• Welcome teachers! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Demanding Child


New Member
This is my 12th year teaching and I have never had a child quite like "John". First I will outline the type of behavior being displayed in my class. John may or may not decide to walk into my room on his own. He may or may not take off his coat, hang it up, and do morning routine. Some days he choose to do his work, other days he will sit in his desk and not do any of his work. Other days he will meow, hiss, crawl under his desk, not vervalize, and a variety of other behaviors. Other times, he is the model student. What is frustrating is that this is taking away from my other students. If he becomes very disruptive or harmful he is sent home. I personally feel that part of the behavior is due to not enough discipline at home at an early age. What I need are some ideas on how to motivate this student to have "good" days. I do give him a sticker, a behavior ticket, and a BE PROUD of me note to take home when we have "good" days. Any other suggestions. Thanks for the help.:confused:


Alternate entry routine

I long term subbed in a Kinder class once with a student just like 'John'. What we ended up doing was having him come in and go straight to the office. The Kindergarden assistant would meet him there and walk with him to the classroom. She did this EVERYDAY, good and bad, to help with consistancy and routine. If she knew he was having a 'bad' morning she would keep him in the office, do a small assignment and try to get him on track. Yes this did take my assistant out of my room sometimes for quite a while but it also meant that 'John' was not disrupting the other students. We found that even on his bad mornings if the assistant met him in the office he would get back on track quicker than if he had come straight to the classroom.
Is there a way for you to set up an alternate entry routine for your student? Is there a way to get him some one-on-one help (an assistant or loving volunteer) to get him into the room and set up for the day?
It worked for me, who knows if it will work for you, but worth a thought at least.



It sounds to me as though this student needs help understanding that the classroom is a consistant and a safe place to be. I teach fifth grade, and have a student with similar behaviors. In my classroom, every day looks the same as the last. Everything is all about routine. "John" understands the routines, but sometimes chooses not to follow them. I have him keep trying until he gets it right. If it means that he cannot work in the classroom becasue he will not take off his hat, then he works in the doorway, until he chooses to do what is right. (The doorway secludes him enough, while making him want to come into class). I also have this student journal when he exhibits similar behaviors as you mentioned. This journal is only read by me, and that is a comfort for my student, because he understands that I am a safe person. "John" knows that when he is done journaling, and when he is willing to make the right decisions, he can come back to the class and have fun learning with the rest of us.


Acceptable behavior

You didn't mention John's age or grade but I assume he is at least 5. Unless he is emotionally disturbed, he is old enough to understand what is appropriate behavior and what is not. Explain what you expect from him as a student (and to his parents) and what he will receive, in turn, as a student in your room. Also, explain what the consequences will be if he does not conform. Be firm and consistent. You will have to choose rewards and punishments that are meaningful to him. Depending on his age, you might want to try using a behavior contract. Eventually, he will realize that positive behavior will get him more attention than negative. I don't believe in rewarding one student for doing what is expected of every other student. In doing so, you are alienating your "good" students that deserve your rewards. You would hate to lose 20 other students in the process of dealing with this one that has mastered the art of manipulating his teacher.


Senior Member
treat the class

I agree with "Old School". It is not fair to reward one student for doing what he should. What I have found that works for me is to treat the whole class. When John has a good day, give him a piece of candy and the entire class. This really works if the deviant child is looking for attention. Then the children take care of the positive reinforcement by encouraging the deviant one to behave.:cool:

going crazy

hope this helps

I too have a student like "John". The student in my class started the year off under my table and all over the classroom. He was testing his limints and let me tell you he did not win. The first problem is if the behavior is not being taken care of when he is sent home for inappropriate behavior then perhaps he should have in-school suspension. My particular student also receives no discipline at home (sorry i couldn't think of another way to word that sentence) therefore when he misbehaves and is suspended, he stays at school and completes work that I have to send to the office. I have to say that he's been suspended two times and now all I have to do is tell him it's my way or he's out and he complies. Perhaps you need to talk to your administrator about setting up other consequences.
We also tried a sticker chart. He gets 4 rewards a day if he earns 5 stickers in a row. If he does not earn 5 stickers in a row then he has to practice his inappropriate behavior at recess time. So far it has worked. Now I just need to find something that works for two of my other students and I will be all set.
Hope this information helps.