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ssfr Apr 9th, 2013 09:24 pm

New Teacher here; classroom management help please!
Hi all,

I am a relatively new English teacher in Japan. Currently I work for a smaller company and we run two English classes at an after-school care center. There is an entry-level class and an advanced class.

The entry level class is medium to large (10 to 15 students) who range in ages from 6 to 9. One student in particular is causing me some trouble. If we are one on one, or one or two students, he is attentive, tries hard, and is relatively good at English. In the larger class though he rips the room apart. He will hurt other students, hit me, touch me inappropriately, mess with materials, touch things that aren't his (ex: materials for other classes, my bosses ipad, etc), shout loudly, and etc. When he is violent I give him a time-out, but he usually makes at least one student cry during class and last class he punched both me and a girl student in the face, completely unprovoked.

Since we are borrowing the classroom there is no secured space that the students can't access to put other materials or anything like that.

We have tried a point system, a three x and then time-out system, I have spoken with him, and the facility staff has spoken with him.

When I spoke with the people at the facility they told me he was a 'problem child'. Judging from what they were able/willing to tell me I think there are some problems with his home life. I know he is at the after school center all afternoon, like until 9 or 10pm at night, every night.

Any suggestions for classroom management or ways to deal with him?

I genuinely feel bad for him and don't want to give him a time out every class, but I can't have him hurting other students- not to mention they aren't getting a fair chance to learn English.

I would appreciate any tips. Thank you so much in advance!

bilinguallearner Apr 13th, 2013 03:35 pm

Re: New Teacher here; classroom management help please!
Wow, you have a tough situation on your hands. If this student is hitting others, and especially you, then he has much bigger problems than some simple classroom management tricks can fix. I would start by talking with your director/principal about this student, letting them know very clearly that this student is physically hurting others and he is a safety risk. The next step would probably be to have the student's parents in for a meeting with you and your director/principal to find out why this student is hitting and decide on some serious consequences that the parents and school gives to the student every time the student hits or breaks a serious rule. Possible consequences might be: an immediate phone call to the parent, the parent must pick up the child to take home, child has timeout in director's office, etc. In this way, you will be able to continue meeting the English needs of the rest of your class, the students will be safe, and the problem student will learn to change their behavior with consistent consequences.
Hope this helps!

Pix May 11th, 2013 08:37 am

Re: New Teacher here; classroom management help please!
This article on classroom management contains a useful key for troubled students, be their mentor, not their friend and take a genuine interest in them outside of class time. This can build respect which leads to better behaviour in class.

Golden Rules of ESL Classroom Management

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