When your students are happy, engaged and look forward to your class, you have powerful leverage to curb misbehaviour because your consequences mean something to them. It is this combination of fun and accountability that will transform even the most difficult students. Be yourself and never be afraid to show your personality. Tell hard-luck stories of your youth, take attendance in a funny accent, answer a question as an opera singer. Enjoy your job. Your students will love you for it. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad advice bouncing around the halls and staff lounges of schools.
Some of the most commonly recommended strategies are dishonest and manipulative. Some may work in the moment, but cause more problems down the line. And some are just plain harmful to students. Michael Linsin is the bestselling author of three books about classroom management. His ideas can also be found on his blog, Smart Classroom Management. Smile The oft-repeated recommendation that you should never smile in the first two months of the school year is hogwash.
Have clear consequences Consequences hold students to account without having to lecture or berate them. Follow through Inconsistency is the fastest way to lose control of your class. Teach detailed routines Routines are the lifeblood of a well-run classroom. Tried and true Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad advice bouncing around the halls and staff lounges of schools. Lopes advises putting the child in a safe environment that does not give her access to you or any other potential rewards. If the child is young usually 7 or younger , try placing her in a time out chair.
Your daughter should stay in that room for one minute, and must be calm before she is allowed out. Then she should come back to the chair for time out. Lopes advises removing yourself from her vicinity.
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This ensures that she is not getting any attention or reinforcement from you and keeps you safe. There are good behavioral therapies that can help you and your child get past the aggression, relieve your stress and improve your relationship. You can learn techniques for managing his behavior more effectively, and he can learn to rein in disruptive behavior and enjoy a much more positive relationship with you. As a child gets older, aggression becomes more and more dangerous to you, and the child.
And it can become a big problem for him at school and with friends, too. If your child has a pattern of lashing out it may be because of an underlying problem that needs treatment. Some possible reasons for aggressive behavior include:. Given that there are so many possible causes for emotional outbursts and aggression, an accurate diagnosis is key to getting the help you need. You may want to start with your pediatrician. The kids are a bit afraid in the beginning, but we all lighten up as we go along.
There is always that one kid or group of kids, though. Early in my career, I would take notes on a bad day and go back and tell the kids it wasn't going to happen anymore, and they were welcomed to complain to the office if they did not like it. I would also follow up with, "First one who causes a problem goes to the hall, the second goes to the office.
Right now be stern and go from there. My administrators would not approve a whole class punishment.
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Maybe you could give before or after school detentions. Sometimes it intimidates the others by sending that first difficult student to go work in the hall and require him to turn his work in when the class ends. Hang in there! You know your kids and will be come up with something. Maybe a "Give respect, get respect" talk. If they don't get it, maybe some extra work for the whole class to keep them busy.
After you get the class back to where you want it, you might try some brain breaks Google it to give these boys an outlet for their energy. Great article. I moved to a new school recently, mid way through the year. For the last 8 years I taught at a small girl's school small community, pretty easy to manage fairly academic school. I've moved to a large independent boy's school, pretty academic. In my 8 years of teaching came into teaching lateish from industry I've found being courteous to students, showing them respect having a good sense of humour has worked for me.
I felt very relaxed and appreciated and got very good results for my students I taught maths and physics but at my new school physics only. I have been at my new school just under a term and am still finding a few classes a real struggle. A level sets have been fine but I have two year 8 and one year 9 set that I have really struggled with. It possibly seemed clear to them that me coming in and greeting them with 'good morning gents' and trying to get to know them a bit early on and treat them with respect has maybe been perceived as weakness.
One lesson last week was observed by the head of maths as I'm new to the school and it didn't go well.
The kids were giggling and being silly, calling out and trying to send me off on tangents by purposely asking questions off topic to throw me. Not sure if they were doing it all the more because the Head of maths was in there with us? I did lose my rag with them a bit, didn't help that I was being formally observed! I did keep one of the kids back who kept shouting out the most to think about his behaviour and write how it might be impacting on his learning.
As one of the other posters has suggested not sure if what he wrote was genuine? I talked to a colleague from my old school who said I should keep the whole class back if there were a number involved in the lowish level disruption and that I should tell them that they all have a collective responsibility to behave in a certain way if we are to get through the course.
Now I'm not sure about this because some articles I've read suggested that if you punish everyone then some of the kids that you did have on side will hold it against you and find an excuse later on to play up as well? Not sure what you think. Part of me wished I'd 'cut my teeth' in a more challenging environment earlier on so I would have more strategies now. Thank you, Al! Teachers have to bide their time and earn respect in the most patient way. Hi Susan. I enjoyed reading your article.
