Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Surviving Unruly Students

Here is another question that was asked recently:

“After many years of teaching, today I wanted to throw in the towel and quit. I have 2 classes that are horrible, it isn't the entire class but three or four constantly interrupting, using inappropriate language, getting up and down, being disrespectful and harassing other students. I write them up, they may get one day in ISS then they are right back in class doing the same thing again. Its not only in my class but in on our entire team. I really don't know what to do. I love teaching and I hate what the few are doing to me and entire class. If something doesn't change I may have to find a new profession. Looking for all the advice I can get.”

Here is my advice:

"Start calling parents and bragging on the ones that are doing great. Talk about how you enjoyed talking to their parents during class. Give lots of praise in class. Find these "bad" kids doing something good and call home to praise them, It might take a while but soon, the kids will start trying to be good so you will call home. I've done this for years from elementary to high school and it really works."

I believe that we don’t involve parents enough as teachers. Maybe we are afraid that we will seem weak or incompetent if we ask the parents for help. Instead, we need to see parents as another part of the team that will help us reach our goal. Our goal is to help the student be successful. Parents and teachers should not be adversaries! Communicating often with the parents is key to a successful classroom. It will show that you care and that you want to help the student succeed. It will also make your job in the classroom much easier since you won’t have to spend so much time on discipline and can spend more time on teaching content.

Simply ignoring bad behavior doesn’t work if you don’t give students something else to replace it with. Sometimes it is hard to find something good that the student has done but I look really hard even if it is to say that I can see the student trying. The more positive things you can start saying about the student the easier it gets because the student starts working hard to do more positive things. Then when the student act up, it is easier to ignore and explain that you are looking for good behavior so you can call and brag about them.

This strategy takes time and you need to be patient. It also helps the students who are acting appropriately because it shows that they aren’t forgotten. They don’t have to do something bad in order to be noticed. It rewards them for acting appropriately.

What advice would you give this teacher? Please share.

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

No comments: