I’ve worked with teachers who complained about “touchy feely” management practices, and how students these days need harsh discipline and tough love. While there is a bit of truth there, I always knew that stronger discipline is not the same as better classroom management. That’s especially true with middle school students who are going through so many changes. This interview shows why engaging your resistant student is much better than punishing him/her.
When I was a principal, I needed to overcome the emotional resistance of educators to make much-needed changes. I relied on this document to help guide my efforts. So when a middle school teacher came to me for advice with a difficult student, I shared this document. Turns out, the skills presented here can be used to reduce emotional resistance from people of just about any age.
Sure, a good teacher training program covers how to deal with disruptive students. But rarely do they go into specific ideas. Thankfully, this article has just come out and is already a big hit with my fellow educators. 20 tips are great, but they are broken down by the source of resistance, such as anxiety and work avoidance. It finishes with clearly defined interaction strategies.
This involved article is a bit wordy for my tastes, but I appreciate how it clearly defines terms like “anti-social” that get used a bit freely. It also discusses school-level interventions and changes that can reduce resistance and problematic behavior, such as early screening of problem students and social skills training. While I’m not a fan of early labeling, there is something to be said for finding students who need help before their resistance gets out of hand.
Like everyone, I always knew middle-school was an especially difficult time for my students. But like most people, I had trouble explaining exactly why. How could I get past such emotional resistance if I couldn’t articulate where it comes from? Thankfully, this article does just that. It covers the anxiety and changes middle school students face, the role of social cruelty in school, and why academic achievement can drop in these years.