Sometimes when you’re the teacher of a class it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day running of things and use your tried and tested strategies that have always worked.
But, what happens if something changes in the class, such as a new student arrives, and what you always did in the past no longer works?
The teacher, Miss D, needs your help with some suggestions of how she can assist a student that is presenting challenging behaviors.
How the teacher currently manages student behavior
Miss D is the teacher of a Grade 2 class that has 25 students. Miss D uses positive reinforcement to encourage students. The students are often told they are “fabulous”, “wonderful”, “great” and other positive words.
Miss D uses one main method to manage disruptive behaviors. If the child is being very difficult he/she is asked to put his/her name in the thinking book, located at the front of the classroom. The child must write their name in the book and the reason for their misbehavior. If that student’s name appears in the book three times in one day, a letter is sent home to the parents. A new page starts each day, so every child has the chance to start afresh.
Miss D also manages disruptive behavior by sending the child outside where they must count to one hundred. If the whole class is getting a bit loud or disruptive the teacher will put her hands in the air or clap. The last group to mimic the teacher loses points off their group tally. At the end of the week, the group with the most points gets to select a prize from the prize box.
The challenging behavior
Miss D has been quite happy with her management of the class, but a new student, Jake, has joined the class in the last few weeks, which has disrupted the dynamics of the whole class.
Jake spends most of his time walking around the room and has difficulty completing tasks. He wanders around the room trying to avoid the other children. When Miss D tries to redirect his focus, he gets upset and sometimes cries and does not want to participate in the lesson. The other children from the class are starting to avoid him and he spends most of his time in the playground alone. Jake’s behavior shows some improvement in the afternoon.
Miss D has noticed that Jake enjoys math, drawing and any creative classes. However, whenever there are lessons involving reading or writing, including homework, Jake does not try very hard to complete the lesson. He often does not make any attempt to read, instead, he provokes and disturbs those around him. When asked why he is acting in this manner, he replies with comments such as “it’s boring” or “I don’t want to do it”.
What the teacher has tried
Miss D has tried her usual management techniques, lots of praise to encourage Jake and using the thinking book when Jake is off task and disturbing other students. These do not seem to be working, and nearly every day Miss D is sending a letter home to the parents.
Miss D has asked for our help. She is unsure how to assist Jake with engaging in lessons and also how to help him interact with the other students as well as make friends. So a couple of questions for you:
- What advice would you give Miss D?
- What strategies and techniques can Miss D apply?
- Are there any programs you could recommend that Miss D could implement in her class that could also benefit Jake?
Thank you and a prize
As a thank you for your time and effort in responding I will be offering a free teaching resource from my store to one lucky winner. The winner will be able to pick any item from my store up to the value of $7.00.
Each person that responds will be entered into the draw, and I will randomly choose the winner. The entries for the prize close on Sunday 23 March, 6pm WST (that’s Perth, Western Australia time). The winner will be announced on my Facebook page on Monday and the winner will receive the prize by email.
Thanks for your thoughts.
For more on classroom management and building an effective classroom see these:
- 20 Quotes To Help You Build An Effective Classroom
- How To Take Charge Of Your Unruly Class
- My Most Common Teaching Mistake
- Would You Rather Be A Good Teacher Or An Outstanding Teacher?
Graphic Credits: Alice Smith