There is always a problem child in your classroom. They try our patience. I had a particular child who was very smart. He was that type A personality who always wanted to tell you how to play the game or change the rules to make it more fun. He didn’t play well with the other children and seemed to play off by himself. If you watched him he would talk to other kids but he didn’t seem to make a friend. I as the teacher had more interaction with him than any one else because I was always frustrated with him trying to get him to listen, sit still or quit talking. This kid was not a bad kid, just very energetic and not very disciplined.
In my classroom I use the 1,2,3 system. If I call you down more than twice, the third time I will ask you to go set with an adult. Depending on the child the adult may be in or out of the classroom. I have only had to send a child to his parents or another adult once. When they return for the next meeting they know I mean what I say and they know where the line is. They also know that my discipline is not from anger, it is the rules of the classroom. I am the monitor of the classroom, not the Queen meeting out punishment.
Anyway, Ted was a very undisciplined child, his parents were equally undisciplined however they were very good believers and church goers and were active in their child’s spirituality training. So Ted knew a lot about the Bible.
So I began the count down, When he was misbehaving I simply looked at him and said that’s number 1. Again he was misbehaving and I looked him in the eye and said that was number 2. Again he began playing and I looked at him and said that was number 3. He was fully expecting me to send him to an adult. There was only one other adult in the room and he was busy with a smaller child.
I just let it go. You see, I realized I couldn’t expect him to completely comply because he had not been taught to comply at home. Sometimes it is small steps with children. Your job is to keep them smiling, laughing and having an enjoyable time so they will be receptive to learning. Not to be a harsh taskmaster. Each child is an individual.
After number 3, on the next incident I looked him square in the face and said, “now you are on Grace”!
The rest of the class time he was better. Not the best but better. The telling moment came when class was over and he started to leave the classroom and he turned around and came over to me and put his arms around me and hugged me tight.
You just have to love that kid!