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Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue

A NEW way to teach PHRASAL VERBS so that your students understand and remember them

Started by Andromeda Jones in Teaching and Methodology Dec 31, 2018. 0 Replies

Phrasal verbs are a verb + preposition, adverb or particle. Teaching…Continue

Tags: prepositions, teach, verbs, phrasal



I was asked by a friend for advice about a student.

She teaches a large class of middle school students. One student just always makes trouble. Kicking others, making noise, stealing things from other students. She can't concentrate to teach and he keeps doing strange things and breaking up the class.

She is getting angry and losing herself in class. What can she do? She can't throw him out unfortunately.....

What would you do? Say to her? What would you do in your country?


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That's a tough one. There are essentially 3 options that you normally have: ignore him/her, punish bad behavior, and reward good behavior. None of these are great alone, but used together they form a general approach that can be modified based on student needs.

Additionally, re-evaluation of her approach to teaching is in order. No matter how well we teach, there is always going to be someone there that makes it challenging. However, with more engaging methods she may be able to keep him on task and improve the overall quality of the class.

The problem is, I don't know your friend. I don't know what she is doing? What she is not doing? When this student is acting out. .... With so little knowledge of the context, it is difficult to give specific advice; therefore, I provide the above general advice.

Lastly, in addition to the above, I suggest that your friend meet one on one with the student and discuss the situation. It's rare that when a teacher shows real interest in a student that they don't respond well. I'm not saying that this will end the problems she is experiencing, but I do believe that it could mitigate them somewhat and provide insight into the student's behavior.

Good luck.
Try to use prefered activity time. Allocate so much time for fun activities. Ten minutes write 10 on the board. Every time this student causes a problem subtract a minute from everybodies game time. This will get the other students angry at him.

You might also try asking his parents to sit in on his class. Teenagers go through a stage where they don't like to be seen by their friend with their parents.
Yeah, I agree much. She has to look more at what she is doing and see if that can help. I don't know a lot either about her classes but she is a new teacher.

I told her to go over rules again. Also, to change the lessons activity more often. Unfortunately, she told me she was going to get other teachers to "speak " to the student. I don't think that will work myself.....

Headrick, I use to try negative things but they just really create a bad atmosphere. But I am not a pro, maybe?

thanks for helping.
If she's in a Korean middle school you can take the student to his/her homeroom teacher. Also if she's working in Korea you should be either team teaching with a bi-lingual Korean co-teacher or splitting the class in half and having the Korean teacher take half and you takw half. If your co-teacher is not doing either of these things . She/He needs to have a talk with someone from the local office of education.
I've had this student... well, not THIS student, but many like him.

The first thing to do is to have a conversation and ask why he's acting the way he is--in private, away from others--and ask him for the solution. In the end, only he knows why he is doing what he is doing. Explain to him what effects that is having. Move his seat nearer to the teacher. Put him in the front row. Move his desk right next to yours.

Either that or turn it over to the class and ask them, as a community of learners, what they would like to see happen. Ask how they feel and how his behavior affects them... Just make sure this doesn't turn into a big negative point-the-finger party. Maybe he'll get the message.

Has she contacted the parents?
Has she established clear rules in her classroom with clear consequences?

I just took a class this summer on responsive classroom, originally intended for elementary, but definitely applicable to the middle school classroom. It's all about creating a community within the classroom that is dependent on everyone working together to reach everyone's goals for the year. It makes for good reading and good practice. I've been teaching for more than 10 years, and I found that applying these principles has made a difference in my classroom management and the overall atmosphere.

Another path might be to ask him to take over some responsibilities in the classroom, to give him a leadership role, to tell him that he matters as a person and that it is important that you can depend on him.

We're all just trying to fit in in the world, and it's obvious that he needs some additional attention, both from peers and from adults, positive or negative. I doubt he's had much positive feedback in his life. Or that he feels successful academically.

It's always hard to deal with those with personalities that don't quite jibe with our own. But winning over the group is key, and winning over him is essential.

Wow Beth! Some of those comments are almost "biblical"....

I especially agree with the need to create "community". When I taught grade 8 and teenagers, this was the biggest thing I learned - it is all about the group! Put a misbehaving , unmotivated kid in the right group/classroom and they are totally different. Youth, really change with the group/peer dynamics.

I also support any way teachers can to "explain" their actions and allow students to "explain" theirs. It can be difficult in EFL / ESL situations but using the L1 or mother tongue, with a translator is best for these kinds of things. You need clear communication...

I hope she works this out...


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