As a teacher we WANT to help them. We think of countless interventions, talk to their classroom teacher, SPED teachers, counselor, their parents, and maybe even the principle trying to find ways to help that kid succeed in our class. Maybe you feel like you are really consistent, but you are constantly dealing with behavior issues with the same few kids. Or maybe you are trying out new ideas and strategies every few weeks to see if SOMETHING will work. It is exhausting. You lay awake thinking about what you can do different. Maybe you go home and cry. I've been there before.
Here's my advice: STOP LETTING THAT KID STEAL ALL YOUR TIME AND ENERGY.
Don't let "that kid" take the joy out of teaching for you. When we spend all our time focusing on one student, we can often lose sight of the rest of the class.
There are a lot of kids who DO care. So many kids cannot wait to get to music. If I miss the opportunity to make the most of it for THEM, I am doing those kids a huge disservice.
I know we think, "If I can just get this one kid to do the right thing," then we will be able to get so much more done.
We've all heard the saying, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink." There are kids who are THIRSTING for your attention. They are ready to sing and play and learn with you. Lead them. Inspire them. Invest in them. The others may follow. Or they may not, but I can guarantee that you will no longer feel like a babysitter. You WILL feel like you are making a difference. You will re-find your joy and passion for teaching. Those kids who are ready will be right there with you.
I have found in my own classroom, when I spend all my energy on the challenging kiddos, I am drained. I have nothing left to give. If I invest that energy into the kids who are eager to learn, I am so much happier, and there are actually LESS behavior problems because those kids see everyone else having a great time and they want to be a part of it. If they are slowing you down, have them sit and learn by watching for a bit, but don't waste your class time dealing with it.
Close your eyes and think about the kids in your class (or classes) who cannot wait to be in your room.
Repeat after me. "This week, I am going to focus on them for a change". Don't let them fall through the cracks because you are too busy with the kids who aren't ready to learn. Invest in the ones who are.
Then report back and let me know how you feel about it. I feel my happiest teaching when I am thinking about how I spend my energy and focusing on the good!