Johnny tears up my class daily! How can I stop it?
Do you have a student or students who can't seem to follow classroom procedures? I think that we've all had a Johnny or a few Johnny's who truly change the dynamic of the classroom.
Set clear expectations: Establish clear rules and expectations for behavior in the classroom at the beginning of the school year, and make sure all students understand them. Be consistent in enforcing these rules and provide positive reinforcement when students follow them.
Involve parents or guardians: If a student's disruptive behavior persists, it may be helpful to involve their parents or guardians. Communicate with them about the student's behavior and work together to find a solution. Always, always document conversations & interactions! I created a Google Doc in the past for students where parent communication was frequent.
Address the behavior privately: If a student is being disruptive, speak with them privately after class or during a break to discuss the behavior and find out why they are acting out. Try to be understanding and empathetic while still enforcing the rules.
Use positive reinforcement: Praise students when they exhibit positive behaviors, such as staying on task or helping others. Positive reinforcement can motivate students to continue behaving well and help them feel recognized for their efforts.
Implement consequences: If a student continues to disrupt the class, implement appropriate consequences, immediately. These consequences should be FAIR and CONSISTENT with the established rules and expectations. The consequences could range from a verbal warning to a referral to the principal's office.
Provide support: Some students may be acting out due to underlying issues, such as anxiety or learning disabilities. If this is the case, provide appropriate support, such as counseling or accommodations in the classroom, to help the student succeed. Create a plan with the parent and appropriate administrator at the school.
Lastly, and most importantly, do not engage in a power struggle with students. It's ok to ignore certain attention seeking behaviors. I think knowing what to ignore and how long is a skill that teachers develop through experience. Observe other teachers or ask a more senior teacher for tips if you are unsure of how to handle certain students. It's ok to calmly walk away from a situation and relinquish control to another authority figure in the school.
Overall, it is important to remain calm and professional when handling disruptive behaviors in the classroom. By establishing clear expectations first, and following the other tips mentioned, educators can effectively manage disruptive behaviors and create a positive learning environment for all students.