Behavior Management is important in any classroom. Instead of focusing on classroom management as a whole, I am going to be focusing on working with “difficult” students. In my student teaching, I have come across multiple difficult students and if you have not, it is bound to happen. As teachers and past students, we know that it is impossible to learn when placed in a negative setting. It is important to work with these students while maintaining a positive setting for all students.
From the article, “A Mindset Shift to Continue Supporting the Most Frustrating Kids” the author borrows a phrase from Ross Greene. This phrase is “Kids do well if they can”. It is important to remind these kids that they are there to learn and we are there to help them in their path. Outside of school, we do not know what the students are going through at home or in other places. When the author talks about a situation where one of his students said, “You don’t really care about kids, you’re just here for the money.” I was shocked! I could not imagine being in that situation where one of my students think I do not care about them. This is why it is so important to build relationships with students. For some students, teachers are their only guidance.
In the article, “A Process for Responding to Your Most Challenging Students”, the authors list three ways to respond to students. The first way is identifying the student’s strengths. This is important for a variety of reasons. To start, we are all different learners so it is important to provide a variety of ways to teach students to assist in their learning. For individual students, particularly challenging ones, it is important to give them opportunities to shine in the classroom. This will help with motivation and help with their behavior. The next way is skill-building. This is wonderful because it not only keeps the student working towards bettering themselves, it helps build a relationship by showing that we care. The last way is to shift the focus from the student to strategy. This is more of a learning opportunity as a teacher. By focusing on what we can do better as teachers, we are not only helping ourselves but providing better opportunities for our students.
In the article, “Brains in Pain Cannot Learn”, the author talks about three ways to help students calm their stress. The first is movement. By having students move around, they are able to relieve their irritation in a safe and effective way. These can be done through brain breaks after or between lessons. The next way is focused attention practices. This is done by having the student take deep breaths, they are focusing on themselves and can only take a few minutes to do. The final way is understanding the brain. This section explains how we cannot control the student’s emotions but we should focus on teaching them ways to control it themselves. No one likes to be sad or angry so by teaching them strategies to help cope with their emotions, we are able to help them in the classroom and in life.
In the article, “What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong”, the authors talk about negative consequences can cause worse bad behavior. I found this article interesting because negative consequences have been something around in the school system for years and years. This is because it is what we know because we as students had it. We are comfortable with it. It is hard to change what is comfortable but if it is what is best for students, it needs to change. With Will, they found out that he was swinging his belt for a reason. It is important to talk to students and understand why they are performing this behavior rather than just punishing them.
Overall, working with difficult students can be difficult! Hence the name. We need to keep in mind that we are working with someone’s child and more importantly, we are working with a human being. We are teaching them to become an adult. If we just yell and punish them, we are not teaching them anything. We are not teaching them how to cope and if they are in a bad environment, they will not be able to learn.