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“Relish in knowing scores of unique persons,

not just another group of X-graders”


It has been our experience that with every seriously disruptive student there is always one person or place for which that student acts appropriately. There is usually no system in place, threats, or punishments–the student just wants to be polite and behave appropriately. The place can be the grandparent’s house, church, ball field, mall, or wherever. The person can be their uncle, coach, neighbor, or friend. The goal is to make your school one of these places and you one of these persons.

The attainment of this goal involves all of the tasks in this book, but none are more crucial or have more of an effect on the student’s behavior than building a relationship with the student. Disciplining, punishing, suspending, complaining to parents, and many other practices destroy relationships . Conversely, helping, listening, expecting much, and getting to know each other as individuals build relationships .

In an elementary school on a Air Force base, the counselor remarked that their best teacher was having a terrible year. The teacher had received her teaching certificate in college, but decided to raise her children before beginning work. When her children were in middle school, she decided it was time to begin teaching. Being around the fourth graders was a delight for her. She woke up every morning and was excited about the day. In this particular year, however, the computer placed eight seriously disruptive students in her class.

The teacher said that she could not win. She would get one or two of them calmed down and the others would get them going again. It was February and the teacher had lost her enthusiasm for teaching. She said she was getting depressed on Sunday thinking about another week of battle with these students. We told her to do two things. First, investigate and find one thing about each of them that they were gifted in. We told her it was usually related to their special interest or something they were delighted in doing. The second part was to let the students each know what she found out about them.

In the last training session in May, she stood up and told the entire faculty that from the day she told the students what she found out, she did not have one problem with any of the eight students. She went on to add that this activity would be her first task for the upcoming school year.

This is the only activity that we describe as magical. Since then, we have had many teachers tell us similar stories and results. With this activity, we asked teachers to think of one significant adult they really liked being around when they were school-aged. After they each chose one, we would ask several to tell me who they were. They were uncles, aunts, coaches, etc., but seldom teachers or parents. Teachers and parents tend to see the miles they have to go to reach competent adulthood. The special persons in their lives, however, saw what was great about them now. We asked the group if their special persons knew of their gifts, interests, or natural talents . The answer was always yes.

In many Japanese schools, they take the first few weeks and work solely on building a group. The students and the teachers learn about each other and each person’s responsibility to the group. Similarly, an outstanding elementary special education teacher (in the U.S.) reported how she spent the first three weeks letting the students get to know each other and her. They practiced all of the student expectations–how to line up, act in the library and cafeteria, how they resolved problems, and on and on. Only after the students felt comfortable with all the procedures, the teacher, and other students, did they begin academic work. She discovered that they went further academically, even though they began later than other classes.

Building a positive relationship with your students affects more than their behavior. It affects their learning. You do not have to be embarrassed, punished, or sent away many times before you do not want to listen or be around the punisher. Conversely, if the principal and the teacher help a student learn a new social skill and form a better and closer relationship while doing it, the student wants to learn new things from that person. The kind of relationships we build with our students has a great effect on the students’willingness and motivation to learn.

Practical application

So, how do you become one of these special persons that the students want to be around and want to act appropriately? The answer is to get to know them, find out what is so special about each of them, and let them know it. It also helps immensely to let the students know something special about you, i.e., your interests, unique talents , or experiences, etc. Build a positive relationship with them!

It is very important to use the time you spend in teaching them to solve their problem as time to better know them. If you can develop trust and listen well, they will tell you many things about their lives, beliefs, experiences, and their wants and needs. The better you know them, the better you will help and most often, like them. Conversely, the more they know about you, the more they will learn from you and most often, like you. When this happens, a new and more positive relationship will be formed. This may be the greatest preventative measure you will ever find.

Expected outcomes

  • The principal and/or teacher become a special person in the lives of some of their students, and they act appropriately around him/her.
  • The school becomes one of the special places for the student, and they act appropriately while in the office, classroom, and other areas of the campus.
  • Disruptive behavior from these students is often eliminated.
  • The principal and the teachers know and truly like more students.
  • The student knows and truly likes the principal and more teachers.
  • The school and classroom environment becomes much more positive and enjoyable.

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, A learning approach to school discipline: problem solving instead of punishing. OpenStax CNX. Sep 07, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10443/1.5
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