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A story EVERY teacher should read (How to love unlikable students)

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A story EVERY teacher should read (How to love unlikable students)

Post by sassy86 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:34 pm

How to love unlikably students



Here is an article I loved and wanted to share as usual لتعم الفائدة


Michael Linsin http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2009/11/29/how-to-love-unlikable-students/




I wasn’t sure I could do this.

One week into my first teaching assignment and I was having second thoughts about my career choice.

Although I had been working with kids since my junior year of high school, I had never encountered a child like Anthony before.

Anthony was one of 32 students in my fourth grade class, and he was taking up most of my time.

A wisp of a boy, he probably weighed no more than 60 pounds, but he was bold enough to interrupt nearly every lesson, every activity, and seemingly every word out of my mouth.

He called out in class, made fun of and laughed at other students, and challenged me when I tried to enforce a consequence.

I’d say, “Anthony you broke rule number two and you have to go to time-out.”

His response: “Make me.”

That first week I was reading aloud a childrens’ version of Robin Hood, a story I loved and was excited to share with my new class. But several times a day, Anthony would yell out, “Hey, when are we going to read Peter Pan?”

It makes me laugh today, but at the time it was frustrating.

When he wasn’t trying to get under my skin, Anthony was verbally abusing his classmates. He’d use the F word and whisper cruel things to them whenever I was out of earshot.

During rare, quiet moments, Anthony was sullen. He would stare at the ground and seethe.

By the second week, I was becoming resentful of him. In my self-centeredness, I felt that he was responsible for ruining the happy, peaceful, and inspiring classroom I had envisioned since deciding to become a teacher.

How could he do this to me?

I would sigh when he’d walk into the classroom in the morning and visualize him breaking the news to me that he was moving to Ohio.

“I’m gonna miss you Anthony. Good luck to you partner.”

What I didn’t know at the time, though I’m certain of today, is that he knew. He knew how I felt about him. Negative thoughts about students don’t stay hidden for long. One way or another, they always bubble to the surface.

I would pull Anthony aside to lecture him and threaten him with this and that. I used well-thought-out arguments and parried his sass with clever comebacks. I disliked him and sought to “put him in his place.”

And then I found out he lived in the backseat of a car.

He shared it with his five-year-old sister, and his mom slept in the front seat. He never knew his father.

I grew up in an affluent suburb. My dad bought me a car when I turned sixteen. I had every advantage.
Anthony had none.

Driving to school one morning, I saw him holding his sister’s hand as he walked her to school. I watched him hug her as he dropped her off at kindergarten.

I sat in my car in the school parking lot and cried. I was ashamed of my behavior and my selfishness, and I vowed to focus on helping students like Anthony and never taking their behavior personally again.

Here is some of what I learned from Anthony and a few other hard-to-like students over the years:


  • If you don’t like them, they’ll know it. You can’t hide negative thoughts about students for long.


  • Dislike or resentment toward students will sabotage your ability to help them or effectively manage your classroom.


  • Understanding that extreme behavior often comes from a place of pain will soften your heart and help remove negative thoughts.


  • You’re not doing difficult students any favors by overlooking poor behavior and neglecting to hold them accountable.


  • They want to be treated like everyone else. So hold off on excessive praise. It’s condescending and makes them feel different.


  • They need you desperately. You might be the only adult in their life who believes in them and in what they can become.


  • Laughter truly is the best medicine. Have fun and laugh with them as often as you can.


  • Remove sarcasm, arguing, lecturing, yelling, and the like from your repertoire of classroom management strategies. They don’t work and make turning difficult students around virtually impossible.

I don’t know where Anthony is today, but I can report that, although we had a few rough moments, the rest of the school year with him was a success.

He and his mother and sister found a place to live. He enjoyed school. His behavior improved. We laughed a lot. And I can honestly say that I grew to like him and appreciate his unique gifts.

Having Anthony in my class my first year of teaching was the best thing that could have happened to me, and I’m grateful for the lessons I learned from him.
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sassy86

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Re: A story EVERY teacher should read (How to love unlikable students)

Post by Wallace on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:16 pm

I see that you have become engaged "to" teaching Laughing The right and absolute choice that every teacher has to follow. May God enlighten your path.
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Re: A story EVERY teacher should read (How to love unlikable students)

Post by sassy86 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:39 am

I'm liking it I dare say (with its ups and down Very Happy)
Bless that kind heart of yours!
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sassy86

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Re: A story EVERY teacher should read (How to love unlikable students)

Post by Karim_Rap_4_Life on Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:01 pm

You did right brining such a story so that we could benefit from it. I think the great majority of Algerian teachers understand these aspect but sometimes old plans don’t work!
Because this generation is difficult to understand really hard to deal with. I discovered that a hate rose against me among my students and I was surprised about it coz I was really working hard to make them benefit and this touched me really at that time I turned to a monster a beast who don’t take any human being in consideration. I remember I was about to hit a student in front of his mates due to my rebellious personality in case I get mad I can’t control myself and fight is the only suitable method to make it clean.
I yelled at some students…I smacked some one in the face…and had troubles with administration and that made me hopeless and less interested in teaching and I’m asking Allah for good luck in a suitable career for me far from Teaching.
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Karim_Rap_4_Life

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Re: A story EVERY teacher should read (How to love unlikable students)

Post by sassy86 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:21 pm

Hey Karim! You said one words which reminded me of a movie.. You said you felt 'hopeless', but Karim that's how they feel everyday, because they are young (and even it they look like monsters for you) but they are young, they feel more hopeless than you can fell.

Teach your students to respect you not because they fear you, but because you deserve that respect. And in order to deserve their respect (it's not by preparing lessons for them) but to show them that you do care.

Just care for them and show it, say it.

Teachers scream, humiliate and beat only when they feel they don't have any other solution.

Teaching is very hard when it comes to self-control (Today my students pissed me off, they deserve to be punished but I will certainly never hurt to the extent of letting wounds. They just have to understand that what they did is bad)

I know it's hard but teaching is sometimes similar to raising your own kids (Today, they'll make you feel proud to be their dad or mom. But tomorrow they may probably offend you and make you feel that you have wasted time and efforts on them for nothing. But whatever they do, they know that you'll always forgive them and love them. And therefore, they'll do their best to make amends...etc
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