How to Win Over Bad Students and Influence Classes
Every teacher – whether they’re presiding over guitar or Algebra – has had a class utterly ruined by a bad student. Student with bad attitude, tough home life, too many jokes (funny or not); somehow they managed to get your class in the palm of their hand. So how do you go about winning over said student and, by extension, the rest of the class to avoid painful repeats? Here are some ideas:
Funny or Die
You’ve probably been sitting on brilliant comebacks to your smart-aleck student’s jokes for some time now. (And obviously you’re bound to a certain code that your student is not.) Though you may not want to engage him or her directly, there’s no harm in speaking up for yourself and getting your own laughs. For example, if Bad Student says something like “This is so dumb. Why do we have to do this?” turn your guitar into a violin. If you get laughs, you’ve got your comeback.
You dedicate most – if not all of your class – to instructing your students. But if bad behavior is standing in the way, take back your class by playing something impressive. Not only will this little demo remind them that class is about making music and not commentary, you may even impress your bad apple with your advanced skills.
Make it Personal
If a student clearly craves attention, do the unexpected; give it to them. Ask them for a favorite band/musician/song. If you know it off the top of your head, proceed to play. If not, do a quick search. Try to make a mini lesson revolving around this favorite. Not only will you win points for improvising, you may even get your defectors to participate in class for a change.