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Lesson Plans

Re: help!

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Teresa Tipton (
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 22:58:03 -0800 (PST)

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I recommend that you find a way to disarm the power of the student who is
trying to control you and the classroom by their behavior and remarks by
using a pointed question about the comment. Find a way to turn the
situation around so that you assert your "authority" over the students
acting out. Afterall, it is their way of testing you. If you ignore it, it
only gives them power over you and it will escallate.

I have had a number of these situations happen to me and I've come to see
them as a power struggle with males who have not have good role models in
their lives and hence continue some kind of adolescent separation struggle
as if you are their mother.

"Why is that important to you? What do you mean by that? What do others of
you think?....etc. Try to turn the situation around and use questions as a
tool for you to get your point across that the comments are inappropriate.
If you confront them directly, it only fuels their passive aggressive rage
against you and leads to more surrepiticious behaviors. Use humor, make a
joke out of a comment, even agree with them sometimes - all of these can
diffuse the situation.

Teresa Tipton

On 24 Mar 1997 shampi07 wrote:

> I am currently student teaching at a small school in Northern New
> York. I have written in for advice before. I am teaching a studio art
> class of students in grades 9-12. I have to do a curriculum unit for my art
> methods class and I chose to do it with this class. I really felt that
> there was good chemistry between the students and I. Well, now that I have
> started to teach the students this has changed. I have several students,
> all boys who insist on disrupting the class. I have one in particular who
> personally attacks me as far as my teaching skills. I have talked with my
> cooperating teacher about this student and she says that he has a real mean
> streak. He is the first student in 22 years of teaching that has ever
> reduced her to tears.
> He says things like, "We aren't the worst students you'll ever have
> so if you can't handle us then you won't make it anywhere." Which is
> strange to me since they are all working and in their seats. I appear to be
> handeling things until he starts in. There are many other things he says
> that are very hurtful, but I doubt that you would have the time to read the
> list!!!! This has continued and it is the third time I have taught. Many
> of the students are wonderful in the class and I hate to see them suffer
> because of his attitude toward me. Like I said, I chose to do my unit with
> this class because I am a very easy going person who likes to have fun and I
> thought the students in that class would really be great to work with.
> Also, this student hs been putting down the color unit I have planned for
> them, I tried to do something fun and interesting, but it seems no matter
> what I do he complains and then others follow his lead and I come home
> feeling like a failure. Sorry this is so long, but I am at a loss for
> answers! Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,
> Rebecca
> Student teacher
> St. Lawrence U./SUNY
> Potsdam

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