Tips for dealing with difficult behavior

Sick, bullying, staring out the window bored, verbal and even physical abuse. Pupils can give you a hard time. What do you do with difficult behavior?

  1. Make a distinction

    An open door, but easy to forget in the heat of battle: make a distinction between the child and his behavior. After all, as soon as you talk about 'difficult students' you are already on slippery ice. Realize that it is just one of your students exhibiting difficult behavior and see that this student also has nice sides. Keeping this in mind will make it easier to talk to him about his behavior and not attack him as a person.

  2. Get out of your class

    There is a lot of knowledge about how to deal with difficult behavior in the classroom, but in the meantime we are constantly reinventing the wheel in our own classroom. Sometimes that works. Sometimes not. Therefore, discuss difficult behavior with colleagues. Do they also suffer from it? How do they deal with it? Take a look at the weblog for more knowledge and inspiration

  3. Look at the cause

    What is the cause of the troublesome or even aggressive behavior? Is it impulsive behavior and does it arise from frustration, for example due to an insufficient or unpleasant situation? Or is it instrumental, ie aimed at your person with the aim of a power struggle? Both types of difficult behavior require a different response. If you respond well, you can prevent the situation from getting out of hand. You will find a lot of knowledge about this on the weblog 'pretty difficult' the movie 'Volcano or poison dart frog'.

  4. Leave the problem with who it belongs

    If a student hasn't brought their book, who has a problem? The child, of course. You can help him solve this problem, but don't make it your problem. This gives a lot of air and ensures that the child learns to solve his problems himself.

  5. Also change the structure of your lesson

    Can't get a foothold with your approach? Don't keep muddling around, try something else. A different pedagogical or relational approach is obvious, but a different structure and content of your lessons can also be very refreshing. For your students and for yourself.

  6. Look at your own share

    Children do not harass. They only look for limits, simply because they need them. And they have the right to have you offer them those limits. So if they show transgressive behavior, you are probably not sufficiently clear about setting your boundaries. Communication and therefore arguing with your student is two-way. Look at your own share and what you can do yourself.

  7. Show yourself

    Create a learning environment by wanting to learn yourself, by being open to the knowledge and ideas of the students. Ask them what they thought of your lesson. What went well? What can be done better? In this way you invest in the relationship with the class. It is important to start right away and not wait for things to go wrong.

  8. Strength or might?

    Your limits are being exceeded. What are you doing? If you react out of fear, you become defensive. You go into resistance and build walls. The effect is a power struggle in which only losers appear. Rather respond from your own strength and autonomy. Only then can you use your anger constructively and restore your limits. Constructive use of anger rarely looks angry. It is rather clear and it also leads to better contact with your pupil. It ensures safety.

  9. Listen to your body

    Your body will undoubtedly give signals when things are not going well in a class. Tremors or feeling in your limbs for a week, sweating and heart palpitations, these are the signals to listen to. What do those signals mean? Which behavior affects me so? Why? Where is my limit? How can I monitor it better? The signals want to tell you that you have to take action, that you have to restore your boundaries. Then do that. If you find yourself grumbling, you are not coping well with your anger. Then follow an 'angerman management' training. With this you learn to deal with boundaries and anger in a healthy way.

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