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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Articles for Teachers

Best Ways to Handle Disruptive Students in the Classroom
By:Jennifer Dobson

No classroom is free from having at least one or two students that seem to constantly and incessantly disrupt the entire classroom with their antics. But in order for all students to learn effectively, a classroom must have order and consistency. New teachers (and in some instances, veteran educators) often are clueless when it comes to handling perpetually disruptive students, which can make their jobs that much harder. Disruptions may come in any form, literally, but the most common include:

· talking when others are talking
· talking during lessons
· behaving badly
· disrespecting other students or the teacher
· being tardy

Setting Limits and Establishing Rules

It is important that a teacher nips disruptive students "in the bud" as soon as a problem surfaces. Being assertive and laying down basic ground rules at the beginning of the academic year is equally as important. A teacher must let his or her students know that they mean business when it comes to behaving in a proper manner. And while all teachers should be fair to their students, they must also make certain that they set out clear expectation and classroom rules from the get-go, and to go a step further by explaining why the classroom rules that have been set are important. The next step is to enforce rules consistently. It is a sure bet that if the rules are inconsistently enforced or not enforced at all, students will notice and act accordingly. Display your classroom rules in a conspicuous place for all to see and leave them posted for the entire school year.

Restoring Harmony

When dealing with a disruptive student, you must remain calm. Avoid becoming hostile towards the poorly behaved child; this only allows the student to see that they can easily push your buttons, which will only heighten the problem. The truth is that some students feel satisfied when they believe that they can make a teacher angry at will, and may use this type of behavior to get out of working. But as a teacher, you can defuse conflict and restore harmony. Regain control of the classroom with the following initiatives:

· asking the student to refer to the classroom rules
· standing next to the student as you teach
· ask the student a question to redirect his attention to the lesson
· ask the student to stay after class and then try to clear up the problem

There are many reasons that a student may become disruptive. They may not understand the lesson, they may have already been taught the concepts in the lesson, or perhaps they cannot see or hear you from where they are seated. And then there are students who are simply disruptive for whatever other reason, which may be beyond your control. These students are often best handled by assigning them a seat front-and-center in front of your desk where you can keep an eye on them. However, a truly disruptive student may need to be referred to the principal for disciplinary action. Keep in mind, however, that if you have multiple students in the classroom that are disruptive or that behave badly, you may have a rules structure that is too lenient or too lax, or inversely, too strict. If students feel that they cannot live up to your expectations, they sometimes will not put any effort into trying.

Jennifer Dobson invites you to visit her favorite online store for teachers and parents, www.MPMSchoolSupplies.com. MPM School Supplies is literally your one stop shop for school, classroom, and teacher supplies. The site even has a great selection of educational toys, and school furniture. It has all kinds of music classroom supplies and also makes a great math teacher supply store. Visit today to save 10% on your first order!

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