At some point in their academic career, most students with disabilities start having some issues with an adult who may follow them a little closely. Certainly, many students love the extra attention. But many do not. There are subtle methods for shaking off an adult: getting sent out of the room, refusing to make eye contact, or just flat out rudeness.
And when this comes within the first weeks of the new school year, one feels a little slighted. And it certainly stabs to the heart of the matter when you’re not a stranger to the student in question.
So some steps to deal with this behavior.
- Q-TIP: Quit Taking It Personally. While with a familiar student, this is hardest, but you can’t take it personally. Breaking away from adults is a part of growing up.
- Privately speak with a student about the behavior. You may find that they feel the extra adult attention is too much. This is a great time to set some limits and find ways to check in on their academic progress. Some students do rise to the occasion and it’s great to watch them have that growth.
- Setting limits with their time away with you is an important conversation to share with their case manager. Agree that you’ll be in the room for help, but you won’t be within their eye line all the time, and you’ll be helping other students. While you may be able to circle around the room to see what they’re up to, but you’re not standing next to them prompting them to get on task or checking that they have all the parts of their project to take home. Define their behavior though, they aren’t to be verbally rude to you if you do ask them a question.
- If this is the situation, be honest with the general education teacher that you’ve moved into data collection and will be supporting the entire class.
- If this method fails, have a plan to see how the changes will occur to still help the student have some control over their independence in the classroom. It is also important to remember that though this failed, that there will be other opportunities for independence but not at the expense of their academic progress.
Though the year has officially underway, it may feel like you’re trapped, but you’re not. Remember to support your colleagues on campus, paraeducators, office staff, general education teachers, and special education teachers. It will make the weeks seem less difficult when they can be very trying.
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to be a guest blogger? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. Paraeducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations,