My Class is Out of Control..Help Me!

power-struggle-artO M G! I am going to QUIT! These kids do not listen; they are so bad.  Did you know they locked me out of my classroom and flipped it upside down?

…..  “No way, this never happened to you.”

Yes, you’re right; I totally made that last sentence up in my mind…BUT, it’s indeed possible.

I have had several teachers ask me how I get “the problem child” to behave so well in my class.  I have taught in a Title I school for two years now, and as a minority I understand that, these kids are not the problem their environment promotes the problem.

Let’s also make something known; I am in no way perfect at classroom management, because it is a process; however, I do understand that there is a thin line between  respect and rapport.

I can’t tell you how often teachers that have trouble with their classes call on one particular teacher that can quiet an entire assembly.  All the students know that this teacher’s presence calls for respect.  BUT WHY? HOW!? 


Well, Andrea, what do you mean by that? I have 88 students, and I know majority of their name.

Do you know how their day is going, what they like to do outside of school, are they in sports, have you ever ate lunch with them?

True story: I was in a teacher’s classroom who was trying to get her students to allow her the opportunity to teach, she yelled for a student to get quiet, and she made a comment that she was trying to help them. A student mumbled “yeah right, she doesn’t even know my name”.  WOW

I remember when I was in school; I responded exceptionally well to the lessons of my teachers that talked to me or genuinely showed interest in my life outside of the classroom.  I desired to listen to what they had to teach me, because I honestly felt like they cared; however, I can count on one hand how many teachers had that effect on me. So, as a teacher I desired to do the same for my students.

  • Did you know little Johnny works after school everyday until midnight to help his mom take care of his little brother and sister? That’s why he fell asleep and was cranky when you yelled for him to wake up.
  • Did you know Jane is homeless? That’s why she is always taking food from the cafeteria and eating in your class.

You did not know these things, because you haven’t taken the opportunity to build that rapport with your students.  You did not take the time to figure out the reason that they are not paying attention.  Am I judging you? NO! However, now that you know, you can be the difference in that child’s life.


I start off the school year letting my students know that I am a teacher because I need them.  They are the difference that this universe needs. I let them know that they are the reason I am so passionate about education.  I let them know in advance that I am going to challenge and push them beyond limitations, and they may not always agree or like what I am doing, but it is to make them and myself better.  I respect them and in return they respect me and my expectations.  Believe it or not, kids want to do better, but they may not be able to truly express that to an adult figure.

Build that rapport with your kids! Don’t be the aggressor, kids and adults get defensive immediately if they feel attacked. Let’s face it, you would be offended if someone who doesn’t know the first thing about you is snapping on you.

  1. Set Clear Expectations.
  2. Let Students know Your Purpose.
  3. Be Consistent in your Expectations.
  4. Stand firm in your Expectations ( this includes consequences ).
  5. Respect Each Other
  6. Be Humble! Stay Patient

Here’s a short video about Relationship .

Published by Andrea Pickens and Associates, LLC

Greetings: My name is Andrea S. Pickens; I have several years of experience in education and youth development all of which include teaching and leading youth in under-resourced and economically disadvantaged communities. I believe that it is critical to the academic and over success of our youth to have proper academic and social-emotional support. This support is often found in schools and after-school programs that intervene by providing tutoring/enrichment services and are equipped with effective teachers and leaders. My belief is that each child can learn, but not all children learn the same; diversity and equity is crucial to youth development. It is my mission as an educator, entrepreneur, and servant-leader to equip and empower others in youth development and education to reach our youth beyond the secondary classroom. Yours in Education, Andrea S. Pickens, M.Ed

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