Archive for the ‘Classroom Management’ Category

Teachers Should View a Sleeping Student as Feedback

March 29, 2017

What a horrific act and a total and utter overreaction. I’m sure this teacher felt disrespected that his student fell asleep in his class, but to assault her by biting her hair is astonishing and unforgivable.

As rude as it is for a student to sleep in class, a teacher should see it as crucial feedback and consider changing their style accordingly:

A strange clip of a teacher biting a students hair in order to lift her head off the table has emerged.The odd incident happened about a year ago but has resurfaced online. Jaws wide, the teacher approaches the snoozing student across a classroom. He then pounces on her, chomping her ponytail between his teeth. As she’s pulled from the desk where she was sleeping she looks shocked and worried. She gasps and grabs her hair and the creepy teacher relinquishes his grip. It isn’t known exactly where the weird incident happened but the 27-second clip has been shared widely on social media and other internet sites.

This teacher has a lot of explaining to do.

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

Click on the link to read Watch a Teacher Go Berserk Over the Most Trivial Thing (Video)

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

Click on the link to read Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

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Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

July 31, 2016

behavior-cartoon

 

Written by Josh Work courtesy of edutopia:

 

1. Set the Tone

I firmly believe that a student’s misbehavior in the past does not necessarily equate to future indiscretions. At the beginning of the school year, I would walk down to the sixth grade teachers with my new class lists and ask questions. I would inquire about who works well together, who probably should not sit next to each other, and who caused them the most grief. Not surprisingly, teachers would share the names of the same students that were their “tough kids.” If I had the privilege of having any of these students in my class, I looked forward to it instead of dreading it.

Usually during the first week of school, I would try to have individual conferences with these tough kids. I’d take this as an opportunity to clear the air and wipe the slate clean. Often, these students can feel disrespected because their teachers already have preconceived ideas about how they are the troublemakers. Explain that you respect them and have high expectations for them this year. Lay the foundation for the student’s understanding that you believe in him or her, because you might be the only one who genuinely does.

2. Be a Mentor

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that some of the toughest kids to teach come from very difficult home situations. Inconsistent housing, absentee parent(s), lack of resources, and violence are only a few examples of what some of these students have to face every day. Kids that are neglected at home can act out in school to receive attention, good or bad. They want someone to notice them and take an interest in their lives.

Don’t forget how important you are in helping your students develop not just academically, but also socially. Make an effort to show you care about them, not just their grades. Be proactive instead of reactive. The key to being a good mentor is to be positive, available, and trustworthy. One year with a great mentor can have a lasting, positive impact on a tough kid’s life.

3. Make Connections

Part of being a great mentor is your ability to make connections with these tough kids. Since these students sometimes don’t have anyone encouraging them or taking an interest in their lives, have a real conversation about their future or dreams. If they have nothing to share, start talking about their interests — sports, music, movies, food, clothing, friends, siblings, etc. Find a way to connect so that they can relate to you. Start off small and show a genuine interest in what they have to say. Once you’ve made a positive connection and the student can trust you, you’d be surprised how fast they might open up to talking about their hopes, fears, home life, etc. This is when you need to exercise professional discretion and be prepared for what the student might bring up. Explain that you do not want to violate his or her trust but that, as an educator, you are required by law to report certain things.

4. Take it Personally (In a Good Way)

Teachers need to have thick skin. Students may say things in an attempt to bruise your ego or question your teaching abilities. Remember, we are working with young children and developing adults. I’m sure you said some hurtful things that you didn’t mean when you were growing up. Students can say things out of frustration or boredom, or that are triggered by problems spilling over from outside of your classroom. Try to deal with their misbehavior in the classroom — they might not take you seriously if you just send them to the office every time they act out. These are the moments when they need a positive mentor the most.

Once trust has been established, remind these students that you believe in them even if they make a mistake. I’ve vouched for kids during grade team meetings only to have them get into a fight at lunch the same day. They make mistakes, just like we all do. It’s how we respond to their slip-ups that will determine if they’ll continue to trust us. Explain that you’re disappointed in their actions and that you know they can do better. Don’t write them off. Tough kids are used to being dismissed as hopeless. Instead, show them that you care and are willing to work with them. Helping a tough kid overcome personal issues isn’t something that happens overnight, but it is a worthwhile investment in his or her future.

