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A SN child at school is hitting me! WWYD?

(58 Posts)
Nokidsnoproblem Wed 20-Mar-13 10:17:37

I work as an English teacher in an Asian country. I teach elementary students at a small school (around 100 students). My classes are completely in English because I cannot speak the language of this country.

In my grade 3 class there is a boy with SN. I don't know what exactly is wrong with him because of the language barrier, the most I've been told is that 'his brain is not working properly'. He comes to my after school class and is an absolute nightmare. He cannot speak a word of English so I cannot control him at all. As soon as he comes into my classroom it is like a firework has gone off. He will scream, shout, annoy the other students, and just recently he has started to hit me. I was very shocked when he first did it as I had never known him to be violent before, I took him straight to his teacher, she told him off and brought him back five minutes later. The same thing has happened two more times since then.

Today his teacher spoke to my boss and told her that I should deal with this child by myself. According to her it is my responsibility if he is in my classroom. I understand her POV, but me and this child cannot speak the same language and he hates me!

His mother cannot speak English so that conversation is out of the question.

I would really appreciate some ideas on disciplining this boy. I honestly have no idea what to do!

WorraLiberty England Wed 20-Mar-13 10:20:55

Poor thing must be so frustrated.

Assuming you're learning the language, how long will it roughly take for you to know enough to be able to communicate?

mumarchy Wed 20-Mar-13 10:23:11

maybe you could make cards with words written in his language and show them to him when he starts misbehaving. have a chat with the mother with the help of an interpreter? provide him with drawing, painting materials to express himself.

FabOeufsFromLaChocolateries Wed 20-Mar-13 10:23:35

I would try to find out what is upsetting him and causing him to kick off as soon as he enters the classroom. Could be something sensory about the room.

Can you ask the teacher what he likes doing? If for example he likes colouring in get him some English worksheets to colour in.

Ask the teacher to observe the lesson to tell you how to handle it?

It's a bit tricky if no-one is actually dealing with his SN in a meaningful way.

I would focus on his behaviour disrupting the other students so you need some advice on how to work with him.

Archetype Wed 20-Mar-13 10:27:03

its a bit weird that you don't know the language, are you learning it?

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 20-Mar-13 10:27:39

You should speak to the head teacher and find out exactly what his diagnosis (if he's been dx) is, what issues he has and how it impacts on him and his school day. Once you find this out then it will be much easier to come up with a plan to deal with him lashing out at you and his behaviour in class and to work out his triggers (is it due to sensory needs, communication difficulties, motor function issues, etc).

bigTillyMint Wed 20-Mar-13 10:31:37

If there is a language barrier, is there any way you could use visual cues - pictures that show what is happening - to make a visual timetable, explain what is now/next?

What are you actually teaching hi? You say he cannot speak a word of English - is this because he cannot speak at all/much in his home language or is it that he is finding it very hard to learn English? Why is he in your group - wouldn't he be better doing something more appropriate?

anewyear Wed 20-Mar-13 10:43:49

Grade 3? how old is that?

Just a few thoughts, sorry if this offends...

As someone else said make up some flash cards.

Words in both languages and a pictures ie book, paper, pencil, pen, TV, house, Mum, Dad, cat etc etc just basic stuff.

Teach yourself basic Makaton and use daily with him.

Talk to his teacher see what hes intrested in and take from there.

And as some one up post said prehaps teach yourself some words in his language ie NO, STOP, Sit Down, stand still,

No expert or experience teaching a language, Just that quite a few years ago we had a 10yr old boy with Down syndrome join us at the mainstream school I was volunteering at,
None of the teaching staff had any experience of his particular special need, I was asked If I would take over his 1-1, What Ive mentioned above is some of what I did with/for him.

MNetBlackpoolLE Wed 20-Mar-13 10:51:11

I've taught in a school with 75% ESL and agree with anewyear completely.

MNetBlackpoolLE Wed 20-Mar-13 10:52:12

Is grade 3 year 4? 8 and 9?

