Thursday, January 22, 2009

Working with the difficult student

I was lucky enough to attend a training titled "Working With the Difficult Student" with Dr. Jane Bluestein this week. Dr. Bluestein has written several books including "The Win-Win Classroom". She spoke energetically about this topic and turned my thinking on it's side about how to approach students in a way that lets both the teacher and the child win. What a fantastic idea! Her premise is about preventing the difficulties before they ever begin. I hope to share over the next few days several of the ideas that I took away from this training that can be used both in the classroom and at home.

I will share this: I used one of the strategies this morning on my 5 year old. He had gotten up this morning and turned on the tv. When I tried to get him to get dressed and eat breakfast this became a battle. You see, you can't see the tv from his room or the kitchen. He kept saying "one more minute!" and never got dressed or ate. I finally became irate at him for ignoring my directions and he became irate with me for insisting on following them. Typically I would have turned off the tv and told him "No more tv until you are dressed and have eaten!". This time I said "Hey, I'm going to help you. After you have gotten dressed and have eaten breakfast, I'm going to let you watch a few minutes of tv until we leave for school. What do you think of that?". The 5 year old loved it! The tears dried up and he became excited because I told him I would help him. The great thing is, I didn't change the core of my message: those two tasks were going to be completed before he could watch tv. I just changed how I presented it to him and we were both winners in the situation.

So keep checking back over the next few days for strategies and ideas. If you get a chance head on over to and look at the free items. There is a lot to choose from.

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