5. Expect Anything and Everything!

All of our students come from a variety of cultures, nationalities, and home environments, and these five techniques that have worked for me might barely scratch the surface of how you interact with the tough kids in your classroom. If you have another method that has helped you reach out and connect to a tough kid, please share it below in the comments section.

 

 

Click on the link to read Watch a Teacher Go Berserk Over the Most Trivial Thing (Video)

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

Click on the link to read Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

Watch a Teacher Go Berserk Over the Most Trivial Thing (Video)

March 31, 2016

 

Missing rubber bands? Really?

 

 

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

Click on the link to read Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

Click on the link to read Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

August 9, 2015

tough-students

Written by Josh Work courtesy of Edutopia:

 

1. Set the Tone

I firmly believe that a student’s misbehavior in the past does not necessarily equate to future indiscretions. At the beginning of the school year, I would walk down to the sixth grade teachers with my new class lists and ask questions. I would inquire about who works well together, who probably should not sit next to each other, and who caused them the most grief. Not surprisingly, teachers would share the names of the same students that were their “tough kids.” If I had the privilege of having any of these students in my class, I looked forward to it instead of dreading it.

Usually during the first week of school, I would try to have individual conferences with these tough kids. I’d take this as an opportunity to clear the air and wipe the slate clean. Often, these students can feel disrespected because their teachers already have preconceived ideas about how they are the troublemakers. Explain that you respect them and have high expectations for them this year. Lay the foundation for the student’s understanding that you believe in him or her, because you might be the only one who genuinely does.

2. Be a Mentor

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that some of the toughest kids to teach come from very difficult home situations. Inconsistent housing, absentee parent(s), lack of resources, and violence are only a few examples of what some of these students have to face every day. Kids that are neglected at home can act out in school to receive attention, good or bad. They want someone to notice them and take an interest in their lives.

Don’t forget how important you are in helping your students develop not just academically, but also socially. Make an effort to show you care about them, not just their grades. Be proactive instead of reactive. The key to being a good mentor is to be positive, available, and trustworthy. One year with a great mentor can have a lasting, positive impact on a tough kid’s life.

3. Make Connections

Part of being a great mentor is your ability to make connections with these tough kids. Since these students sometimes don’t have anyone encouraging them or taking an interest in their lives, have a real conversation about their future or dreams. If they have nothing to share, start talking about their interests — sports, music, movies, food, clothing, friends, siblings, etc. Find a way to connect so that they can relate to you. Start off small and show a genuine interest in what they have to say. Once you’ve made a positive connection and the student can trust you, you’d be surprised how fast they might open up to talking about their hopes, fears, home life, etc. This is when you need to exercise professional discretion and be prepared for what the student might bring up. Explain that you do not want to violate his or her trust but that, as an educator, you are required by law to report certain things.

4. Take it Personally (In a Good Way)

Teachers need to have thick skin. Students may say things in an attempt to bruise your ego or question your teaching abilities. Remember, we are working with young children and developing adults. I’m sure you said some hurtful things that you didn’t mean when you were growing up. Students can say things out of frustration or boredom, or that are triggered by problems spilling over from outside of your classroom. Try to deal with their misbehavior in the classroom — they might not take you seriously if you just send them to the office every time they act out. These are the moments when they need a positive mentor the most.

Once trust has been established, remind these students that you believe in them even if they make a mistake. I’ve vouched for kids during grade team meetings only to have them get into a fight at lunch the same day. They make mistakes, just like we all do. It’s how we respond to their slip-ups that will determine if they’ll continue to trust us. Explain that you’re disappointed in their actions and that you know they can do better. Don’t write them off. Tough kids are used to being dismissed as hopeless. Instead, show them that you care and are willing to work with them. Helping a tough kid overcome personal issues isn’t something that happens overnight, but it is a worthwhile investment in his or her future.

5. Expect Anything and Everything!

All of our students come from a variety of cultures, nationalities, and home environments, and these five techniques that have worked for me might barely scratch the surface of how you interact with the tough kids in your classroom. If you have another method that has helped you reach out and connect to a tough kid, please share it below in the comments section.

 

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

Click on the link to read Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

Click on the link to read Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?

Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

March 23, 2014

game of thrones

Well here is a novel way of getting rowdy students to quieten down:

A maths teacher apparently decided to up the ante by threatening to reveal Game of Thrones spoilers to his misbehaving students.

One day while teaching in a noisy classroom, the educator asked who watched Game of Thrones, to which the majority raised their hands.

‘Well, I’ve read all the books,’ he told them. ‘If there is too much noise, I will write the name of the dead on the board. They are enough to fill the whole year and I can even describe how they die,’ reports nieuwsblad.be.

Those troublemakers who took it as an empty threat soon found themselves living to regret it when the teacher proceeded to write the names of those killed off in the third series on the board.

Unsurprisingly, the class got back pretty sharpish to working on long division and the like in silence after that.

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

Click on the link to read Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

Click on the link to read Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?

Click on the link to read Worst Examples of Teacher Discipline

Click on the link to read Why Students Misbehave

Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

March 5, 2014

class photo

It is apparent that teachers are struggling to cope with classroom misbehaviour more now than in any other time. This often brings panic influenced, knee-jerk reactions to help pull students in to line.

The award for the wildest and most needlessly over the top reaction to student misbehaviour goes to this headmistress:

In a bizarre case, a strict headmistress of a UK primary school allegedly called police to thwart a students’ plan to not smile and spoil a school photograph.

Ann Hughes, the headmistress of a school in Anglesey, North Wales, found out some children were planning to “spoil” the picture and telephoned police, a professional conduct hearing was told.

It is alleged that an officer was invited into the village primary school to reprimand the pupils unwilling to pose correctly, The Mirror reported.

Hughes faces a catalogue of complaints including repeatedly calling one student “stupid” and favouring children whose first language was Welsh.

The committee of the General Teaching Council for Wales heard yesterday that she failed to investigate the bullying of two pupils, shouted excessively in the classroom and unnecessarily criticised children’s mistakes.

One pupil watched as Hughes tore his examination paper in front of him when he had spelt his middle name wrong, the hearing was told.

The school was engulfed in crisis in May 2011 when five of the six teachers simultaneously called in sick after earlier threatening industrial action following a vote of no confidence in Hughes.

Staff claimed there was a climate of “fear” at the school before the headmistress was suspended in July 2011 and later dismissed. The case is still continuing.

 

Click on the link to read Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

Click on the link to read Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?

Click on the link to read Worst Examples of Teacher Discipline

Click on the link to read Why Students Misbehave

Click on the link to read Being a Teacher Makes Me Regret the Way I Treated My Teachers

Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

December 23, 2013

In University we were instructed not to smile until Easter. That way our students would never feel close enough to us to treat us like a friend. It is this kind of rubbish that infiltrates many teacher training lecture rooms. They tell you not to become emotionally involved with your students, but what they are really saying is become emotionally distant.

Students need to see the human face of their teacher in order to respect them. Remember, that there is a big difference between a dictatorial teacher that demands respect and a caring one that commands respect. The best way to manage student behaviour is for them to WANT to behave for you. They must want to gain your approval and respect. The only way to achieve this is to believe in them, set fair expectations for them and be prepared to share a laugh at times.

I stumbled across this wonderful answer to a science question which shows that the student in question had absolutely no idea what the correct answer is, but didn’t want his teacher to think less of him because of it.  The teacher’s response to the answer is simply brilliant!

science

Click on the link to read Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?

Click on the link to read Worst Examples of Teacher Discipline

Click on the link to read Why Students Misbehave

Click on the link to read Being a Teacher Makes Me Regret the Way I Treated My Teachers

Click on the link to read Useful Resources to Assist in Behavioural Management

50 Things You DON’T Have to do to Maintain Classroom Management

September 15, 2013

 

manage

Courtesy of the brilliant site smartclassroommanagement.com:

 

