A teacher wrote me that she has a few students who don’t want to acknowledge their irresponsible behaviors. She said that it usually results in their being late for their next class due to the personal conversation she has with them before they leave her class. She asked, “What do I do with these stuents who don’t want to cooperate?”
Here is my response to Teresa:
Have a quick individual conversation with each student and ask, “If you had the possibility of choosing a leader for the class, whom would you choose? Name a second person.”
I would then compile the names from these students. Then, I would have a conversation with the person who was chosen the most number of times. Let the person know that you compiled a list of leaders and this person came out highest. Then let the person know that you have a problem and the only person you can turn to is that student. Ask the student if he/she would be willing to help you.
When the student agrees, put the student in charge of having the others understand that they are operating on Level A or Level B of the Hierarchy of Social Development. Also, have the leader inform the others in question that they are doing so because of external motivation—trying to impress others. Also, have the leader inform the others that they are being victims of their impulses and that the leader has confidence in them to act responsibly because it will be in their own best interests.
When you empower students and ask them to help you, the positive results are amazingly successful.