Five Ways to Deal with Difficult Students

As a teacher, you will come to learn that almost every classroom has at least one troublemaker. Often, those troublemakers are seeking attention, and their behavior is born out of insecurity. Dealing with a troublemaker can be difficult and frustrating but it is important to react in the appropriate manner so that troublemaking student changes his or her behavior and so that the class responds accordingly. Here are a few tips on how to deal with a troublemaker in your classroom.


  • Stay in contact with the troublemaker’s parents and create a line of communication. Give them regular updates regarding their son or daughter’s behavior, whether it is good or bad. When their child does get into trouble, always let them know. There needs to be an element of trust in this relationship because this will help both you and the parents work together.


  • Have troublemakers sit near you in the classroom. Doing so will curb their behavior and encourage them to not act out as often.


  • Make sure that you have defined the student behavior expectations to everybody in the classroom. Defining behavior will ensure that the students understand what kind of behavior you expect from them, and if they do break your behavioral rules, they understand that the consequences apply to everybody.


  • If you have to discipline a troublemaker, do so in private and never in front of the rest of his or her classmates. If you do call them out in front of everybody, you will likely gain more troublemakers in the shape of their friends.


  • Try and find common ground between you and the student. If you can do this, you may be able to create a relationship, which will encourage the troublemaker to act out less.


  • Most importantly, do not ever give up on a single student because this will encourage their poor behavior. Even worse though, the student will know that you have given up on them, and they will make no effort in the classroom and refuse to learn anything.


Daniel Behan is a professional in the Rochester, New York public education sector. In the past, he worked as a middle school teacher and was honored with numerous awards for his teaching accomplishments. Most recently he served as principal of a local school.


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Teaching Tip – Shoot Straight

Many teachers think that they can put one over on their students from time to time for any number of reasons: convenience, ease, or simply because they think they can. The truth is, the more “real” teachers are to their students, the better they will respond to instruction and classroom rules. Time and time again, the teachers who win awards and are voted the favorite teachers of their schools are the ones who take the time to explain the true nature of their subjects and their lives to their students. Teaching is all about keeping the right amount of distance between teacher and student. Too close and students won’t see the difference between them and their teacher. Too far, and the students won’t engage. Giving incomplete information to students may be necessary at certain points in a teacher’s career, but frequently giving incomplete or, far worse, false information to students too much will erode their respect for their teachers and cause teachers to lose control of the classroom.

Students live to keep their teachers honest. They will always connect better with teachers who show them the respect of telling them the truth and being honest about their lives and their subjects. Students are very curious about their teachers, as role models they look up to. Teachers don’t have to give their life stories to students, but they should at least be honest with them whenever appropriate.

Daniel Behan of McQuaid Jesuit Middle School knows all of the secrets to keeping control of the classroom and providing students with the tools they need to succeed.

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Teaching Tips – Engaging Students

The key to getting through to any student in any classroom is to present engaging material that you care about. This is the easiest way to create interest in any particular topic, no matter how complex. If you have gotten a job teaching kids anything, chances are you are pretty passionate about that particular subject. Let your passion out in the classroom and watch your students gravitate toward that subject. If they can sense that what you’re talking about is important without you imposing any kind of authority on them, they will naturally want to work hard to understand the subject you are trying to teach. Your job is half-done before you even start grading papers.

Come to the classroom every day with energy. Kids can sense when your heart isn’t in a subject, or you just don’t have the strength that day. Whenever you can, enter the classroom with enthusiasm about your subject. Don’t just read from the book and try to force it down your students’ throat because you have to. Students will always pick up on that kind of energy every time, especially high school and middle school kids. It’s okay to go outside of the box at times when you’re trying to teach students the finer points of any subject. Chances are, the administration won’t mind you getting the students excited about physics or chemistry (as long as you don’t overdo it).

Daniel Behan of McQuaid Jesuit Middle School has been working to get students excited about world and American History for over twenty-five years.

