Stresses on Classrooms
Let's assume that all has been done to ensure that the school has investigated as many aspects of a child's behavior as possible. This includes Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence charts (ABC). Rewards, consequences, alternate plans have been put into place, but the student still has not shown signs of buying into the plans. There are still antagonistic, angry behaviors. The other students are shutting down, nervous of being the target. Or, the behavior of the student is such, that it can be entertaining for other students, in which case scenarios are created to antagonize the student.
Parents are calling in with reports of their children coming home and complaining about what they are witnessing. The teacher feels defensive, and begins to lose confidence, or becomes angry at the injustice of trying all these strategies, with endless meetings, and no improvement in sight. This leads to anxiety, sleeplessness, digestive problems, headaches, tension and may result in taking a stress leave. Administration asks for help, and there is no answer in sight but to soldier on.
This is the reality in many classrooms and schools. For children who are in such crisis, families and school staff are crying for more help. Every child has a right to be in a classroom, but if problems are escalating and triggering anxiety in others, a break is needed.
No one can work in a poisoned atmosphere. Mental health for everyone has to be a priority. The child needs help and the behavior is calling out for help. But, we cannot continue to have a poisoned classroom and damage to other children and staff while we seek help from limited resources.
What solutions can we share that allow help for the child in crisis, when being in the classroom is not working?