An ideal classroom situation would be where a teacher is delivering a lecture and students are sitting engrossed in the lecture – there is a drop-dead silence among the students, who are trying to take in each word, as it is said. The reality, however, is likely to be quite different. Every classroom setting will have a mixed bag of students. While some would be interested in being involved in the teaching-learning process, there will always be outliers, who might want to have their attention to other things.This might be truefor almost every classroom;only, the magnitude of ‘outliers’ might be different.
While a teacher is expected to knowher subject matter, it is equally important for her to have the skills to manage her class effectively. Since every classroom situation is different, we cannot have a ‘one size fit all’ rulebook. But, in spite of that, there can always be some general pointers, that can be applied, to have a well-managed classroom.In case of a conflict, ateacher or an instructor should seek to limit the number of verbal exchangeswith rogue elements. Dignity and respect are the two non-compromisable characteristics of a teacher –and these mustbe maintained, unconditionally and at all times. And following a certainset of guiding factors should help a tutor to achieve this.
One of the foremost things should be to ‘communicate clearly.’ Rules of classrooms should be set and defined clearlyfrom day one,and these should be followed consistently. A tutor should be able to convey to her students, what her expectations from the class are and the rules that she expects everyone to follow. A case for deviant behaviors must also be communicatedalong with the correspondingpenalties being set. This would let everyone in the class to be on the same page. Also, a communication channel should be two ways. While setting ground rules for the classrooms and the penalties, it must be the case that students should be able to contribute. By allowing them to voice their opinions, give their inputs, they would feel a party to the decisions made, are would more likely be willing to follow them.
In almost all classroom settings, there would exist a subset of students, who would be disruptive or non-interested in participating productively in the class. One of the most effective strategies to deal with them would be to try and spread them – this would minimize the impact they might be able to make otherwise.In most of the cases, problem causing students tend to sit together – often at the tail end of the class. Possibly, the best tactic would be to pull them to the front of the class, and made to sit with other students – all spread out.This is most likely going to limit the number of disruptions that you are likely to witness.
So far as the remainder of the incidents is concerned, as tempting as it may be to shout, try addressing to the problem elements with poise. Even while delivering a ‘consequence,’ it may be ideal to keep the dialogue short and crisp. This will curtail any chances of exchanges, and therefore, any lengthy arguments. By treating students with respect, you would earn your entitlement to it. By this, you would already have won the argument.
In a nutshell, a teacher-student relationship is that of mutual respect. For a teacher, all students must be treated with equal care, no matter how testing some situations might be. While no general rulebook can dictate and list down steps to minimize conflicts in classroom settings, by practicing a few pointers, such incidents can be reduced to a negligible count.
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