New Teacher Tips – How to Deal With Discipline Problems

Teaching is hard, no matter which angle you view it. You will have difficult days and you will have easier days. But it all boils down to how you can use your power as a listener (one of our many roles as teachers) to help foster positive communication, which will offset discipline problems in the class by 99% once you do it routinely and you mean what you say.

Step 1. Echo. Listen to the person talking. As soon as s/he finishes, repeat what s/he has said. Try to use almost the exact words. Then ask one of the questions: Did I hear you correctly? Do you want to add something?

Step 2. Confirmation. Let the person know that you understand the important of what s/he just said. I can see that… I understand that you feel …

Step 3. Empathy. Try to see the other person’s side. By showing empathy you let the person know you really hear him or her. I feel that.. I understand…

Step 4. Make a Request. Ask the person what /she wants from you. Suggest what you feel you can do. Please tell me what you actually want.. What can I do?

When dealing with discipline problems, teachers need to also have emphatic listening skills to help them avoid confrontations with both parents and students. This skill goes beyond any sort of course you were probably ever taught at teacher’s college and is usually defined as a performance skill. in fact, teachers should rely much more on their performance skills for dealing with discipline problems than follow-throughs.

Selective Mutism – Tips for Helping Teachers Deal with this Anxiety Disorder in the Classroom

Dealing with selective mutism in the classroom can be very difficult and frustrating for teachers. After all, sometimes it seems that a child with selective mutism is merely acting up by not speaking or participating; and, also, it can be hard to judge how much the child has learned when he or she will not read aloud, etc.

Selective mutism is usually a symptom of an anxiety disorder, and the full impact of this disorder is usually not manifested until the child starts school. It is most often in the classroom where the effects of selective mutism are most seriously experienced. Therefore, it is most often the teacher who must deal with, learn to cope with, and fight against this disorder.

Fortunately, there are things that teachers can do to help deal with selective mutism in the classroom. Here are some tips:

The teacher is quite often center of the most intense symptoms of the child. Be patient. Understand that there is a whole other child that you can get to know beneath the shell of selective mutism.

Realize that as a teacher, you are a most integral part of helping students combat their selective mutism. Be understanding. Realize that the symptoms of selective mutism are not intentional, and you therefore should not get frustrated or angry.

If you suspect selective mutism, refer both the child and the parents to a health practitioner or a psychologist. Together, they can help come up with a behaviorally based treatment plan. This is the most effective approach to treating selective mutism.

Work alongside with a speech-language pathologist (SLP). In fact, you (the teacher), the parents, the child, the psychotherapist, and the SLP are all important parts of the treatment team. Coordinate your actions and work together.

Do not try to force the child to speak. Of course, it is alright to gently encourage the child to speak.

Reward and praise the child for speaking and for participating in the classroom. Rewarding the child will make him or her feel like a part of the classroom, but more independent at the same time. It can help slowly crack the shell of anxiety.

A child with selective mutism is best suited to routine and structure.

· Keep a predictable structure and make sure that you clearly explain classroom activities. Doing these things will help reduce the unknown and give the child a feeling of structure.

Try to a avoid sudden schedule changes. If you are planning a change in schedule or a new activity, give the children a preview of the expected change.

Although a child with selective mutism may not jump right into an activity, he or she might after a little while. It is easier for him or to join once he or she has observed the other children and knows what to do. Help the child get engaged in the activity, and then slowly fade away as he or she becomes more confident.

Assessment of the development and skills of a child with selective mutism can be very difficult for the teacher. After all, it is hard to judge how well a child can read if the child will not read out loud.

Realize that just because you have seen no signs of the child's ability, it does not mean that he or she is does not understand.

· Talk with an SLP to learn about different methods of assessment of a child's reading abilities.

Some children will point to letters or engage in other nonverbal assessment.

· See if the child will allow his or her parents to videotape his or her reading performance at home.