What Works with Students Who Avoid or Refuse to Work

 

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What Works with Students

Who Avoid or Refuse to Work

 

 


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What Works with Students

 

Who Avoid or Refuse to Work

 

work refusal articleThey are without a doubt among the hardest students to reach and teach. I’m talking about students who avoid school tasks or refuse to work entirely. Some may become almost mute, others won’t even make eye contact, but the common thread is that the student is drastically underperforming when it comes to accepting, completing and returning assignments. If you’re like most teachers, you never had a class in college called Introduction to Helping Students Who Avoid Work, but you probably wish there had been lots of courses exactly like that. You don’t have to go back to college. Help is right here in this how-to article.

If you want even more strategies and information that can produce improved results from students who avoid or refuse school work, come to our Seattle Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop on April 18-19, 2019 and get hours of detailed, step-by-step instruction on how to maximize your impact on these difficult to teach students. Hello from the course instructor, Youth Change Professional Development Workshops director, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. That’s a picture of me teaching in Seattle a couple years ago. I hope to see you back there in April when you can actually list out for me the student problems you want me to cover. You’ll leave with 200 use-now, more effective strategies.

 

Innovative Strategies for Students

 

Who Avoid or Refuse to Work

students who don't finish their work

 

Stop the Power Struggle

Most teachers know that is very easy to end up in a power struggle with students who don’t do much school work or none at all. As a mental health professional, I really need to point out that no adult ever won a power struggle and not adult ever will. So, if you have to admit that you do feel a bit like you are in a power struggle with some of your work refusing students, Step #1 has to be to acknowledge that to the youngster, declare a truce and back off for a moment.

Here’s why many or most students refuse work: Much of the time, these children and teens are terribly weighed down by some type of problem. Perhaps a parent is violent or missing. Perhaps they have an undiagnosed or diagnosed learning disorder that makes school work miserable. Maybe they are distracted or unmotivated. In this short article, we’ll focus on the first students mentioned above, the ones that are struggling with some type of emotional, social or learning problem. There are dozens of  free expert, how-to articles our site covering poor motivation that you can read. Building motivation in work refusing students can be a good help but if a student is too busy trying to stay awake after all-night domestic violence, motivation is only going to take you so far. Instead, being sensitive to what the child may be living through, may be a much more effective approach. Remember: You may be the only sane, sober adult in some students’ orbit. You definitely don’t want to add burdens. You want to be on their side as much as you can. Stopping any power struggles and explicitly talking about how to manage the work refusal is a great place to begin again.

students who don't finish their work

 

Ask the Expert

Who you think just might be the best expert to help you figure out how to best work with a student who is avoiding or refusing to work? That student. No one else may know why they are doing so little, so ask then listen carefully to the response you get when you ask for the reason for not wanting to start or complete tasks. If the student answers that they don’t know why, then ask “If you did know why, what might it be?” If that unexpected strategy fails, switch the focus to a friend or someone in popular culture and ask the student why that person might refuse to work. That switch may yield important clues and by shifting the focus to someone else, you may get more truth than the student would tell you otherwise.

Whether or not you succeed at getting more information, use the students’ expertise to improve the situation. Ask the student to help you understand what to do and what not to do to assist them. Tell the student you are on their side and don’t want to add to any problems they may already have. Tell the student that with their guidance, perhaps they could do less work on days they are struggling and more work on days they feel more able. Next, cooperatively develop a step by step plan that features tiny, tiny increases. If you aim for bigger increases, that creates the possibility of a big setback if the student fails. If the increase is tiny, and the student is saying that’s “too easy,” that’s perfect. You want the student to have some small successes but without the risk of a big fail. When this youngster fails, they often disappear from school or lose a lot of ground in other areas. This student is all about anxiety. Everything you do must decrease the anxiety because when the student experiences anxiety, that’s when they refuse work or disappear from school or class.

students who don't finish their work

 

It’s About Control

Typically, students who refuse to work are very anxious. They are struggling to cope. When they refuse to work, they are trying to take control over one of the few things in their world that they have any say over at all. You can struggle with them over the control but that is never going to go well. Instead, hand the control to them and you will see improved results. I suggest explicitly talking about control and anxiety with them, and reassuring them that you don’t want to add to their worries. Tell them you want to give them as much control over their work as possible. That can help them be a little less anxious. Their anxiety is the best guide. When it is high, reduce expectations. When it is relatively low, incrementally increase expectations for work. Let them know that you will give them slack when they are struggling, but in return, ask if they could work as hard as they can on days that they are feeling a bit better.

Be sure that these youngsters understand that they are going to need the skills taught in school, and if you two work together, they can accomplish that in a way that doesn’t put any strain on them. Once you are both on the same side, a general relaxation can occur and improvement can happen– but only to a certain extent. For example, students who are awake much of the night because their home is a battleground, will be limited in how much they will be able to do with little sleep and lots of worries.

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students who don't finish their work

 

To Push or Not to Push?

Do I push students who do nothing in school, or do I back off? That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? You may feel that when it comes to students who refuse to work or avoid assignments, it’s lose-lose. If you push, these students tend to double down on their resistance. Many stop showing up for school or class. If you don’t push, then the fear is that you are not educating these youngsters at all. Here’s the solution to this mystery: Both pushing and not pushing result in big fails. “To push or not to push” isn’t even the right question. The better question is “What should I do to get more results from these youngsters? In our workshops, we spend hours answering this question. In this brief how-to article, I can’t fit in the wealth of techniques I’ll be giving in Seattle in April in our Breakthrough Strategies Workshop, but here’s a few key pro tips:

As a mental health professional, I can assure you that typically many students who routinely and seriously refuse or avoid work, are facing some type of emotional, social or behavioral issue that impedes their functioning. Even so, despite the significant (but often not readily apparent or visible) challenges these students may have, most of these youngsters usually have days that are better or worse. On days that this student is struggling, reduce your expectations. On days that this student appears to be doing a bit better, increase your expectations. For example, a girl’s dad is on the road driving a long haul truck 4 days a week. You may notice her functioning is markedly improved when dad is on the road. You may notice the girl’s functioning nose dives when dad returns. That’s the time to cut her slack. Make specific agreements with students that reflect this type of plan.

Students tend to be really grateful to know that you are not going to cause more burdens to be added to their shoulders at times they are already carrying a very heavy load. The upshot is that now that there is no more power struggling over classroom work, and the student realizes that you understand their situation, they tend to work as hard as they can on the days they are able. They also tend to develop a lot of loyalty for you and that helps fuel their desire to work when they aren’t weighed down by whatever they may be going through. As an aside, I have to be sure to remind you to be sure to report any concrete indications of abuse or similar, as you are required by your site.

students who don't finish their work

 

Your Goal

The goal for students who refuse to work can and should be shared with these youngsters. That means you will be sensitive to what trauma, crisis, disability, emotional problem or plight the child is dealing with, but not at the expense of education. There is a balance between being sensitive to what the child may be living through and your mission to educate. If you can find that middle ground between those two parameters, you can really maximize the results these students can achieve.

No, you don’t need to worry about these children taking advantage of you if you are using this methods with students who have a lot of anxiety. That is key. These methods will fail with other populations of students. These intervention methods are designed only for use with students who are anxious or struggling with problems like trauma, domestic violence or loss. Dealing with the anxiety and whatever is causing it, takes so most of this students’ energy and resources. They don’t have much energy or interest left to plot and scheme how to take advantage of your reasonableness and kindness so being manipulated while using these methods is not normally a concern with the target population. Yes, manipulation would occur if you employ these strategies with populations they were not intended for.

