• Lia Stoll

7 Time-Tested Responses to Challenging Classroom Behaviour


Angry girl in classroom
Raj-Rana@Unsplash

With a deep sigh, you enter the classroom. Another Monday. Another explosive class to survive.


You’re afraid of kids with earsplitting voices and paralyzing energy.


While sipping your coffee, you skim through your notebook — the best classroom management strategies.


But guess what.


Nothing feels right.


You don’t want hysterical adult screaming. You don’t want abusive discipline.


You want to empower your students, touch them with your words, and jump-start them to believe in themselves.


So, how can you create a smooth, enjoyable teaching experience, and make your classroom the desert water hole your students crave?


Let’s explore seven ways.


1. What Would Happen If You Changed Your Attitude?


Negative thinking is like a giant wall. It keeps you from engaging and blocks you from moving forward to create a respectful relationship.


That’s why — students do well if they want to —attitude, is a relationship killer. Try — students do well if they can — and let it guide you.


For example, one primary teacher instantly boosted her student-teacher relationship by encouraging a positive attitude to guide her beliefs, actions, and communication.


2. Do you know what keeps your student-teacher relationship from getting better?


Negative communication can spread and destroy like wildfire. Try empathy-based communication to deal with conflict.


When arguments hit the high decibel range, get ahead of the noise and use empathy to communicate.


Research shows, teachers who cultivate empathy manage students’ behaviour better. Try it. You will be amazed by the results.


3. Do you know the most important problem for your students?


Every student is different. Trouble is, they all share a common problem; understanding what makes their behaviour challenging.


Challenging behaviour creeps up the moment your expectations and demands outstrip the skills students have to respond. Act as a mirror and help them work out the skills they lack.


Not only that but, know how lagging skills set the stage for challenging behaviour. Then, like a warm hug, comfort and make them feel safe.


4. What happens when you combine love with accessibility?


Miserable experience with adults makes trusting teachers hard. Try to get to know and like your students.


Show you’re available and responsive. It’ll help build the foundation for a great student-teacher relationship.


Take time to care. Why not attend extracurricular activities featuring your students? It means something when teachers take time to visit an activity they’re involved in.


5. What would happen if you teamed up with your students?


Students dread time with teachers and avoid it like the plague. But, they need a strong personal connection to do their best.


Learning is personal and emotional, leaving students to wrestle with the stresses of school. To be effective meet with students one on one.


Students crave a deeper more personal connection. An interview can help you learn about them and revolutionize your classroom.


6. Do you know why ‘annoying’ classroom behaviour drives you mad?


Childhood triggers. They are like the air we breathe; invisible but all around us. Become aware and time yourself out.


Turn the spotlight away from the ‘annoying behaviour’ to your own emotions and untangle them.


Make the change from personal to situational — there’s a big difference between thinking my students are disruptive by disposition versus thinking they’re feeling disruptive at the moment.


7. What would happen if you let go of classroom management?


Imagine two teachers teaching the same lesson. One is impatient, the other supportive. Which one inspires you?


Build positive relationships, and safeguard a foolproof way to stop behaviour problems. The more students know and respect you, the more they will behave.


A journal can help you review, gain perspective and abandon the “perfect teacher” image.


Invigorate Your Students


By now you may feel like things have gotten away from you.


You may wonder how to get back on track — or whether that’s even possible.

That’s normal.


But, imagine a classroom where students come to you.


Imagine a classroom where students trust you with their worries, fears, and challenges.

Come on. Dare to change your classroom to the desert water hole your students crave.

And, let your empathy shine, sparkle, and glow.

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