3 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Students

Many children would rather be bad than stupid. So one reason why they misbehave is they don’t want to be failures. The Raise Responsibility System is the foundation for handling irresponsible behavior. However, some students require special discipline attention in order to help them become more responsible.  Here are three suggestions to try.

1. Coach

Think of young people as lacking skills, rather than as being noncompliant. Few students are maliciously non-compliant. We teach young people how to swing a baseball bat, how to play a musical instrument, and how to drive a car. We do not give up on them, nor do we resort to imposed punishment. We coach them.

2. Give Start Directions

Students with short attention spans have a difficult time getting started on a task. Therefore, give clear, concise start directions, such as, “Feet on the floor, back straight, pencil and paper in proper position.” Also, have students complete the following to themselves, “The first thing I see myself doing is.…” Helping a youngster start with self-talk assists in becoming successful.

3. Use Creative Approaches

When there are distractions, teach students to label them. One teacher used this strategy when construction was going on outside her classroom. She taught her students to label the noise “distraction” and that doing so would help them refocus on their task. She told me that this strategy saved her semester. Another idea is to have students count the number of times they return to their tasks. Tracking them increases the likelihood that students will stop and think about what they are doing.