I have encountered lots of tips and ideas on how to manage difficult classes; however, it's sometimes difficult to organise what will work and what will not; well, here are some ideas to get you thinking.
Keep it brief and to the point
The worst thing you could do is get into an argument. Majority of the time the teenager will win; it’s in their nature to argue. You are the professional here; you state what they are doing wrong and then tell them what they should be doing.
‘Jack you are talking when I am talking’
‘You need to be listening’
Ignore ‘secondary’ behaviour
Following on from our discussion with jack; he will now start to huff and puff trying to make a big thing about it. This is where you ignore all the comments they are making (Obviously don’t ignore any remarks which could be offensive or out of order, follow your school policy) they will stop in a few seconds; you just carry on with what you’re trained to do.
Point to note here: remain calm and it will calm the pupil down also.
Good routines could go hand in hand with your choice of words. If a pupil does something wrong always make sure you’re challenge their behaviour otherwise your boundaries will be pushed.
When you have a class enter insist on their being quite before saying good morning or good afternoon; you don’t want to be shouting over them.
Insist on using a pencil for drawings and a blue/black pen for writing. It may seem as though it does not matter but the moment you have not challenged them on this they know they have got away with it and who knows what further boundaries will be push.
Try not to ask the pupils too many ‘why’ questions; It will be a good idea to avoid them at all cost. Instead focus on assertive instructions.
Why are you talking? (It’s a question which leads you open to secondary behaviour)
What you should say:
You are talking; you need to be looking this way; Thanks.
This part is crucial they may do it first time if they do ignore all secondary behaviour. If they decide to carry on speaking repeat your instruction.
Present yourself in a calm manner
One of the most important things you can do as a teacher is too staying cool. Don’t try to be sarcastic or looking annoyed as this only makes things harder in future lessons. When you stay calm you are showing your class the level that is expected of them.
Being a teacher is not easy and there are days when you feel like walking out of the classroom; however, you have a duty and a responsibility and not everyone can do your job.
· Keep your instructions brief and to the point at hand; don’t get into an argument.
· Ignore the secondary behaviour as this will eventually subside if you show it does not bother you.
· It’s so important to establish routines, the pupils know what to expect and it will help with behaviour.
· Be assertive; this can be presented by the way you address a question.
· Most importantly stay calm and act in a professional manner; this becomes easier over time.