May 15

Helping Teachers With Reaching Difficult Students

When you have a conversation with a teacher regarding issues motivating difficult students, do you have a list of exceptional practices ready to help that teacher?  Or on the other hand do you not have much to say at all since this is a difficult topic.  The latter, perhaps the more common response, is obviously not acceptable. As the instructional leader, you should have a litany of best practices available to share with your staff or resources for them to review and put into practice.

A recent blog in edutopia (May 13, 2014) by Dr. Allen Mendler entitled “The Key to Preparing Difficult Students for the Real World” reviews the concept of success in school as it relates to success in life. Suprisingly, they are not always connected and getting teachers to understand and adapt to this reality can be tricky.

In his blog, Mendler lists several practices that can be used to motivate difficult students and the typical objections from educators to these suggestions.  These objections tie into lack of student progress in the classrooms and hence, lack of success in jobs/careers after their public education is complete. 

Mendler proposes that since education is necessary for the development of job related skills, educators should make it really hard for students to fail school. His blog lists some conditions to help students accept this concept and how education becomes the “school employer” to help insure student success.

If you would like to review this blog, please go to: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/preparing-difficult-students-real-world-allen-mendler