Even kindergartners can demonstrate elementary school violence. How can teachers respond to personal threats?
I have a kindergartner who is verbally out of control.
Why do my students seem to have uncontrollable behaviors? I have been dealing with a kindergarten student who has threatened to hit me, stab me, and shoot me when I simply asked him to put away his headphones after an interactive learning assignment.
It sounds like this student is really struggling and the behaviors might be bigger than one teacher can handle on her own.
Elementary school violence in such a young person is not something to be ignored just because the threats are coming from a small individual. It's not too hard to imaging the same words eventually coming from the mouth of a fifth-grader or middle-school student...and by then a classroom management discipline intervention will probably be too late.
Bring these behaviors to the attention of the administration and school counselors immediately; they'll getting involved before too much time passes...especially when it comes to meeting with the parents.
Next, document all of these aggressive behaviors. Start keeping data on the occurrences, the severity, time of day, etc. This approach helps quantify what's occurring which can allow a bit deeper analysis.
Sometimes drawings provide clues
You are creating much more than a list of incidents that say: "See, Mrs. Jones, your child acts horribly." That is not the point at all and that is not a productive approach.
Rather, your data may help uncover what is driving this elementary school violence in such a young person. Kids of this age are very impressionable, and the precise cause of his word choices may be revealed.
That approach is not helpful and we owe this lost, young boy much more than that. We can apply our professional training and experience to help resolve this elementary school violence rather than just throw it back to the parents and start passing the problem forward year-by-year.
And speaking of parent-teacher relationships...it's critical to establish a very good one. See my course on "Partnering with Parents" for lots of great ideas.
That's the big picture of how to work on the root cause of the issue. Now, how about the immediate situation?
It sounds like this student is highly engaged with the interactive lesson and does not want to break away. That part is normal behavior (it's just the words that are abnormal). It is also normal for a kindergarten student to struggle with transitions.
From a classroom management perspective, knowing that the transition away from an interactive activity is going to be a sticking point for this student, you'll have to put some time and effort into setting him up for success.
That means setting expectations for the transition away from the interactive assignment. Model the transition and practice the it with all students several times before they engage in the activity.
Keep your modeling and practice real...don't make children of this age imagine anything. I recommend getting out the head phones and having them pretend to be listening to an activity, then practice taking the headphones off and putting them away. Encourage them to give the headphones a little pat and say "thank you Headphones, see you next time" before walking away.
It's the little silly things that can make all the difference in student engagement during these tough transitions.
Back to classroom discipline questions and answers
More insights on questions from teachers like you.
Ask your own!
Click above to like this page. Click top-left button to like entire site. Comment below!