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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

But I don't like him!

What do you do when your students complain in front of the class about being put in a group with another student? When nobody in the class likes one student because of his problematic behaviour in the past? When several parents threatened to remove their children from the school because of this one "difficult" child?

John (fictional name) is an extremely bright eight-year-old, very short for his age, but intellectually more advanced than many of the nine and ten year olds in his class. Prone to aggressive and challenging behaviour in previous years, John is, after the first two lessons, working fine. There has been no particularly conflictive behaviour on his part, except when provoked by another student.

However, nobody wants to work with John. Of course, John realises this and therefore reacts to their lack of friendliness and kindness with more of the same.

It is going to be hard to undo several years of negative experience that the other children have had with John, but hopefully not impossible. I would like to start straightaway by introducing games or activities that will help integrate John more and foster a positive and kind classroom atmosphere. However, I'm not sure how to go about it. If the children were younger, I feel it would be easier. These children are around ten years old. If you have any ideas or experience of this type of problem, I'd love to hear about how you attempted to solve it.

Thanks in advance :)
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