If you are using this method with truly anxious and troubled students, they are much more likely to develop enormous loyalty towards you versus expend energy to exploit the accommodations you provide. You may be the only kind, humane adult they interact with. They are unlikely to jeopardize their lifeline. That’s why the best goal is to help them learn to work as hard as they can on days that they’re able. Hearing about that goal can reduce the power struggles and bring relief to children who are awash in pain.

 

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    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

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Must-Know Strategies for the 5 Most Common Student Mental Health Problems

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Must-Know Strategies

for the

5 Most Common

Student Mental Health Problems

 
 

 

student mental healthThere is no question that you are seeing many more student mental health problems than ever before. Many educators typically lack extensive or even basic training on student mental health problems and end up lacking many or all of the honed, more effective strategies and tools that juvenile mental health professionals have developed. This how-to article for educators and other non-mental health professionals is designed to remedy that oversight as much as possible given the limited space we have for a complex topic. This Top 5 list of student mental health problems is based on the feedback of the teachers, principals, school counselors and special educators that have attended our in-person Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshops recently. (You can attend too as our next live conference is coming up soon in Seattle on April 18-19, 2019 — and, even better, our conference scholarships are still open! Just call 800.545.5736 to grab one now.)

Hello from Youth Change Director Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I have spent my career teaching about key student mental health problems and diagnoses to educators and other non-mental health professionals. I am hoping that you will be able to immediately use the information included in this important article for teachers, principals, special educators and other non-mental health professionals who work with children and teens. Even though non-mental health professionals can’t diagnose, the how-to article below is intended to give you the language to better understand, manage and communicate about your students who are struggling with their emotions and/or thoughts.

 

Must-Know Strategies

for the

5 Most Common

Student Mental Health Problems

 

student with conduct disorder1. CONDUCT DISORDER

If you don’t know this disorder backwards and forwards and inside and out, then you are a vulnerable target for your most seriously acting-out students. In our workshops, we spend hours and hours on this disorder because the student who has this disorder is normally by far your most impossible-to-manage student– and this disorder is very common. Affecting an estimated 11-14% of your students, this disorder means that the child or teen is wired differently than other students. Lacking remorse, empathy and relationship capacity, this child’s signature is his extreme acting-out. That was not a misplaced pronoun. “He” is very often a he, not a she. Girls don’t very commonly have this disorder but they can have it, and when they do, their behavior is often beyond extreme.

Here are some passable examples of this disorder from popular culture: J.R. Ewing from the TV show Dallas, Sid the boy in the first Toy Story movie, and Eddie Haskell from Leave It to Beaver. Everyday, ordinary interventions always fail with this population and generally make the situation worse. That means that your go-to interventions that work well or okay with other students, routinely let you down with this population. That’s why working successfully with children who have or may have conduct disorder requires that you use specialized interventions that are different from what you normally use. Since this youngster lacks a heart and relationship capacity, strategies that require empathy or compassion will always fail. There is no way I can capture this problem for you in this tiny space but there are countless free articles on our site to guide you, plus online courses and books. Go to our free, introductory Conduct Disorder mental health article to learn more about this common, serious disorder and to discover the kinds of strategies that must be used– and those that must never be used– with this very difficult-to-control student.

 

student mental health problem

2. CLINICAL DEPRESSION

Sure, lots and lots of adolescents are depressed but that’s not clinical depression. Clinical depression is more serious, more prolonged and more difficult than ordinary adolescent angst. For all mental health diagnoses, a mental health or health professional is needed to diagnose, but whether or not you can diagnose, you can certainly adjust how you work with children and teens who appear to be clinically depressed. The top go-to step for seriously depressed children and teens is working with  a mental health clinician. Next, after that, there are three major strategies that have been shown to be effective. First, depressed students often can benefit from having the chance to vent their concerns. Almost any adult can do a least some listening. Second, exercise, mindfulness training and meditation offer depressed students really useful tools. Along the same line, teaching students how to better manage their upsetting thoughts, can have a lot of value. The third strategy to consider is to arrange with the family for an anti-depressant but there is a risk of self-harm for this option, and this option can be difficult to set up. Studies suggest all three methods together work better than any of the strategies separately.

Depression needs to be taken seriously and it can definitely spur students to behaviors that are very concerning. As a society we are more attuned to paying attention to acting out, not giving as much notice to the more subtle, less obvious, less overt, more quiet phenomena of depression. Don’t let that cultural norm prevent you from devoting time to students whose behavior may be acceptable but their emotional functioning may still be of great concern. Depressed students are just as worthy and needing of your attention as students who command your attention with acting-out behavior. Read more about how to help students who face clinical depression in our free how-to articles.

 

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bipolar disorder

3. BIPOLAR DISORDER

I am including this student mental health problem here not because it is a very common disorder; it’s actually not as common as many other childhood and teen disorders. I am including it because so many of the teachers and principals that I see in my workshops and at conferences, are confused about what this disorder is all about. This disorder used to be called Manic-Depression and I think that old title was really helpful to remind non-mental health workers what this problems is all about. This disorder means that the child or teen gets really depressed then suddenly starts being out-of-control with little in between. They go from 0 miles an hour to 150 miles an hour in a flash. It is a very unpleasant, distressing disorder that can be extremely hard to manage unless the family gets a diagnosis and follows through very carefully on medication. Medication is the first, second and third best strategy. That is my silly way of saying that medication is just incredibly important.

I’m not sure if there is anything that even comes close to being as helpful as meds, but skill training can be very useful. The skill training must focus on teaching the child to take their meds. Skill training also needs to prepare the child and family to cope effectively with any issues that they may develop about the medication or its side effects as regularly taking medicine as directed is crucial to getting and keeping this youngster stabilized. When the child is unmedicated or missing doses, their manic behavior can quickly get very extreme and inappropriate, even illegal. If you are not a mental health professional and you think you are working with a child who could have this serious disorder, you need to alert your supervisor at once and hopefully you will be able to arrange a thorough evaluation. This disorder typically is found to start when the person is a young adult or older adult but it can occur earlier.

 

 

school mental health4. OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER

This disorder looks at first to be just like conduct disorder but that is not a very accurate perception. The difference between conduct disorder (C.D.) and oppositional defiant disorder (O.D.D.) may not be readily obvious but it is incredibly important. Treatment for O.D.D. varies dramatically from that offered for conduct disorder. While students with O.D.D. and C.D. typically both misbehave and can be aggressive and non-compliant, the behavior of the student with C.D. is normally far more extreme, frequent and damaging to people, animals and property. While that difference is important, the really important difference is that the child with C.D. lacks a conscience and that is a huge problem. Lacking a conscience, relationship capacity and empathy for others, the student with C.D. can track towards crime and other behaviors that society doesn’t permit.

The student with O.D.D. is believed to have a conscience, but that conscience isn’t doing very much to help. A good conscience can provide very good brakes for bad behavior. Absent that conscience, a child will do what they want, when they want, to who they want. That is precisely what makes children with C.D. so potentially dangerous and so very hard to manage in any environment. Being diagnosed with O.D.D. is far more hopeful than being diagnosed with C.D. as the hope is that if that conscience can be better activated, the student can behave better.

