Three Tips for Teaching “Tough Kids”

Posted: August 5, 2015 in Sports and Education
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Every teacher remembers his or her first experience dealing with a “tough kid”. That kid may have ignored you, laughed at you, consistently disrupted class by distracting the other students, or through or ways. Teaching difficult students and learning how to deal with them will make you a better teacher in the long run. Here are three tips that will help you deal with your first “tough kid” in class.

  • You want to set the tone during the first week of the school year. This doesn’t mean that you should come down as a hard disciplinarian. What this means is that you should speak to the so called troublemakers, lay out your expectations for them for this upcoming school year, and ensure that they get a clean slate so that they don’t feel targeted.
  • Sometimes, students who cause disturbances in the classroom are doing so to seek attention that that are not receiving at home. Often kids who are the troublemakers have problems at home and, therefore, act out. Take this into consideration and make an effort to talk to them and be a positive mentor.
  • The worst thing you can do is give up on the troublemakers. You need to attempt to make a connection with all of your students, especially the troublemakers. This will encourage them in the classroom and possibly improve their behavior.

Debra Purcell-Regis is a retired teacher in Old Brookville, New York. She taught high school history and literature classes for 25 years. She works for the local community center as a part-time volunteer coordinator.

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