Music Educators

Hi, all! Does anyone have any advice for a student who refuses to participate and continues to interrupt the class? I’m not sure how to engage a student like this

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An alternative assignment may be the only thing you can do. I was given some advice once that said I should concentrate on the good students. Discipline and move on with the students that need it. It’s hard to change that attention but it has worked in my classroom this semester

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Hopefully you have admin support...you state clear expectations, have a definite order of discipline, and then start the process of removing them from the class and maybe ultimately from the school.

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My first step is always to contact parents. Make it a collaborative effort to help this child learn. Let them know how much talent their child has and you want to help push them to new levels! Each and every bit of improvement(no matter how small it may be) is rewarded and call home. I’ve had much success working with parents:)

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All of the above replies were great. When I read your question, immediately thought of a young lad in my band this year. I tried almost everything that my colleagues here have listed. The additional step I took was segregating him from the rest of the class while completing the alternate assignments so as not to disturb his classmates. That was the most effective thing I did. It was also quickly apparent that I was not the only teacher having this challenge with this kid. We often blame ourselves when we don’t connect with a kid, but when 6 other teachers and the two administrators have the same problems with the same kid, I suspect it’s NOT all our fault and that another educational environment is in line for this student for the good of all concerned. Sometimes you have to realistically listen to Spock about the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few or the one.

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Every time I’ve had this happen I ask the child if they would like to be able to do the things the rest of his class mates are doing and let them know that it hurts my feeling when they get in the way of learning for themselves and their peers. I always offer them to leave class if they don’t want to participate after that and I’ve yet to have one not completely change their attitude after that.

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I agree. I find the best thing to do is keep that student busy from the moment the student steps in the classroom. Have a packet of written work ready for them that they need to complete before the end of the period. If the student refuses to do the work, have the hr teacher put the work in their hw folder. As an added incentive maybe tell the student that if the work is finished correctly, they will be able to do a choice activity.

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I think all of the above suggestions are a must. The discipline procedure in our junior high accounts for class disruptions, though. It’s basically, 1 strike = verbal warning, 2 strikes = parent contact, 3 strikes= detention, and continuing leads to iss.

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You can only do so much to try to engage. Eventually, if it continues, the student is the one who is not trying hard enough.

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I had a coworker once who told me she made a student mark down every time he yelled out or interrupted her class. The times I’ve tried it, the student dramatically slows down on the behavior, especially if there’s a punishment for gaining a certain amount of marks. And by having them write it down, they can keep track of it and you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to go to your desk or to the board. Also satisfies those who don’t like public punishment for students since only you and the student see it.

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