We’ve all had that kid in our class. The kid that constantly disrupts our lesson, doesn’t follow directions, and doesn’t do a bit of work. The one that seems to get the entire class into a frenzy. We get so frustrated with them and either send them to another class, give them detention, or even an office referral. They become labeled as the “bad kid” or the “problem student” but have we taken the time to really know this student and why they behave the way they do?

How can we minimize the disruptive behavior from our most challenging students?

Take Time.

Days are jammed packed full of things to do and accomplish before that bell rings but just find 5 minutes of your day by:

  • Greeting them at the door
  • Talking with them in the hallways
  • Sitting with them at lunch
  • Waiting with them at the car/bus rider line

Find any time you can to talk with a student to get to know more about them and even them about you.

Have a Conversation.

This may sound simple but if you really listen you can put the pieces together.

  • What are their likes and dislikes?
  • What is home life like? Do they live with mom, dad, grandparents, etc.?
  • Do they like school?
  • What is their favorite subject?
  • Who is their favorite teacher?

Simple questions will tell you so much about a student and why they might behave the way that they do.

Use What You Know.

Now that you’ve had a conversation and actually KNOW your student use the knowledge and information you just gained to make school some place they want to be.

  • Incorporate their likes into your lessons to keep them engaged
  • Use their likes as incentives for good behavior
  • Home life may not be the best, so make your classroom and yourself a nurturing and supportive place that they want to come to everyday
  • Talk with their favorite teacher about strategies and ideas that they use as something you can start implementing in your classroom
  • Do check-in/check-out with their favorite teacher each day

5 minutes. That’s all it took to find out more about your students. 5 minutes to make your classroom less disruptive. 5 minutes to change a life.