Most teachers have had an experience with a student that was particularly challenging. Whether the student didn’t listen to direction or refused to abide by disciplinary measures, teachers had to overcome a tough situation. Happenings like these push the teacher to improve and the results can be impressive, where the challenging student may even become a leader in the classroom. There are steps that can be taken to turn around a seemingly negative situation.
Set the Tone
Once teachers get their class roster, it may be beneficial to ask the student’s former teachers for insight on the student before the school year begins. If there are students that are known to be tough, other teachers can reveal that information ahead of time. With the research completed in advance, a teacher can look forward to working with said student instead of wanting to avoid it. Once the students are in the classroom, it can also be positive to meet with certain students to build a sense of trust and to set expectations for them.
Be a Mentor
Students that are labeled to be a challenge in the classroom typically come from less than ideal home environments. They come to school seeking attention many times if they feel they don’t receive what they need at home. A teacher has the power to positively influence this student’s life. Show that you care about the person aside from their ability to grasp their coursework. Be available and trustworthy. These things can have a longstanding impact for the better.
Take the time to talk about the student’s life goals and aspirations. Upon discovering their interests, use that information to connect and relate to them. Areas such as sports, music, food, and clothing can be a jumping off point for forming a genuine relationship. The student will be more likely to open up if they can trust their teacher on a relatable level.
To learn more tips on how teachers can connect with challenging students, visit Edutopia here.