Question Detail

How to deal with a group of misbehaving students?

Mar 17, 2015 1:13pm

I am a teacher candidate and this is my last year as doing an internship. I am now feeling pressured and not knowing what is the right path should I select when it comes to Classroom Management. This is the first time I am teaching in a 'public school' and really faced a hard situation today that I have never faced before in my practicums.
The story is, it was supposed to be an enrichment class, but the mentor teacher had something important to do, so the students stayed in the classroom. She asked me to go and see them. While she took time to come back, I just started talking and wanted to do some activities or playing the subject's games with them. Some students refused listening to me when I asked them to sit and go to their places. I did not shout at them but asked them angrily to go to their places. Some just stayed at the front of the class. I did not understand why did they act like this. They told me that they didn't want to play any game but just to have freedom and hang around.

  • English Language Arts
  • 6
  • Behavior


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    • Mar 17, 2015 11:59pm

      We have been working on a teaching interaction at our school that I find really helpful. It's 3 (possible 4) lines and has worked really well this year.

      1) Empathize, but why inappropriate
      Ex: "I understand that you are in the middle of a conversations with your friends, but we are wasting valuable learning time.

      2) Name appropriate behavior and give rationale
      Ex: I need you to take your seat so that we can start learning and take advantage of our time together.

      3) Check for understanding and positive behavior
      Ex: OK? (wait....)

      4) Consequence linked to feedback
      Ex: If you can't take a seat in the next X minutes, then I'll need to see you after class.

      How I remember:
      -- Understand why..., but...
      -- Please ..., because ....
      -- OK?
      -- If not, then ....

      • Mar 17, 2015 2:09pm

        It sounds as though there were several complicating aspects to this situation: you may not have been familiar with the class norms, and you may not have been able to greet students at the door and use that opportunity to clarify your expectations.

        Even without the best of circumstances, something that you can is to focus on what you want students to do and provide positive narration. "B is in her seat. Thank you, M, you've found your seat. The entire front row is ready." Often, emphasizing students who are doing what you do want will cause other students to follow in this path.

        • Mar 17, 2015 4:37pm

          I would also suggest in a situation such as this (when as Leah said, you didn't know the norms and were thrown into the situation), that you ask the students for help. I've found that offering some of "power" of the teachers role to a particularly rowdy/rude student can actually allow for them to become a leader. You could walk over to one student and ask them to get the groups attention and/or help you lead the game or activity.

          • Apr 15, 2015 7:49am

            I am definitely not a teacher yet but I have had some of those difficult situations with students before. My professor has been a teacher for quite some time now and he tells us to not give in and get your "glare" down. I hope to improve my "glare" by the time I do become a teacher!

            Here are some other tips when dealing with difficult students:
            1. Don't lecture, scold, or yell. You did not yell but you let them know they got under your skin so in their eyes they won. Next time, Keep your cool!
            2. Don't question. You are in control. No questions asked.
            3. Do not argue with them. Just remember, they will always win. They do not have anything on their agenda and you do, so they could do this all day.
            4. Do not ignore misbehavior. I know you don't want to nit pick everything they do wrong but if you ignore something little, it'll only get worse.

            Hope this helps!

            • Mar 17, 2015 3:00pm

              What about if the student is disrespectful. I mean, here I realized that the teachers always yell and shout at students when behaving undesired behavior. The students seem that they are used to respond to teachers who shout at them and this thing I do not think is the best solution because they are not learning from their mistakes. For example, there were students who where sitting quietly and they just told me "Teacher, shout at them".
              I am trying to find other ways and like what you have suggested in your reply. I appreciate it.

              • Mar 17, 2015 3:38pm

                Thank you for your suggestions again, that is helpful and I really looking forward to applying what I have learned in my classroom management course. Maybe this situation new and I do not deal with kids and teenagers in my daily - personal life but only with the students I teach in the school.

                • Mar 17, 2015 2:51pm

                  Thank you very much for your advice..

                  • Mar 18, 2015 1:34pm

                    Thank you for your suggestions,,, I appreciate them.

                    • Oct 23, 2015 9:35am

                      Sorry this post has very little to do with this thread I'm linking it with so that there's some reference:


                      Please continue sharing ideas or read on.