1. You don’t have to lecture, yell, or scold.

2. You don’t have to micromanage.

3. You don’t have to ignore misbehavior.

4. You don’t have to be unlikable.

5. You don’t have to tolerate call-outs and interruptions.

6. You don’t have to use bribery.

7. You don’t have to walk on eggshells around difficult students.

8. You don’t have to give false praise.

9. You don’t have to send students to the office.

10. You don’t have to implore your students to pay attention.

11. You don’t have to say things you don’t truly believe.

12. You don’t have to be humorless, stern, or overly serious.

13. You don’t have to repeat yourself over and over again.

14. You don’t have to work on building community.

15. You don’t have to beg or coax or convince your students into behaving.

16. You don’t have to waste time and attention on difficult students.

17. You don’t have to do more or say more to have better control.

18. You don’t have to show anger or lose your cool.

19. You don’t have to lower your behavior standards.

20. You don’t have to talk so much, so often, or so loud.

21. You don’t have to have an antagonistic or demanding relationship with difficult students.

22. You don’t have to shush your students or ask repeatedly for quiet.

23. You don’t have to give frequent reminders and exhortations.

24. You don’t have to show hurt or disappointment to get your message across.

25. You don’t have to guide, direct, or handhold your students through every moment of the day.

26. You don’t have to be thought of as a “mean” teacher.

27. You don’t have to use threats or intimidation to get students to behave.

28. You don’t have to have friction or resentment between you and any of your students.

29. You don’t have to use behavior contracts to turn around difficult students.

30. You don’t have to give over-the-top or gratuitous praise.

31. You don’t have to plead with your students to follow your directions.

32. You don’t have to use different strategies for different students.

33. You don’t have to tolerate a noisy, chaotic, or unruly classroom.

34. You don’t have to talk over your students or move on until you’re ready.

35. You don’t have to accept being disrespected, cursed at, or ignored.

36. You don’t have use complicated classroom management methods.

37. You don’t have to be fearful of holding your students strictly accountable.

38. You don’t have to hold time-consuming community circles or hashing-out sessions.

39. You don’t have to be negative or critical to motivate your students.

40. You don’t have to cover up your personality or hold back from having fun.

41. You don’t have to tolerate arguing and talking back.

42. You don’t have to ask two or three times or more for your students’ attention.

43. You don’t have to offer praise for expected behavior.

44. You don’t have to rely on parents, the principal, or anyone else to turn around difficult students.

45. You don’t have to be overbearing or suffocating to have excellent control.

46. You don’t have to give incessant talking-tos to difficult and disrespectful students.

47. You don’t have to ask students why they misbehaved or force assurances from them.

48. You don’t have to have a boring, no-fun classroom to keep a lid on whole-class misbehavior.

49. You don’t have to be tense, tired, and sick of dealing with misbehavior.

50. You never, ever have to be at the mercy of your students.

 

Click on the link to read Ten Tips to Minimise Classroom Distractions

Click on the link to read 6 Methods For Getting Kids to Cooperate

Click on the link to read 10 Important Steps to Stop Yelling at Kids

Click on the link to read Classroom Management is Getting Harder

Click on the link to read The Dog Eat Dog Style of Education

Click on the link to read Problem Kids, Suspensions and Revolving Doors

Ten Tips to Minimise Classroom Distractions

August 19, 2013

 

cell

Courtesy of retired teacher J. Fedder:

1. Whether it is too hot, too cold, or too humid, classroom temperature can affect student comfort. When a student (or teacher) is uncomfortable, focus for that individual shifts from attention to lesson material to finding a way to reduce discomfort. Teachers need to be aware that different areas of the same classroom can have differing temperatures.

2. Classroom lighting is another important factor that can cause a student to wander off task. Both dim light and glare make reading difficult. A wise teacher pays attention to the amount and source of classroom lighting, including glare given off whiteboards or posters. Again, different areas of the same classroom can have differing light. Teachers need to check the quality of light from all areas of the classroom.

3. Visual stimulation works both ways–it can motivate learning or it can disrupt it. Visually stimulating items in a classroom grab student attention. This is helpful when items are used for instructional purposes, but not so helpful, otherwise. Removing an assortment of visually stimulating posters, charts, and doodads from classroom walls, shelves, or desktops, helps minimizes student distraction.

4. Finding a place for student bags and coats that is off to the side, helps minimize distraction. It keeps students from pawing through belongings at inappropriate times. What is not outwardly visible has less power to grab a student’s attention away from the lesson at hand.

5. Row seating may offer an advantage over cluster seating. There are fewer opportunities to talk face-to-face with other students. Rows also allow teacher access to every student. A teacher can move in close and make eye-contact with a single student who needs behavior modification and not need to address or distract a group of students.

