deal with classroom misbehaviors. Some of the meetings we had I found myself thinking how can I be positive when the behaviors I’m dealing with are totally disrupting my instruction? I tried all the tools I had in my tool box. I redirected, retaught, and guided expected behaviors. Still, most days I felt like I knew nothing and I was fighting a losing battle. I bucked the CHAMPS teacher because she always said “universal kids” and I shut down and thought….I don’t have universal kids, I have tough bugs!
Then things changed. M started to accept directions I gave and started giving me hugs and listening to my words. He started sitting in group, listening, and telling others how to follow my directions. Okay, I went through the “war” with M and he was beginning to respond. But M still had a huge issue during transition times. He would comply with my directions, but get to Music, Art, or PE and totally fall apart. Those specials teachers were frustrated, angry, and wondering what we could do. I also have to preface that my principal is new to the district this year. He is coming from a rural area where that had a totally different socio-economic structure than we had. So, when all these transition issues happened, he really wasn’t prepared to deal with things. Then I got frustrated….I had made a breakthrough with M and I knew he could do it, but he was sinking and it hurt. The usual strategy of having M go to the office if he wasn’t complying did NOT work. He refused, ran, hid, and made all the adults look like we had no experience in dealing with kids.
So, instead of “bucking” the CHAMPS teacher, I thought, okay, lets
try. All the specials teachers, the Champs instructor, and myself sat down and discussed what we were going to do to make M’s day successful in all areas. I have to be honest and say that the first meeting I felt judged and that people were “looking” at my classroom and wondering what the hell is...