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Director, Graduate program in behavior disorder, David Yellin College

I'd like to add one

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I'd like to add one additional thought, which might be the most important of all. The single best attitude that a teacher can have in changing the attitudes of students is to believe in them. Telling a student that is better than nothing but not very effective overall. It's far better to show them that you believe in them. This is not simple to explain in a post how to do this but start by asking yourself what do people who believe in you show you, rather than tell you, that they really do. Then try those things.

Once again,
don't give up and Good luck

Director, Graduate program in behavior disorder, David Yellin College

Hi pprspks, You raise a great

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Hi pprspks,

You raise a great question. There two basic approaches, one short term and one long term.

Short term:
1. neutralize his power with proximity control, be close when you teach.
2. Greet him at the door about three days a week and greet him with something like (use your own words) "I'm glad to see you. I know you usually don't like school, but I hope today is better. Do you have any suggestions for me how I can help you learn today?" Use a similar approach when he leaves asking him about tomorrow.
3. Privately ask him if he had any teachers or classes that he didn't hate or at least liked a little more. Find out what that teacher did that you might do.

Long term:

He developed this attitude for a reason. If you can find the reason you might be able to change his attitude. You can ask him, but you may hear in response, "I don't know," or "leave me alone." ask others, family previous teachers or school personnel. Go back as far as you can.

I don't like trying to be commercial on this site, but my book, Meeting Students Where They Live: Motivating Urban Youth has a lot of other ideas that can really help. They are too long to explain in this post.

You may also hope he is absent more often (Joking, of course.)

Good luck,

Rick Curwin

English Teacher from Queens, NY

Fist Bump

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Don't know if you are the fist bumping type, but even if it is metaphorically speaking, you've put into words what good teachers innately know. Everything about teaching is strategic, and your three-point explanation is accurate. As a middle school teacher, I know, I've lived it. Now what about when the classroom leader is the most deviant of them all? What about when the classroom leader is actually the bully? What about when the classroom leader's middle name is "I hate this school, and the teachers too." I'd like to know your take on how to handle them.

Principal - Australia (semi retired)

The Dogs Have It.

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I love the "leader of the pack" analogy. I bet giving them some form of control must make the conscientious students gulp in horror.

Having visited hundreds of classrooms, it always amazes me how these little hounds ever got to that status in the first place.

I'm going to suggest this strategy to my staff.

Director, Graduate program in behavior disorder, David Yellin College

to mark, That's why Otis

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to mark,

That's why Otis barked at you every time he saw you. He never had enough kibble to pay the union dues.

thanks for the comment.

Teacher and Educational Journalist

Going to the Dogs

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As long as may schools appear to be "going to the dogs.," why not do it the best way?!

What a great little clever piece Rick. I'm sending it to some dog loving teachers I know, including my daughter and son-in-law.

I hav been contacted by some Dogs Rights activists however who want to know whether I have any information regarding Otis being under contract and a member of the Teachers
Union!

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