Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What to do with defiant behavior?

Seriously, what do you do? I'm struggling with this right now with many of my elementary school students. Here are some strategies I found from a quick search:
State Teacher Directives as Two-Part Choice Statements (Walker, 1997). When a student's confrontational behavior seems driven by a need for control, the teacher can structure verbal requests to both acknowledge the student’s freedom to choose whether to comply and present the logical consequences for non-compliance (e.g., poor grades, office disciplinary referral, etc.). Frame requests to uncooperative students as a two-part statement. First, present the negative, or non-compliant, choice and its consequences (e.g., if a seatwork assignment is not completed in class, the student must stay after school). Then state the positive behavioral choice that you would like the student to select (e.g., the student can complete the seatwork assignment within the allotted work time and not stay after school). Here is a sample 2-part choice statement, ‘John, you can stay after school to finish the class assignment or you can finish the assignment now and not have to stay after class. It is your choice.’

Teachers seldom have the time to drop everything and talk at length with a student who is upset about an incident that occurred within or outside of school. The "Talk Ticket" assures the student that he or she will have a chance to talk through the situation while allowing the teacher to schedule the meeting with the student for a time that does not disrupt classroom instruction. The Talk Ticket intervention is flexible to implement and offers the option of taking the student through a simple, structured problem-solving format.

Take the Time to Talk...This intervention will probably be most effective if the adult who debriefs with the student is able to use a structured problem-solving approach to help the student reflect on (1) what factors led to the problem in the first place and (2) how he or she might avoid such problems in the future.