Dkrainwater’s Weblog

Getting to Know the Emotionally Disabled Child – The Teachers’ First Step in Teaching

Posted on: October 10, 2008

Students that have emotional disabilities can exhibit behaviors that can many teachers pulling out their hair in frustration. When a teacher feels they can not reach the child, they feel frustrated and ready to give up. Most teacher colleges do not equip new teachers with the skills they need to help these tortured souls and they themselves burn out because of their lack of knowledge. There is one simple practice a teacher of the emotionally disabled has to master to even start to develop a working relationship with the child. That is to get to know your students.

Don’t expect the emotionally disabled student to make the first move to develop a relationship. Most of the time, these students have poor social skills that are sometimes the root of their behavior. They do not know how to intermingle, ask for help, or any other small social skill that most students have. You as the teacher have to take out and get to know them. Ask them questions about their family, their likes, and dislikes. The more you learn about the child, the more of a relationship you will build. You will soon learn their ‘triggers’ or the things that set them off, and you as the teacher can be proactive and remove the child from the situation before things get heated. The child will learn to trust you and with trust, respect and attention will follow. The student will fight this at first, but most will respond to the attempt to get to know them.

Don Rainwater has written many articles and books on the subject of teaching the behaviorally challenged. To learn more about emotionally disabled and oppositionally defiant children, visit http://www.dkrainwater.com

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