3 Steps to Manage Difficult Students

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How to Manage Difficult Students

Difficult students are annoying and painful

.I bet there are many times when you have been called upon to manage difficult students during your relief teaching gigs.

When you have a student who is so poorly behaved, you felt like screaming. Before you have a go at him like a zombie in The Walking Dead, try this 3 Step Technique.

Trying to manage difficult students is the bane of most teacher's existence. Of course, there are times when you could just scream! We all understand that. While you are trying to teach, THE difficult students will try anything to disrupt you.

Difficult Students can often ...

  • Be so blatantly disrespectful to you;
  • Laugh at inappropriate times
  • Be rude and silly and laugh at themselves
  • Continually and painfully disrupt to your teaching.
Difficult Students

Or rather I should say, his (sometimes her) behaviour is rude and silly because you should focus on the behaviour not the student.

No ... forget political correctness!

The student is rude and silly.

And argumentative

Even an attention seeker

Especially the turk ... Well you get the idea!

manage difficult students

Nothing seems to work. You scratch your head while trying to work out just why he is such a turkey.

There is usually little support from home. For some reason, his behaviour is not sufficiently suspendible. No-one can offer you any advice because there doesn't seem to be an answer. Everything you (and others have tried) is a short term fix at best.

Nothing seems to work for more than a few minutes.

Yep! You are at your wits end. This little turkey is destroying your class and your sanity.

Why are difficult students difficult? 

WHY ...

  • isn't he participating in your activities?
  • doesn't he even try to learn?
  • won't he just behave?

Why?

Because he doesn't have to, that's why.

​He has no personal accountability. 

In fact, this little trouble maker is in the driving seat. He knows ...

  • You don't have an answer
  • There is almost nothing you can about his misbehaviour
  • His parents don't support you.

Difficult Students - What doesn't work!

Despite trying everything, there is a number of processes and strategies that JUST DON'T WORK.

Giving choices never works. Don't give him a choice between doing this or doing that.

Offering difficult students choices is over rated and puts them in the driver seat. Giving choices allows the difficult student to control the agenda. You have handed him the reins over the decision making process and that NEVER ENDS WELL.

Most difficult students believe you DON'T have any ammunition.

BUT YOU HAVE!

You have one of the best consequences you can apply. You have an ...

Managing Difficult Students Action Plan

You have A DIFFICULT STUDENTS ACTION PLAN and YOU are GOING to put the PLAN into place.

Your DIFFICULT STUDENTS ACTION PLAN is not negotiable. The student will have no option but to comply.

Give him your Action Plan Agreement for Poorly Behaved Students. 

NB. A full ACTION PLAN template is available in for FREE for members. Oooops! Not a member yet? That is easily fixed.


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So here is the essence of the DIFFICULT STUDENTS ACTION PLAN. 

The THREE-STEP TECHNIQUE

1

EXPLAIN THE REASON YOU ARE IMPLEMENTING THE PLAN

  • His misbehaviour is so disruptive that you are not confident the students in your class are learning as they should. You have already established your classroom rules and expectations; so the right to learn is paramount.
  • He is accountable for his own behaviour and the choices he is currently making at the moment and unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • As a teacher, you are legally obliged to ensure that students who want to learn have the opportunity to learn.
2

EXPLAIN THE DIFFICULT STUDENTS PLAN

  • There will be no negotiation around any of the points within this plan. ( NB. It is important to deliver these messages without venom and with deep sympathy. (You must at least show you are deeply disappointed that you been forced to put this action plan into place.) Deliver these messages in front of the whole class.
  • Let your difficult student know that a copy has also been given to the principal so it can be posted to his parents.
  • The consequence of this action is that he is no longer considered to be a part of your class.
  • His desk will be moved away from the rest of the class.
  • He can listen to your lessons and must complete the work but the teacher will not interact with him. You will not answer questions. His fellow students will not be interacting with him during class time.
  • When he returns from breaks, he will be the last person the enter the classroom and must move straight to his desk.
  • He is accountable for his own behaviour and the choice to misbehave will not be tolerated.
  • He can return only after completing the RETURN TO CLASS AGREEMENT in the action plan.
3

EXPLAIN THE RETURN TO CLASS PROCEDURE

  • He can return only after completing the RETURN TO CLASS AGREEMENT in the action plan.

IMPLEMENTING THE DIFFICULT STUDENTS ACTION PLAN

  • This plan must NEVER be overused and is for extremely difficult students only.
  • You should only have ONE student on an action plan - AT ANY ONE TIME.
  • Never chain the DIFFICULT STUDENTS ACTION PLAN together. Don't move one student off and another student one. Ensure there is a suitable period of time before using this strategy again.​
  • Don't make the implementation page a PUNITIVE MEASUREThe Difficult Students Action Plan is NOT a punishment. It is a SOLUTION to a PROBLEM.

QUALIFYING STATEMENTS

  • This plan must NEVER be overused and is for extremely difficult students only.
  • You should only have ONE student on an action plan - AT ANY ONE TIME.
  • Never chain the DIFFICULT STUDENTS ACTION PLAN together. Don't move one student off and another student one. Ensure there is a suitable period of time before using this strategy again.​
  • Don't make the implementation page a PUNITIVE MEASUREThe Difficult Students Action Plan is NOT a punishment. It is a SOLUTION to a PROBLEM.

Would you like more ideas on How to Manage Student Behaviour?


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