Friday, August 8, 2014

When Young Students Don't Listen

picture made with Adobe Photoshop
Do you have students who you feel like just don't listen to you? It can be really frustrating when students are disrespectful. Younger students especially need boundaries.

Here are some suggestions for helping young students listen:

1) When the student does listen, make sure to let them know that you noticed. Specific, positive praise is your friend here.

2) If the student insists on playing a different song than you requested, ignore him or her. It might help your patience if you remember that you're getting paid for that time even if the students isn't using it wisely.

3) Consider extra stickers and/or a special prize if the student does an exceptional job listening (be careful to ONLY reward with the extra/special incentive if the student is behaving well, otherwise this can just reinforce bad habits).

4) Notice if the student's behavior changes (positively or negatively) when the parent is not present. Sometimes there's a power-struggle.

5) Be patient (but not wimpy!). It could be that the student who's being problematic will become one of the students whose lessons you most look forward to. :)

What are your experiences with student behavior? How do you handle it?