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<<<What are you to do with continued students who are very
distruptive to the rest of the class. I also believed that I would be
able to work pro-actively in order to avoid discipline problems, but it
appears that in a few of the classes there are students who will pose
certain problems. >>>
Try going with the tide. They are leaders (of sorts), so I try giving them a
task - passing out papers, checking on supplies, etc. Massage their egos :
"OK, Bob is going to be in charge of collecting scissors, so you better be
on the ball!". I also try to blunt the blow of getting them back on task by
asking a curveball question first: "Are those sneakers new? They're nice!
Say, where was that project you were working on yesterday - it was coming
Write them notes of encouragement and mail them to their house. Call them.
Win over the loudest ones and the rest become calmer. This won't work with
all of them, but you'll get a few. When they get in trouble and you do have
to call home, call and talk to the kid, and tell them you COULD be talking to
their parents/guardians, but you wanted to talk to them first.
Encourage them when they are doing something, anything right. Sometimes you
need to praise them quietly, so as not to embarrass them. Care about them.
Ask them how things outside of class are going. Find out who is online, and
send them e-mail. I communicate to six or so students this way, and it's
When it comes to punishment, find out if they are on sports teams. Talk to
coaches. This can be very effective, at least in high school. A fairly
effective punishment I've found is to keep them one minute after class.
Passing time is their social time, and they hate losing any. If you are
trying to get someone to move their seat, quietly ask them to move, then walk
away. Avoid confrontations, as they do not want to lose face in front of
Don't get desperate. Remain calm, but firm. I have this posted on my desk:
"The teacher has a right to teach. The student has a right to learn."
I try to remind myself that I *am* in charge. Sometimes I actually feel that