Dealing with Disruptive Students Part II
Part I of this series focused on how teachers can reduce disruptions during class. In some cases, this requires that school personnel work together to come up with decisions on certain issues. In other cases, teachers have to enforce policies and be consistent in enforcement of those policies as well as in the enforcement of classroom rules.
Dealing with Disruptive Students: No More Chatty Students
This article will focuse more on how teachers can eliminate those disruptions that occur within their classroom. One common problem is students who like to chat while you are teaching. Do not attempt to talk over them, and do not warn them for talking. Just keep on going over the material like a steam roller. In most cases, when students are faced with completing an assignment that they do not understand, they will discover they are lost and ask for help.
At this point, I would not help the student, especially when they raise their hands and say they do not understand. They would understand the material if they were not talking among themselves. I would make a point to these students that if you were not talking and if you were paying attention, then you would understand the material just as the other students do.
Sometimes, it takes a hard lesson like this to emphasize the importance of listening when instructions are being discussed and when material is being provided. At times, I give in and help the students after the student has sat there and struggled with the assignment. After all, it is my goal that my students learn the material and are proficient in the subject area.
Dealing with Disruptive Students: Off Task Behavior
For those clock-watchers, remove the wall clock and hang up a sign that reads, "Time passes, do you?" More than anything, this really focuses students on the task at hand and reemphasizes the point that if students want to pass, they need to pay attention.
For students who are writing or flipping through a notebook, make students clear off their desks completely before you give any instructions. It is a bit elementary, but it really eliminates unnecessary disruptions.