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Gifted
 
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Joined: Sep 2016
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Old 08-23-2018, 12:09 PM
 
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Tips for handling middle school, from someone who just transitioned out of it after a decade:
1. Pick battles. Is someone going to injure himself or someone else? Let it slide for the moment.
2. For the less minor but still irritating things that need to be addressed, do it in private. Calling out behavior in front of the whole class just empowers the student who is misbehaving, because bucking the system is "cool" at this age.
3. Explain instructions in a ridiculous amount of detail and in numerous ways. Their attention spans are short, so have multiple activities in a class period.
4. Do not repeat instructions once given or answer questions that have already been answered. Train them to listen the first time.
5. Natural consequences are fantastic.
6. Be open-minded and hear them out before jumping to conclusions. Kids this age want to be treated like adults, so it is important to make them feel like their opinions will be taken into consideration, even if the decision does not end up in their favor.
7. On a similar note, bring behavior issues back to maturity. Reminding them that some behaviors are more appropriate for little boys than strong, independent young men often resonates.
8. Have a sense of humor! These kids are hilarious. Some of the same stuff that would have made me irate as a new teacher had me laughing along with them as a seasoned veteran.
9. Explain the reasons behind what is done in class, whether it is procedural or academic. This is the age when kids will stop doing something if it seems pointless or counterintuitive.
10. Be equipped with a few good responses or comebacks. They can handle it. Don't try this one until you've established some trust, though.
11. Communicate with other teachers. If the behavior is constant in all classes, then the student needs redirection. If it's just your class, do some hard reflection.

I hope this helps!
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