Question Detail

How to handle disrespectful 12th grade students?

Feb 22, 2016 8:59pm

hello everyone, I am Harir Sofizadah an English teacher in a private Turkish school in Afghanistan. I teach 8th and 12th grades and my greatest challenge is that most of the students come from rich families which leads to disrespect me. Especially that I am a younger teacher just older than them by few years. They behave rudely in my class and I don't want to act out anger to dare them disrespect me even more. I need suggestions and methods to handle them. I teach two 12th classes each with 25 students.

  • English Language Arts
  • 12
  • Behavior


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    • Mar 3, 2016 1:55pm

      Respect builds on itself when it is reciprocal. If you can, arrange for an activity in which they use computers. Stall the beginning of class a little bit so that they start to surf around on the internet to sites that interest them. Cycle quietly around the room and observe where they go so you know what they are interested in. Then pick one of the "leaders" in the class who has been disrespecting you and engage him in a conversation about what he is looking at on the web. Show (or fake) a really strong curiosity in his interest for a couple minutes. Now ask him to put it away and please begin work on what you want him to work on. If you show respect for his interest, there is a greater likelihood he will begin to show an interest in your stuff--the lesson. Key to this is to then great students at the door every morning and ask a few of them about their interests or their personal pursuits. Avoid the punitive if you can solve it--indeed prevent it--by building more rapport.

      • Feb 24, 2016 3:42pm

        That seems the case in every school today. Kids do not respect teachers. Like Tamara said; it´s better to have a few rules that everyone, including the teacher will follow. Beforehand you should also agree on what will the consecuences are going to be in case anyone, including the teacher, violates that rule.
        The hardest part is applying the consecuences because kids will proff if you are serious about the rules. Other hard thing is apply the same rules to you, but since you are the teacher you will be expected to set the examples. Good luck.

        • Feb 27, 2016 2:53am

          This reminds me of the Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music. Respect is earned and no one is entitled.

          • Nov 12, 2016 11:53am

            Students are viewed as being disrespectful because of specific perceptions. To understand why students behave a particular way their behaviour should not be hastily termed disrespectful. First of all one needs to gain a clear understanding of the students' culture. Once there is clear understanding as to how each student culture is influencing his/her behaviour there is a base from which to begin transformation of the students' behaviour.

            Treat students who behave differently from the culture in which they are immersed in the way you wish them to behave. Do not be judgmental. Behavioural transformation is a slow process. Commend them for improvements and be the role model of behaviour for them. Get each to become a part of a group with acceptable behaviour patterns and continue supervising
            Jacqueline Boyd-Vassell
            November 12, 2016

            • Nov 29, 2016 6:58am

              Harir, in the long run, I suggest reading the book, "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is very helpful in developing our own character so that we learn how not to take things personally and understand students are "not" their behavior.

              In the short run, relationship is everything. How might you begin to build relationships with a few students at a time. I've found doing this helps to build allies and these allies are often influential in quelling the inappropriate behavior of the group.

              Bottom line, I have found I have to love, care and respect myself so strongly that my students can palpably feel it. It's like a force field of positive energy around you and it helps to create the reality of your classroom (and life in general). Take good care of you!