I wonder if it’s a sign of the times. I’ve been teaching kindergarten for the last eleven years, and this year is one of my top, possibly the top, most difficult class. I, too, have lots of aggressive students, who hit, spit, kick, and shove, not to mention a couple of biting incidents. I’ve had two students sent home for the day, one with a two day suspension, and I’m at my wits’ end. I’m a former special ed teacher, with lots of training in behavior management and support, but this group of kiddos is so hard to manage, mainly because there are so many of them. One student was moved out of my room because of the amount of behavior problems in my room this year. Now I feel sorry for the teacher who has him, because he is so aggressive, kicking her and hitting her on a daily basis. He is being moved to half days, in the morning only, as of tomorrow.
My suggestions to try would be to try a behavior plan that allows the child to work for rewards, such as playing with legos with the teacher, principal or other staff person, starting with short amounts of time for improved behavior. Also, giving the seriously aggressive students a separate place to work. I have four of them spread out in the room as far as I can get them, and I try to catch them as often as possible making a good choice. I have no help in the classroom, but I now have instructions to call the office for support whenever my two most volatile students assault another student. The secretary is to interrupt an administrator even if they’re in a meeting, to come to my room. I have two other support persons who peek in my room several times a day to see how things are going. I hope you are getting some administrative support.
I also created a new “take a break” area with just a carpet, pillow, books and a stuffed animal, where the most difficult students can go to calm down. I’d rather they be there than hurting someone, even if it means they aren’t fully participating in class.
I’ve also talked to the rest of the class on how to support their friends who struggle, and they are buying into being kind, but giving those students space, and not talking to them when they’re upset.
I’ve never had a class that still couldn’t line up quietly after five weeks of school, so I’ll be thinking of you with empathy, and hoping your group makes progress, as I’m hoping for mine!