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Classroom behavior: how ‘helping’ can provoke behaviors

Date: July 23rd, 2014
By: Polly Bath

Watch this video [1:02] for a tip on how I sometimes help a kid in class who is resistant to help. The trick is to help them without embarrassing them, which can sometimes provoke behaviors.

You can’t MAKE a student accept help. All you can do is encourage. You can coach. You can prompt. You can do what I call those little ‘drive‑by’ things.

Let’s say I see a kid who is going to resist help, but they are doing some of the problems wrong. I might do one of those little problems out on a sticky note paper, walk by them and say to them, “Oh! Doing a nice job.” Then I put the sticky note on their desk and then just walk past them.

Because if I stop and say, “Oh! Hold on, looks like this one isn’t right,” I’m going to get resistance, like “Get away from me!”

And I am like, “Well, I am trying to help you.”

Then, what are the other kids doing?

They are staring at us.

Now the student is going to push me away even more.