Have you ever prepared an amazing lesson, spent hours making sure every detail was in place, but at the beginning of the lesson, one of your students completely wrecked it with one interruption that snowballed out of proportion?
How would you react towards that student? How can we save our derailed class?
The truth is that many of the methods used today in schools, are still better suited for teaching in the 19th century, when the teacher was second only to The Almighty, and students weren't meant to have views and opinions, they were supposed to listen to the knowledge spouting from the teacher and hope to maintain as much of it as possible.
Do we expect students in the 21st century to act in the same way? Are teachers' jobs the same? Well most students don't – they expect their feelings to be taken into consideration, and teachers aren't google, they are live role models who help make sense out of the abundance of knowledge that exists in the world.
So let's go back to our student at the very early stages of the interruption. You're teaching about civil rights and he's discussing with his neighbor about the football game last night.
Calling out on him will call attention to him, derail your train of thought and distract the rest of the students, while also potentially embarrassing him or empowering behavior you'd like to discourage all with little chance of this student really reconnecting to the lesson. The ROI (return on investment) seems extremely small.
Instead you might walk over to his seat and hand over a personal note, letting him know you believe in him, without stopping the lesson once. We call it a "reconnecting note". The student's dignity was kept, the class wasn't interrupted, it didn't erupt into an aggressive match and what's even better is that you gave him an opportunity to rejoin the lesson without feeling like he lost.
This is only one tip of many we'd be happy to share with you in our course Hassle free classroom management strategies, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Here at The Freedom to Teach we believe that the way to get a student to do anything in the 21st century is through inner motivation – not animal training – and that is why we created a series of courses that have helped tens of thousands of teachers create a systematic method with which you too could enter the classroom.
In this course we will discuss three seemingly separate classroom related topics that are actually intrinsically related - discipline, the essence of learning and how to begin a lesson. The common thread between these three points is that all of them are essential to Hassle Free Classroom Management.
Looking forward to seeing you at our first lesson!
The Freedom to Teach