In every class, there are a couple of students who seem to always break the momentum of class. They make it impossible for teachers to deliver their lectures and maintain class dynamics. The problematic students don’t always misbehave with the staff or their class fellows. Their behavior can be unsettling for you and the class. If you find a student who ignores what you say or makes funny noises in class then you must handle them carefully. Don’t dread having a problematic student enrolled in your class, in fact, look forward to their presence and how you can bring a change in their behavior as a teacher.
“The student may be rude, disrespectful, disruptive, obnoxious, or otherwise annoying. It’s just human nature; some personalities clash. But instead of feeling guilty about our feelings, we can take positive steps to improve them,” says school psychologist and teacher Shelley Krapes.
It often happens that teachers try changing their teaching techniques. However, the behavior of difficult students remains the same. If you have had the privilege of teaching the naughty ones then you might already know how tricky it can be. “Teachers are getting overwhelmed with responsibilities,” says Ronald Palomares, Ph.D. “How much can they do at such a high level of expectation and still be successful?”
In order for you to figure out the actual reason behind this change, it is important that you closely look at their class activities. If there is the slightest possibility that your student might be suffering from a mental illness then you must guide them in the right direction. You can encourage them to join a depression chat room and try talking it out. Depression chat rooms are great for those who aren’t comfortable while talking. However, you can do the following in the meanwhile. If you want a controlled classroom with fewer disturbances then you can imply a few techniques to your teaching methods.
- Setting Things Straight
At the beginning of a session you cannot directly imply which students are going to be a problem; however, you can ask around to be prepared. Once you get your student list, get in touch with their previous class teachers and inquire about their behaviors. Few names will automatically stand out; you will notice that the same names will pop up. These students are going to be the naughty ones so naturally controlling them is important to maintain discipline. So instead of discouraging them or belittling them, as a teacher, you must put your faith in them. Schedule individual meetings with the troubled students and tell them that you won’t judge them for their previous behavior.
- Be A Mentor
Usually, the most difficult students are a result of a difficult childhood or bad parenting. You cannot know why a kid is behaving in a certain manner. Sometimes kids are a victim of abuse and other times they are neglected by their parents completely. So, in order to get attention, they act out. It is important that teachers become role models for such students and help them out. Kids notice and then adapt to behaviors. Try talking to them and be more positive towards them. Encouragement and trust are two factors that have a great impact on a student’s progress.
If you are in a meeting with one of your students, then it is important that you make a connection with them. Talk to them about the time when you were in a similar situation and how you got out of it. Talk to them about their interests, dreams and encourage them to achieve them. Layout the possibility of joining good colleges in the future. Once you have developed a positive relationship with your students, you will be amazed at how quickly they will learn and open up to you.
- Constant Encouragement
As much as it is important to correct students when they are wrong, it is equally important to encourage them. Even if you see the smallest of improvements, make sure you encourage them. Write small notes for them encouraging them on their behavior, this will motivate them to perform better.
As a teacher, you must always be prepared and expect the unexpected. Put your faith and trust in your students. It is important that you remain calm during your sessions and try to be as polite as possible.
“The vast majority of teachers care deeply for and about their students. Yet by middle school, less than half of all students believe they would be missed by their teacher(s) if they didn’t come to school. Perhaps we need to be more demonstrative in showing the caring that is in our hearts.” – Dr. Allen Mendler, school psychologist.