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How to Control Yourself in Front of Students with Challenging Behavior

How to Control Yourself in Front of Students with Challenging Behavior | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Today I would like to summative the topic " How to control yourself in front of students with challenging behaviors?" I choose this topic because, in my opinion, this can be one of the most critical things which can happen in the classroom and the short- and long term damage can be irreparable and you can easily have lost the respect and joy of the students to participate in your class. It can also cause a career-damaging impact in your life and you may also lose the joy at teaching if you are not prepared for this situation.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Hakan B. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Keep in Contact with Parents

I would like to suggest the following methods and behavior codex to control yourself in front of students with challenging behaviors? Firstly I would strongly recommend having feedback/ stay in contact with the parents of the students with challenging behavior, I agree that this may not prevent his/her behavior in the classroom but you already have communicated it and warned the parents that an unusual situation could come up. Further, I would try to have him/her close to me in the classroom, through my experience in life I learned that challenging behavior less occur when him/ her feel the authority straight next to them. Also, I would strongly recommend to define the expectations towards the students and be firm with those rules you created, i.e.EVERY TIME, ‘this behavior ALWAYS equals this consequence.”

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Set Your Rules

Do not have exceptions and use your rules equal to all students. Try to find the right moment when you discipline the student with the challenging behavior, try to not make it front of the whole class and create an extra provocation platform, back off till you reach privacy and have a then a conversation. Another point to look at it is the fact that you should try to emphasize with your student, try to understand what background could make this challenging behavior happen or what other factors could be count in and then try to create a common ground, maybe you are both the youngest sibling, like the same soccer club or like the same music. When the common ground is reached a productive communication should be easier to happen.

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Ask for Help

Also, there is nothing wrong to ask co-workers of yours who are teaching him/her as well. You could ask if challenging behavior was noticed by some of them, what have their tried to reach out and maybe find a solution all together. Maybe even focus a bit less on the class by itself and the current topic, it's more important to get the student back in the class boat and not let him /her left behind frustrated. Another option is to try the PEER method: Ask yourself if the student with the challenging behavior is good in one subject, so he/she could may teach/tutor another student and show him/her a different approach and some respect in his/her skills and try to create a need in him/her for the class.

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And last: NEVER GIVE UP: No matter the behavior, don’t give up on trying to reach that student…the negativity may be a defense for something deeper that can be seen as a shield, it is our job to teach and found solutions for challenging behavior. You as a teacher should always be open if the students try to talk to you, have an open ear and keep up the good fight!

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