How do you handle the impossible child?
This is a tough question because the answer must factor in the individual background of the child and knowledge of what the teacher has already tried. We might think we have done everything, and we have --that is everything we know to do. It could be that as a teacher you need to broaden your scope. The same approach does not work with all children.
If you have taken preventative measures and have consistently applied consequences to rule breaking, in love, most children will eventually come around. If the child truly is a troubled child, you probably will have to go beyond what you do with the rest of the class.
Sometimes you can set up a "contract" with this child wherein you sit down one-on-one with him and delineate specific plans to improve, along with consequences geared toward him. You might find it helpful to devise a means of warning for the child, known only by the two of you, whereby you will signal to him when his behavior is getting disruptive (i.e. pull on your left ear). Sometimes this child may be unaware of his condition and may therefore need that visual clue. If he fails to comply with your contract, you will need to sit down with him again and revisit the agreement. Be sure to establish goals within his reach.Also Read: Helping Bible Teachers with "Problem Students"
This child usually needs a large degree of individualized attention. Be sure you have enough help in your class. Perhaps an individual will need to be assigned specifically to this troubled child.
And finally, remember that though the child may seem impossible to you, God specializes in the impossible. Pray fervently.
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(Last updated 5/01/15)
For more training to help you with Classroom Discipline:
Read more tips in the Handbook on the Basics of Classroom Discipline.
Or, go beyond by using the Effectively Handling Classroom Discipline Workbook.
Learn the difference between Biblical Authority versus the Authoritarian and Permissive Teachers Worksheet and the implications for your teaching.
Think through the challenges, causes, corrective measures, and ways to circumvent 56 different discipline issues using the one page sheets in the Discipline Issues: What to Do About Specific Challenges resource.
And, click below to read helpful articles on classroom discipline: