So many students believe that they should be in charge of the classroom and that they know more than the teacher. It can be tough to teach hard-to-manage students who think they should be in charge. Since few schools have a written game plan to formally train their kids to be students, you may see a lot of younger and older youth who do not look, act or sound like students.
Until trained to be students, some youngsters may continue to be unmanageable. Here is a small sampling from our arsenal of strategies to effectively teach kids to be successful students. The strategies offered here will focus on just one of the many skill areas you need to cover: how to interact properly with teachers. Don't forget to cover those other areas too--how often to talk in class, what to say or not say, how to be on task, how to arrive on time, how to interact with other students and so on. Our web site, books and workshops cover all these areas in depth (http://www.youthchg.com), but here's a peek at some of our best! Just click to visit the web site to see many more. We even have posters that teach teacher interaction skills so teaching these behaviors doesn't have to be complicated or difficult. You simply have to take the time to train kids to be students. Here's some fun interventions to get you started giving kids vital teacher interaction skills.
** Who Is Qualified to Be in Charge? For students who believe that they should run the class, have your kids list out all the qualifications that teachers must have. Write their responses on the board and elicit answers like "have a college degree" and "have a license to teach." Next, ask the class to determine who has these qualifications, the teacher or students? This intervention can very effectively squelch your "know-it-all" students' attempts to be the boss of the class.
** Just Say "Yes" So often, "NO!" is the first word from a student's mouth in response to a teacher's direction. Understandably, that response can become a problem quite quickly. Teach the students that a "trick" to more often get your teacher to do what you want is to say "Yes." Drill the students to use sentences such as "Yes, I will do the math but can you show me how" and "Yes, but I don't really want to do it." Teach students that "Yes" is the magic word to use with teachers to have a better chance to get what they want. Also, discuss what bad things can happen to employees who say "NO" to bosses, and note that school is the place to prepare for employment to avoid "practicing on the job."
** Help Me Faster When the teacher doesn't immediately respond to a request for help, some students become upset or misbehave, sometimes believing that the teacher hates them-- that's why they don't respond faster. To quickly show students why the teacher doesn't always immediately provide aid every time, have a student assume the role of teacher then have all the other students request help at once. The role-play teacher will quickly understand why the teacher is unable to always provide instant aid. Ask the students to recommend how the teacher should allocate aid. The class will suggest that the teacher respond to the person who requests help first, which should prove to be an easy-to-do answer for the teacher to follow.
** Teachers Are Lousy Mind Readers To show students that teachers are unable to decipher what that their tantrum or sulking means, teach students that teachers are lousy mind readers. Have students think of numbers, and have the teacher attempt to guess the numbers. Keep score on the board. Assess the score and discuss that teachers can't read minds very well. Discuss when students sometimes expect teachers to read minds, and what students could do that would work much better.
** Top 10 Ways Your Teacher Can't Tell You Need Help To further teach students that teachers are unable to magically determine when students need help, have the class make a Top 10 List. Title this list "The Top 10 Ways Your Teacher Can't Tell You Need Help." Elicit answers such as "you glare." Post the completed list on the wall and discuss what might work better.
Teachers, they didn't tell you in college to give students teacher interaction skills. But, now you know the secret to getting kids to act, sound and look like students.