Question Detail

A classroom managmnet hangup

Apr 25, 2013 10:52am

I often find one of the most difficult situations in classroom management is dealing with 1 v 1 arguments between students. I often get stuck on which student will get a verbal warning or consequence. Some teachers say punish both students. Others say work it through and talk it out after a lesson or during a down time. Others say to tell students to just let it go and move on. Any suggestions?

  • Other
  • Pre K-5
  • Behavior


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    • May 25, 2013 7:28am

      Disagreements are perfectly normal, and are a part of even adult life. I have been working with Baltimore City Public School students through a local non-profit for 7 years, and am getting ready to move into the traditional classroom. I have found it important to make it clear that the 'punishment' that they receive is not because they had the disagreement, but because they interrupted a lesson, chose inappropriate language, or were just plain mean to each other. In the traditional classroom, I'll bet I have to focus in on making my punishments consistent and fair. Most importantly I'll aim to address them immediately after they happen - even when the timing is inconvenient!

      • Apr 27, 2013 1:58pm

        The method I have been using most often is what I call the "court method". I bring both students aside and ask one student to talk and the other to not interrupt. I hear them out and then switch the roles. I usually make a decision quickly or ask for witness input. I only take into consideration witness input if the stories stay consistent between 2-3 witnesses. I like your idea Eric. It is important to turn it around into a learning experience that is positive.

        • Apr 30, 2013 2:29pm

          I often allow it to play out, faciliatating the discussion by asking questions and trying to get each side to state his or her side respectfully. The Common Core standards for speaking and listening may help you to do this, or researching Paideia seminar guidelines. Allowing students to speak their mind, and possibly educate their classmates is great practice for being a citizen of the United States, as freedom of speech comes with responsibility to be respectful and open minded. As educators, we should teach this whenever we can. I actuallt wrote an article about this: if you want to check it out.

          Good luck!

          • May 3, 2013 11:58am

            I think if we have them willingly become engaged with the class stuff, they won't find any chance of arguing. But it depends on how skillful the teacher is.