Country Austria
Date/Duration 2. Semester of 2016-2017
Main subject Teacher, class, students
Age-range of students Aged 13-14 years old
Situation/setting of the school Public school, Innsbruck, in west Austria.

It is a transition class for migrants and refugee youngsters, who are not ready yet to attend the usual class and have to pass first this transitional class.

Theme/short description + how it is related to DoE  The student suffers from a lack of attention and concentration, his performance drops much faster than others. He is easily distracted, often changes his activities or leaves them prematurely. In many situations, he also struggles to wait until it is his turn or the teacher has finished speaking. He often finds no way to defer his needs or to withdraw.
Description of the case study The Student attends the 4th grade secondary school. He is tall and well built and you can tell he is not feeling well in his body right now. He often looks restless and driven. During lessons, he sometimes rides around in his chair until he crashes to the floor, he taps different rhythms on the table with a pen, gets up and fiddles with the blinds, opens a window, goes to the trash can and empties his sharpener, responds loudly to scolding looks or gestures of his classmates, leans backwards over the bench and punches his classmate on the upper arm, throws a classmate of his in the front row with a pen, which he has hidden during the break and comments in a low-pitched muttering about what’s going on around him.

When he is admonished or asked to refrain from interfering instead of cooperating, he outrages that he has done nothing and that he is always the one to blame. He can hardly calm down, and he refuses to follow further instructions, to change the place or in extreme cases to leave the class. He laughs at threats of punishment, barely listening, but replies to the teacher with cheeky and overbearing statements or shows threatening gestures.

The student feels the school is a necessary evil. Time goes by for him very difficultly. In order to survive reasonably well, everything that is not related to writing, listening or practicing is a welcomed change for him and he must express his inner restlessness through external movement. Most teachers find him unfair and uncool.

He usually tires exercises quickly, but then he sayes he has a head or limb pain – but for him sitting quietly is torture. In these moments, he is very sensitive and feels partially attacked by classmates and teachers.

Using the “Guess what I am feeling” technique, the class can feel at ease and can explain what they feel. They also learn to express their feelings, to share them with others and reflect on each other.

Using this technique was a great change for this student, as he could experience school in a different way, realizing that he can express himself in a truly meaningful way. He experienced others listening to him, so he didn’t have to kill the time and draw attention on himself by interfering and being disturbing to others. The class could also see this side of him, making them more emphatetic towards him.