Diversity Series: Opposing opposition and defiance - A guide to ODD for teachers

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Oppositional Defiant Disorder is more common than most parents and educators may think. Here are some ways to help administrators and teachers establish a plan for handling students with these behavioural characteristics. Read more


List of Oppositional Defiance Disorder schools

 
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Bond Academy


Toronto, Ontario
Ellesmere Rd/Birchmount Rd
 
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"Our Beyond the Books approach provides opportunities for success in class & beyond; nurturing the growth of students' confidence & self-esteem, to take risks when learning, to reach their personal & academic potential.

  1. Character Education
  2. Free Before/After School Program
  3. Weekly Swimming Lessons
  4. Early start French Classes

—From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $7,000 to $16,000
 
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Bond Academy 7000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Coed

Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres


Langley & Burnaby, British Columbia
Glover/Logan
 
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"Whytecliff is a safe, empathetic & supportive place for teens with a diverse range of learning needs / personal challenges. Our positive community & high-growth environment pulls each child up to be their very best!

  1. Safe, empathetic, supportive community for students with a diverse range of learning needs
  2. Low student-to-educator ratio of less than 5:1 lets us really get to know you
  3. Each child gets a personalized program tailored to their unique gifts, strengths, and talents
  4. Dual-accredited as both an independent school and a Positive Youth Development program

—From the school

  • Gr. 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $8,900 to $19,500
 
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Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres 8900 HighSchools Day Day Coed

"We are a therapeutic boarding school for Gr. 3-12 students requiring individualized academic, clinical, and behaviour-management solutions in small class sizes and professional home stay or boarding environments" —From the school

  • Gr. 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $30,750 to $89,180 /program
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Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning 30750 MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Boarding Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Yonge St/Sheppard Ave
 
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"Ontario Virtual School is an Ontario Ministry-inspected credit-granting institution offering Grades 7-12 courses in an interactive online format. Students can start anytime with 24/7 access." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $399 to $549 /course
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Ontario Virtual School 399 MiddleSchools HighSchools eSchool Coed
Brampton, Ontario
 
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"Ontario eSecondary School (OES) offers fast, flexible and fully online courses supported by certified staff with free 24/7 tutoring. 8/10 of our students achieve over 85% in their course(s)." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $435 to $745 /course
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Ontario eSecondary School 435 HighSchools eSchool Coed
Wellandport, Ontario
 
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"Robert Land Academy, established in 1978, is a private military-inspired boarding school (Gr 5-12) helping boys to experience validation, realize their potential and gain admission to post-secondary programs." —From the school

  • Gr. 5 to 12 (Boys)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $64,000 to $75,000
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Robert Land Academy 64000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Boys
Scarborough, Ontario
Kennedy Road/Progress Avenue
 
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"Enquiring Minds Montessori is a one-of-a-kind Montessori Art School. We have created a unique learning experience that fosters academic and artistic excellence in a nurturing environment while challenging young minds." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $11,158 to $17,500
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Enquiring Minds Montessori 11158 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
North York, Ontario
Avenue Road/Lawrence Avenue
 
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"Through our dynamic individual education plans, mentorship, and therapeutic counselling we ensure all students feel comfortable, respected and cared for, so they stay actively engaged in their educational journey." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $18,875 to $24,075
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AVRO Academy 18875 HighSchools Day Coed
Mississauga, Ontario
Hurontario/Queensway
 
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"TEAM School offers programs from Grades 1 to 12 in Mississauga. Its average class size is 8 to 12 students." —From the school

  • Gr. 1 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $22,788 to $26,585
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TEAM School 22788 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Vancouver, British Columbia
 
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"HongDe Elementary School provides Kindergarten-Grade 5 students a Chinese (Mandarin) / English bilingual education in a safe and supportive learning environment that recognizes the individual needs of each student." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 6 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $16,800 to $19,800
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HongDe Elementary School 16800 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
University Ave./Dundas street
 
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"Cornerstone students love to shape the future. They INSPIRE learning, DISCOVER their potential, EMPOWER themselves to be innovative citizens. Our boundless learning strategies open doors for successful learning." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; Montessori
  • $15,800 to $26,000
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Cornerstone Montessori Prep School 15800 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Breslau, Ontario
 
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"Students receive an excellent education which prepares them well for university, college and a wide variety of workplaces." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $19,789 to $20,580
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Woodland Christian High School 19789 HighSchools Homestay Day Coed
Etobicoke, Ontario
Bloor St./Jane St.
 
