In this final installment of controlling your classroom, you will see more suggestions of dealing with bad behavior in your classroom. The previous editions covered everything from dictators to bullies but no amount of literature can prepare you for such events until they happen. Never be afraid to ask for advice from more experienced teachers too. In a well run school, the teachers should constantly be there for one another.

We all know the situation: one student interrupts either you or another student, and then someone else joins in. Before you know it, the whole class is in uproar and it is up to you to restore order. When such a situation occurs, stamp your authority on proceedings by telling everyone that they need to wait their turn before they speak. Tell them to come up with ideas to either build on. Don’t allow anyone to speak unless they put up their hand, it’s important to teach your class to be polite.

You may have to deal with pupils that try and disrupt the class through non-verbal means. They sit in their chair and use body language in a negative manner or they roll their eyes as you speak. The first thing you can do to counteract this is to completely ignore them, focusing on the student that is speaking. Alternatively, you could challenge their behavior and ask if they have something important they would like to share with the class. This places the emphasis on them and they will not enjoy having the spotlight shone firmly on them.

No list of disruptors would be complete without the student who continuously interrupts everyone else. Instant action is needed, so tell them to be silent until the speaker has concluded their statement. After classes, take them aside and explain how their behavior is unacceptable and it needs to stop. Advise them to take a sheet of paper and a pen and write down all their ideas. When the person has stopped speaking, they can then tell the class what it is they’re thinking. This is an excellent skill and one that will serve them well in later life.

Finally, we have the famous ‘teacher’s pet’. Even though there are sure to be students who you have taken a shine to because of their work ethic and high standards, you must be seen not to have favorites. You will also be helping them because ‘teacher’s pets’ are prime targets for bullies. Don’t make eye contact when they try and grab your attention in class and ensure that you never single them out for praise on a consistent basis.

So there we have it. It is a good starting point for those who have set out on the teaching road. Remember, the majority of students will respect you and the ones that try and act out can be dealt with comfortably by following  school guidelines, your own experiences and some of the tips given here..   Teaching comes with many challenges but also many, many rewards Those rewards are the difference you know you’ve made in the lives of the children you’ve given your best to and sent out to tackle the next subject or even the world!

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