{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "One of my students has emotional/anger issues and he doesn't like one of his teachers. I allow him to come to room sometimes when he needs to in order to cool off. Is this enabling him?", "post_id": "5dd45735f830fa0021d3493a", "reply_count": 7, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers", "feed_type": "crowd" }

One of my students has emotional/anger issues and he doesn't like one of his teachers. I allow him to come to room sometimes when he needs to in order to cool off. Is this enabling him?

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If you are actively trying to help him make the situation better, the other teacher approves and have a counselor or admins support; then you are doing the right thing. If not, re-read the above.

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If it’s in his plan, and the teacher ensure you get the work for him to do, yes. If he knows by acting out he avoids work, re think the plan. Hopefully the counselor is working with you to figure what triggers his outbursts.

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Thanks for everyone's thoughtful answers. It is an agreement between the teacher and I and take "time out to calm down" is part of the IEP so I think I'm covered. I'm glad to be the student's connection/safe haven, but I don't want him to run away every time he is upset and not try to build a relationship with another teacher. Also, sometimes, I don't have the time to give him the attention he needs, but I guess as long as he's just relaxing in my room, that's all he needs.

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No, it is an accommodation.

He’s looking for a connection and you’re it. Ask him why he comes to see you, and just engage him in conversation. You might learn how to help him. But don’t forget to make sure the other teacher and admin knows where he is and how you’re helping—you don’t want them coming down on you when all you’re trying to do is help.

To cover yourself, read Texas High School 1 and Nevada High School 1 responses. If you have it in his IEP, have other teacher and admin support...otherwise you may want o bring some of this up at the student’s next ARD. Also, I’m curious why you might feel like you’re enabling this student. Honestly, that is a fair question. Is it becoming habitual? How are you feeling? Did another teacher say something or is this your internal response to seeing him coming to your room? I’d give different responses depending on more information. FYI, in our district, we have a program for students like you mentioned. It’s called PASS. They can go to that room to cool off but only until they cool off. They are taught coping mechanisms for their anger. It’s been really effective. By the time they reach high school, they have learned how to control their emotions really well. They still have bad days but who doesn’t and PASS is there to support them.

I’ve been that “safe” teacher before, and it can be a powerful tool, especially for kids who are just starting to figure out how to control their emotions. At the same time, I do believe it’s important to shape that behavior eventually. The sooner we can teach kids to control their emotions any time, anywhere, with anyone, the better. The longer we teach dependency on certain people, objects, or rooms to stay calm, the harder it will be to remove the scaffold down the road. We don’t want him in college or in his job one day still needing to leave the room every time he doesn’t like who is in charge. But again, it’s a process.

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