How do I work with disruptive students in my class?

How do I work with disruptive students in my class? Accept how you feel, its disempowering to be trying to teach while some students disrupt your plans and seem to have the power to get the rest of the class behind them. Remember you are not the only teacher asking, How do I work with disruptive students in my class?

Try to keep your cool. In all probability the students you struggle with are probably unsettled, beyond being reasoned with and are most likely in an agitated state. This may not be the time to speak to them about consequences and sanctions, this might only make matters worse, think about how you would feel if you were feeling stressed and confused and the only time you feel powerful is when you are with your friends.

Then, think about how you would be if someone was threatening you with sanctions in front of your friends and, as you would see it, the removal of your power by making you do as they wished. You would probably want to hang on to your power and fight to do so.

Remember if you feel angry, it may not be your anger but the energy you are picking up from the student and remember if you act out on your anger  you will be coming from a place of loss of control and emotional instability.

Try and stay calm and be observant of the student’s mood. Speak calmly and clearly, appealing to this mood rather than to the student. You have nothing to worry about except your own feelings and how they may influence your behaviour. If the student won’t settle, then follow protocol with care and attention, be bounded and always anticipate meeting with the student afterwards. Not to tell them how to be in your class but rather to ask them what happened that lead them to act out. Be interested and concerned and remember punishment is there to teach rather than to punish. In this way you make learners rather than enemies.

Do not make the big mistake of using the school behaviour management system as a tool to develop good teacher-student relationships, this is never going to work.

Never has, never will.

Keep in mind:

-The challenging student needs to learn, no doubt, but she will only be able to do so when there is some kind of relationship between you both.

-It is well known that challenging youngsters have internalised distortions of effective communications. Read any good literature on Attachment Theory (perhaps the most widely researched and evidenced of all the theories there have ever been on how people tick).

-They have lived with coercion, shame and threatening behaviour. If you threaten them in accordance with a behaviour system with fear, anger and intolerance in your heart, they will remember and fall into patterns they are familiar with. “Familiar” and “Family” come from the same root, particularly in this case.

-Instead, seek to understand what the blocks are between you both. Feel calm, remember what you are – a person who role-models learning.

-Remember, like everyone else, there are things about yourself that you would like to change BUT you are not going to get in touch with any of these issues in school where you are calm, bounded, professional and reflective.

-Whatever your student thinks you maybe, you are not, they do not know you and never will….how can they? You are neither friend nor parent. They just need to see the one side of you, a controlled, caring rational, teacher.

-You do not have to go overboard and counsel your student every time you meet. All you have to do is show calm interest and care…a few words…a genuine glance, maintained eye contact, a bit of a smile, nod of the head, real, low key, praise where it’s deserved…nothing over the top. Remember too much emotion will create arousal and enable memory system recall and you do not want this in you class.

If you have found this blog speaks about some of the things you have been thinking, like my daughter is self harming Maybe you might consider contacting me, we can talk about counselling and the other therapeutic options you have available to you.

From the New Forest to Bournemouth and Poole I have enabled young people, couples and families and individuals to understand what is happening for them and together we have created a better life.

When I work this week in Bournemouth, Poole or Dorset as a counsellor, couple counsellor, teenage and adolescent counsellor, family counsellor and family therapist, offering Family counselling and marriage guidance, marriage counselling, teenage counselling and adolescent counselling to individuals and couples with differing forms of anxiety and depression feeling anxious and depressed, I may use CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Attachment Theory, Mindfulness, Psychodrama, Person Centred Therapy, Humanistic Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Solution Focused Therapy, Integrative Therapy or Family Therapy or Attachment Theory…I am mindful to that counselling offers us new opportunities and possibilities for us to develop our knowledge, commitment and understanding of ourselves and each other.