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"Blyth Academy Etobicoke, located in Toronto's west end, focuses on personalized education, small class sizes, and experiential learning." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $19,495 to $25,395
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Blyth Academy Etobicoke 19495 HighSchools Day Coed
Mississauga, Ontario
Dundas St. W/Erin Mills Pkwy
 
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"We offer a specialized program and teaching; focusing on the core subjects of language and math, incorporating cognitive activities and therapies for students with learning difficulties to help them learn and succeed." —From the school

  • Gr. SK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $20,000
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Vianney Academy 20000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
St. Catharines, Ontario
Ontario St./Welland Ave.
 
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"Heuristic & autodidactic, inspired by Sudbury & democratic models. Students are self-directed, and holistically empowered. Voluntary attendance, year-round calendar, agency, & consent inspire free learning. Also Forest" —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Girls/Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $57 to $10,000
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Agate Private School 57 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day eSchool Homestay Girls Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
 
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"NOW WITH LICENSED DAYCARE! Bring your child for a free trial to let him or her experience the difference. Don't be surprised if he or she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day! SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS AVAILABLE!" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; Waldorf
  • $15,500 to $17,500
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Alive Montessori & Private School 15500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Amaranth, Ontario
 
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"The Maples is an established private IB World School in Orangeville, Ontario providing exemplary education for students (Pre-School to Grade 8). Daily French instruction in PS and Kindergarten with an academic focus." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $10,093 to $11,980
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The Maples Academy 10093 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Rosthern, Saskatchewan
 
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"RJC is a Grades 10-12 boarding school accredited by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. RJC is student and community-focused all while offering excellent academics and exceptional athletic and fine arts programs." —From the school

  • Gr. 10 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $4,500 to $20,000
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Rosthern Junior College High School 4500 Boarding Day Coed
Bayfield, Ontario
 
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"After 22 years of teaching courses online, VHS is unrivaled in experience, credibility, and expertise. Our student-centred model provides a world-class educational experience for thousands of Ontario students each year." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $329 to $764 /course
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Virtual High School 329 HighSchools eSchool Coed
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"At Oxford Learning Academy, our teachers will use the proven scientific approach of Cognitive Development to teach our students new ways of thinking and understanding what they are learning and how they are learning." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $9,500 to $16,100
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Oxford Learning Academy (Private School) 9500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
North York, Ontario
Finch Ave. W./Bathurst St.
 
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"CAA has been serving the GTA for 70 years. Our students learn through a strong academic curriculum, community engagement and alumni mentorship – with a 98% acceptance rate to the University of their first choice." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $10,250 to $16,000
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Crawford Adventist Academy 10250 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Queen/Silver Birch
 
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"The Cole Academy welcomes students of all genders and orientations and their families. Using stories of under-represented communities, TCA prepares students socially, emotionally, and academically for future schooling." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $25,000
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The Cole Academy 25000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Ottawa, Ontario
Baseline Rd./Woodroffe Ave.
 
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"Bishop Hamilton Montessori School, a not-for-profit independent school in Ottawa, provides an authentic Christian Montessori approach for children 3 months to 14 years." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $6,183 to $22,970
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Bishop Hamilton Montessori School 6183 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Mississauga, Ontario
 
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"Meadow Green Academy provides a strong Christian education in a nurturing environment. Strong academics combined with sports, enriched music, visual arts, and dramatic arts programs provide a well-rounded experience" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $9,800 to $16,990
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Meadow Green Academy 9800 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Woodbridge, Ontario
Kipling/Highway 7
 
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"Each student is unique. Why be just a number when you can be valued for who you are? We enfold, engage and empower every student in a safe, friendly, and supportive learning community. You belong here!" —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $19,340
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Toronto District Christian High School 19340 HighSchools Day Homestay Coed
Etobicoke, Ontario
Bloor/Shaver
 
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"Kingsley's small classes and personal approach help students reach their unique potential. Each child is seen, heard, and respected. French, music, and phys-ed round out a program which includes plenty of time outdoors." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 5 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Reggio Emilia
  • $7,500 to $13,000
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Kingsley Primary School 7500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
North Vancouver, British Columbia
W 22nd/Phillip
 
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"As a Reggio Inspired School in North Vancouver, Sunflower engages daily in rigorous reflective practice - collaboratively designing curriculum and environment around the emerging interests and curiosities of the children" —From the school

