A SN child at school is hitting me! WWYD?(58 Posts)
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!
I have a child with SN, and work with children in school who have SN. I stand by my comment that OP should not be expected to teach a class at the same time as being hit by an child.
Well clearly she shouldn't. So someone should be there to stop him hitting.
Or other methods put in place. Not just removal.
Absolutely, but if OP isn't getting even getting support from colleagues on the same level as her, and she has been told that all of this is her responsibility, despite the fact that they don't even speak the same language, then what else is she supposed to do?
The school sound awful.
But removing a child with SN from a class because of his SN is just fundamentally wrong to me.
"The school sounds very useless about SN"
Welcome to Asia.
I don't think it is the OP's responsibility to learn the local language. It is the school's responsibility to find an appropriate teacher for the boy with SN. Which may or may not be the OP.
It sounds wrong to me too Fab, but the OP wouldn't be removing the child because he has SN. She would be removing the child because of the lack of support, and because she cannot effectively teach him because of the language barrier anyway.
That poor child. He is being horribly failed. Why is there no support in the class for him? It's clear that he simply isn't coping.
Does the country you are in have anything similar to sn code of practise? or rules on support? Or funding for support?
You need to be insisting that this poor child isn't just dumped in your class but actually gets the support he needs. It is unacceptable that he is being put in a position where he is able to lash out like this or is so stressed that he responds by lashing out. And there is no reason on earth why you should accept being hit, regardless of his needs. I say this as the mother of 2 children who get full time 1:1.
It's a failure in the school's duty of care.
To him AND to you!
My friend had a similar situation so I understand a bit how stressful it is for you. A big part of what upset my friend was that she cared so much about the boy and really feared for his future as there is no statement system here and she had no support in how to work best with him because the parents and the school were in so much denial about his needs. She managed to find out his interests and motivations and also buddied him up with a very caring and confident boy in her class. She also did a lot of work with the whole class about supporting and caring for each other.
My friend's pupil is 8 but had the abilities of a 3-4 yr old so she went back to absolute basics. It was a lot of work but she acheived some real milestones with him through very basic exercises. I hope this story makes you feel less alone? I think its probably quite common in international schools and other countries.
The OP was asking about "disciplining" the boy and not teaching him and helping him, which I found a bit sad, your friend sounds wonderful.
True Fab... OP is your background primary teaching or TEFL? I just ask because my lovely friend is a v. experienced state school primary age teacher that has had a lot of DCs through her hands. I can teach TEFL but I wouldn't dream of teaching school because I simply haven't got the paedogogy (spelling!) knowledge or experience. Maybe some extra reading around special needs or an online course could help? Who can recommend the OP some resources?
montage - that was gonna be my next question do you have teaching assistants or the like OP?
Agree with StanleyLambchop..
Which country are you teaching English in OP? that may give us a little more understanding prehaps?
Please don't refer to him as A SN child as that is quite offensive
I agree with everything fab said, you asked how to discipline him, well, until you make yourself aware of his needs, which might mean you have to persuade someone to act as translator, I don't see how you can. Different SNs and disabilities require different techniques, and they generally require pro-active strategies rather than reactive discipline.
Please, find out what his needs are, learn from his other teachers and parents, do some research. You absolutely cannot meet his educational needs until you address this.
Well, how does he behave in other classes?
If it is only this class (which seems unlikely if other children are frightened of him) then perhaps speak to the mother to ask what he does like doing so that you can incorporate some of that into his lesson.
The other teachers sound uninterested so perhaps the mother might be more helpful as she will no doubt want her child to be included.
I love the way the second SN is mentioned on MN everyone starts being experts - I am not claiming to be one btw but i have been a teacher in state secondaries for a while.
The fact is this school is in a different country, even different continent and therefore what we expect to be normal is different.
"School's duty of care" - Is a very British concept - rightly or wrongly - most other countries in the world do not expect the school to adapt to the pupil but the other way round!
OP - I suggest you need to talk to other people within the school to find out what is wrong, whether there are any ways to put this right, whether your class is the right place for this child to be, whether there is any support available.
You absolutely have the right to work without physical violence which is what this is whether or not said child has SN - So this needs to be sorted and yes if that means said child being remove so you can carry out your job without being subject to violence (even if from a child) this should not be frowned upon.
Please remember that even when Education relies on Inclusion there needs to be support and limits for those working with SEN
What could he possibly be learning in your class if he doesn't speak the language?
Do you live in a country where you are expected to smack him, OP, because reading between the lines, I think that's more or less what your colleagues expect if gentle treatment doesn't produce results. You are expected to harangue and bully the boy, otherwise. I suspect that's how difficult children are generally handled.
Sorry, but it seems to me like they expect you to be much tougher. Smack him back, shout with fury, wrench him around physically, etc. If you're being laughed at you're being humiliated (culturally in their eyes) and losing Face.
What?? Would you expand on that a bit further, lljjkk? Are you actually advocating that as a method of handling a child with additional needs who doesn't even speak your language??
I think what lljkk is trying to say that prehaps some countries would still do this, countries that prehaps are not as 'enlightened' as ours?
Think female circumcision/mutilation, foot binding etc etc
sorry its early, all I could think of as examples.
Could you try something like Makaton, which you could incorporate into the other children's learning, and would make it possible for him to communicate with you (and everyone else) using the symbol/sign for basic needs/vocab for both his language and English.
Perhaps you could also incorporate a theme on schools in Britain where you demonstrate how children (including those who have SEN requirements ) learn; identifying differences between the cultures.
I forgot to say, we use it in our setting with great success for both children ho have SEN requirements, and those who arrive in the school with absolutely no English.
It really does help overcome the frustrations of not being able to communicate.
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