As educators, I know that you understand what I mean when I say "that student".
I have had several of "that student" in one class at a time.
I have been know to be able to build rapport with "that student".
And I have to admit that "that student" is the one that I've learned the most from in my 10 years of teaching.
"That student" is the one that I will have grown the closest with by the end of the school year.
If I'm around town, "that student" will run up to me and say hi or give me a big hug, even after being out of my class for several years.
1. You, as the teacher, are the one who is in control of the climate in your classroom. The way you handle situations, no matter how big or small, will determine how your students respond and react then and in the future. I'm not going to lie and say that I was always the best teacher at handling things thrown at me. Are there times that I have raised my voice? Yes! Are there time that I went back and forth with a student and let them have all the power? Or course! It happens to the best of us. Every year that I have taught has helped me learn how to control the climate of my classroom better. I now know that if they come in dragging, I might have to be overenthusiastic to reel them in. Or if they come back from lunch a touch to active, I am the calming effect. This also goes along with how you react to "that child". If you react with anger, you will get anger back, but a lot of times if you react with love--they will learn that you care about them. Just know that you have that control. You are the thermometer of your class!
2. Get to know every student. Yes, even "that student". Often "that student" is the one that would benefit from it the most. Am I saying spend all of your time getting to know "that student" and not the others? No way! I am saying get to know all of your students- like, dislikes, hobbies, their triggers, etc. If you do this, you will be able to understand why they choose to do certain things, but you will also build a better relationship with them. I say hi every child, whether they belong to me (are in my class) or not. I want them to know that I notice them, that they are important, and that someone cares. I am often drawn to "that student" because I want to know more about their triggers and what they care about. If I know these 2 things, there time in my class will be much easier for me. I can stop something that might trigger them or even teach them a coping strategy for the next time. If I know they accelerate in sports, you bet I will be on the sideline cheering them on. I can see some of you shaking your heads-no, not EVERY game or event - I don't necessarily have to stay the entire time. I need to make sure they know I am there supporting them. This has been a game changer for me.
3. Redirect and reteach instead of punishing. This should be common sense to most of us, but I knew I needed to add it to my list. If a student make a mistake or a bad choice, you do not always have to punish them. Shocking.. I know! Often if you review the procedures/rules and have them practice them, the problem can easily be fixed. And woohoo- NO discipline referral!! Will this work every time. No! Will this work for severe in fractions of rules, like fighting, cursing, etc? NO WAY!! Use it wisely. I have been thanked by assistant principals for not writing my kids up for every little thing. I probably have a lower discipline referral rate than most teachers I have worked with. Is it because I get all the "good kids"? Nope. Its because I heed the advice I just gave you. Even though I teach 8th grade, my students will make bad choices occasionally. Most of the time I can redirect their attention back to where it should be OR I can reteach the procedure that is in place. Most of the time "that student" will get it after a handful of times. Does it always get corrected that quickly? No way! But every student if different. I also firmly believe this has helped me build rapport because I handle it in my classroom instead off giving the responsibility to someone else. (I have written up discipline referrals, but that is after redirecting/reteaching, conferencing with them, and conferencing with their parent.)
Hopefully, you will be able to take my top 3 thing to remember and apply them to your class next year. They work with all students and not just "that student".
Do you have any tips or trips that you use with "that student"? Comment and leave them below... I am always looking for new tips and tricks to add to my teaching.
Tomorrow, I will be back with the next section of
Unshakeable - be truly present & look for the light bulb moments. And it is going to be good... see ya then!