Sunday, December 6, 2009

Developing rapport with difficult students

Some students spend large amounts of time out of class. Some are ratbags that deliberately seek to be excluded, generally are of low IQ and are very difficult to help. Others purely lack social skills.

Each year the maths team adopts a few of these and attempts to help them through to graduation.

I find the students lacking social skills easier to help - sometimes a little intervention is enough to get them performing in a normal classroom. One student that fit this criteria just graduated (yay!), I lost contact with my candidates from last year (as I only taught the top year 11 classes this year). Sadly they have gone off the rails a little.

This year, my approach for the students is different. One student is being encouraged to seek approval and success from teachers in more than just my class, to learn how to tolerate negative behaviour of others and has improved out of sight from the truanting ways earlier in the year. Another, I've spent a lot of time playing games with and getting to sit still and paint miniatures for me. If I can teach how to behave in a group, be a little more patient and share an affable nature in a social way, we would of gone a long way to finding a way to integrate into society.

After all, these are the real success stories that kids remember well into later life.


  1. children as ratbags. poetic.

  2. Probably not one of my finest hours but it is a part of my journey in teaching, and not one that I should hide from. Not every day can we think of each of our darlings as angels of infinite futures. What I like about the post is that I was thinking about how I could deal with the situation going forward. It's my current focus, generating a true lookahead, seeing how I can change things to make a better future for students (that are genuinely struggling) and find ways to help small group of students see a future where they currently lack aspiration.

    Thanks for bringing me back here!


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