As mentioned earlier, I am a Dean for a Middle School in the Bronx. Many of my colleagues are suffering with classroom management issues with their difficult students. I would like some feedback or help on some effective classroom management strategies for managing difficult students.

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Hi - Denise I teach at a small private school that reaches out to middle and high school students that are not successful in public schools and have a campus-wide behavior system in place. I agree with the suggestion by Skip, but also understand that there is a certain amount of apathy on the part of many communities and most likely you have tried many different approaches to involve the community. Please don't take this wrong when I ask this, but here goes, do the students feel they are part of the solution, what is their take on the problems? That is one suggestion, but you probably have already tried that. Do you have certain classrooms that have a "lot" less problems then others? Find out what that teacher(s) is/are doing right in their classes. Open up the lines of communications between staff/staff and admin ask for their ideas. I don't have enough information to make any other suggestions, but with so many people in this site that have a lot more experience than me I am sure that they will have a multitude of suggestions, some you may like, some you may not. -- Harold
All conversations should be de-personalised.....

Focus on .. it's not that we don't like you, it's your behaviour or it's what you did just now that we don't like, we are here for you.

I am sorry if I was a bit unclear.

What I meant is...

If we have students who are behaving badly we always try to depersonalise the situation.

I would say to them, " It's not Fred that we don't like it's Fred's behaviour " and that we were all concerned that Fred could work together with us in order to resolve the situation.

It is all about getting them to understand that they have control of their behaviour and that they can choose how to behave.

I hope you didn't think I was referrring to you !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi Denise,
My co-teacher and I use the Responsive Classroom program with our students. We also enjoy using technology tools such as our SmartBoard and laptops in addition to web 2.0 applications like blogging & podcasting with our fifth graders. The technology helps to keep our students engaged and motivated for learning. Do your teachers have access to these tools in your district?
- Christine
I taught in a school similar to the one you are describing before I became an administrator and the most frustrating thing for me was the fact that the same classroom management techniques did not work from one day to the next. The kids I dealt with had so much baggage with them that it really was a new challenge every single day. What got me through and helped me to succeed was the notion that fostering a relationship with the student first meant that more management techniques might work. A little caring and attention goes a long way. A health tolerance threshold helps too.

Good luck
Build relationships, build relationships, BUILD RELATIONSHIPS!! These kids are acting out for a reason....the best thing they can get from you is not more's you! Once the relationship has been established, the need to please you is there, then it comes naturally for them to please themselves because success is now something they can expect to experience. The hands-on approach to teaching is vital because many are working from the right side of the brain! I worked with students that came from the Bronx and stayed in Elmira, NY to be near their fathers who were incarcerated in the state prison there. It was not until I go their attention away from the text and on ACTIVE learning that I could then focus on building that relationship. Then they were hooked!



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