Year: 1996-1997
Month: September
Leader: Group C

Situation/Case Study:
STUDENT BEHAVIOR

Description:
A middle school boy chooses to sit in the back of his science class. The teacher moved him to the front row after discovering that the boy does not complete any of his assignments. The boy is very social. The teacher tries to keep him on task by interjecting his name throughout the lesson. When the teacher is present, the child attends to the lesson. As soon as the teacher leaves, the boy no longer makes any progress. If his present level of performance continues, the boy will fail eighth grade science. The boy's mother attended conferences with her son and expressed concern and optimism about his progress. The teacher is worried that he will be too tough with the boy. The teacher sets goals for the boy but there are never any consequences for unachieved goals.

Hypotheses:
A teacher in this situation might.... 1.feel frustrated and confused because he is doing his best, working very hard, and willing to be flexible. Why can't the student do the same? 2. base feelings about his own ability on how the student responds. 3. feel that he has used up all of his ideas about how to get to this child. If this doesn't work what will? 4. feel "used". 5. feel inadequate. 6. feel fearful about the upcoming weeks and months and the challenge ahead. 7. feel like s/he doesn't want to be the "tough" guy but instead wants to be the student's friend. 8. want the student to succeed but doesn't know how to set goals and have student meet expectations without breaking the student. 9. be afraid to have the student fail. 10. feel unsure as to why this student isn't performing in class. 11. feel frustrated with the lack of parent follow through at this time. 12. feel concerned about the implications of his/her actions and how it will affect the student's achievement/behavior the rest of the year. 13. feel helpless because the student's choice is out of his/her control. 14. feel taken advantage of because s/he gave the student a break and the student did not use it. 15. feel a sense of helplessness. 16. feel unsure of what to do next. 17.feel powerless because a quick fix has not yet been found.

Theories behind practice:


Impact on others:
1. Consistency of teacher expectations. 2. Teacher follow-through. 3. Teacher confidence.

Solutions:
1.The teacher should separate himself from the classroom rules. The rules/policies should be owned by the group not just the teacher, so that the teacher is not viewed as simply the enforcer.

Comments:
Because this was the first time that the group met, a lot of time was spent on introductions. This seemed to be an important initial activity so I did not rush it in any way. As a result, though, the time for the process was greatly cut short. This was the first experience for everyone in group (including myself) with this form of reflective practice. Everyone seemed to take to it very readily but, as facilitator, I missed a couple of steps. I did not push the group to identify the theories behind their hypotheses. This is the area of greatest concern for me. I am worried that the group will look to me for a level of leadership that I cannot provide. I hope that I can assist them as they attempt to identify the theoretical underpinnings of their practice. I will also need to work with the group to keep the initial description of their episode more brief. Too much time was spent on this step in the process. Next time I will give a more precise example of the length and depth that that first step should include. I think the group felt quite energized after the meeting. We decided to bring treats to our next meeting since it spans the dinner hour. I think that will help with the energy level. Although, as the session progressed, the energy level seemed to increase. I left the school feeling very satisfied and relieved. Prior to the meeting I had a great deal of trepidation because I was entering a totally foreign situation-- new people, new process, new district. If the subsequent meetings go as well as the first one, I feel we will be hugely successful!