While teaching can be a rewarding profession, working with children who resist learning can cause frustration and stress, as well as prevent children who do want to learn from doing so. However, it is possible to teach children resistant to your methods. You have the power to help kids who don't want to learn; to do so, follow a straightforward process.
Identify the behavior. Though it may appear that a child is acting out to annoy you, there usually are patterns to the student's behavior. Analyze the character and frequency of the child's problem behavior to decide whether the child is shy, scared, heckling you, talking to friends or other problematic actions. By understanding and describing what the child is doing, you can best address the issue. You might keep a written record of serious misbehavior.
Identify the cause. This will not always be possible; however, a child undergoing traumatic events in his personal life is more likely to act out. Because of this, many schools know about divorces and other family traumas that might affect children. However, it is important to treat these matters sensitively and privately.
Consider your responses. No matter what the child's problematic behavior, stay calm and cool and address him as a friend. Be authoritative. However, avoid being aggressive or seeing yourself as the victim, which is an ineffective approach to the student and also will harm your relationships with other students in the class.
Change your approach to the child during class. If you normally call on the student often and he answers aggressively, don't call on him for several turns; similarly, if the student never speaks, try putting students into small groups to urge him out of his shell. Make eye contact with the student, and give positive reinforcement for contributions.
Talk to the child after class. In cases of extreme bad behavior, you may need to speak to the child and/or her parents after class. In these cases, it is important not to be aggressive. Approach the meeting as an opportunity to reformulate your attitudes toward the class to make it the most positive experience possible.
Use external aids. When children have severe problems or dangers in their home life, ranging from divorce to suspected child abuse, you should not address them alone. Instead, alert your school's principal and social worker, who can decide whether to contact the authorities and, if so, who to contact. In some cases, extremely unmotivated children have suffered at home, making it difficult for them to engage in their schoolwork; when you get impatient with them in class, keep in mind that you might not know the whole story.
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