I am glad you mentioned keeping your temper and not letting kids know they are getting to you. I think they are very important. Even when you are being driven to distraction you have to be calm and keep going. That is not an easy thing to do. I also agree with persistence. It takes time to be in control of a difficult class. Well done. Lots of great advice.
Hi Fred, thank you for commenting and sharing your experiences. Not all students care or seem to care. When we have classes like the one you describe, and most of us who have taught high school for several years probably has, we have to hang on for the ride and hope that we save those who want to be saved. A mistake I have made is thinking that some of the hardest cases don't care and that their parents don't care.
I really stink at contacting parents, but this year I have started calling and e-mailing them. I am amazed by the results and kick myself for neglecting this approach for so long. When parents call me, it is usually okay, but those parents who want to blame me are the ones who have dictated my lack of contacting other parents. For instance, this year I have this kid who is hateful and disrespectful and loves to make the others in the class laugh at my expense or disregards me altogether. I contacted his grandmother and father.
He is not the best academic student and he still shows disdain for me, but he is trying and he has stopped his worst antics in the classroom. Before, I had to send him to the office for several offenses. Quite frankly, I had had it with him and wasn't going to tolerate his behavior any longer. He could sit in class, but I was at the point that I didn't want to hear or see him do anything. Because I had contacted home, he told the principal that he regretted his language and had been doing better, and he didn't want to mess that up because he was passing with a "D.
Since the kid showed him regret, I agreed. It came down to the straw that broke the camel's back. I had had it, and the kid knew it. I never lost it with him, just sent him out and ignored him. After the last incident, the kid still disrupts but less and less and he is trying to do his work.
This opens the door for me to let him know I still care about his grade and want him to pass. He is just one of the many hard cases that I have and have had. Hang in there and hopefully something will happen and things will get better. One thing I have started trying is using brain breaks just Google them.
Some of them seem completely immature and ridiculous, but the students, even the "I am too cool for school" kids, love them. I think I forget how teens need to have a little fun. Since you teach math, I think there are brain breaks that are just for math skills. For those classes that are off-the-wall, brain breaks are great for letting them expend some energy.
These strategies only work when you have a majority of students who care about learning or are easily embarrassed into modifying their disruptive behavior. I teach in a suburban school where they would laugh at a stare and will lie their butts off during a one-on-one about how they are going to change.
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They don't. They cut up continually, use foul language, and look forward to going to the Dean because it gets them out of having to do any work. About the only thing they will respond to is highly sarcastic, targeted put-downs. These usually result in an immediate "Wow. Oh snap" and during that 2-second interval I can seize their attention and direct the focus back to the lesson for a little while. Generally within 1 minute they are already back on their cellphones, goofing off and making noise again.
I've had to send out as many as students at a time to get their attention. Appearing to "lose my cool" is in fact part of my shtick. They simply do not care and neither do their parents for the most part. Even referrals with multiple incidents rarely result in any kind of action We call them "frequent flyers. Last week a student walked out of class to engage in conversation with one of the many others who use hall passes as an excuse to roam around the school or congregate near the bathrooms.
I walked out and told her she needed to come back in. Of course not! I sent her to the Dean's office to cool out but I didn't write it up. Why bother? There's no point in writing it up because then the administration wants to then tell me I can't manage my classroom. Not directly, mind you, but with insinuations and dings in my evaluations. The bully was suspended for a day and was right back in class. There was no apology required to the class, nor to me, nor to the victim of the verbal abuse. This is the real world of education today: Large-scale disrespect, an environment where the students run the classroom because they know they can get away with it, constant off-task behavior such as chatter and cellphone use, all while the administration focuses on sports, the band, the wonderful array of extracurricular activities Do I need a sense of humor?
Yes, a very dark one. Of course. Do we make any academic progress? Yes, but the state standards are a joke. These students can barely do 6th grade math let alone algebra. We'll be lucky to get through 3 chapters this year of a 10 chapter book. Then they'll go on to fail the mandated end of course test and will be stuck taking some made-up course like "liberal arts math" for kids that can't pass the end of course exam and can't do any geometry. And large numbers of them won't graduate. There's good news: I'm pursuing a transfer after I re-learn all the higher math I forgot by teaching such low-level students and the county plans to develop several vocational high schools.
And some more good news: I now know that not every student can learn. No, that's nonsense. Many can't, won't, and don't care. And at this point, neither do I. Zoe, I am sorry to hear you do not have the support you need to create a good classroom atmosphere. I feel very fortunate to have administrators who support me.
