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How to handle a disruptive student

FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2015 12:41 PM

Disruptive students, whether in kindergarten or high school, can be stressful for teachers and for a classroom's environment. If a teacher does not properly handle a student's disorderly conduct the instructor can quickly lose control of the class or lose student respect. Knowing this, you should be prepared and have a plan in place in case a situation should arise. Different instructors will have a variety of techniques, but there are a few key tactics a teacher should follow when dealing with a difficult student.

Address the whole room
Sometimes singling a student out in front of the class for rowdy or attention-seeking behavior can have a negative effect. The child could become embarrassed or feel undervalued and start resenting you as a teacher, ultimately creating more disruptive situations. If an individual is talking out of turn, remind the whole class you'd like everyone to participate. In addition, if a student frequently gives incorrect answers, The Center for Teaching and learning suggests asking the rest of the class if they agree or disagree to generate a class discussion and encouraging students to provide evidence to support their answers.

Speak in private
If you have tried addressing a student's behavior during class but the pupil is still being uncooperative, speak with the individual privately. Doing this has many benefits for you and the student. For instance, the student will not feel embarrassed in front of the entire class, and if his or her behavior escalates, you won't have an audience to witness it.

Remain rational and objective
When a student starts cursing in class, disobeying instructions or making insulting comments, it can be extremely difficult not to lose your temper. However, when a teacher begins to shout at a student, the situation will only escalate, fueling the disruptive behavior and creating a tense learning space.

Engaging with disruptive students can be challenging, though, and sometimes even when a teacher calmly addresses a student's behavior and offers help, the student will still become explosive. If a pupil is being confrontational and uncooperative, one of the best actions you can take is to disengage from the behavior. For example, if a child is complaining about an assignment or arguing it has worthless purposes, briefly explain its merits and then move on to assist another child. Arguing with the student will only make the scene worse. If the disruptive pupil continues hassling you about the work to the point that actions and comments are too contentious, ask them to go to the office. The American Federation of Teachers notes that by disengaging from these situations, teachers can quickly end a hostile interaction. Maintaining a calm demeanor and effectively dealing with the encounter will also make the class feel like you are in control as the teacher and will allow you to smoothly continue the lesson.