Teaching the Unteachable:
what to do when all else fails

By Marie Delaney
2008



ISBN 1-903269-12-1
208 pages, paperback
RRP: £23.99

There are a wealth of teaching books with strategies and tips for dealing with challenging behaviour and disruptive students. Most teachers know a variety of strategies and have had some success in implementing them. But what happens when they don't work? In the fast-paced, pressurised, often chaotic life of a school, there are times when even the best tried and tested ideas do not seem to work with some classes and some students. There are days when some children seem completely unteachable and unreachable. Although a relatively small group of pupils, these children take up a lot of teacher's planning, thinking and emotional time. Even the most experienced teacher will have times when these pupils do not respond, leaving the teacher feeling de-skilled and incompetent.

This book is aimed at helping teachers deal with these situations and feelings. It explores the factors behind those 'bad days' and looks at what can be done when nothing seems to work.

There are several good books on effective behaviour management. There are also books about therapeutic work with children who are having emotional and behavioural problems at school. Based on the author's experience as a teacher, trainer and Educational Therapist, this book combines both types of thinking. The book looks at the issue from two perspectives:

The teacher (primary and secondary)

  1. what these children do to us
  2. the way our emotions affect the management of relationships
  3. conscious and unconscious processes which affect readiness for teaching and learning
  4. developing skills and classroom strategies
  5. finding and using support

The child

  1. Why some students are just more difficult to teach
  2. The effects of loss, separation, neglect and trauma on learning
  3. Ways for a teacher to reach and teach these children

The book includes practical, accessible examples based on the writer's experience. Real-life examples include failures as well as successes, showing what can happen in the everyday classroom.

The first section includes an extensive list of effective behaviour management strategies.

The second section then offers an easily accessible framework for understanding the behaviour of those children for whom basic strategies do not always work. .From this enhanced understanding, another list of principles and good practice is offered in the final section.


© Worth Publishing Ltd 2012