Being a Special Educator for thirty-seven years, I hope I have a clue on how to interact with student’s that have behavioral problems. They are probably the most challenging of all students. I have made a list of five tips II believe are the most important tips with some other insights. Hopefully this might help teachers that have not had much experience with Behavior Disabled students
1. When a student is getting out of control, don’t escalate your own behavior; try to keep your own emotions under control. If you escalate, chances are that the student will also escalate their own behavior to a higher degree. When both you and your student display anger, it can get real ugly and not much is accomplished. It can effect both of you to the extent that a whole day might be lost. It does happen because you are both human, but hopefully you can reassess the situation and learn triggers before it happens again, so you can react differently the next time. You can also try to help the student identify his/her own triggers. so they might handle difficult situations better.
2. Allow a little wait time for the expected behavior to occur. Behavioral students often need time to process what should be an appropriate response. This can be tricky because often times we want to see immediate results. A behavioral student might need some space and time to process and allowing this might pay off dividends in the future.
3. Get to know a student well enough, so you might be able to understand them to some degree. Students will possibly see your empathy as an indication that you really care about him/her. Ways you can get a student to open up might be to identify with their interest as past times which might include bowling, skate boarding, other sports or poetry . Music is often very important to students and although you might not share their taste you can acknowledge that their preferences are OK.
4. Approach things with a sense of humor. Sometimes getting students to do the appropriate thing works better if you are not constantly demanding things from them on a serious note. Sometimes you need to lighten up. However you must remember behavioral students perception of things might be totally different than yours, and you must be careful not to offend them by saying things that they might have strong feelings about. Getting to know students well can help. When you do offend a student, and it probably will happen because you are human, all you can do is apologize and move on.
5. Don’t try to handle all the problems you are having with students by yourself. Once a week when I was a full time teacher, we would get together with our colleagues and try to come up with solutions to problems we were having with students. Make sure you are very candid with your colleagues and be open to other suggestions in dealing with students. Often you can learn from your colleagues success.
Hopefully this might help you in dealing with Behavioral Challenged students. Good Luck!