How To Manage Troublesome Students

You will have all kinds of students in a classroom- confident and smart, studious, over-smart, dull, and disruptive. Dealing and handling all the other types of students is not much of a headache as much as dealing with troublesome students is. These students may intentionally create disturbances in the class that acts as a barrier to a good learning experience for both the students and the teacher. This might get worst in an online teaching scenario mainly because you and the students are not physically present in the same location during the class. So, they may create more disturbance, taking this as an advantage.

As a teacher, you may have your own way of dealing with such students. However, most teachers make some common mistakes while handling such students. Punishing or bribing them might sound like a good solution but this causes more harm than help. 

Before learning what you should be doing to manage troublesome students, here are a few things that you should avoid doing.

  • Punishing Them

This is a very common method that teachers resort to. However, you should remember that constantly punishing students triggers anger and frustration in the students. It also adds a load on you as now, it is you who has to keep an eye on the students and make sure that they are completing their punishment, whatever it may be.

Whether you throw such students out of the class or make them sit for extra hours in the classroom doing extra work, it comes down to you. For the first part, you will have to explain the topic to the students again because if the students fail, you will be held responsible for being inefficient in teaching and for the latter half, you will have to sit with them investing your time. 

  • Giving Them Unnecessary Attention

Insulting them, giving their names as examples for bad impressions, asking them to keep quiet every now and then, etc., is negative attention. A student who likes causing a disturbance in a class will intentionally cause problems for your attention when they find it out. 

  • Bribing Them For Behaving Well  

You will not like any hindrances while teaching and hence, bribing such students may seem like a good solution. Rewarding them for simply keeping quiet or paying attention to the class is just a source of external motivation and adds pressure on you. Also, it will not be possible for you to do it in every single class. Hence, it is not a solution that you should adopt.

None of the above methods works for your or your students’ benefit. If such tempting methods do not work, then what actually works? There is no definite solution to it however, there are some better and more effective ways that you can adopt. 

Here is a list of such ways:

  • Keep Your Calm and Stay Alert

Being aware and keeping patient helps to deal with such students. You should be more focused on understanding their behaviour and the classroom scenario and deal with such students with your calmness intact.

You should act smart while dealing with such students. You can try to keep them busy with things that do not directly involve bookish knowledge. For example, as a maths teacher, you can give all the students some tricky maths puzzles to solve and a little difficult for such students and subtly challenge them to complete them. These kinds of students have ego problems and hence, they will not give up until they show you that they won your challenge. You can find tricky maths puzzles with answers on the internet for your help. 

If you are a science teacher, you can give different experiments to all the students and little tricky ones for them.

  • Check Your Behaviour 

We all have different impressions of different people in our minds and most of the time, we keep behaving toward a person in the same way even if they have changed because we assume the person to be what we have in our heads. It is the same for teachers. When a teacher knows that a student is troublesome, they are most likely to behave negatively with them, which is wrong. 

As a teacher, you should keep a check on your behaviour as much as you track their behaviour. To bring changes in their behaviour, you must bring changes in your behaviour first.

3. Be Self-Aware 

If you have self-doubts, you may misinterpret the behaviour of the students towards you. There might be instances when a student may not understand the topic even if you explain it to him more than two times and hence, he keeps asking you to explain it again. You will most likely misinterpret this as mockery instead of understanding that the student has really not understood the topic. Therefore, self-awareness is important.

Final Thoughts 

Nobody can control the behaviour of others but one can control their own behaviour. This is what you should focus on and you will see changes in your classroom environment. 

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