While both sets of students need extensive training to manage their fist, mouth and actions, the student with O.D.D. has a far more optimistic prognosis. The student diagnosed with C.D. will never learn to care about others and is pretty much always going to be reined in using consequences and possibly rewards. The student with O.D.D. can really do very well once their conscience is more dominant and they have mastered how to be a civilized, law-abiding, compliant human. If you are not a mental health professional, be sure to try to arrange a thorough mental health evaluation so you know whether you’re working with an apple or an onion. While these two disorders can look somewhat the same, you have to be very careful to proceed differently depending on which disorder is actually occurring in a student.

 

trauma informed5. STUDENTS WITH TRAUMA

Unlike the previous items, this issue is not a mental health diagnostic category. However, “trauma-informed” practice has been a prominent concept lately so that combined with the huge frequency of trauma, led me to include this issue here. If you work with kids, you are working with some youngsters who have faced, or are facing traumatic events such as abuse, violence, abandonment or crises. Students facing trauma who are evaluated by a mental health clinician, can receive varying mental health diagnoses (like depression and PTSD, for example), but it is that common thread of trauma that I wanted to address.

Students who are traumatized often have little energy for school or whatever service your site offers. These youngsters need help from a mental health professional but they also need to not face more unnecessary stress in your environment– even when they don’t do much school work, are selectively mute and uninvolved in activities. The key here, regardless of the diagnosis, is to strike a balance between being sensitive to what this child may be living through and your mission. When the child is more functional, increase expectations a bit but if the increase sends the child into a tailspin, then return to the last level where the youngster was successful. When the child is less functional, decrease expectations a bit and work cooperatively to maximize the child’s involvement but without adding to the child’s already heavy load.

Many of your work refusing students are children who are coping with traumatic events. After enduring serious incidents of trauma, children may be diagnosed with PTSD, Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder, which is a very concerning diagnosis. These youngsters, in particular, need your site to be a haven, not more misery, so working with these children very carefully and delicately is strongly recommended. Children who have lived through much horror at a young age and lack resilience, are very brittle and easily broken. The bottom line is that you  may be the only sane, sober adult in the child’s universe. If instead of being helpful, you are yet another harmful adult, you can help track the child in the wrong direction. Conversely, if you offer help, empathy, guidance and a moderate, unstressful intervention plan, you can often engineer some progress, albeit slow.

 

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    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Motivate Student Athletes to Work in School

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Motivate Student Athletes
to Work in School

Includes 2 Free Printable Motivational Posters

 


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classroom management help

classroom management help

 

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Motivate Student Athletes
to Work in School

Includes 2 Free Printable Motivational Posters

 

student motivational techniquesHere are some of the best motivational techniques for student athlete who see school and education as unnecessary. Believing they are going to be rich, successful professional sports stars, these youngsters are often the most unmotivated students in your classroom. Your wannabe pro football, basketball, soccer or tennis star often sees education as a complete waste, something they will never need as a pampered, wealthy, well-known athlete who has it all. Hello from Youth Change Director Ruth Herman Wells. This issue of the Problem Student Problem-Solver has some of my very best student motivational techniques to motivate all your wannabe Shaquille O’Neils and Serena Williams.

 

motivational techniques for atheletesShow What It Really Takes to Play Pro Sports

Includes Free Printable Motivational Poster

The good news about wannabe sports stars is that once you educate them on how dependent they will be on education as an aspiring sports star, you can watch them become more interested, more involved, more successful students. This first motivational technique is pretty simple, and involves just making sure that every unmotivated wannabe sports star realizes that a high school diploma will be necessary to reach their goal and keep their success if they actually achieve it. Poster #170, pictured at right, teaches students that every NBA, NFL and MLB player needs a high school diploma. You may find that this key requirement is not known to most or many of your wannabe sports giants. Get this poster free to print in 11″ x 17″ size. If you prefer to buy a pre-printed copy of the poster, click here.

 

motivational student athelete posterShow Students That No Education is a Losing Game

Includes Free Printable Motivational Poster

This motivational technique is a discussion activity designed to help student wannabe sports stars– and other students hoping to become rich and famous– discover that they will lose, lose, lose if they reach stardom without first completing their education. You can use Poster #6 to kick off the discussion, or you can use it just for yourself so you have some concrete ideas of how to guide your students to come up with similar information to that pictured on the poster. To enlarge the poster for better viewing, click here or on the poster image. Here is the motivational technique: Ask your students to determine possible negative outcomes that could occur if a youngster becomes a sports star who is uneducated. To help, we’re giving you a full-size 11″ by 17″ printable copy of Poster #6 to use as a poster, worksheet or discussion starter. If you prefer to buy a pre-printed copy of the poster, click here.

 

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motivational classroom posterShow Them the Real Score

While you don’t necessarily want to discourage students from high level goals, they need to know the odds on achieving those goals, and maintaining their success. To teach them about the real odds of making it as a pro sports star, have them research the numbers. For example, only 1 in 150,000 guys will make it into the NBA. To teach them about the real odds of maintaining their success as a pro sports star, help them discover the real tasks that professional players actually do– and the real skills they need to do those tasks. Our brand new Poster #716 provides an example of how you could structure this motivational technique for use with your students. Similar to the poster, create two columns on your board then have students research sport stars for “What They Really Do” and the “Skills Needed.” Write students’ answers in the columns and discuss. Students will discover that becoming and staying a pro sports star takes a lot of education and skills. A good follow-up motivational technique: Have students research and discuss the average career length of sports stars in different fields. They may be surprised to discover that some pro athletes have very brief career due to concerns like age, injury, performance and behavior.

 

Show Education as Key to Winning

Make the realities of professional sports come alive by involving students in this motivational intervention technique. Assemble the types of documents and other items that pro sports stars may encounter. The items can include things like: the pro sport team’s contract to sign up their players, a sports agent contract, a lawyer contract, a sports publicist contract, an accountant contract, an assistants’ job application, tax forms, press releases, interview questions, and so on. You can use documents found on the internet, or, you can create mock-ups. Be sure the documents are complex, hard-to-read, have very small type, and a hard-to-read font. To ensure that your message hits a home run, select at least some items that would likely be difficult for even a well-educated adult to understand. Ask students to read and interpret the documents. When they struggle, you can help them discover that school can help.