KellyElly Wed 20-Mar-13 11:18:29

its a bit weird that you don't know the language, are you learning it? Many people who teach English as a foreign language in other countries don't know the language. It's pretty common.

FabOeufsFromLaChocolateries Wed 20-Mar-13 11:38:43

i would hazard a guess that he is maybe upset because he can't understand the language being used in this classroom at all and finds it scary.

aldiwhore Wed 20-Mar-13 11:44:04

Can only echo the others.

The problem is not that he and his mother can't speak English but that you cannot speak their language.

You need to tackle that issue. Are you learning?

Also agree with anewyear it sounds frustrating for both of you, your first job is to try and build some form of basic communication.

Nokidsnoproblem Wed 20-Mar-13 11:51:10

Thank you very much for your responses.

However I'm not quite sure that I explained this boy properly. He knows that I can't speak his language and he understands what my class is about. I have tried speaking his language to him, but he just laughs hysterically which distracts the whole class. I have tried asking some of the brighter students to translate, but they don't want to go near him because he lashes out at people.

He really does not enjoy my class, which is why he gets so hyper I think. However I work with a set curriculum which I am not permitted to change, thus I cannot adapt my class to make it more 'fun' for him. His mother has signed him up for this class and he does not want to be there.

montage Wed 20-Mar-13 11:52:21

Are there any teaching assistants in your school who can provide support for him while he's in class?

I'm not sure from your OP if he is only in your class after school or all day but if he has any other teachers, then talking to them about how best to approach and support this little boy would be a good starting place.

Are you teaching in an international school btw?

FabOeufsFromLaChocolateries Wed 20-Mar-13 12:31:12

You did explain properly.

But you need to try to find out and understand what his issues are.

FabOeufsFromLaChocolateries Wed 20-Mar-13 12:40:42

He isn't just a naughty disruptive boy who needs discipline, he needs to be taught in a way which suits his particular SN and at a level he can understand.

FabOeufsFromLaChocolateries Wed 20-Mar-13 13:00:13

Not adapting your class is not that acceptable if he has SN IMO.

Do you feel his mother signed him up but he shouldn't be there?

He should be able to go there and have his needs met like everyone else in the class.

The school sounds very useless about SN.

StanleyLambchop Wed 20-Mar-13 13:02:28

I think you need more support from the school on this. You cannot communicate with the child, he does not want to be there so is disruptive. The school know this, yet they allow it to continue to the detrimant of all concerned.

If they are continuing to insist he is in your class and that you have to deal with him without help from other teachers who can communicate, then they should be allowing you to change your lesson slightly to account for his difficulties.

I taught EFL abroad for several years, I was never expected to have children who could not speak English in my class- as a native speaker teacher I was there to provide total immersion in English. The school were not desperately supportive of me learning the local language either as they did not want me to 'translate' for the children, they had to be able to follow everything in English.

I think you need to ask for more support, or agree strategies with the head teacher. YANBU to not want to be hit by a pupil!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 20-Mar-13 13:06:50

Of this is an after school class and not a compulsory one, I would tell the school that you are no longer prepared to have this child in your class.

Is the head of the school likely to support you, or are they the type of school that will bend to whatever parents want?

FabOeufsFromLaChocolateries Wed 20-Mar-13 13:08:33

I was waiting for someone to say that.

Insist the school refuses a place in a class for a child with SN?

That's just wrong.

FabOeufsFromLaChocolateries Wed 20-Mar-13 13:16:44

Now should prob leave thread before more people start advocating the removal of a child from a class open to all because of his SN..seen it all before.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 20-Mar-13 13:17:13

It's wrong that OP doesn't have support from her school to deal with a child with extra needs. If the school is prepared to support her, then of course the child should be included in the class, but if not, it's not fair to the OP and the other children to have an unsupported, violent child in their class.

FabOeufsFromLaChocolateries Wed 20-Mar-13 13:17:46

Well then the thing to insist is that he is supported not removed.

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