Session 19: Top tips on dealing with challenging children

Session Title

Top tips on dealing with challenging children

Summary of Session

[pullquote]No child sets out in life to be challenging. Compassion is key to success in behaviour management.[/pullquote]A fast paced discussion on how to deal with challenging behaviour within the classroom.  The key point that came out of this was that there is no point in just looking at the child but also yourself and the role you play within it all.

It was felt by all that the first thing we need to do with all children and those who are challenging is to have a good relationship with them.  It is easier to win a child over and get them to get on with their learning etc. by them knowing you care about them – the only way to achieve this is through a meaningful relationship.

Pre-empt any issues that may be coming – if you are watching your class properly you should be able to intervene before any major issue happens.  Remember a child doesn’t just do something there is something that has caused the behaviour.  Linked to this is adult position in the classroom so that the child knows you are there and feels your presence.  If they still are not taking the hint at this point it was suggested just to say their name could reinforce the adult presence near them.

There was also a discussion of voice use and tone.  It was decided that yes the occasional shouting is ok but anything beyond that is out of control.  We should be learning to use our voices and go from normal, to quiet, loud, excited disappointed etc.  If you feel your voice is an issue practise it at home and don’t just hope it comes within the classroom.

Less discussed but equally important thoughts to consider:

  • How is your classroom set up – are the pencils in a corner that when everyone goes to get them it will cause congestion and arguments?
  • If you are using rewards, what are the rewards?  What can the children get them for?  Are you giving them for meaningful reasons or are they overused?
  • Is it possible to send the child away so that his audience is removed?  Even if it is just for a message?
  • Is there a clear level of command within the school where consequences become more serious?

The biggest thing that came out of it all and my parting thought – remember to give a clean slate and not to take their behaviour to heart (as difficult as it may be).

Notable Tweets from the session:

Challenging Kids (CK) — those who don’t simply comply but who force us to raise our game…#ukedchat @DrAshCasey

how challenging a child is, can be subjective to the teacher… #ukedchat – @MrThorne

#ukedchat challenging children/challenging behaviour? it’s the same as any human interaction – take a personal and REAL interest – please – @Janshs

calm calm calm. but never make empty threats. if you say you’re going to do something, then do it. increase your credibility. #ukedchat  @Jonnatmuuua

I think it’s important not to take it personally too.Quickest way to escalate the situation.  @Creativeedu:

Catch challenging child being good and give lots of praise. Refer back “do you remember when…” to get repeat of behaviour  @GilldeCoesmo

Differentiation! >How manykids misbehave due to boredom/work too hard?  @NikkiA10

Important to build self esteem not crush it when dealing with any but esp. with challenging pupil @Blowtheblues

@LouiW #ukedchat – I also use moving around the classroom to stand next to people works well….

One thing about behvaiour management strategies is that they are all personal to the teacher and need developing  @colport

Tweet of the Week

@frogphilp: #ukedchat Last thoughts – no child sets out in life to be challenging. Compassion is key to success in behaviour management.

Useful links highlighted during the session:

Book recommendation – Assertive Discipline Lee Canter

About the host:

Teacher in Peterborough, currently working with Year 3. Previously worked in Scotland in KS1.  Varied interests within the classroom but overall the most important thing is getting children to achieve their potential through things that they enjoy and engage in.

Comments since this session:

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1 Comment

  1. I’m not sure I buy the ‘inexperienced planning’ comment. There are challenging children – and they present in a variety of ways. You can plan until you are blue in the face, but nothing will make up for the fact that the child in question needs to feel safe and needs to know that they are liked and approved of. Many of our ‘loved’ children come to school to learn. All of the rest come to school, crying out to be loved – and will show it in the most unloving of ways. I am not knocking planning, but I do think that it is an easy ‘out’ for teachers who have not built that crucial relationship with the students they teach.

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