Situations crop up regularly in most classrooms that threaten to distract from the lesson and derail learning for all. The following are a few suggestions for getting students back on track and keeping your cool when challenges arise.
- Cool off. Students take a moment and a breath when they feel their emotions getting the better of them.
- Speak to the other person directly. Students practice saying their peace firmly and kindly.
- Use active listening. Students listen attentively without interrupting and repeat what they heard back to the speaker, one at a time.
- Find a solution together.
Patience is a factor when implementing a classroom-wide compassionate conflict resolution, but you and everyone else in the class will reap the rewards of getting past the noise and feeling safe and respected when there’s a disagreement.
When students create a distraction, whether they’re speaking out of turn, resisting participating in class activities, or especially demanding attention, the impact is felt by everyone: the instructor (you) and the student’s fellow learners. Disruptive behavior happens and will always happen even in the most organized and communication-rich environments. The key is to navigate the upset so that you can keep the class, including you and the student in question, productive and on track.