One disruptive student can throw off an entire class. As the teacher, your response to these situations determines the tone of the classroom. By learning some simple classroom management techniques, you can be prepared to handle these situations in a manner that will positively influence your students and hopefully help them to change those negative behaviors and attitudes.
1. Clearly identify classroom expectations early on.
Create a classroom management plan. Know ahead of time how you will react to difficult situations. Doing this allows you to set the tone for your interaction with students and to establish yourself as the authority figure in the classroom. By creating structure, you choose the environment of your classroom. Be clear on what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behavior as well as the consequences (positive and negative) of each. Be ready to deal with any issues as soon as they come up, and be consistent in your enforcement of the rules.
2. Give your students a voice.
When establishing your expectations, ask for your students’ input. Give them some control in the classroom. Have your students help in choosing the classroom rules. The WhyTry Program’s Surrendering the one-up strategies provide teachers with a number of tools to give students a voice and help them feel important. When you give your students the one-up, you set the foundation for a relationship of trust. This is a key in building student motivation and helps create a desire to change negative behaviors.
3. Stay Calm.
Be patient with your students. Your behaviors set the tone of the classroom. It easy to negatively react to a negative situation. Instead, approach each situation with composure and search for a positive solution. Your students will observe this and follow your example.
4. Connect with your students.
Get to know your students. Know their interests. Make sure each student receives one-on-one interaction. Listen to what they have to say and respond appropriately. Let them know you are paying attention and that what they say and do is important to you. This will create mutual respect and allow you to engage them more fully in the classroom.
5. Give all students a chance to participate.
Be sure there are opportunities for participation. This could be in the general class setting or perhaps during small group activities. Create an environment of communication. Make sure each student is heard and listened to.
6. Build self-esteem.
It’s important to reinforce your students’ positive behaviors. Acknowledge your students contributions. Recognize their successes. By providing positive reinforcement you promote positive behaviors while also discouraging disruptive behaviors.
What teaching strategies do you use when dealing with disruptive students? Share your ideas in the comments below. To learn more about how the WhyTry Program can help you engage students online, contact us.