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Daniel Behan McQuaid, and Elijah Parish Lovejoy Middle School

Daniel Behan McQuaid has been a teacher for many years, specifically the last 15 years at Elijah Parish Lovejoy Middle School which is a school-based in Rochester New York. He is always focused on teaching the students all that he can about his two topics of interest which are world history and American history. Day in and day out he prepares his lesson plans in such a way that is conducive to the learning of these students. You take special pride in delivering excellent teaching product which the students enjoy and he is sure to integrate lessons about history in a way that makes sense in the context of current events. He is a longtime resident of Rochester New York and has been living in the community for 25 years. He first came to Rochester from the town of Akron Ohio as a young student. After attending the local Rochester community college, he attended the University of Rochester where he earned his bachelor’s degree in education. He has truly dedicated himself to all aspects of teaching history in a way that is exemplary and is a leader in many ways for these young students as they prepare for high school and the world beyond their knowledge. He is a proud husband and father to two children and he is actively involved in all aspects of their lives. He is also known for his extreme amount of activities in golf and racquetball as well as his hobby of remote control boats.

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Daniel Behan McQuaid, Loves History

Daniel Behan McQuaid has been a teacher for a long time. He has been in the profession for the last 25 years, and has spent the last 15 years teaching at the junior high level. He has devoted these junior high years to his position at Elijah Parish Lovejoy Middle School where he has taught many hundreds of students in the topic of American and world history. He takes great reward as well as the challenge of influencing the students in a positive manner as they embark on their journey into their lives as high school students and further down the road as young adults. History has been one of his favorite topics for as long as he can remember.

Daniel Behan McQuaid started to focus more and more on the subject when he was in college. It was then that he knew that as a history teacher, he could share the storytelling that has been going on throughout mankind’s history and do it at a level where he could do this in a young person’s life. Over the years he has seen many students come through and his highest thrill has been teaching them the basics and advanced subjects in history.

Not only is he a teacher of history as a topic, but he feels that by introducing students to this topic that he can become a part of their personal histories going forward. History is an important topic that helps students understand the world and why it is the way it is today, so he approaches this with a blend of current events as well as the hard textbook stuff that most people think about when it comes to history. This way the topic is fresh and as interesting as possible as it introduces context to everything that is taught.

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Daniel Behan – Oak Hill Country Club Member

Well-known and recognized educator Daniel Behan enjoys the chance to hit the links every now and then, which provides him the chance to not only catch up with old friends, but to also work on and carefully evaluate his game, and to engage in a sport he has enjoyed since his time as a high school student in the middle of Ohio. A longtime member of Rochester’s Oak Hill Country Club, McQuaid plays a round whenever he gets the chance, enjoying the beautiful Oak Hill course and facility with friends, his wife and sometimes even his children.

Oak Hill Country Club, as Daniel Behan McQuaid knows, features over 6600 yards of challenging, yet very rewarding, golfing opportunity. With a par of 71, Oak Hill has earned a course rating of 71.9, and has attained a slope rating of 127 on Bent Grass. The course, which was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Donald J. Ross and Thomas Fazio, opened in 1926, and is currently managed by General Manager Eric Rule.

Daniel Behan is proud to share in Oak Hill’s storied tradition as one of the premiere courses in the entire Rochester area. It is an honor for McQuaid to have not only have been accepted as a member, but to have also been such a loyal member of the club for nearly two decades. Though he is admittedly not one of the best golfers to enjoy membership at Oak Hill, he is certainly no slouch, and is known to be able to hold his own with most anyone that challenges him to a game.

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Daniel Behan McQuaid – Community Volunteer

Daniel Behan McQuaid is not only a dedicated member of a local middle school faculty, or a loving and supportive husband and father to a beautiful family. McQuaid is also a dedicated Rochester volunteer, someone who never hesitates to give back to local causes, organizations and people in need whenever he has the opportunity.

Daniel Behan McQuaid is resolved to make a difference in the Rochester community. The opportunity to volunteer affords McQuaid the chance to not only strengthen bonds between himself and community leaders, but to also do his part towards creating a neighborhood and a city that can will be welcoming, enjoyable and safe for future generations. A regular volunteer at a local literacy advocacy group, as well as a contributor to a local effort to ensure young students always have access to an affordable lunch, McQuaid is determined to help make life just a little better for those who may otherwise have no source of support.

Daniel Behan McQuaid volunteers not to receive recognition or gratitude. Rather, he has a genuinely vested interest in maintaining the health and strength of the Rochester area for many years to come. McQuaid, along with his wife and two adoring children, share the volunteering experience together, working as one towards the creation of a better, safer and more responsive society that can effectively demonstrate true compassion for all in the region.

McQuaid continues to instill the importance of volunteering into his children, and to show the true value of lending a hand, donating a dollar and making a contribution when and wherever they can.

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