First of all,in my school teachers are not allowed to send kids out of classroom during the lesson. I mean it-it is really prohibited. Secondly,not a single kid has ever been sent to the headmaster-he does not get involved into it,does not want it and is not going to. Secondly, the administrators,even if they know about the disruptive class, are not eager or not able to do anything about it. Thanks so much, letstalkabouteduc! Sometimes it is so challenging, but the rewards outweigh the challenges in education. I do long for the days when "passing a note" was the worst thing I had to deal with!
Sound like a dinosaur Being patient is a must in teaching. The kids are great, but teachers do have to gauge what they say or do more than they used to, which includes how a kid will take a joke or a hug We are now advised not to hug students, but when one is hurting a hug is so tempting. Cell phones are everywhere, and students take pictures and videos and record when teachers have no idea.
Technology is great in some ways, but it can be scary, too. Thanks so much for volunteering! We do not have many volunteers at the high school level. I so admire teachers these days. It seems like a tough time to be in the profession with high stakes testing, Common Core, and disrespectful students.
When I volunteer in my 7th grader's class, the cell phones alone are enough to make me crazy. I want to take them all and throw them out the window the phones, not the kids. I just think to myself: God bless these teachers who enjoy working with middle schoolers! Great hub. Hi Relationshipc! I still remember being the student and the class clown. On the whole, most students understand what has to take place in the classroom to learn. It is up to the teacher to make it a comfortable, learning atmosphere without out taking the fun out of learning.
I love teaching and having fun with the students. Once they figure out there is not much they can do to make me "dislike" them, they stop pushing the line. It is an adventure every day, and I love it. I am glad you had teachers who showed you respect. That is a life skill we should all practice. I definitely have a lot of respect for teachers. I couldn't do it.
Remembering myself as a student, I can see how useful your tips would be for controlling the class and your sanity. I still respect the teachers who treated me with respect, took control of their classroom, and never lost their temper in front of us. Hi Teaches! It is so difficult to start out being so rule oriented, but it has to be done. My least favorite days of a school year are the first two days. Those are the day I have to go over the rules and be stern about them. After those two days, though, it is so much easier. I found these tips exceptional. A teacher must face these issues early in the year to effectively manage the entire school year.
Our administration is very supportive. On that rare occasion, a parent with a kid who should be in trouble at home, too, will step in and tie administrations hands. That is very rare, though. Thanks for the votes!! Suzette, congratulations on retirement!! I am glad you enjoyed the hub and related to it. As a retired teacher I enjoyed this article immensely. I had to chuckle a few times. Number 1 - having a sense of humor is the most important. I have turned around a bad situation with that many times. And Number 3 is most important - I give the "evil eye" and they settle down immediately.
I literally practiced that one in front of the mirror during student teaching. A great set of coping strategies from a veteran teacher. Great hub! On the spot advice for teachers. I can tell you are an old pro. I hope you have more administrative support than I ever had. Votes up! Oh my gosh! Did he have Tourette Syndrome? I have had students with Tourettes, and students have been understanding. I speak softly to Tourettes students, and it seems to calm them. Tourettes students are usually highly intelligent; they just have no control. You sound like a wonderful student! I would have moved you the first time you voiced a concern.
Now, if the guy was a trouble maker, I would have used the strategies above. The veteran teacher should not have yelled at the student. Handling it calmly would have helped the teacher and the student. Doesn't sound like there was much support for the teacher or the student in your school. I hate that for you. Jack Harris, a. Loudmouth, would sit in class, playing with his computer video games, irrelevant web-surfing, etc and YELLING at the top of his lungs at his buddy who sat next to him.
He could go for two solid hours without stopping. Day after day after day, for two long semesters. The content wasn't merely irrelevant.
Loudmouth was trying to get in to Whitireia's paramedic programme. I calmly asked him again to tone it down. So, I stopped doing the worksheet that we had been given, gathered up my stuff, and moved as far from him as possible, while remaining in the room. He thought it was cute. The demoralised, burned-out Whitireia staff did nothing about this idiot.
They didn't have the authority to tell the little scumbag to leave the room. When I complained to one of the teachers, her excuse was that Mr. Loudmouth had a learning disability. And she said that I needed to learn to tolerate it, because, and I quote, "This is how people act in professional workplaces". Near the end of the year, Whitireia hired a new teacher who was a hardened veteran of many years of high school. She was stunned. She eventually flipped out, and would scream at the entire classroom full of paying adult students.
In her last class of the year, she repeatedly went over to Mr. Loudmouth to lean down and scream at him, desperately trying get him to shut up. Whitireia managers Beth Derby, Mary Manderson, and Leanne Pool told me that I was a bad student and a bad person for daring to form any kind of negative opinion of their institution, including their lack of intake standards and lack of discipline.
