Students with behavior problems

Students with behaviour problems

Sometimes students diagnosed with highly disruptive and authority-defying behaviours. Here are a number of tips for coping with these situations. Start from the assumption of the teaching staff as the figure of authority and, in turn, as an expert and professional person of education. Therefore, the relationships will be asymmetric; we expect some ability to control the behaviour of the student or student on the part of the teachers while it is necessary a good management of the own process as a teacher. Try to avoid these behaviours: we must recognize the moments in which the student is about to jump. We must also be fair, consistent and systematic in our classroom management. Adolescents are very sensitive to injustice. If a serious fault finally occurs, we have failed.  If a teacher finally face behaviour of disrespect and that challenges the authority than do not enter into arguments: Teachers are the figure of authority that is not debatable, a teacher should not try to stay above, nor humiliate, nor engage in arguments.

If possible, withdraw attention

Withdraw the stimulus that is our and the group’s attention. Teachers must point out that the behaviour is undesirable, but we can do it privately or at the end of the class to break the pattern that maintains the behaviour. Another option is time out.

Do not use aggressive communication

Manage your voice tone, position, movements, etc. Especially in these moments of crisis try to speak soft, not too close and never holding or grasping. If you do not raise the pitch, it is more difficult for the other person to do so. It can be blunt without sounding aggressive.

Do not offer confrontation or pressure

We are in the moment to deactivate, not to add fuel to the fire. Let us control our behaviour, however difficult it may seem, to avoid escalating confrontation.

Understand the importance of momentary activation

Both for you and for the student cooling down is essential to act with moderation. If we manage to control the behaviour of the one who defies, we must keep a time of prudence. It still maintains an arousal (alert level) high; it can jump back at any time. In turn, after an altercation, we are also highly activated and we are more likely to emit negative responses. Let’s keep this in mind and take care of behaviour with third parties.

Select a punishment

Select a punishment that is part of the solution and do not aggravate the problem anymore: do not try to humiliate. By definition a punishment is that which decreases the probability of repeating the punished conduct. So, design a punishment that does not include hidden reinforcements, that does not generate hatred or aversion towards anyone and that includes compensation to the victims if any, understanding that sometimes, The punished person is, in turn, a victim.