When a student is being particularly disruptive try not to single them out in front of the other student in the class. One great way to diffuse a disruptive pupil is the create a seating chart where you can easily see and observe them, but where they may be sitting by students who either do not know them or who are more serious students that may not find their antics humorous. Do not place the student in the front row of desks in the center of the room, but consider placing them a row or two back where they can be easily seen and observed. If the student begins to act out or stops paying attention to the lesson being taught, simply standing behind or next to that student while teaching can help to calm them down and stop the coming episode. You presence in close proximity to the student is often enough to put a stop to any bad behavior while preventing the stop of an ongoing lesson.
If your student continues to act out despite strategic placement and proximity of the teacher, it may be time to figure out why. While students act out for many different reasons, often a pupil with a behavioral issue will come from a less than perfect home life. Acting out may be the only way for them to receive attention from their parents or siblings, and they may feel that they must continue this behavior in the classroom. Set up a meeting with the child, parents, teacher, and school psychologist to discuss the issues that may be causing this child to act out. By analyzing the situation with the parents and a trained child psychologist, you can develop an individual plan for that pupil to help them to be more appropriate in the classroom and, consequently, learn more.
After meeting with parents and school officials, if a disruptive pupil continues to act out, some form of punishment may be necessary. Again, try not to stop you lesson, get angry, yell, or single the student out in front of his/her peers. Instead, consider pulling the pupil aside before lunch or in between periods in order to discuss with them what they did wrong, what your expectations are of them, how you can help them, and what a reasonable punishment may be.
A teacher's day is filled with essay editing, homework grading, supervising students, and teaching lessons. A disruptive pupil can make turn a lovely class of eager students into a stressful situation. By keeping your cool and employing effective strategies for disciplining and analyzing the student's particular situation, you can help to have a more calm and efficient classroom.
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