Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How to Handle Students That Push Buttons

If you are reading this article right now, then you have a student, students, or even a class that knows how to push your buttons.  

Before you make for final decision to leave teaching altogether and embark in a career as a professional circus tightrope walker, read this article.  This article will provide helpful classroom tips that will help you make it through the rest of the year.

1.  Don't Take It Personal

This first tip might seem hard, but it is so true. Many students are well meaning.  After a long day, a pile of things to do, and deadlines, it might feel as though a student is targeting you directly.  By reminding yourself that it is not personal, it will be much easier to forget about a bad school encounter when you get home.

2.  Establish Relationships
Celebrating successes and having brief chitchats will let a student know that you are redirecting a behavior but have genuine care and concern about the student's school success.  At the beginning of the school year, I like to call parents just to introduce myself and let them know something good that I have observed.  Having students fill out a sheet that lists hobbies and interests also helps.  These conversations are great bridge builders.  If there is a problem later on, a parent and child will know that you come from a genuine place of concern.

3.  Have Check-Ins
Sidestepping bad behavior before it happens is helpful.  I use behavior plans with students that have repetitive disruptive behaviors.  A student can do a progress check every hour, in the mornings or afternoons or  just once a day.  This helps students become more self-aware.  This also make it easier to identify any triggers that lead to problematic behaviors such as transition times, lunch, etc.

4.  Celebrate Good Things
Point out the times when a student is following directions and celebrate it.  This is often very helpful.

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