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Student Teacher Student Behavior Issues


Junior Member
Hello everyone,

I am a student intern in a third grade classroom where my cooperating teacher’s methods of behavior management lack the deftness that a third grade classroom needs. Her students are very rude and disrespectful to her as she teaches and speaks. They just don’t listen to her until she snaps and even then, the students don’t fully cooperate. Also, discipline problems fill her classroom and she seems to not take into account these problems until she loses her temper and snaps at everyone including me. Although it’s not my classroom, it bothers me a great deal and frustrates me that there is no control in this classroom. I go home feeling physically ill about not being able to gain control and teach a decent lesson when she allows me to (I am suppose to teach many lessons but that’s another issue). I try my best to assert myself but it’s difficult to do so when my teacher doesn’t back me up and seems annoyed when I try to take charge. My previous cooperating teacher told me that I need to establish my own behavior system with the students on the days that I am there. I am there on Wednesdays and Thursdays. She instructed me to create my own system of rewarding students that follow the rules with small treats throughout the day and treating a larger group that is consistent with following the rules with something big. If anyone has any ideas of how to help me with this situation, I will be most appreciative. I looking for ideas on small incentives that third graders would fancy and take seriously. Thanks in advance…


Senior Member
Student Behavior

Talk to your supervisor about this problem asap. Then, when you are observed, your supervisor will already be aware of the problem and will not hold it against you. Maybe he/she will have good suggestions. This seems like a problem that occurs much too often during student teaching experiences, so your supervisor may have dealt with it before. Good luck! Just keep being consistent during your own lessons.


Senior Member
I agree with the previous poster. Talk to your college advisor about the issues. No preservice teacher should have to be in a classroom that makes you feel physically ill when you leave. It would be good for him/her to have a heads up, and maybe it's possible to get moved to a different classroom.

Typically in a classroom like that (were the teacher is inconsistent and lacks control) treats and rewards will probably not work and end up being more work for you in the end.

Just remember, if there's one thing you take away from this experience-you're learning what NOT TO DO!

Good luck.


Full Member
for my student teaching assignment, I taught reading and math to 6th graders. It was an open floor plan school...so I had no walls to my classroom and I could hear everything the other 5 teachers were doing at all times! It was extremely loud! I had to use a bell to get the kids to listen to me at the beginning of class so they could hear my instructions. I had a headache almost every day I was there because of the noise. The classrom I was in also had no windows! I had to be at school at 715 am...still dark out! Then I spent the whole day under fluorescent lights. So by the end of my assingment, I felt very depressed, even though I was enjoying teaching. I think I had seasonal affective disorder from not seeing natural light for 3 months!!! Its really awful to be in a classroom environment that makes you feel sick...I feel your pain:-)

Do whatever you need to do to create some kind of order when you are teaching. Have some kind of signal for QUIET and make sure you use it all the time when you are in the room. Remind the kids that you are their teacher too and to treat you with the same respect as you would any other teacher.

Polly J.

Full Member
I agree

I agree with the poster that said rewards probably will not work for these kiddos.

My advice is to focus on developing relationships and deep connections about these kiddos. Ask them about their families, about what sports they play, their pets, favorite T.V. shows, recess games, favorite subjects, vactaions, hobbies, talents, anything! Show these kids you care about them. Get to know them. Once you can say at least 5 non-academic things about each kid in the class, you will have the respect from the kiddos you need to teach them effectively, and even without rewards.

Most importantly, as difficult as this may seem, always, always back up and support your cooperating teacher. You don't want to sever any professional connections before you have any!

Good luck...and keep us posted.


Full Member
tough situation

I don't think there is a lot you can do at the moment, but think of what you will learn from the "bad" ... it may even be more than if you were with the "good"! Know that you are only there for a short time, and I think like the PP's it is fair to let your supervisors know the situation. Your cooperating teacher probably feels embarrassed or inadequate in front of you too and doesn't want to admit her difficulties, so I would never comment on it to her. Try to be alone in the classroom with the students and then you can assert yourself to students. You could even say something like, "Before I start my lesson, I have a few requirements. No one will speak out, everyone sit up straight with nothing in your hands...etc..." Then wait for this to happen. If a student speaks out, stop and deal with that one student immediately. The students will understand your expectations and recognize that you do things differently. I agree too that you should try to build a rapport with them.

If it helps, I had a similar situation in my 2nd teaching block. My teacher did have good management but she yelled a lot and the kids did not like her class. I did not want to yell, but they were used to her style, and it took me nearly the full 4 weeks of my being there before I felt like I was just establishing my style. I had also explained to my supervisor that the management style in the classroom would probably not be the way I approached things- not as a criticism but just that I had a different style, and that was one of my learning challenges this block (show that it is a learning experience for you!).

Good luck!


New Member
management style conflict

I'm a student teacher in a very unruly SK class with 21 students of which only 7 are girls! The school is in an area that is economically disadvantaged and the home lives of many children are quite chaotic. It shows in the children's behavior, attention seeking and level of achievement. I, too, have a conflict with my associate teacher's management style and even her teaching techniques. My associate is very autocratic and tends to be the "sage on the stage" rather than encouraging discovery learning as our curriculum documents suggest. I would rather use community building and natural consequences than punishment as a managment style, but it's her class and they respond to her way, so I must emulate it. I hate raising my voice in anger and am often forced (and encouraged) to do so. I know I can't rearrange her classroom and change what and how we teach there, but I'd like some advice on implementing more pro-social, less nasty management ideas.

BTW, we do use songs etc. for certain transitions, but the kids ignore me when I sing: "I'm waiting, I'm waiting, I'm waiting for you..."


Senior Member
I was in a similar situation with my student teaching experience. This is what I ended up doing:

Talked to my supervisor. Just as a poster above mentioned, that way you won't be hurt when she comes to observe.

I spent one of my lessons setting expectations for when I taught. I started by doing something like: I know Mrs. ___ has certain things she expects from you. I have some expectations that are different. Then teach teh kids exactly what YOU expect. Tell them you will enforce this behavior when you are teaching. This was difficult at the beginning, but it ended up much easier, and I even had compliments from other teachers in the building who know that her class was out of control.

Good luck, and remember, it's not forever! :)