As a teacher, it is hard enough trying to juggle the demands of a hectic schedule, what with your superiors breathing down your neck over progress and your own personal issues outside the classroom. The last thing you need in this instance is a bunch of unruly students who refuse to pay attention in class or else they try and disrupt your lessons by encouraging others to join in. Difficult students don’t come in one or two forms however. These next few articles will take a look at the variety of ways in which a pupil can hinder your teaching and will show you the ways to deal with them and their antics.
It is almost certain that you will have at least one student who thinks they are more intelligent than you and will attempt to advise you on what you show be doing. This show of contempt is disrespectful in the extreme and will undermine your authority if you allow it to continue. In this instance, you should ask them to suggest a topic for discussion and ask the rest of the class if they agree. If they do, then proceed with the unruly student’s suggestion. If they reject it, then the pupil’s problem is now with the rest of the class, not you. In some instances you can ask them if they would like to teach the class. 99% of them will refuse and keep quiet. The 1% that agree to do so will soon find themselves woefully out of their depth and will quietly sit down.
Then you will have argumentative students who will disrupt proceedings by shouts the odds against you and anyone else who will listen. They will openly attack you and your teaching methods. It can be difficult to remain calm in such a situation but getting actively involved in the argument will only cause the problem to escalate. Ask them if they have a better way of handling whatever it is they are complaining about. Finally, ask them if they feel that their voice has been heard. Students like this are only seeking attention but you can never allow yourself to be dragged into any confrontation. Patience is key.
Classroom bullies can be really hard to handle. Once upon a time, teachers took matters into their own hands and issued corporal punishment. Such a shameful lack of self control was soon outlawed, but teachers sometimes feel unarmed when dealing with such individuals. First of all, you need to inform the bully that their threats will not be heard and their methods will not be effective. Never give in to the demands of bullies and keep them after class, getting them to explain their abhorrent behavior. Seek assistance from your headmaster and attempt to coax the student out of their destructive pattern. If this does not help, alert their parents and ask them to seek help for their child.
These are just some of the disruptive influences you will have to deal with in the classroom. This is why teachers have to be a jack of all trades in some respects. The following articles will have more examples of poor student behavior and how you can combat them.