  • Gr. PS (Coed)
  • Reggio Emilia approach
  • $2,400 to $5,500
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Sunflower Early Learning Society 2400 Preschool Day Coed
Montreal, Quebec
Atwater/Docteur-Penfield
 
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"Since 1861, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, the city’s only all-girls English Catholic high school, has been preparing girls to change the world. We offer grades 7 to 12, day school and boarding." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Girls)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $18,411 to $64,500
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The Sacred Heart School of Montreal 18411 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Day Girls
North York, Ontario
Bathurst/Wilson
 
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"Magnificent Minds Inc. caters to students whose needs are not being met in traditional school environments, pursuing personal best through a balanced approach to education." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $20,000 to $26,000
  • Day school
  • 30 students
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Magnificent Minds 20000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Queen Street East/Glen Manor Drive
 
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"Our objective is to guide children with respect and understanding, developing in them a love of learning. Our aim is to create a nurturing environment full of intellectual, social and moral learning and development." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $7,775 to $23,500
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Avalon Children's Montessori School 7775 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Mississauga, Ontario
Erin Mills Parkway/Turner Valley Road
 
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"A special needs education private school in Mississauga offering programs using the Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-Based (DIR®) Model. Theme-based DIR® March/Summer Camps are also available." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $21,945 to $74,675
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Oakwood Academy 21945 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed

Teaching students with unique learning and behavioural characteristics has defined some of the most memorable moments in my education career thus far. Certain colourful events stand out as the most trying as well as the most rewarding. I learn something new about myself as an educator from each student I teach. If teachers can learn to view these "colourful" moments as learning opportunities for both ourselves and the students, it becomes easier to see their growth as individuals through the challenges.

Read our advice guide on choosing a school for a child with a behavioural or emotional issue, such as anxiety, and for kids with other traits. To get school-choice advice customized to your child's unique traits, create a child profile through your user account.

What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is one of the more common behavioural disorders among children and adolescents, affecting between 1% and 16% of youth, depending on where the statistic comes from. ODD is defined as a pattern of defiant, hostile and disobedient behaviour directed towards adult authority figures. Common behaviours include: angry outbursts, temper tantrums, rebellious actions, arguing with adults and passive or active refusal to obey rules or instructions. Children and adolescents with ODD can also demonstrate hostility, negativity and spitefulness. Needless to say, these behaviours can be quite disruptive and challenging for teachers to manage in a mainstream classroom!

The most important thing for teachers and administrators to understand is that the hostility and defiance is not usually a personal attack against the authority figure. Students with ODD are not usually discriminatory, but will react in a similarly defiant manner to all authority-wielding figures. Yet, with preventative planning and a great deal of patience, ODD behaviours do not always have to result in disruption of lessons and routines.

Supporting Students with Oppositional Defiant Disorder

The most important first step when dealing with a student who has ODD is to establish a strong team of support for the student, including all teachers, support workers, parents and administrators. Establish a set of guidelines for dealing with defiant and oppositional behaviours that everyone can agree to uphold. During this process, set up a plan of action. Try to account for the usual reactions to instructions or rules and decide as a team how you will react. Also decide what kind of behaviours can be ignored–remember to choose your battles!

Students with ODD need to feel like they have some control over what happens in their life, so try to offer choices, ensuring that both options are ones that you can live with. This has been one of my greatest challenges as a teacher–I always want to offer one choice that I want to happen and make the second choice something unreasonable. But, as former students can attest to, they will always choose the one that they think you don't want them to. So, be prepared to actually stay at school until 9pm with them, if that is a choice that slips out of your mouth. Follow through, or they won't take you seriously next time you offer a choice!

Most importantly, don't react emotionally in the heat of the moment. Defiant behaviour can really get under your skin. Take a deep breath, a physical step backwards and think it through. Go back to the established plan, and remind the student of their choices and the outcomes for all choices. If you, as a teacher and professional, can keep your cool, you will be a step closer to opposing the opposition.

It is important to remember that ODD behaviours are the result of a mental health disorder, which can be difficult to distinguish from "normal" defiant and independence seeking behaviours in young adults. With treatment and behaviour therapy, students with ODD can learn to control their behaviour and find other ways of dealing with their anger and coping with stressful situations. This reaffirms how important the teacher's role is in being supportive of building a behaviour management plan that will assist the child in learning more constructive ways of managing their own behaviour.

—Kelly Farrell

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