One of the strangest parts of being in my martial arts school is that the less I talk to you, the better that you’re doing. This doesn’t mean that you receive less instruction for your curriculum. What it means is that you are figuring out what I want and developing how you do it best.
This idea comes up as one of the younglings is finishing an associate’s degree as part of the PSEO program and graduating from high school. The Dean of Students doesn’t know her name, which I think is a good thing. Since he deals with student disciplinary issues, I don’t want him to know her name. Yes, I do recognize that he may know her due to the work she’s doing and the impressive success that she’s creating. It tends to be the quiet ones that get more done.
The other day I was asked how I might deal with a disruptive student. A student who “doesn’t like to follow the rules” doesn’t have ADHD or ADD. They probably have not been given enforced boundaries, or not have been told “no” often enough, or are thinking that any attention is better than none. I do my best, after chatting with parents, to determine which on it is. The responses they get from me are according to what is determined.
This is where artificially created discipline comes into play. They are given the requirements for how to behave and may be given push-ups or such for not following those requirements. I have at times made the whole class do push-ups due to the action of one student. If the student is interested in class and cares about the group, the behavior usually changes quicker knowing that it involves others. Sometimes, peer pressure can be a good thing. How would you feel knowing the class is unhappy because of your actions?
When the issue is wanting attention, then I usually try ignoring them. The lesson is given and the work assigned with very little or no other interaction allowed. Checking on their progress during class is limited to questions about the material. The goal is to direct them toward recognizing that material development and questions concerning the improvement of the material will get them more notice. Once there, then they usually have figured out what they should really be working on and I talk to them less (again). The trick is to figure out who really wants to develop further and spend enough time with them while keeping the others in their “follower” mode until things click and they start looking deeper.
Now, these strategies have been successful but it may take a long time to create repetitive behavior. If the work is not re-enforced at home, the two hours per week of developing proper behavior and work is lost.
This brings to mind dog training issues. People take their dogs to obedience classes in order to get the dog to behave. The successful ones are those where the human is trained to communicate better with the dog.