Trying to quiet down your class can seem impossible at times. That’s not surprising. Nearly half of new teachers feel that they aren’t prepared to handle disruptive students. Training programs just put about eight hours to discuss the topic, which is probably one of the reasons why there’s a considerable lack of information on the subject.
If you want to stop disruptive behavior before it starts, then learn some useful advice from preschool teachers. To manage classes of preschoolers at international schools in Tokyo, check out several effective ways on how to deal with students who misbehave.
Organize the Room
In the past, it was important to organize the room strategically. Meaning, you had to ensure that kids were stationed in effective learning areas. That usually meant separating noisy areas of the room from the quiet ones. Blocks and activities should be on one side while the reading center should be on the other side. Ever since the shift to online classrooms, a lot of teachers have struggled to find ways to manage their classes in the absence of face-to-face interactions. One way to achieve the same effect is to organize your background for the class. Clear up the clutter so nothing will distract the kids during the sessions. Talk to the parents and make it clear how an organized study space will help their kids.
Create the Right Atmosphere
Your tone and demeanor contribute to the vibe and atmosphere in your classes. Children are often sensitive to the attitude of people towards them. If any of your students are upset, then you should approach that child with warmth and care. If you genuinely care for your students, if you want the best for them, and if you truly want them to develop and grow in ways that will benefit them later in life, then all of that comes across in how you treat them. Be comforting and reassuring. If your students perceive you as cold or unfeeling, that impacts the classroom atmosphere. In a time of online classes, that atmosphere can do a lot to encourage your students to keep going and stay focused or it can cut down on their engagement levels.
Talk to the Kids
Check in with every student in your class. Find out where they are, emotionally. How do they feel about the current situation? Are they anxious and worried? Are they afraid? Are they sad? Find time to talk to each one individually. Some of them might have parents who are worried about losing their jobs or who are depressed and anxious. Their kids might mirror those emotions and that could be why some of the students in your class are having a hard time catching up with the lessons. Their home environment might be holding them back.
Be Ready to Help
When you ask, be ready to hear that some of them are not okay. You’re not asking as a token gesture. You’re asking because you genuinely want to know. You are genuinely invested in the answer and you want to help. By hearing it straight from the kids, you know what’s happening to them. You have a better idea of what modules or approaches will help the kids, what will bring them out of their shell, and what to say to make them comfortable in class. You can also plan activities aimed at helping these students.
Tell Them to Ask for Help
This is challenging, especially for kids. But teach them that it’s okay to ask for help. Normalize that. A lot of adults feel that kids who no longer ask for help are independent, and they praise that attitude. But that might send across the erroneous message that kids shouldn’t ask for help. Don’t let that happen. In a time when stress, anxiety, and depression could eat away at a person’s resilience and strength, kids are all the more vulnerable. Let them know it’s always all right to ask for help. And that they can come to you or their parents any time they need to. If they feel anxious or scared, it’s okay to feel these things, it’s okay to voice them out. The trick is to find a way to counter all that, to find a way to be okay.
Initiate Classroom Discussions
It’s also a good idea to open up discussions in class. That’s the heart of most sessions these days. Allow your students to speak their minds, to express what they feel. Don’t let them bottle up those anxieties and worries. It’ll be worse for them if they don’t find a way to let those emotions out.
By taking the time to reach out to the kids, you’ll see them behaving better during the sessions. By showing them that you care about them genuinely, you effectively prevent or cut back on the disruptive behavior.