Kelly, you hardly spent time in the principal's office, but you worked in the principal's office during your study hall? What a classic move on your school's part. LOL They had their eye on you. They loved you because you were so creative and funny and ornery, but they knew you were walkin' on the edge. LOL How do I know this? Because you just told my story!! When I started teaching in the school district I grew up in, I went around and apologized to each teacher.
Students believe teachers hate them or dislike them, usually because of their [student's] behavior.
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I found my teachers loved me, but I didn't know that. I was damned funny in school. LOL They loved my personality and spirit, and they looked out for me in ways I didn't know. I get it now that I am on the teaching side. It's about saving kids, not punishing them. Hi Ruchira! I hope your son has a great school year. Teachers can be pivotal in the lives of our kids. Thanks so much for dropping by and voting! If you want to print this off and put it in your son's folder to take to school for his teacher, that would be all right.
I bow to you! I have no problem, hereby, dubbing you "Saint Susan. Louis, MO. Well now that explains why I spent so much time in the hall and hardly any at all in the prinicpals office! Except 4th hour - I didn't get a study hall - they made me work in the prinicpals office: LOL I got suspended too because I was taking the hall pass from the office and going around getting all my friends out of class by telling the teacher "the principal would like to see "so and so" I made it work for me!
I was a pretty good student too - I was just real routy! Excellent piece of advise here, susan. My kid is already in awe of going back to school 'cause of the teacher. He is not worried of academics but the teacher Wish I could fwd this hub to his teacher Jenn, thanks for sharing your story. Your situation sounds like a challenge. I hope you write about it to help others become aware. My girlfriend taught in an inner-city school. She said she got into trouble by the administration for trying to break up a fight.
Then the next day the parents showed up and they, with the kids, fought. The administration disappeared. I wish I had an answer for that type of classroom, but I don't. Again, thanks for sharing, and I do encourage you to write about your experiences. You are absolutely right, we constantly need to learn new ways to teach. Each year brings something new. I think you give some practical information and agree with alot of what you say.
However, working in an urban school that is the worst in the state, literally the hall and office strategies do not work mainly because there is no follow through on the other end. Students have learned that there are inconsistencies in our school and they take advantage of that.
It would almost appear as if they were the ones running the school. That being said, it is up to the individual teacher to establish a routine and protocol for those students that exhibit behavior problems. As a special educator, I believe like you stated that establishing a tone on the first day is the most important thing you must do. I always establish my routines and then give the students some ability to help make the rules and consequences for when they are broken. Giving them ownership in their classroom will only help encourage them to hold others accountable when they act out.
It is simply amazing to see who the leaders in the class become sometimes they are some of the worst students. In addition, establishing a rapport with your students is very important. When they get to know you and you get to know them it is much easier to establish a learning environment. It is realistic to assume that this will depend on the classroom and the makeup of children in it, but as teachers we must be adaptable. I have learned over my 12 years of teaching in non traditional environments alternative schools, juvenile placements, aka jails, and failing schools that teaching is a constant process whereby we are also learning new ways to reach those we teach.
Thanks for sharing it, Linda! Wow, I admire your daughters teaching the little ones. I did 8 weeks of student teaching in 1st grade. I have great respect for elementary teachers because I could not do their job. Both of my daughters are teachers. One teaches kindergarten and the other teaches PreK. I hear their stories of Kids Gone Wild! I'm going to share this hub with them for some lessons from a seasoned pro.
Thank you for sharing these great tips:. Thanks, Lord de Cross! Nah, no ulcers from the kids for me. They are great once they understand the lines that can't be crossed. I appreciate your kind words. I bet you were a great student! I was a quiet and good boy when I was a kid. But, teaching today for me is out of the question.
You teachers go through so much that I wonder if you have to deal with ulcers and psychosomatic effects. This was very informative and I admire your work. Twenty years is a lifetime sentecne in other 'areas' of life. Hope you had a nice New Year and Thanks for being an excellent woman. Thanks, Kheyward! I love teaching. Kid are a joy, but you do have to be prepared to deal with those kids who try to be difficult.
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I have edited the part two segment of this hub, so it does not appear yet. I have had good luck with these techniques at school and at home - lol. I admire anyone who has a passion for teaching our kids these days. I know it can be a hared profession especially given the lack of respect mnay children give teachers. Hats off to you and all teachers out there. Thanks, Manthy! Even when I get a class who tests me, I come in hard and lighten up as I go. It is a learning process for all of us. Yes, it is the teachers like you that have made an impact on my life - unfortunately where I come from, it's not always easy to be a teacher, and many aren't like you and your colleagues.
When a teacher is like you, the students will immediately notice and respond too Charlotte, you would be pleasantly surprised to find that many teachers are like me.