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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Things I Learned From Having a Difficult Class: The Perfect Kids

This is the fourth post in my Things I Learned from Having a Difficult Class Series. Today I'm focusing on the perfect kids. In the upcoming weeks I'll discuss kids "on the fence", documentation, and communicating with parents. In the middle of a behavior melt downs; meetings with the parents, administration, and district; how do you keep these kids engaged, learning, and wanting to come to school?

These kids will be your saving grace during the year. They will help you keep your sanity. They will make you smile on a daily basis. They will make you feel guilty because the other children take up so much of your time that you have none leftover to spend on them. They are also the ones who will suffer.

It is not fair for these children to deal with the behavior issues of other students.

It is not fair for these children to have a teacher who is so worn down and tired of dealing with the other things that are like constant fires that need to be put out.

It it not fair for these children to have other students be mean to them, but it's okay "because they're on a behavior plan".

It is not okay for these children to have a teacher who is unprepared because they've been in 3 meetings that week alone for that ONE student taking up all their time.

It is not fair for these wonderful children to deal with the mental health issues of other students.

These kids deserve better.

Don't punish them for the misdeeds of the other students in the class. Make sure these kids know how special and wonderful they are. But don't give them special treatment.

Keep in mind, that even the best behaved kids will have bad days. This does not make them bad kids. Everyone has bad days. Don't hold it against them.

Be consistent. Treat them as badly as you treat the other kids, just don't make them suffer the consequences for things that are out of their control. Inconsistency can make the best behaved kids do strange things, because like any child they are testing limits. Like I say to my students: Every student, every time. It is not easy, but it gets easier with practice.

Do little things so that they know how appreciated and valued they are. This can be as simple as writing them a little note, having them be a helper..even if it is just something simple like handing out papers. It will mean a lot to them in the long run.

They will be okay. And so will you.

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