I have been working for Wallaby House English Centre for a few months now and by far they are the best English centre I’ve ever worked for.
I recently picked up a new class and was prepared to take on a challenge because I was warned about this one student who was particularly hard to deal with. I was told from other teachers at the centre that this particular student is disruptive, aggressive, has a low attention span, and is hard to control.
Now; throughout my teacher training, and from experience, I have learned the importance of teaching each student differently, that each student is different, and each student learns in a different way. It was only when I consciously applied this knowledge to the particular child that I began to really see just how much teaching really can make a difference. And it was powerful to see the difference I could make in my teaching.
You see, before this student in case, I had known about the different ways that people learn and I had used that knowledge in my classroom when thinking about positive reinforcement, punishment, students needing to be active, or not wanting to play games at all, homework, etc. But I never really put that much thought into it, it’s a pretty natural thing to me.
So when I had a ‘difficult kid’ in my young teenagers class, I was terrified. As a young woman teacher, and not a very dominant person in the best of situations, I find it very hard to control a rowdy classroom. Especially when young, strong-headed boys are involved. So I decided off the bat to take a different approach to teaching this student and I have seen results instantly.
In the beginning, the student was very aggressive. He would start fights over nothing that would escalate and get physical way too fast. On top of this, he was continuously disrupting the class and distracting the other students from doing their work. He was getting very low grades, and not passing many subjects, although his English is actually very good, he could not concentrate on the topics in class so when we had a test, he didn’t know what we were doing.
We have a system at the school where when you are naughty, you are told to leave the classroom for 5 minutes. It is used as a punishment. However, I took this student aside and said to him ‘when you feel too angry, and you know you are going to get in a fight, ask me if you may go outside for a minute to cool down’. I let him know that this is not a punishment, that he will be in no trouble for leaving if he asks first. I thought this would become a normal thing in the classroom for us, but after just a few lessons, he learned that it’s easier to take a breath and cool down before retaliating than to get into a fight and get in trouble. I cant explain to you how good it feels to have made such progress with this student.
The biggest thing I have seen is his actual learning progress. This student has gone from failing and not caring about tests and results, to being the ONLY student to get 100% on the class test! I started paying more attention to this students work progress and attention in class, and keeping him on track when he needed it. Through positive reinforcement, I made the student want to do the work because every time he would do more and more work, I would tell him how great it was and that I was proud of him.
I have gone from seeing a naughty child, who was a nuisance in my classroom, making it harder for me to teach, and for my students to learn, to a beautiful child who gets 100% on the tests and almost always pays attention in class. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not perfect, but I will take credit for the progress we have made so far!
Never have I ever felt more like I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.
Thanks for reading. More pictures below!
Subscribe to my blog to get posts by email every time I post new content! (ask me how)
*more photos of my teaching alert*