 

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    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Secrets of the Best Classrooom Managers– The Experts’ Most Effective Classroom Management Tools

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Secrets of the Best Classroom Managers

The Experts’ Most Effective Classroom Management Tools

Includes Free Lesson Plan and Worksheet
 


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Secrets of the Best Classroom Managers

The Experts’ Most Effective Classroom Management Tools

classroom management help

There always seems to be that handful of teachers who can manage even the most unmanageable students while their colleagues struggle to make any progress at all. The truth is that there are some basic classroom management tools that can help any teacher succeed managing even the most unmanageable youngsters. Hello from Youth Change Director Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I’ve just finished 6 weeks of touring the country training schools from Boston, Mass. to Yakima, Washington to Los Angeles, California. This article has gathered some of what I learned from teachers and counselors on my summer training tour. These new classroom management tools can help you build a better school year with fewer behavioral, social, academic and emotional problems.

teacher class managementTeach Missing Behavior Skills *

*Includes FREE lesson plan and student worksheet

If you are still expecting students to arrive with the skills they need to be successful, properly behaved students, you may have fallen behind the times. Yes, moms and dads used to reliably teach their offspring manners, civilized behavior, compliance skills, respect and so forth. These days, however, we can’t always count on parents to have taught their children to have the minimum behavior needed in your classroom and throughout the school. If you have tried to improve student conduct by setting rules and consequences, you probably have already discovered that quite often, rules and consequences don’t get the job done. While rules and consequences are essential, they are not nearly enough. If rules and consequences could get the job done, then I could require you to speak Swedish or face grave sanctions, and you would still be utterly unable to speak Swedish. Most of us have difficulty when expected to perform behaviors that no one has taught us. So, if you are serious about not wanting any more behavior management problems, then take the time to teach your students the exact skills they are not performing satisfactorily. Typically, those skills will include punctuality, hand raising, talking one at a time, compliance, chair sitting, managing school supplies and property, what to wear to school, what to bring to school, and so on. Are you wondering how you teach students what we call School Skills? Here is the answer. Check out this free, reproducible student worksheet and lesson plan that teaches students to more readily accept responsibility for their conduct rather than blame others.

 

classroom posterMotivation Reduces Classroom Behavior Problems

If you still expect unmotivated students to behave acceptably, you are going to often be disappointed. When students believe that school is as enticing as a root canal, some of them are going to act accordingly. Motivation can be taught. Yes, you did not have the chance to take courses like “Motivating Wannabe Sports Stars” or “Motivational Methods for Students Who Plan to Be Famous and Never Need School.” Those courses– and their content– do exist as you will find if you sign up now take our Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Students Workshop coming to Portland on October 11-12, 2018. In our workshop, you actually will learn powerhouse motivational methods for students hoping to become famous actresses, singers, sports stars, models and more. We even have strategies for students who hope to avoid needing school through reliance on their family or welfare. Check out just 1 of the 200 classroom strategies we will be giving out at our upcoming Portland, Oregon workshp. Here is an educational and compelling strategy (Poster #701, pictured at left) to convince students that regardless of their wished-for career path, they will still need school. Click on the link or the image so you can enlarge the picture enough to read the content of the poster. Once you start teaching your students to become more motivated, you are going to discover that motivation colors everything. You will find that the more you set aside time to motivate your students, the less time you will need to set aside for on-demand behavior management in your classroom and hallways. There are hundreds of motivational strategies throughout our site including here.

 

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student classroom managementSystematically Resolve Overwhelming Behavior Problems 

Your students’ classroom behavior management problems can quickly start to seem overwhelming. The volume and seriousness of the problems can seem substantial. You need an easy-to-implement game plan and here it is. First, start by writing down all the classroom management issues that you see. Second, prioritize the list. For the most part, there is no right way to prioritize beyond placing the issues that are most concerning to you at the top of the list. However, safety issues always get top rankings.  Now that you have your list sorted, you are ready to move forward. The third step is to focus on just the top three issues at a time, and forget the rest of the list for now. Teach students to have improved behavior for your top three concerns before moving onto the next three items. Note that teaching students to have improved behavior is not the same thing as setting consequences, re-stating the rules or any of the conventional classroom management strategies that you are already doing. Teaching means teaching. You will be teaching about how to walk down the aisle between the desks, or how to talk one at a time, or how to properly ask for help. You will be teaching these essential School Skills just like you teach math or handwriting: step-by-step, with lots of repetition until students have mastered and can use the concepts taught. This page on our website has hundreds of free lesson plans and worksheets so you can better grasp the details of training kids to become prepared, motivated, successful students.

 

classroom management tools for teachersLearn About Conduct Disorder

If you are still attempting to use conventional classroom behavior management methods with your most misbehaved students, you are playing a losing game. Conventional classroom management methods always fail with the most seriously unmanageable students. Until you take the time to learn about this mental health problem that affects an estimated 11-14% of your students, you will continue to find that “nothing works” to rein in the most hard-to-manage youngsters. These are the students who are small in number, but take up most of your behavior management time. There are countless articles on how to manage this student on our site. By investing a half hour now learning about what tailored techniques to use, and which common methods to avoid, you can get back in charge of your classroom. There are no shortcuts here. You either learn about this disorder and which classroom management tools to use, and which classroom management tools to avoid, or else prepare for a long, frustrating school year and an unending fight to control your classroom. Read about conduct disorders, and discover what this very common mental  health disorder is all about, and most importantly, what to start doing to successfully manage these most unmanageable students. There are no shortcuts. Either you learn these targeted, tested methods, or classroom management will remain problematic. The good news is that now you at least understand what has gone wrong– and how to fix it.

 

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    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

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    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
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How to Improve Students’ Bad Attitudes: Strategies That Work Better & Faster

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

How to Improve Students' Bad Attitudes:

Strategies That Work Better & Faster

 
 

 

 

How to Improve Students' Bad Attitudes:

Strategies That Work Better & Faster

student bad attitude

It's winter. It's that time of year that if the weather doesn't get to you, your students do. One huge annoyance can be the lousy attitudes that you are facing starting too early every morning to way too late each afternoon. You may even have a student or two who is so difficult and sour that you can't forget about him on that long drive home. We're ready to help. Hello from Youth Change Professional Development Workshops' Director, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I've spent my entire career developing and honing unorthodox, highly effective strategies to turn around even the most negative student you work with.

The most important thing to realize is that no one changes their attitude because someone else thinks that would be a good idea. If you directly ask students to change their attitude, that's fine, but it probably hasn't been working very well. The strategies below avoid the failure rate that mere words can produce when it comes to trying to generate student attitude adjustments. Notice that all of these student attitude adjustment strategies do not rely primarily on words, but take more indirect approaches. The use of this style of approach means that you are placing a light bulb over the students' head but letting the student pull the cord to turn it on. If you pull the cord for the student, then really the only option left for many of them is to fight back and resist. Using less direct methods means that most of the time, the student with the negative attitude, won't always immediately default to being resistant or oppositional.

The next time you consider just telling a student to improve their attitude, remember that the adult equivalent is being told to lose weight or stop drinking. That image may be a very useful reminder to minimize your reliance on verbiage and to increase your use of more indirect approaches that don't generate resistance.

teacher workshopIf you want more than the sampling of strategies offered here, consider coming to our Seattle Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop on May 4-5, 2017. Right now, we have have two completely free work-study scholarships to give away. Grab one of these awesome no-fee workshop registration slots before they are all taken. Call 1.800.545.5736 to quickly sign up. You'll learn 200 powerhouse strategies for whatever student behavior, attitude and social problems you name.

 

Students' Negative Attitude-Buster Strategies
 

student bad attitude posterUse Passive Intervention Strategies

to Improve Students' Bad Attitudes

Poster #314, shown at right, is the perfect, low effort strategy to chip away at students' bad attitudes. It may appear that the student is just staring at the wall but Poster #314 could be eating away at them slowly day by day. You don't need to buy the poster. You can make your own, or have a student whose behavior warrants a consequence, make a version of the image shown here. Either way, students can't argue with a poster. Nor, can students unsee what they read. Your message was delivered– and probably more rapidly than if verbiage had been the sole method. With this passive intervention strategy, you've planted a seed that may gradually begin to grow over time. This tactic is most definitely not a quick cure, but part of an on-going effort that can ultimately produce results.

