Working Effectively with the Difficult, Defiant and Noncompliant Student

Working Effectively with the Difficult, Defiant  and Noncompliant Student


Program Focus:

Do you have one or several students who are difficult, defiant and noncompliant? Do they cost you dearly in time lost and the effort it takes to deal with them? What are some proven “secrets” for realizing more success with this student? If you want to reduce classroom disruption and achieve a more productive learning environment, this valuable NEW program is for you!


Participant Benefits:

  LEARN practical strategies for increasing your effectiveness with the defiant and noncompliant student
  GAIN powerful methods for preventing defiant and noncompliant behavior before it starts
  COLLECT dozens of proven ideas for promoting task compliance and achievement in the classroom.


Needs Addressed by this Program:

The difficult, defiant and noncompliant student not only keeps you off-task with his annoying and aggravating behaviors, he can negatively affect the entire “climate” in the classroom. Although this youngster has plenty of skill and ability to do well academically, his defiance and noncompliance create problems for everyone. Wasted time, wasted grades and wasted relationships take their toll quickly.


Intended Audience of this Program:

Classroom teachers, Special Education teachers, alternative education teachers, school counselors, administrators, behavior intervention specialists, instructional specialists, instructional assistants, program specialists, school psychologists and school social workers.

Program Objectives:

Through this workshop and materials, participants will be able to:

Match the Strategy to the Problem

FOCUS intervention on the correct problem (really) … AVOID the behavioral “fallout” that can accompany redirection of this student … EMPLOY the strategy of “soliciting good intentions.”

Erase the Student’s Next Defiant Episode

USE creative provocation to your advantage … DISPLACE one or more of the three elements that must be in place for defiant and noncompliant behavior to occur … PRACTICE the “when” of intervention
Empower Your Difficult Student for Compliance

Positively CHANGE the youngster’s perception of authority … DISCARD the type of teaching that doesn’t produce long-term results with this student … MASTER the “Magic Moment,” a brief but powerful relationship-building intervention .. Creatively BALANCE expectations …. ENCOURAGE the difficult student to interpret his own improvement

Confront Effectively, Not Perpetually

MASTER the “Aha!” approach to confrontation … MINIMIZE disagreements and excuses … HELP the difficult student to focus on his defiance and noncompliance, rather than the discomfort of the confrontation … Creatively ENLIST the student’s cooperation

Improve Achievement and On-task Behavior

PREVENT the misunderstanding of directions and tasks … BUILD compliance through the strategy of “adding to” … INITIATE and MAINTAIN task-directed focus and behavior … ENCOURAGE compliance using spontaneity and humor … STRUCTURE a forced-choice approach to task completion … MASTER nonverbal ways to redirect a defiant and noncompliant student to task

Address Issues of Programming and Discipline

EVALUATE the most pressing programming challenges of working with this student … UTILIZE one or both of two proven disciplinary interventions

Conference Effectively with Parents

DO two simple things that can significantly increase the effectiveness of a parent conference

Receive an Extensive Program Handbook

You will RECEIVE a valuable program handbook stuffed full of ready-to-use ideas, strategies and interventions for improving student behavior and generating more compliance and achievement in your classroom (a $21.50 value).


Program Description:

James Sutton, nationally recognized educator, psychologist and author, will provide you with a wealth of practical strategies and proven interventions that will help you be more effective with even your most challenging student.

Dr. Sutton will focus on how teachers can defuse power struggles and implement noncoercive redirection of defiance and noncompliance in the classroom while building an improved and lasting relationship with the challenging student. When this happens, the opportunity for achievement is opened up for everyone, and the classroom becomes a more productive environment.

You’ll leave this outstanding program with practical strategies and valuable insights you can put to use immediately. You’ll also leave with a comprehensive, professionally published program handbook that will be a valuable resource for many years to come.


Qualifications of the Presenter:

James D. Sutton, EdD

  Texas Psychologist License # 2790
  Texas Professional Counselor License # 06979
  Texas Licensed Specialist in School Psychology # 6154
  Texas Education Agency certifications–see vita
  Certified Speaking Professional


A Message from the Presenter:

Dear Colleague:

School is compliance-driven. Scores and achievement, and unyielding pressure to maintain them, have taken center stage. (And they won’t be leaving any time soon.)

Yes, school is compliance-driven, which means a student doesn’t have to be tearing apart the school to create serious concern. Defiance and noncompliance in the classroom today is plenty enough to handle.

In the midst of the challenges tossed our way by the defiant and noncompliant student, however, we often find a few folks who seem to work magic with this very same youngster. Refreshing, but what’s their secret? What are they doing (or sometimes not doing) that is making such a difference?

If success with difficult students leaves a trail (and I believe it does), we can follow it. In this fast-paced, information-intense program, Working Effectively with the Difficult, Defiant and Noncompliant Student, I will tap into 30 years of study, a rich reservoir including my experiences in the schools, current trends and research, and the contributions of “best practice” ideas and interventions that have been shared by top educators across the country. In fact, we’ll cover some of the same ideas and strategies that made my book, 101 Ways to Make Your Classroom Special, a best-seller (for which I am deeply appreciative and still flabbergasted.)

The bottom line is this: This “stuff” works, and you’ll get to take it with you!

James D. Sutton

P.S. While putting this program together, I gleaned through hundreds of pages of great ideas shared with me by fellow educators. They are solid GOLD! Even better, these perspectives, ideas and interventions are fully supportive of Response to Intervention and Positive Behavioral Supports. Please come to the program expecting to have your cup filled.

Credit Hours Granted:

This program was developed to provide 5.25 clock hours (.525 CEUs) of credit.

Program Agenda:



Check-in and registration


Behavioral beginnings (introduction)

Getting OUT of the Loop
Patterns and payoffs
Defiance and noncompliance

What works; what doesn’t




Intervention (part 1)

Intervention overview

Change perspective, change behavior
Reinforcing relationships


Lunch (own your own)


Intervention (part 2)

Balancing expectations

Constructive confrontation
Task-directed compliance




Intervention (part 3)
Task-directed compliance (cont’d)

Programming and discipline
Conferencing with parents
Brief review and closing