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Disruptive Students

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C M Cameron Mackowski 540 Points

Fellow educators,

I am currently having issues with a disruptive student that I don't know what to do about. This student is not being rude or mean to other students or myself and I do not think it requires any level of discipline and that is why this is difficult for me.

This student loves to talk and share, which I encourage in my classroom because it gets my students thinking about the topic, but they are very good at getting off topic. So much so that I feel I am trying to pull the class in more than I am teaching. This student is very sensitive and when I have tried to talk to her about these issues she gets very defensive and lashes out or starts to say how she is worthless.

I really feel bad and don't want her to feel this way but I also can not have the rest of the students impacted because I can't reach them with the material over her. Many of the students have confessed that they feel they learn better when she is not in class.

How do I minimize this activity, while keeping her happy, so everyone can enjoy the material together?

I would appreciate any feedback, relevent to my situation or not, as to how to manage a classroom.

Thank you!!

Kellie Burgess Kellie Burgess 930 Points

Hello Cameron, 

The spot that you are in with this particular student is difficult. I understand that you are in a tough place because you do not want to hurt her feelings, however you have to have control of your classroom. Something that you could perhaps try, is having a classroom rule where students are only allowed to share during a lesson when their hand is raised. This way it is applied to everyone in the class and your student will not be singled out. This would be a good way for you to be abe to control the amount of conversation as well, and continue with your lessons when you need to. Another strategy in connection with this is reminding students of expectations right before teaching a lesson. You can remind your students how important it is to raise their hands, listen to others, and listen to your instruction. This way when they speak without raising their hands, or get off topic, you can politely remind them of the expectations you went over before the lesson and get them back on track. If these strategies do not work and your particular student is still having disruptions, attempt to speak to her again one on one. If she reacts poorly to speaking one on one again, it may be time to reach out to help from other staff in your school. A student should never feel worthless and this may be a sign of low self esteem caused by another source. The attention your student recieves from speaking in class may be her way of feeling cared for and important. Her poor reaction to criticism could be a sign that she might need someone to talk to and help her to work through any concerns she may be having. Look into your school's recources and see what is available for student care. I hope this message helps you out! There are a lot of strategies out there and I think it is really just trial and error to find what works for you and your kids! I wish you the best of luck and I am sure everything will clear up! 

C M Cameron Mackowski 540 Points

Thank you so much Kellie!! This is very helpful and I am going to give it a try. These are very good strategies and I am so glad that you were able to add thoughtful feedback to my issue. I look forward to working through this issue with a positive mindset and having a successful classroom in the future. I will also use this feedback to work with this student so becomes a more confident young lady and the entire learning environment improves for her and the rest of the students. 

Thank you again!!

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