5 Tips for Working with Tough Kids that you didn’t learn in school


As you know, the Double Dose teachers both work in special education in the same school, and have gone through many tricky situations involving behavior management. We’re here to provide you with some interesting scenarios (and very likely!) situations that you may encounter as a special educator, and tips to get through it!

       1. Humor. I always tell my paraprofessionals, that “if you dont laugh about it, you’re going to cry”. Take a deep breath, try not to go into cardiac arrest.  Step out of the room for a quick second to regroup if you can.

       Like the time I was notified that my student was just dropped off to school, but was outside in a tree and wouldn’t come down. Or, like the time when a student dumped my entire library of 300 leveled books upside down 5 minutes before dismissal. Don’t stress about things that you cannot control…it will burn you out and take the joy out of what you do instead of allowing you to appreciate their quirks, embrace their mild naughtiness and the happiness they bring you.

 2.   Watch your facial expressions. Teachers can literally be read like a book by students that are trying to get under your skin, so be mindful of your reactions. If you laugh in the middle of trying to correct their behavior, they will never take you seriously. If you are trying to do what we told you to do in tip #1, always keep a book handy to hide your tears of laughter.

 3.     Clothing Choice. Newsflash: you are not going to make it if you’re wearing those cute new heels that you got for back to school. I would forget the pencil skirt too while you’re at it, and always make sure you have a hair tie handy. You never know what you’ll encounter: sprinting students, food fights, bodily fluids including projectile vomiting, flying pencils, and of course…climbing trees. Always be prepared, and I would keep a spare change of clothes in your closet if you can.

4.     Pick your battles. True life in the classroom can often be a power struggle with some students. Trust usyou will not win! For example, I had a student once who would rip up any work given to him, and use some choice words to tell me how he felt about it. After days of trying to engage him, I found that he was in fact coming over to the table for instruction. However, instead of walking over appropriately, he proceeded to scoot his chair loudly across the newly waxed floor, moving one inch at a time and disrupting the otherwise calmness of the classroom. In this case, I chose to pick my battle, when I really wanted to scream. In the end, he did come to the table and complete his first activity with me. By waiting it out, and thinking about my end goal—which was getting him to do his work—we both got what we wanted and avoided a power struggle.
5.     Find a Teacher Bestie. Find that person that gets you, that you can go to during the day to prevent a major mid-day meltdown, and shares your love of coffee. Always remind each other not to sweat the small stuff and that each day is a new start….and to always keep a bottle of wine on hand for those nights that you really need it.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Interactive Pocketbook Units that you might love:

meet the teachers

Hi, we're Kelly and Stephanie, 2 teacher besties from Buffalo, NY. We love collaborating and creating hands on, engaging materials for all learners. Thanks for stopping by!

follow us!

blog categories

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This