Behavior at school a teacher's perspective - FamilyEducation
Behavior at school a teacher's perspective
03/08/2009 at 17:49 PM

I was disappointed to read the messages posted under "Behavior at School". I am one of the teachers being discussed that has to use restraints or the seclusion room. I currently have a parent that is demanding that her child not be restrained or put in the seclusion room. That child is currently mainstreamed into the regular classroom and comes to my IBS (intensive behavior support) room when a violent disturbance erupts. What that means to me is that I have to evaluate my classroom of the students that are self contained in it for an unknown often long amount of time. Once my students are removed, which is for their safety, I have to endure being kicked, punched ,scratched, dodging metal chairs being thrown at me and any objects the child can get their hands on hurled in my direction. By not being able to restrain or put the child in seclusion I am somewhat powerless at stopping the child from destroying my room and physically hurting me. One parent mentioned that the seclusion room and restraints were used because the teacher wasn't properly trained. What training is out there that can handle this situation-NONE! Every child is different and this is not an objective situation we are talking about. I have had to go to the doctor twice this year with severe injuries and receive multiple injuries each week. This has made me wonder why as a teacher do I go to school everyday and know that there is a good chance I will be hurt. Many times students will explode with no apparent triggers, which means we can not anticipate an aggressive or violent episode. This is my first year in this type of classroom and I see the need for a group to speak out for all the teachers who go to work each day and come home bruised, cut, scratched and many times injured much worse. I feel for the parents with children who have such challenging behavior problems and I understand that they want them to participate in school as normally as possible, but that does not mean that I, in turn, have to accept the violence . If every child is entitled to a free and public education then we need to make a special school for the students the have aggressive and violent tendencies. And definitely make sure that it is big enough to accomodate all the children that need to attend. I know that will make many parents with disabled chldren angry. But please look at the other side. Why does the law protect the aggressive and violent students but ignore the beaten and abused teacher and classroom peers of that student. Now is a time a group needs to be established for the fair and ethical treatment of teachers. I want every child to receive a good public education, but I also want every child at every school to be able to be free of violence and being hurt by fellow classmate. I would love to be able to install a video camera in my classroom to show the public what really happens in these environments. If as a country we step up and make sure all of our children diabled or normal are taken care of within the education system then we can step up and take care of our teachers also. I feel abused by the children, the parents, the local school system and the national education system. We need to make a change. To the parent that has had a child restrained - go to the school and experience an episode that results in restraints. You will be surprised that our public schools allow the other students and teachers to be at such risks. I have two children of my own and if they were ever hurt in a public school situation I would not even consider not making it a legal issue. In fact, as a teacher I am considering doing that now. Be thankful that you have people willing to go to work everyday and endure this. If they didn't love your children and think they could make a difference they wouldn't be there.

I think that security cameras in the classrooms are a terrific idea. Also, do you have a classroom aid or co-teacher? I think it would be a good idea to have an additional adult present when you have behavioral issues or any communication problems. An extra pair of hands/eyes/ears, and an extra brain working on the problems would be so worth the extra funding necessary.

Dear J at NC- I am a parent of a child with the behaviors you have listed. He is 8yrs old and I have been pleading the district office to help out the elementary school he is in. The principal has said they do not know what to do with him. The head of the school district is not authorizing any educational help for my son. This district has a behavior school for children like mine and I have not been able to get approval from the district office for my son. I received a letter from the head of the school district refreshing me with IDEA laws and stating if his testing they completed does not show him eligible then there will be no special help for him. He has diagnosed ADHD, Bi-polar, Manic Depression and Autism Spectrum Disorder. It was also pointed out to me a Dr's diagnosis does not constitute any help for him according to IDEA. I feel for his teacher but am still fighting for my son. He needs to be in another class with teachers trained who can teach him to deal with his behaviors and educate him.

momof3boys, I agree w/ you 100%. I know these teachers have it hard, and I don't blame them when they say they don't know what to do w/ behavior problem children or disabled children. Unless they are specifically trained in those areas, how cld they know how to handle these children, especially if their on their own w/ a class of 25 students. These children need to be in special schools designed specifically for their needs. The problem is w/ the funding. If there's not enough $ to send these children to the appropriate schools, then the districts are forced to mainstream them. If a special school is not an option, then specially trained teachers shld be assigned to these students in the public schools. Obviously if you see your child is not getting his/her needs met, do something. In my son's case, I've considered a private tutor or possibly even homeschooling him if I find that he's not getting the assistance he needs. Stay on top of your child's situation, and speak up. If you don't, your child will get overlooked or worse, mistreated. Best of luck.