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Community Service High School Students

Fernando Said:

What to do when high school community service students thinks they know better than you?

We Answered:

First, did you talk to her about using her energy in a positive way, that is, combine the fun and goofing to encourage but not to distract them during instructional time? Dismissing her might have made her feel very defensive as she feels that she has made great rapport with the kids (and it sounds like she did). I don't know exactly what happened and how you dismissed her but that may have resulted in all her negative comments.

What I would have done is to first meet with her to tell her how I FEEL about her previous actions and how it's affecting my instruction. Why not have a dialogue with her so you can say what you feel and discuss what happened calmly. Ask her about what she thinks, why she volunteered and what she likes about the class. And listen to what she has to say.

I would even invite her back but I would first discuss how we can work together in the classroom as a team. I may even brainstorm on projects that she is interested in and that she can lead so she feels that she has contributed in the class. This is a good way to mentor her and channel her energy positively.

Remember that teens are very spunky but she might surprise you yet!

I wish you luck! You are obviously a teacher who cares not just for your class but for this particular girl.

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