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Classroom Management Tips for Reaching a Difficult Student

As a substitute teacher, you work with many types of students. While some students are easy-going and adapt quickly to having a substitute teacher, other students may not adjust as easily. Here are some classroom management tips for dealing with a difficult student.

1. Quickly build a rapport with the student. Ask them a question about their unique book cover, their baseball jersey, or even the novel they are carrying. This will show the student that you've noticed them, and it should also help them relax.

2. Invite the student to be a leader or a helper. Most students love to help. Giving a difficult student a special job to do will make them feel proud, and they are more likely to do other things you ask. Jobs can be as simple as asking them to pass out papers or asking them to be your “class expert” for the day.

3. Use the positive note system. Draft a positive note about the child and let them know that you would love to share it with their teacher. Make an agreement that, if they follow all the classroom rules for the day, you will both sign the note and leave it for their teacher.

As you spend the day with your class, remember to stay calm and positive. Students with behavior difficulties do best in structured but soothing environments. Remember to minimize distractions, always give clear directions, and provide plenty of gentle reminders as needed. Above all, remember to give lots of praise!

Do you any great tips for reaching difficult children? If so, contact us today to share your strategies. We love to hear from you!

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photo credit: US Department of Education - cc

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