The recent stabbing to death in Chennai of a teacher by a Class IX student raises serious issues on teacher-student relations. That matters can go to such extremes is alarming. It goes without saying that effective classroom management practices can be useful.
Clearly state the rules
Show students you care about each of them
Provide students with opportunities to make meaningful choices
Do not let rigid interpretation of rules skip common sense
Notice any variances in student mood, behaviour
Avoid confrontation in front of other students. (Instead, say “let's talk after class.”)
Validate students' perspectives and avoid blaming
Don't make assumptions about causes of problems; consider underlying issues
Link daily lessons to the life and needs of students; demonstrate relevancy
Create expectations of success for all students
Give students specific feedback on what they did right
Build on students' strengths
A break-up with boy/girlfriend
Death/suicide of family member, friend, classmate, or community member
Parent separation and/or divorce
Exposure to violence, aggression, bullying, and/or gang conflict
Abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional)
Strained relationship between teacher and students
Acknowledge the student (e.g., “It seems like you are upset,” “What can I do to help you?”) and offer help and support
Consult with school personnel
Use a calm, positive tone when redirecting student conflicts; avoid confrontational language
Give students two or three choices of academic tasks to manage behaviour and increase success
Show encouragement when students struggle with social and/or academic issues
Use verbal praise intermittently in class and when students become reengaged
Restate expectations and classroom rules
Make certain that you are reinforcing the targeted behaviour you desire in your classroom
Use humour, but not sarcasm, to defuse conflicts
Note any change in students' emotional and/or behavioural functioning.
Always consider social, cultural, and linguistic factors when judging student behaviour.
Remember you are not alone! Talk with a trusted colleague, mentor, administrator, or union representative and get outside assistance when needed.
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