So you’ve got a student who is causing disruption during your lesson. He/she is talking and beginning to distract others whilst you are trying to deliver an important series of instructions. Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it?! What do you do? How do you handle this disruption?
In my experience, most teachers escalate the situation far too quickly and this usually results in a public and unhelpful student-teacher confrontation.
There is an easier way. It’s called Peer, Pause, Position and it is a quick, easy and effective classroom management strategy.
Step 1: Peer
‘Peer’ as in look at the student and make eye contact. Do not stop giving your verbal instructions (this will interrupt the lesson for the entire class). Instead, continue speaking and as you do so make direct and definite eye contact with the student. Actually deliver your words directly to them for a period of time. This works a dream! Often this is all you need to do to stop that student being off-task. And you haven’t stopped the lesson at all – brilliant.
Step 2: Pause
Momentarily and mid-sentence stop speaking and briefly look at the student who is causing the disruption. Once you have their attention, continue the sentence exactly where you left off. Many times I have found that with these 2 steps (Peer and Pause) that the off task student’s behaviour ceases.
Step 3: Position
If the student still continues their off-task behaviour, then use your physical position (where you are standing) as a cue to help them get back on track. Again, do not stop giving your instructions, but as you do so, physically move towards the student and continue your instructions from right near them. This is a powerful message to the student and the wider class still has not been interrupted. Brilliant.
These 3 steps for effective classroom management all occur without interrupting the lesson for the rest of the class (which often escalates the problem because the off-task student now has everyone’s attention which tends to encourage the unhelpful behaviour). These 3 steps also require absolutely no direct or public confrontation with the student.
Don’t make the mistake of skipping these crucial steps and jumping straight to a verbal reprimand of the student, or even worse, applying a punishment. These should be last resorts.
P.S. ‘Respect’ is another one of my key strategies for effective classroom management and organisation. Click here to check out a short video I’ve recorded.
P.P.S. Two of my books are now available on Amazon Kindle for just $9.95. Yippee! Read them on your laptop, iPhone ,Blackberry, Android or iPad. Get your Beginning Teacher book here and your Casual Relief Teacher book here. Just $9.95.
Enjoy the journey,
And more importantly,
Enjoy the moments.