 

Use Strategies That Show the Benefits

of Attitude Improvement

If people are going to change, it's because they see a reason to change. Give your students a reason to improve their bad attitudes. Show students what's in it for them if they limit or improve their negative attitude. This approach can work very well with your more self-interested students who care mostly about what they can get for themselves. When the student is in a difficult situation, such as having done a minor bit of problem behavior, encourage the youngster to "Keep 1 Problem to 1, Not Turn 1 Problem Into 2." Since this strategy shows students what they get for themselves by evidencing a less negative attitude, this approach can be hard to resist. It is, in essence, showing students that their negative attitude is like the old adage about biting your tongue to spite your face. The more you can link a more positive attitude to the student getting more of what they say they want, the more progress you may make improving the negativity. It's almost like you are marketing and selling a more positive attitude like it was a brand of jeans or cell phone.

 

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student attitude posterUse Strategies That Un-Normalize

Students' Bad Attitudes

At many schools, having a sulky, negative, oppositional attitude is considered normal. Consider working to get that rather bad standard to be different. Poster #574 (shown at right) gives you some words to do that. It can start or further the process of helping your students understand that being nasty or mean or difficult is not a life plan that will work. You can also help students to identify all the jobs and businesses that people can succeed in if you are really unkind to those around you. Most students realize that there are few or no jobs where abusive behavior is tolerated, and that ultimately having a really negative attitude will be a potential obstacle and impediment throughout life. You are again selling the idea of a more positive attitude as benefiting the student with the negative attitude. Us humans are often pretty self-interested and that makes this strategy a good candidate to use if you want to transform the bad attitudes you see in your classroom or around your school or program. Using the phrase shown on the poster, "healthy humans don't destroy other humans" is a great phrase to use regularly as it can impact some students who will find the words unsettling.

 

Use Inspirational Strategies

to Improve Students' Bad Attitudes

Some students are impacted by pretty sayings and inspirational words. For your students who have negative attitudes, but might respond to inspiring words of wisdom, consider using this phrase, or creating a poster of the words for your walls. The phrase is "Live each moment as if you chose it." These words are going to be especially useful for students who are sullen and negative in specific settings, such as P.E. class or when there is an exam announced. Because the phrase is provocative and worth further thought, some students may actually stop and consider what it means since it's meaning is not necessarily obvious. It is difficult to resist words that you haven't yet figured out, making this strategy a winner. In the instant that the student grasps the phrase's meaning, you actually delivered a bit of insight to the youngster. It can be one step on the long progression of improving that student's attitude in your classroom and school.

 

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    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

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    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Strategies to Motivate Unmotivated Students

 

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Strategies to Motivate Unmotivated Students

Includes Free, Printable, Motivational Classroom Poster

 
 

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Student motivation can sag as everyone returns from the holidays and heads into the long stretch until Spring Break. If your students' motivation has dropped with the temperatures, here are some lively and very effective motivational methods that are sure to fire up interest, enthusiasm and focus on school and education. The assortment includes a free printable motivational speakerclassroom motivational poster that has received lots of comments. Many educators find it to be an eye-opening, effective way to build motivation in students who are unmotivated, discouraged, bored, frustrated or lacking confidence.

Happy New Year from all of us here at Youth Change Professional Development Workshops, and a special shout-out from me, Youth Change's director, Ruth Herman Wells. I hope I will be seeing lots of you this year at our 2017 general session professional development workshops, and at the conferences, schools and agencies all over North America where I will be leading workshops or providing keynotes. Please come up and say "hi." It is always so wonderful to get to meet our Problem Kid Problem-Solver magazine subscribers in person so be sure to come down front to say hello. If you have a bad budget but want to attend our general session workshops coming to Seattle on May 4-5, 2017 or Portland, Oregon on October 12-13, 2017, we have scholarship slots open for both events. A quick call to 1.800.545.5736 is all it takes to grab one.

strategies to motivate

 

Motivational Strategies

for the Most Unmotivated Students

 

poster motivates unmotivated studentsMOTIVATIONAL STRATEGY

Replace Missing Motivation with

Artificial Motivation


Few teachers have ever taken a class called Motivate the Most Unmotivated Students, but most teachers probably wish they had. Typically, many teachers see a plethora of unmotivated students when they look out at their class. Typically, most teachers don't feel like they have a plethora of awesome motivational methods to improve the situation. This article is going to change that a bit for the better.

You may not be aware that you can actually build motivation for school, education and class work. Initially, you should start the process of building motivation by relying on external items that are already very liked by students. Think of it this way. You can initially use a "carrot" to lead student to Literature, Algebra or History class, and once you've gotten and held their attention, you can reduce the reliance on external positives. It is sad that some families don't reliably teach their children the importance of school, but like any other area that is being overlooked in a child's life, teachers may be the ones to have to fill in the gap. That is certainly true here, but the good news is that improving a child's motivation is a lot easier than (figuratively) dragging a kid to school and forcing them to learn– which is what the situation may feel like now.

Money is a very effective external item that can serve to engage many unmotivated students to care more about school, class and education. Yes, ideally, children would come to love reading Hemingway, or find early American history enthralling, but money makes a great "hook" to start to transform how students view education. In the meantime, you are going to have to market school, classes and education like they were a pair of way cool jeans or a new iPad. You're going to be working to convince students that school is the only path to many of the things they very much need, want or value…which brings us back to money.

Our popular motivational poster, Poster #471 (shown above) does a great job of marketing school and education by linking them to something most students care a lot about: money. It shows students what they "earn" every second, minute, hour, day, month and year they spend in school. This poster is based on the belief that high school grads earn approximately $330,000 more per lifetime so it reflects life expectancy and earnings stats.

You can print this eye-catching, motivational school poster for free and post it in your classroom, or the hallways of your school. You can download the free motivational poster here. Feel free to share it with your colleagues. Obviously, one motivational strategy can't fix all the boredom, disinterest and yawns, but it's a terrific first step. You can find thousands more motivational strategies throughout our website, and another great motivational strategy further below in this article. You can use our site search engine to search for more "motivational strategies." Most strategies are free but you will find many in our books, in person professional development workshops and online courses too.

Yes, this "artificial" motivation may not start off being nearly as beneficial and reliable as the real thing, but now that you may have your students considering the possibility that school just might be important to them, while you have their attention, you can help them discover what they could love in the world of education.

 

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student

 

MOTIVATIONAL STRATEGY

Learn What to Do About

Work Refusers


Some students don't start off unmotivated– but they sure end up that way. Among other university training classes that most teachers haven't taken but may wish that they had is Work Refusers 101. Some of your youngsters become so discouraged or frustrated by school that they stop working altogether or do as little school work as they possibly can get away with. Often, these are very well-intentioned students who have learned over time that doing nothing seems a lot less painful than taking a test or completing a homework assignment. Since teachers often have little real-world training or tested strategies for work refusers, these youngsters can quickly become a nightmare to teach. They may appear to be your most unmotivated student since they do so little actual school work, and require constant help to complete almost any academic task.

