Quick Answers for Busy Teachers: Solutions to 60 Common Challenges
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More About This Title Quick Answers for Busy Teachers: Solutions to 60 Common Challenges


Deftly handle the sixty most common problems classroom teachers face

Quick Answers for Busy Teachers presents some of the most common challenges teachers encounter in the classroom, and provides expert help toward solving those problems. This easy-to-read guide is organized into short, discreet chapters, making it an ideal quick reference for on-the-spot answers, with practical advice and concise, actionable solutions. Readers will develop systems for dealing with issues that repeatedly crop up, from handling the out-of-control class to falling out of love with the job. The book offers innovative methods and techniques that improve student achievement and behavior while minimizing stress on the teacher. Recover from challenging situations with parents, students, coworkers, or administrators, implement a system that keeps those challenges from happening again, and learn to relax and enjoy this richly rewarding profession.

Teaching is difficult. Educators must grapple with a roomful of diverse students, an evolving curriculum, massive organization of books, papers, and supplies, and ever-changing technology. They must deal with challenges from uninvolved parents, overinvolved parents, administrators, and fellow educators. This book helps teachers avoid some of the frustration by providing solutions for the sixty most common challenges teachers face.

  • Deal with the student pushing your buttons, and get that student actively engaged in meaningful learning
  • Keep students on task, and deal effectively with poor test performance
  • Speak your mind at faculty meetings
  • Deal with negative coworkers effectively
  • Handle problem parents without embarrassing students or sacrificing professionalism

As a teacher, igniting young minds is only a small part of the battle – it's usually everything else that makes teachers occasionally reconsider their career choice. With solutions and systems in place ahead of time, readers can handle challenges swiftly and skillfully with Quick Answers for Busy Teachers.


ANNETTE BREAUX is an internationally known author, consultant, and speaker. Her previous books include 101 Answers for New Teachers and Their Mentors and The Ten-Minute Inservice. She has coauthored books with both Harry Wong and Todd Whitaker.

TODD WHITAKER, PHD, is professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University. A leading presenter in the field of education, he has devoted his career to researching effective teachers and principals. He is the author of What Great Teachers Do Differently and The Ten-Minute Inservice.


About the Authors ix

Preface xi

How to Use This Book xiii


1. The Class Clown Is Not Humoring You 3

2. A Student Is Refusing to Do Work 7

3. Several Students Dislike You 11

4. You Embarrassed a Student in Front of His Peers 15

5. Students Who Don’t Behave in Your Class Are Behaving for Another Teacher 19

6. You’re Not Sure If a Behavior Consequence Was Appropriate 23

7. You’re Unsure When to Refer a Student to the Office 27

8. A Student Is Disrespectful to You in Front of the Class 31

9. Some Students Are Afraid to Make Mistakes 35

10. A Student Is Sleeping in Your Class 39

11. You Lost Your Temper with Your Students 43

12. You Feel That Several of Your Students Are Lazy 47

13. You Ask a Student to Step Outside with You and He Refuses 51

14. Students Don’t Bring Necessary Supplies to Your Class 55

15. Some Students Are Easier to Like than Others 59

16. A Student Is Prone to Angry Outbursts 63

17. It’s Difficult to Stay Motivated When the Students Aren’t Motivated 67


18. Some of Your Coworkers Are Negative 73

19. You Experience a Lack of Parental Interest 77

20. You Disagree with Your Administrator 81

21. You Want to Fit In with the Faculty 85

22. A Coworker Says Something Negative About You 89

23. Your Principal Gives You a Negative Evaluation 93

24. A Parent Will Not Return Your Call 97

25. You’re Afraid to Speak Your Mind in a Faculty Meeting 101


26. You’re Struggling to Get Organized 107

27. Your Content Knowledge Is Solid, But Your Management Skills Are Lacking 111

28. Students Enter Your Class and Immediately Begin Talking 115

29. You Have a Chronic Talker in Your Class 119

30. Your Students Misbehaved with the Substitute Teacher 123

31. A Particular Student Is Pushing Your Buttons 127

32. Students Have a Problem with “Telling on Others” 131

33. A Student Brings an Issue from Outside into the Classroom 133

34. Classroom Discussions Go Off in a Different Direction 137

35. Your Classroom Needs a Makeover, But You’re Just Not a Decorator 141


36. You Tend to Teach the Way You Were Taught 147

37. You’re Overwhelmed by New Technology 151

38. Many Students Performed Poorly on a Test 155

39. You’re Confused about Assigning Homework 159

40. You’re Unsure How to Write a Good Test 163

41. You Teach Many Students at Many Different Levels 167

42. Your Students Don’t Stay on Task for Long Periods of Time 171

43. Your Students Don’t Participate in Class Discussions 175

44. You’re Unsure about Rewarding Your Students 179

45. When Being Observed, You Call on Students Who Know the Answers 183

46. A Student Asks a Question and You Do Not Know the Answer 185

47. After the Test, Your Students Forget What You Have Taught 187

48. You Like a Quiet Classroom 191

49. You Question Whether You Should Have to Write Lesson Plans 195

50. You Need Creative Ideas 199


51. Another New Program Comes Along 205

52. The Person Awarded “Teacher of the Year” Does Not Deserve It 209

53. Your Professional Life Is Affecting Your Personal Life 213

54. Your Personal Life Is Affecting Your Teaching 217

55. You Don’t Have Time for All the After-School Functions 221

56. Planning Period Has Become Griping Period 225

57. You’re Asked to Take On All the Troubled Students 229

58. You’re Afraid of Social Media 233

59. You Want to Be More Positive, But It’s Difficult 237

60. You Can’t Keep Up with Education’s Buzzwords and Jargon 241

A Final Word 245

Index 247