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Dealing with calculating students

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by mrandmrsscience, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. mrandmrsscience

    mrandmrsscience New commenter

    ive been teaching a good few years now but I have always struggled with those students who are very calculated in their responses. I can deal with immature shouting out etc but I recently moved to a new school and have quite a few characters. Two boys in particular who are very skilled at turning questions round, backchat phrased as a question. It is clearly a deliberate act in order to Ellicit some sort of response. Any suggestions how to deal with such characters?
  2. littledragon25

    littledragon25 New commenter

    Don't engage in verbal tennis with them. I have one like this who likes to challenge every instruction. If he asks why he has to do something now, I simply reply "because I have made a reasonable request that you do so, and failure to follow that request will result in a consequence."

    End of discussion.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    mrandmrssience as you are new to the school, the two characters you mention, are now finding ways to see how you are going to react to their antics and it is immature behaviour. They are testing your ability to deal with the hassle and see what your tipping point is.

    littledragon25's suggestion is very good - keep the conversation to a minimum and don't try to "explain" your reasoning or debate it with them. If they want to speak to you further about anything, they can make an appointment to meet with you and another adult at another time - not in the class learning time. I also would use littledragon25's script or something similar as by having a script that keeps you in control. Often that will be enough for them to see you are not going to be engaged in "verbal tennis" with them or let your class be derailed. They are seeking drama: "Oh, let us see if Sir/Miss will start screaming if we prod them hard enough. If we just muck about and argue with them for 10 minutes, then everyone will be disturbed and also Sir/Miss will go home and worry about it all night. Isn't that fun and won't we look COOL???

    Really, they should be on task learning not messing about trying to derail you.

    I always used 3 rules:

    Follow instructions fast
    Stay on task
    Work without disturbing others

    As long as you are there with a prepared lesson and work for them to do, then they should have no complaints and their time is far better spent working hard than trying to derail you. I would get the HOD to go in hard on them if they continue.

    You will probably find, however, once you get it nipped in the bud that they will stop.
    bonxie likes this.

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