Here's the secret to successfully engaging your work refusers in school: They are not necessarily unmotivated. They can have great motivation but the child has simply learned that shutting down and doing nothing seems to yield better results than taking action. In your Psychology classes, this pattern was described as Freeze, Flight or Fight. Work refusers camp out in Freeze. That makes these students seem passive-aggressive or oppositional when really they just freeze and have trouble moving beyond that. To best understand, look back in your life for a time you crawled into bed and wouldn't come out. It may have been after a traumatic experience or a romantic setback or a job loss, and for you, a short-term thing– but for these students, freezing up has become a long term, entrenched pattern.

So, motivational methods will only take you so far with this population. And, as you may have noticed, it is so easy to get caught in a power struggle with them. So there's what won't work. Here comes what will work: step-by-step, slow transition from doing nothing to gradually doing something. So, if the student typically does two paragraphs of handwriting, maybe we aim for two paragraphs and one more sentence. The next step might be two paragraphs of handwriting and two sentences…and so on. The steps need to be tiny and when the student balks at a step, consider dropping back a bit and carefully observing for anxiety. When this student's anxiety goes up, their work production goes down. Over time, you will learn to calibrate their work load with their anxiety. The more you can create a cooperative team feeling while avoiding increasing their anxiety, the more work you will ultimately get out of this youngster.

We devote entire classes to teaching about work refusers so we are just skimming the surface here for what you can do, but we thought it was important that you realize that the student who may look the most unmotivated, can be much more accurately viewed as a child rife with anxiety issues.

 

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    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


The Best Teacher Classroom Management Strategies, Methods & Techniques

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

The Best Teacher Classroom Management Strategies,
Methods and Techniques

 

 

 

 

Several of the great classroom management strategies included in this Behavior and Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog article were given to us by participants in our Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshops, but the names of the participants have long since become separated from these terrific ideas.

classroom management strategiesHello from Breakthrough Strategies Professional Development Workshop instructor Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I guess I'm the one to blame for stealing these terrific classroom management strategies and techniques, but the important thing is that these great methods are being passed onto teachers and counselors who need them to maximize their impact on misbehaved, troubled and problem students.

So, if you are one of our former course participants now reading an idea that you mentioned in class, let me apologize for borrowing your inspiration. Our Breakthrough Strategies Workshop has always been a collection of the best teacher classroom management methods that exist. The source of these inspired classroom management methods is not as important as disseminating these gems to benefit students who are struggling.
 

Classroom management strategies for teachersClassroom Management Strategies

4 of the Best
 

1. WAIVER OF MY RIGHTS

Classroom Management Strategy
 

As shown below, this classroom management intervention is geared for teachers and schools, but if you will simply alter a few key words from the school-based example below, you can easily make this device work at your Job Corps, foster home, treatment center, etc. This intervention is designed to be used with children and youth who feel that your service is a waste of time.

Remember: You must judge this and every other behavior and classroom management intervention that we offer to see if it fits your students, your locale, etc. The intervention below is not suitable for all students. You can also consider editing to make it gentler. To get a broader array of methods, consider coming to our professional development inservice workshops or buying some of our books. Our workshops and books flood you with a vast assortment of counselor and teacher behavior management methods, rather than the small handful of techniques offered here.
 

Waiver of My Rights

I, _____ hereby give up my constitutional right to a free education.

I give up the right to have a high-paying job forever.

I do not want to be a partner in my own success.

Signed,
_________________

 

2. THINK ABOUT IT

Classroom Management Strategy
 

Other than not being a very good sentence, this next device may be a great thing to say to impulsive youngsters: "You can't think yourself out of what you acted yourself into." Then work with them to think first, act second.
 

3. MAKE A WHINE LIST

Classroom Management Strategy
 

Some days, a girl's just gotta gripe. Boys too. The next "black Monday," when all attitudes seem to be dreary and whiny, here is a fun student behavior change activity that can turn it around. If you're a teacher, this may be an activity that you can relate to writing, art, or reading.

You can choose one of the following versions of this classroom management strategy. One choice: Let your students make a Whine List of all their complaints, and get the complaining out of their systems.

This second version of the intervention is just so amazingly cute– and even better, this classroom management strategy is incredibly effective too: Have your students devise a menu for a restaurant called The Irri-Table, and then create dishes that fit the mood. For example, the main course might be crab in whine sauce. You may want to follow this activity with a discussion of what happens to crabby employees in the work place, and assist students to develop plans to moderate their attitudes on the next black Monday.

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teacher classroom management strategies4. WHAT STUDENTS WANT

Classroom Management Strategy


It may be useful to note what students often say they want from their teachers and counselors. It may not be what you think. Some surveys have shown that students don't ask for less work, longer lunch or more days off. So what do they want? They want their teachers and counselors to believe in them. That thought can guide you.

Research, reported in Education Week on 9-3-03, notes that when youth professionals "pay attention to students' social and emotional development, children do better academically." I have to admit that the top complaint we get in our workshops from teachers is that they are sickened by what they overhear in neighboring classrooms or in the hall.

At a school here in our town, a boy named Len teetered towards dropping out. Then, starting with the new school year, Len was assigned a math teacher who belittled Len and called him names on a daily basis. Soon, Len started coming in late for math, then he skipped math entirely. Eventually, he stopped showing up at all. Says a former classmate: "In the 12 years I shared classes with him, I watched many teachers try unsuccessfully to make it better for Len, but I will always remember the one teacher who successfully made it worse."

Use this story to motivate yourself to always make school a haven and never more torment for troubled and struggling students.

 Teacher classroom management methods

LIKE THESE
CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES?

We have thousands more in our books, online professional development classes, classroom management posters and counselor and teacher training workshops. The smattering of strategies listed in this Behavior and Classroom Management blog article are just a few of the interventions we have to help you build a more productive year. View more of our unexpected, compelling behavior and classroom management strategies here. When you think of problem youth, think of Youth Change Workshops. Our intervention strategies will help you help your troubled and problem students succeed.

 

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    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


 

Strategies Transform Your Classroom Management Nightmare into Your Classroom Management Dream

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Strategies to Transform Your
Classroom Management Nightmare
Into Your
Classroom Management Dream

 
 

 

It's amazing that most universities devote just 20% of their teacher  training to the real-world issues that dominate most teachers' days. 80% of the typical teacher's training focused on content. Few teachers find 80% of their day devoted to content. Many teachers find much of their time diverted from teaching content to the classroom management nightmare in front of them.

Expert help with classroom managementI'm keynote speaker and classroom management trainer Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I've spent much of my career devising awesome, improved, more effective methods to improve teacher classroom management.

Part of the reason that classrooms seem tougher to manage than years ago, may be that today's students are very different than students from years ago. As we host our Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshops around the country, we continue to have more teachers ask for help with students who are outright non-compliant, and verbally abusive to both peers and adults. If you are a teacher, or even a special educator, counselor, social worker or psychologist, your training may not have given you the prevention and intervention tools that you need to stop the extreme misbehavior that you may be coping with on a daily basis.

In our workshops and classroom management books, we devote hours to covering how to control even uncontrollable classrooms and groups. We can't magically squeeze all those hours of must-know classroom management information into this small space, but we can give you at least a few of the most important elements to get you on the path to ending your classroom management nightmare. Here are the top steps to at least start you down the road to managing unmanageable classrooms:
 

Classroom Management Strategies That Work

S T O P
Using One-Size-Fits-All Methods


S T A R T
Using the Right Method with the Right Student

You would never expect all students to fit into the same size of desk, or learn math exactly the same way, so why do you expect them to all respond equally well to the same behavior change methods? Human beings are complex. The same intervention may play out very differently from one student to the next.

