Example of Withdrawing: “We’re not talking about this anymore. Say another word and you’re outta here.”
Example of Engaging: (Getting at their level one-on-one privately) “I'm sorry if I sound frustrated…that’s my issue and I’ll work through it. I still want to show you respect, but it’s getting difficult. I’m going to give you another chance to ______. I know you can ______, and I believe in you. We’re going to improve things then talk about this after class.”
Then we finish class, come back with a calmer heart, and talk about things. And when we apologize to them for our over-reactions, continue showing them respect, and daring them to their potential, they are more likely to realize we still care about them and aren’t abandoning or stone-walling them. It might be a little bit about them, but it’s a lot about us. They see us modeling self-control and digging into our own hearts and will eventually learn how to do this difficult process themselves.
Example of Isolating: “You’re going to sit over here so you don’t disrupt your fellow students.”
Example of Engaging: The teacher might talk with the students around them and ask for their help guiding their fellow student. If we work together to help all the students, we can accomplish more. But sometimes a student just needs a short separation to calm down. This needs to be done with care and have a definite end-time. You might ask the student, "So how can we make this work?" or "What do we need to set you up to succeed today?" or something. Then focus on ways to praise them for their efforts the rest of the class period.
There are so many possibilities here, and we want to hear your thoughts. What other ways do you (or other teachers) withdraw from, isolate, or stonewall students? What ways have you found success in engaging instead?
Check out the other rules >>>
These rules are adapted with permission from Roger and Becky Tirabassi's premarital workbook for seriously dating and engaged couples - The Seriously Dating or Engaged Workbook. Roger and Becky have also co-authored a book for married couples called Little Changes Big Results for Crazy, Busy Couples. The principles in these books have changed so many areas of our life. We highly recommend them.