Big Personalities in the Room

We were talking about how to handle boys in 8th grade who are popular, more aggressive, smart, etc… students who are sharp and have a lot to offer but who sometimes say or do really inappropriate things. We shared how it’s important, above all, to maintain a positive relationship with every student. Once that positive relationship is breached, the struggle in the classroom becomes more intense and more difficult for the teacher to accomplish positive learning outcomes.
We talked about how differentiation often takes an emotional form. Students need to be handled in a way that will help them to feel comfortable about continuing to share and contribute as a valued member of the classroom community. Every student cannot be talked to the same way. Not every student will benefit from the same redirection strategies. Remaining sensitive as a teacher to students’ emotional needs is critical.
Big personalities often need big challenges (like asking them to lead a class discussion, etc) to help them develop their strengths.


I use this technique to quiet the constant talkers. Usually, when a student is over-talking during my public talks to the class, I usually ask the student to explain the same concept in front of the class. It usually works that the student will either quiet down or sometimes come up to the front of the room. The nervousness exhibited by the student will help them learn to at least listen during classroom discussions, and public speaking is not always fun.


I love this idea because you are highlighting their behavior but allowing them to use their boldness for good by sharing their thinking with the rest of the class. The alternative is perhaps they realized that they might not know everything, at least enough for them to explain with detail to the whole class. Either way, win win!

Thanks for this. Supporting the whole student is so critical for all students but especially the “at risk” students.