Posted by Marcus Jackson on September 1, 2018


Yesterday I dealt with three male students from different schools who caused major disruptions within their schools. After speaking with them and discussing the antecedent that led to the disruption, I realized each of them literally had the exact same issue and trigger. In each incident while redirecting the student, the teacher said, “I’m gonna call your mom.” One student responded “I don’t give a f@#$!.” The other responded “So! I don’t f#$%> care.” And the third student said f@#$ my mom, dad, you, and the school. After speaking with the students,  it was revealed that each had recently been abandoned by their mom and the statements by the teachers pour gasoline on their flame of rage.

The 2018-2019 school year is underway and there’s no way administrators, teachers,  and staff will know everything about their students. However, knowing them can be the difference as to whether the school year will be positive or painful.

Here are a few suggestions for teachers and principals as it relates to getting to know your students:

1.) When a grandparent, relative,  or foster parent registers a child, it’s imperative to know the history and if there is a negative history put a plan of action in place immediately.

2.) Have all students complete a life, school, and how do you feel about your future assignment. These assignments are simply asking the students to write how they feel about their life,  their school, and their future. A couple of things to remember: a) tell them to write their initials.This makes them feel more comfortable about revealing themselves; and b) be prepared for students not wanting to do the assignment at all. This can be a sign that there’s an issue. Administrators this can be done your office as well.

3.) Be cognizant of your tone. When communicating with students it’s imperative to know who you’re speaking. As a former coach I had different types of players and I had to communicate with them differently. A few players could accept and respond to me being firm, a few would shut down if I spoke firmly and I had to speak to them gently when speaking to them alone, and some needed to be inspired before being spoken to. I would always have to lead with “I believe in you, you can give me more, I know you can, or that was awesome however I need phenomenal.”

Finally, establishing a positive relationship with your students is essential to developing and maintaining a positive culture in your classroom and at your school. The wrong question, response, or tone can destroy the possibility of establishing a nurturing environment for students.