Every now and then an instructor posts in the ICA Facebook instructor group asking for advice on how to handle a difficult student. The group members respond by supporting the instructor. War stories are shared. Tips are offered. ICA comes to the rescue.
There are plenty of examples of these difficult students:
- The student who refuses to follow an instruction despite repeated attempts
- The student doing something dangerous
- The student “doing his own thing” and ignoring you
- The talker who won’t stop
These situations are among the most confusing times that an instructor must face, especially those who are new to the role. Sometimes they are even hurtful. What can we do about a difficult student? We all want to be liked and respected. What happens when we feel as if we are not?
I have tried to break down the common elements of these difficult situations so that some kind of general approach might be applied. Here is a tool that I hope might help in most of these difficult student situations: PEACE.