Disruptive behavior in the classroom is one of the primary concerns of teachers around the world. According to statistics, more than forty per cent of childcare professionals quit their jobs in just five years: they find it hard to handle unsettling behaviors in the classroom.
Troublesome behavior is essentially any kind of demeanor that acts as a threat to productive learning situation as well as successful performance of a teacher. This definition is useful in that it helps to make a distinction between the types of behaviors occurring within the classroom. Here are a few ways in which a reflective practitioner can handle such behaviors while teaching.
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Reflect on action before action
Take some time to ponder on all common disruptive classroom behaviors you may have to face: distracting other students during the class, gossiping, not following directions, showing aggression, being rebellious and so on. This is extremely important to staying proactive and planning strategies of management.
Thus, you are better prepared to handle situations as you have reflected on action before action. Think critically about your experience and personal knowledge of strategies utilized for reducing disruptive behavior. You would do well to learn from the strategies employed by senior colleagues in school.
Reflect in action
When a disruptive behavior happens right before your eyes, you need to reflect in action. Plans to handle recurring behaviors like the ones mentioned above will be useful at times; when you 'frame' the 'issue', think critically 'on the spot' about the context (classroom), students, experience and personal knowledge of strategies employed for preventing disruptive behavior.
You should follow the policy of the school on handling disruptive behavior. Moreover, you need to be clear about strategies to manage violent, confrontational or critical behaviors such as using tools in a workshop as weapons of ‘war’, throwing tantrums thereby creating anxiety in other learners, or showing defiantly no inclination to follow rules.
Understand the hidden message of violent communication
Almost all behaviors are a way of communication, particularly disruptive behaviors. However, violent communication of small children may be extremely difficult to understand. To avoid such behavior, you must try your best to understand the unclear and unknown message of such communication. Patient perseverance is the key here.
Connect with all your students
Try to connect with all the children so that they can build a strong relationship with and trust in natural authority. This is important before you expect them to display their best behavior. You can make a class behave using brute authority, but the costs will be heavy.
That might turn even a quiet child a ‘militant’. A warmer and stronger connect with them will be more productive. The first reaction of the teacher after managing the misbehavior must be to play more with the child, give quality time, and make her/him feel important, relaxed and at home in the classroom.
Evaluate the reaons
Evaluate the reasons that caused the disruptive behavior. Was the class noisy? Was the group time too long? Was the child hungry? Are there any disturbing issues at home that the child faces? Is the child having a hard time establishing friendships?
A reflective early childhood education practitioner will ensure a good connect with all children, as they know they are being understood properly with immense love and taken care of.