If you still use just a handful of methods with all your students, you may be feeling more and more frustrated when it comes to group and classroom management. It is absolutely critical that you have a wide variety of methods to draw upon to manage each situation.

Remember: It's not about which methods you want to use or like to use. Your doctor may like prescribing aspirin but if aspirin won't help you, then the intervention is useless. It's about using the interventions that can work with a specific student.

Example Strategies:
Not every student understands how to quiet down in class. Not every student is motivated to quiet down when asked. Merely stating the rules or expectations worked years ago.

Poster Improves classroom managementMere verbiage may still work with some youngsters, but others need much more than words. For these students, try this approach. This intervention can provide the youngster with guidance and help performing the behavior– so much so that the behavior might even become a habit. Teach your students that "When the hand goes up, the mouth goes shut." (Our Poster #249 illustrates the concept.)

Consider putting one the students who struggles to quiet down, in charge of this intervention. That variation makes this intervention a very cagey way to get compliance from the student who is least likely to comply. This tailored intervention will often work well with non-compliant, distracted, ADHD, and defiant students because it is so much fun– especially if you are the student who gets to lead the intervention.

 

Article Continues Below

 

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Article Continues Here

S T O P
Teaching Unskilled, Unmotivated Students


S T A R T
Teaching School Skills and Motivation

Giving rules to students who lack the skills and motivation to comply is ineffective. That one sentence explains so much of what you need to know about on-going classroom management problems.

classroom management strategyContemporary children must be taught the nuts-and-bolts of the target behaviors. They also need to be convinced that education matters. Otherwise, rules and consequences will continue to fail to elicit the desired behaviors from youngsters who may have no idea how to comply, or any inclination to do so.

Example Strategy:
Here's an intervention that teaches an important school skill: how to interact with teachers. Poster #26 offers you a great example of how teaching school behavior skills must be done. The training must be specific, attention-grabbing, memorable and step-by-step. Poster #26 also illustrates the point that every single area of school behavior must be covered, even areas not routinely addressed– like teacher interaction skills and how to ask for help.
 

S T O P
Using Outdated Techniques


S T A R T
Using Methods That Fit Contemporary Students

Are you using the same methods that were in use when carbon paper, record players and chalkboards were still around? If you are, you're using yesterday's methods with today's students, and that works about as well as scratchy, old, vinyl records.

Here's one example of how your students have changed even though your methods perhaps haven't. Years ago, you had a small number of unmanageable students. Now, it is common to expect as much as 14% of mainstream students to be classroom management nightmares. Plus, today's out-of-control student is using far worse behaviors. Using old-style methods to manage today's severely unmanageable students is like trying to use outmoded chalk on your modern, dry eraser board. You can try, but it just won't work.

To become proficient managing a contemporary classroom, you must learn about conduct disorders, your most misbehaved, contemporary student. Conventional approaches fail most of the time with these hard-to-manage youngsters, and there is no work-around but to begin to use updated interventions that fit.

Example Strategies:
For your most misbehaved, conduct disordered students, you need to switch to approaches that maximize consequences, while avoiding relationship-based and character ed types of methods. You also need to avoid giving single consequences, and to be less predictable in your responses. If you predictably give just a consequence or two, manipulative conduct disordered youngsters may anticipate your response, and go ahead and do the problem behavior. If they don't know exactly what stack of consequences they might face, their behavior may stay closer to what you want.

To successfully manage conduct disorders, you must learn everything you can about them. These youngsters are often so cagey and smart, that they can easily discern and exploit uncertainty. They are often just uncanny about knowing who "has their number" and who doesn't– and behave accordingly. Unless you "switch gears" when working with them, you'll find that your classroom management concerns worsen.

If you're a longtime subscriber to the Behavior and Classroom Management Blog, the introductory basics of working with conduct disordered students were included in your second and third issues of this blog. If you want to read that introductory blog issue again, it's here. The articles are entitled What Every Youth Professional Needs to Know About Violent Students, Parts 1 and 2.

classroom management bookIf you want to learn more about this quickly growing population, consider getting a thorough guide, our All the Best Answers for the Worst Kid Problems: Conduct Disorders book, audio book or ebook. Once you enhance your skills with the students who are your worst classroom management nightmares, you'll often discover a great bonus: the level of behavior of all students rises once the prime agitators are more in control.

 

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    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


How to Motivate the Most Unmotivated Students Today

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

How to Motivate
the Most Unmotivated Students Today


It's Easier & Faster Than You Think

 

Strategies Include FREE Printable Posters

 
 

Get This Poster FREE 

motivational classroom posterThere are so many unmotivated students and yet, most teacher and counselor university training programs contain few courses that offer specific, practical, real-world motivational methods to effectively build motivation.

Even though they have been offered minimal motivational strategies, teachers and counselors are still expected to successfully perform their jobs despite their lack of vital tools. Facing dozens of unmotivated, apathetic, indifferent, failing students, today's teachers and counselors can feel like a pilot without a plane or a hairdresser without scissors. It's tough to successfully do your work without proper tools.

As a professional development trainer for the past two decades, I how to motivate studentshave amassed hundreds of the most innovative, up-to-date motivational strategies that exist for use with unmotivated K12 students. My name is Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. and "Motivation" is practically my middle name. I've spent my professional career creating and perfecting motivational strategies that are unexpected, compelling, intense and far more effective than what you are using now.

Did you notice the poster above? You can download a printable version of it free or purchase a pre-printed 11" x 17" version of Poster #323. In this issue, you're going to get lots of free motivational resources and strategies that you will find work so much better than whatever you are doing now.
 

Marvelous Strategies
to Motivate Unmotivated Students
 

motivational classroom posterMotivational Strategy #1

Get This Poster FREE
 

Poster #323 works when conventional motivational strategies fail because it takes an indirect approach. If you offer similar information verbally and more directly, the typical teen will fight it, ignore it or debate it. You can't question a poster on the wall. Instead, the poster nags, cajoles and reminds, eating away at the student's resistance over time.

You don't have to purchase the poster to use this intervention. The phrase pictured can be used verbally if you wish. If you do prefer to buy it for $8 pre-printed, order it here. However, if you would like to download this poster for free– along with other items offered at no charge in this issue– take these 2 steps by 1-31-14:

  1. Share our website with a colleague using this link. Or, share our site by posting our link (http://www.youthchg.com) on Facebook or elsewhere. Be sure to tell us where you posted.
  2. Click here and an email form will open. Use this form to email us to request the freebies. We'll email you the link to all the no-fee resources mentioned in this blog issue.
     

Motivational Strategy #2

Get This Poster FREE
 

motivational posterHere's another effective motivational strategy that can be implemented verbally, but the visual version may have more power since it is on-going and verbiage is momentary.

This strategy teaches students that a high school diploma is worth $329,000 more lifetime income than a dropout earns. That's a powerful motivator that every K12 student should know.

To use this motivational tool with elementary students and children who have limited math skills, use piles of play money to illustrate the difference in income then ask the students which pile of money they would like to have for themselves. When students select the bigger pile, note that finishing school is the most likely route to the most money.

Get Poster #324, pictured above, as a printable poster, or order it as a medium size, pre-printed poster for $8.


