When the new school year begins, we often find ourselves overwhelmed with the amount of preparation that goes into creating a great start for our students. Our bulletin boards are fresh, our desk is organized, and our bookshelves are tidy. We have our icebreakers ready, the schedule written on the board, and our headache medicine at the ready. We’ve done everything we can think of to solve problems before they even begin, and we are feeling positive that the year is going to be a success.
Then, here HE comes.
You’ve already heard all about him. “Attention-seeker.” “Discipline problem.” “Holy Terror.” You clench your jaw and immediately direct him to the seat specifically assigned to keep him out trouble. You’ve tried to separate him from his peers. He has a direct view of you and the board. You raise your brow at him as you point him towards his desk, and he grins like the cat who caught the canary. His classmates watch carefully to see what he does. While the other students wait anxiously to hear the first set of directions, he slumps in his seat and lets everyone know his business is to disrupt business.
Who’s the most uncomfortable here?
I’ll admit, for the first nineteen years of my teaching career, I was the uncomfortable one. I would brace myself for the inevitable confrontations and just pray that my naturally genial demeanor would be enough to keep my class running smoothly, even with my most challenging students. He isn’t uncomfortable. He is an expert at disruption, distraction, and disengagement. He is sneaky and manipulative. He will do anything he can to stress you to your limits. He is a Love and Logic student.
Here at Oconee Academy, we have an entire population of these students. They come in ready for a fight. Luckily, with our Love and Logic approach, they will not find one.
For the next few weeks, I will be sharing Love and Logic strategies and success stories, as well as the struggles we encounter as we implement this program for our second year. While some of the tactics may seem strange in the face of our previous training (“Delayed consequences? Seriously?), I have witnessed firsthand the difference this approach can make. If you are interested in giving it a try, just bring an open mind, a willing heart, and the faith that you can truly make a difference in the lives of even your most difficult to reach students.