6. Minimizing classroom distractions applies to teacher’s clothing choices, as well. Tight-fitting garments, deep-necklines, or busy patterns can distract students. Dangle bracelets and hard-heeled shoes create auditory distractions. The smell of a teacher’s cologne, perfume, or hand fragrance may also prove distracting to a student.

7. Students create classroom noise from coughing, sniffing of runny noses, scooting chairs up to desks, and so on. Having background music or fan noise may help cover some of these sounds, as well as cover sounds coming from nearby classrooms or the hallway. Tennis balls on the bottom of chair legs may help reduce the racket of chairs on hard floor surfaces.

8. Personal wireless devices in a classroom are disruptive. It is best to have students turn off devices during class time or to have devices inaccessible. This minimizes both visual and auditory disruption from wireless devices and curbs cheating.

9. High-traffic areas create a steady stream of distractions. These areas are doorways, around the teacher’s desk, at the pencil sharpener, and at the garbage can. Seating easily distracted students away from high-traffic areas or between students who are less distractible, should lessen distractibility. In some cases, seating a distractible student near the teacher’s desk allows teacher to handle behavior modification without interrupting other students.

10. Facing student desks away from exterior windows, hall doorways, and the teacher’s desk, may be effective in reducing student distraction. Placing garbage cans and pencil sharpeners in areas that already receive high traffic, allows other areas of the classroom to be places of less disruption.

 

 

Click on the link to read my post on Disabled Children: A Missed Opportunity for Us All

Click on the link to read my post on Meet the 14-Year-Old on his Way to Becoming a Nobel Prize Winner (Video)

Click on the link to read my post on Treatment of Autistic Children Says a Lot About Our Failing System

Click on the link to read Our Real Heroes are Not Celebrities or Athletes

Click on the link to read Girl Writes Cute Note to the Queen

Click on the link to read Instead of Teaching a Baby to Read, Teach it to Smile

Click on the link to read The 15 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in the English Language

Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

Disabled Children: A Missed Opportunity for Us All

June 29, 2013

disabled

I went to a funeral for a young girl earlier this month. She caught a virus as a baby and spent her short life in a wheelchair, unable to communicate in any meaningful way.

Her father is a family friend of mine and a brilliant parent. His eulogy moved me like a speech never has. He said that having her changed his life. He had never even spent time with a disabled person before he met her, let alone parent one. He said that she showed him what it means to have strength, find pleasure even when under duress and he noted that even though she was never able to say a word, she communicated through her eyes and smile.

He said that he and his wife were adamant that she go to a regular school rather than a school for the disabled. He didn’t want her to feel typecast or branded, so he felt that the conventional classroom experience would be beneficial. He recounted how loyal and caring her classmates were. They would nurture her, make her feel important even when she couldn’t do what they were doing and help her whenever she needed it.  He said that he was stunned that in her dying days, her classmates would regularly make visits to her and tell her stories and share jokes.

He concluded by saying that he know fully appreciates how everyone in this world has a great purpose and a lasting contribution to make. His daughter showed him that much can be achieved, even under the toughest of circumstances.

There was not a dry eye in the house.

Reflecting on the eulogy, I can’t help but wonder if we have the right system in place for educating children with disabilities. Whilst I appreciate that severely handicapped children have special needs which may not be able to be fully accommodated in a regular classroom, it concerns me that our children do not get the opportunity to spend time and communicate with disabled children. It’s almost as if they are purposely separated from each other. Surely, it would make sense to pair our schools with associated schools for the disabled so that there can be days throughout the year where such interaction is possible. By forming alliances with schools for deaf, blind and wheelchair bound students, our students will get a greater awareness of the virtues of disabled children, and the disabled will be able to see the possibilities of making friendships beyond their handicap subgroup.

In my view it’s a clear win/win!

 

Click on the link to read my post on Meet the 14-Year-Old on his Way to Becoming a Nobel Prize Winner (Video)

Click on the link to read my post on Treatment of Autistic Children Says a Lot About Our Failing System

Click on the link to read Our Real Heroes are Not Celebrities or Athletes

Click on the link to read Girl Writes Cute Note to the Queen

Click on the link to read Instead of Teaching a Baby to Read, Teach it to Smile

Click on the link to read The 15 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in the English Language

Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?


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