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Q: How do you deal with a difficult seventh-grade student?

I landed myself a new job, a one on one teaching job. The parents have only one child and they want him to master his english... He's a very difficult nutcase, attention span of 10 to 15 mins, he knows all that am going to teach so he just asks me to go on to the next lesson... But when i give him the quiz, he gets only half correct. Since it's a private teaching job, on Saturdays, at least one of his parents is always in the room when am supposed to be teaching. Actually, it's good, since they help me discipline him... Lol... I.e, focus on the lesson...

 

To get his attention I tell him that we'll be at it for two hours only, so bear with me... Sometimes he listens, sometimes he's hungry or thirsty... Well...

 

Please advise...

5 years 45 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - Guangzhou

 
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plan speaking exercises that are not in the book. if you stick to the book he won't be challenged.

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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I stay in close contact with the students parents and fill them in on their attitude in Class. It works 70% of the time.

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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Either get his parents to sort him out or decide exactly how much you need that job.

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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Ritalin

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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If it is only the 3 of you in the room maybe teach both of them at the same time so a competition develops or maybe get the child to teach the parent what you want him to learn .that way the little bugger will feel special . I am not a ESL teacher but I am a teacher in another industry and I know your pain as does everybody else that teaches Welcome to China

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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I used to teach a kid a bit younger but the description sounds exactly the same. His mother and i developed a rating system where I had to rate his performance after every class. So I had to give him a mark out of ten for his attitude, participation, attention etc. and if he got full marks then his mom would buy him a toy. I was strict with him though in the beginning and because he SO badly wanted that toy he began to pay attention.

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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It's a 1 on 1 gig. Either go through the motions just for the money, or drop the student. 

Me, I would drop the student. 

But what I gather, you are being to soft with him. Establish yourself as the teacher in the room. Let him know that you are the one who decides when to move on to the next lesson. Do not attempt to appease his laziness, by saying this will only last for 2 hours. Demand that he gives you his attention.

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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i just want to expand on what Sorrel said. Do away with book, develop your own lesson plan, include online interactive games to break up the course and do away with the test unless it's a part of the online aspect of the lesson.

There are a lot of ways to make the student do the talking which usually means more participation from him rather than him being "taught".

I have a number of resources I can provide you. Contact me off the forum if you are interested.

With regard to the comments about dropping him because it's too much of a hassle. I had a kid, 9 years old whose behavior was just way over the top. His mother is the head of education in the whole district. Bad luck. I said I don't want to teach the kid, he's too much trouble! So it is an option but try some other things first and consider it a challenge.

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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How much are you being paid for the gig?

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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Find out his interests and incorporate that into your lesson plan; a lesson plan that has a variety of activities (as mentioned above). Or perhaps he needs a different physical learning environment, so maybe once in a while you could have classes outside of his (probably cramped) home.

 

Several times I have had to read books, watch movies, research game characters, etc. just so I would be able to connect with some of my students and get them interested to talk/discuss about things they like.

 

I once handled a teenager with an attitude, and I wasn't going anywhere with him. But once I started mentioning about genitalia and Kama Sutra, he erected himself (sorry, couldn't help it) from his chair and started listening and asking questions. From thereon, he pretty much participated in other discussions.

 

As mentioned above, treat books/workbooks as a guide and not strictly follow them page by page...THAT would certainly be boring for both you and the student.

 

Sometimes things just don't "click" between teacher and student (no matter how hard you  try) and as such, it would be in the best interest of both parties to part ways. However, try out everything first before even thinking of endorsing your student to another teacher.

 

Best of luck to you!

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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Ironman's Chinglish is awesome. One of the cleverer trolls I have seen, but clearly not a native speaker.

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5 years 45 weeks ago
 
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