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Motivational Strategy #3

Get This Poster FREE
 

dropout prevention resourcesHere's a student motivation strategy that just might be one of the most overwhelmingly persuasive and powerful strategies anywhere. You can use the facts pictured on Poster #311; you don't have to get the poster. If you would like to get the poster, you can get it as a free printable poster or as a pre-printed poster for $8. You can view this poster enlarged to better read the content.

Among the hard-to-forget facts that can stay with even your most resistant, hard-to-reach students: Dropouts earn $143 less per week than high school grads and are 4 times as likely to be unemployed. However, the total list of consequences will have more impact than a few selected hazards. The goal of this strategy is to overwhelm the unmotivated student's denial and make the consequences of dropping out hard to forget, and even harder to live through.

 

Motivational Strategy #4
 

classroom posterAt our live workshops, participants always ask for motivational methods that help students project into the future. Many teachers complain that their students feel the future is light-years away and thus, not relevant. We have hundreds of methods to powerfully demonstrate to students that the future is closer than they think, but Poster #330 offers a very graphic, concrete way to convey that to unmotivated students.

This poster shows a car mirror. The mirror has an inscription that says "The future is closer than you think."  To maximize the impact, you can print this inscription onto clear stickers and paste onto an old car mirror. Alternatively, you can create the image and inscription on your computer and display it on a screen. You can also offer the words verbally. If you prefer to buy Poster #330 it is $8, and printed on high gloss, medium weight poster paper.

 

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    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

    Subscribe Unsubscribe/Change Subscription
    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Fast Methods to Stop Classroom Management Problems

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

5 Fast Strategies to Stop
Classroom Management Problems
Before They Start

 
 

We have been getting the same classroom management questions over and over again at the Live Expert Help area of our web site (http://www.youthchg.com). Many of you have been asking how to get young people to behave in class and group settings. Many of the counselors have passed along requests from teachers who want to know how to stop the non-stop discipline problems that disrupt the learning process.

K-12 Keynote Speaker Ruth Herman WellsI'm the director of Youth Change Workshops, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I've spent my whole career amassing the best classroom management methods that exist. I'm going to share five of my favorites here, along with a couple bonus methods.

Kids are not born instinctively knowing how to talk one at a time, keep their hands to themselves and stay quiet when others are talking. In fact, most– if not all– of the behaviors that adults want to see in their class or group setting, must be taught. Years ago, a teacher, for example, could count on most families to train their offspring to talk one at a time, keep their hands to themselves, etc. Now, many of you may find that many of your students appear to have little preparation from home on how to behave appropriately in the classroom. That's part of why classroom management has been getting harder and harder.

Although perhaps it should be the parents' job to train their offspring to have basic behavior management and self-control skills, it's quite clear that many families cannot or will not provide this essential training. So, to get the discipline and order you want in your classroom, school or site, you will have to provide that training.

You must be thorough, covering everything from attendance and punctuality to when to talk and what to wear to school. Plus, remember that stating expectations is never enough. You must drill skills into habits, and don't forget to defuse the apathy and adjust negative attitudes so students are sufficiently motivated and disposed to perform the behaviors that you want. You must cover all three areas: skills, motivation and attitude. We call this essential preparation to be a student School Skills Training.

Below you will find a handful of School Skills Training strategies from our thousands of behavior and classroom management methods that train youngsters to behave appropriately and develop motivation and a positive attitude. If you want more than this sampling of methods, sign up for an upcoming live workshop. Scholarships are available. You can also take our courses online or click over to our website, http://www.youthchg.com, to see thousands more behavior and classroom management methods to prevent or manage student misconduct and apathy.

Article continues below…

 

 

prodcategtags9

Schedule Your On-Site Inservice Workshop Now

It's More Affordable Than You Think

Learn 100s of Strategies for Work Refusers, Violent,
Uncontrollable, Unmotivated and Withdrawn Students

1.800.545.5736 or Email

One Click Can Solve It All

 

 

Article continues here…

5 Fast Strategies to Stop
Classroom Management Problems
Before They Start

 

1. Finish What You Started

classroom management methodsGetting students to finish their work can be a year-long battle. Win the war on task completion by helping students see the value in finishing their work. Our Poster #323 provides a quick way to give you a motivational technique to help students understand why it is critical that they finish class assignments. You don't need to buy the poster, you can simply say the phrase pictured, although the poster offers a constant reminder instead of a transitory one. Of course, it takes more than one intervention to motivate students, but you can find hundreds of additional methods on our site.

BONUS METHOD: Motivating students to care about finishing their work is a necessary first step but you will also have to teach task completion skills. Be sure to teach: How to hear assignments, how to remember assignments, when to start assignments, how to remember to bring homework back to school, and so on. There are actually a lot of skills that must be taught if you want students to be able to complete their work once they have become more motivated to do so.

 

2. Take Out Talk-Outs

Your students may feel that they can talk out at will, and say whatever they want whenever they want, even though you have set a different standard for your classroom. To convincingly teach children and youth that talk-outs are a problem, reverse roles. Have a young person assume the job of teacher, for example, and then have that youth attempt to complete an easy task such as teaching the class to remember a five digit number– but the task will be tough to accomplish amidst many talk-outs. Offer the role play teacher a big prize for successfully completing the task, but coach the other students to talk out at will. The role-play teacher will be unable to successfully complete the task. Ask the class to suggest a rule regarding the amount of talk-outs.

BONUS METHOD: Students do not magically know how many times to talk out in your class or group. Plus, many of them lack the skills to discern it on their own– so be sure to have every group or class set a standard. It is unfair to expect youngsters to adhere to a standard that is unquantified.

 

3. How Do You Get Help Around Here?

Students don't start the school year magically knowing how to ask for help. This frequent event can become an on-going classroom nightmare when students don't know how to appropriately perform this basic classroom skill. Some students may believe that it's okay to act out when they're frustrated or want help. Turn that around with this fun intervention. Ask the students to devise "The Top 10 Ways the Teacher Can't Tell You Need Help." Elicit answers like: you glare, you mutter, and you run out of the room.

 

4. Who is Supposed to Be in Charge?

Some young people act like they are in charge. To provide clarification, ask the group to name all the qualifications that teachers, counselors, coaches– or whatever your job is– are supposed to have. List their responses on the board, eliciting answers like "a college degree" and "a teaching license." After the list is complete, have the group determine who has those qualifications, the adult or a student.

 

5. Pay Attention to This

Most teachers expect students to pay attention–classroom management strategies without ever teaching exactly how to do that, or why students should even comply with that expectation. Start by motivating students to see the importance of establishing and maintaining focus. To do so, have your students list all the jobs and businesses that they may wish to do. Write their responses in a column on the board. Ask your group to determine the potential consequences of inattention in those occupations. Write those answers in a second column. Encourage the group to craft amusing and dramatic answers that will convince students of the importance of staying focused. For example, have your students identify exactly what is likely to happen if a surgeon or truck driver is inattentive.

BONUS METHOD: To teach your students that being in the bathroom instead of the classroom has consequences, view the image shown at right. You can use the text shown on Poster #226 as verbiage. To view the poster enlarged, click on the image.

 

Get hundreds more classroom management methods
in our live Breakthrough Strategies Workshops
coming soon to Portland, Los Angeles and Seattle

Scholarships: 1.800.545.5736

 

Article Permalink https://www.youthchg.com/classroom-management-methods

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.