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MS ELA and journalism, CA

"They're not being engaged so

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"They're not being engaged so they're not engaging."

A beautiful voice of reason from a student sheds heaps of light on the "lack of management." I don't manage my students ... they're 11 and they need to be engaged to be involved. Thank you for speaking up in the community!

Community Manager at Edutopia

[quote]I sometimes will tell

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[quote]I sometimes will tell my students a long and elaborate story (that perfectly exemplifies the topic of the day) and when I'm finished, they desperately want to know if it's true. I try to make the story as ridiculous but plausible as possible.[/quote]

Ms. Breon, I love this. I suspect my inner seventh grader would enjoy your class.

Seventh Grade English Teacher from Yorktown, Virginia

You bring up some great

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You bring up some great points. This is my fourth year teaching middle school, and I can see the huge difference this year in the relationships I am building. Students are willing to work much harder for me because they know that I care about them as a person. I like the distraction idea, which is something I do regularly, but never thought of it as an actual distraction. I sometimes will tell my students a long and elaborate story (that perfectly exemplifies the topic of the day) and when I'm finished, they desperately want to know if it's true. I try to make the story as ridiculous but plausible as possible. Those distractions may seem silly, but students need to be refocused sometimes. Sometimes the two minutes off-task make the difference between productivity or melt down the rest of class.
Great read!

I completely agree that

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I completely agree that teachers must build relationships with students in order for them to feel welcome and safe in their classroom. I am a sixth year teacher and have come a long ways since my first year. I have discovered the best ways for building these relationships and how to make students know they can trust me as a teacher. I like students to know I am going to do what is best for them to make them become successful. Students who I am able to build relationships with generally tend to do better in both behavior and academics.

I also agree and can relate that students respond well to praise and reward. We have a reward system in place at the school I teach at and it's absolutely wonderful. Students who are spotted doing the right thing earn an "Eagle Buck" that they can spend at the Soar Store every other week. Items vary from school supplies to extra time on a computer. The students love getting these fake dollar bills as an incentive for making smart, positive choices.

I have taught seventh grade

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I have taught seventh grade for seventeen years. I have found that building a relationship with my students is very important in order for the students to want to learn. I am able to get my students to strive to do better. I can get my students to do things in my class that other teachers can not. I think this is because my students know that I truly care about them and want them to be successful. I remind my students about their behavior by saying things like thank-you to those students that are coping down the daily objective. This reminds them what they are supposed to be doing with positivity.

I agree that building a

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I agree that building a repoire with our students is really important. When they feel comfortable with a teacher, they'll be more likely to participate and be in engaged. Here's another Edutopia blog post that can give some insight: "What Teacher Do You Want?"

Also, there's different learning styles so it's important to diversify how the material is being presented, how students express their learning, and how students can be in engaged. For more details, you can go to
In addition, I think gamification is a great way to incorporate some friendly competition in the classroom and keep students involved as well!

K-12 teacher from UAE, Dubai

Thank you for the article and

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Thank you for the article and to bring this topic up .
I like the two websites you added.
I love teaching MS students they are hard to deal with but still I love them .

9th Grade Student

I'm not a squirrel. I might

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I'm not a squirrel. I might have only been around for fourteen years but that doesn't that doesn't guarantee me to be any less human or any less capable of trust than you are.
When did school become about "managing" students? Dehumanizing students as "squirrels" who are incapable of paying attention is no way to get them to pay attention. They're capable I promise. They're not being engaged so they're not engaging. We were all that age once, like you said. I was that age 2 years ago. I've grown since, I know, and I might still be just a teenager with the "epidemic" that is ADHD but I didn't go to middle school for the last 3 years to be managed, I went to be taught.
You have brought up some great insight that needs to be addressed, as many students are proving to be a hassle and to have trouble paying attention, but not nearly to the point where they can't be trusted to behave as human beings.

Seventh grade social studies teacher from Washington, D.C.

Great read! Although I'm

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Great read! Although I'm still learning, and always will, here are seven key skills I try to constantly develop:

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