Thursday, July 5, 2012

Caring for Even the Toughest Student

We've all had one.

You know...THAT student!

The one you hear about the year before.  None of the other teachers want this student.

And you've allowed yourself to fall into the trap!

This trap, as I call it, is allowing someone else's opinion to greatly influence your own.

So when that poor student enters your classroom on the first day of school, you've already built up some walls and you're already expecting the worse.

Usually...that's what you get!

I truly believe that many students, those 'difficult' ones, got a bad rap in Kindergarten or 1st Grade and never had a chance to prove otherwise.  Their reputation always precedes them.

I decided a few years ago not to let myself fall into this trap ever again.  It has made a huge difference in how I initially approach each student and in many cases it's made a huge difference in the overall behavior of those difficult ones.

Granted, some students may not want to be accepted in your room.  They may like that negative, bad-boy or bad-girl persona they've created.  Sometimes, no matter how hard you try over those 180 days together, you just may not get through.

However, I feel that if you wipe the slate clean for every student every year, you're much more likely to have a positive, peaceful school year.

I love the graphics at the top of this post!  If you can get each student 'on your team' on Day 1, if you can make them all feel special and important, if they all fell they are wanted in your classroom, you've almost won the battle right there on the spot!

Keep in mind many of those difficult ones don't have anyone at home to show them love or care for them like a true parent would.  They may never hear a compliment or encouraging word.

Be a positive light in that student's life...even if it's the only one they'll ever see!  It just might make the difference one day!  And, your days at school will likely be happier ones for you, that student, and the rest of your class!

Today I'm taking part in TBA's International Blog-Hopping Day where this year's theme is There's NO Place Like TBA!

This this ties into the specific theme of How to Handle Behavioral Problems With Love!

A Little Magic

Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},


  1. It is so, so hard when you know "that student" is coming in. Sometimes I think it is best when teachers DON'T warn you! And you are right....those students are usually the ones that need you the most. Thank you for linking up and sharing your ideas!

    Teaching in Room 6

  2. Love this post! I think you hit this problem right on the head. As teachers we tend to gossip about students (and when it is constructive that is not a bad thing but in situations like you described above it is). So I think your attitude is great.
    It is the most important thing!

    Something else you can do is to help the student change that persona they carry by telling the good things about them to their next years teachers.

  3. Thank you for this post. I agree with you, sometimes we allow something that a child did define him/her and he/she never has the opportunity to outgrow the reputation. I will have this student in my class this year and other teachers have been "warning" me for a year now! Thanks for helping me to start my year with a fresh start for this child.

  4. Thank you for this post! I am transitioning into teaching Middle School Social Studies from another career and everyone thinks I'm crazy! :) my heart is with middle school kids and I'm not sure why. I found your blog just in time! The Lord works in mysterious ways.. the important thing is he's always working! :)

    God bless you! Thank you for creating such a wonderful blog!
    The Southern Newlywed-