5 Tips To Deal With Overzealous Students


Imagine, you started your class with an interesting question for your students and immediately, a student stands up and answers the question. Later on, as you continue with your lesson, you pose another question, which is again answered by the same student!

It might be because of the student’s excitement to participate, but the student is also monopolizing the whole class with his enthusiasm to participate. Participation is always a good thing. However, it only becomes bad when it prevents other students from participating when few others are monopolizing the discussion in the classroom.

Here are 5 ways to deal with over-zealous students and even out participation in the classroom.

Teacher talking to over-zealous

Teacher talking to over-zealous student

1. Talk to the over-zealous student personally

If you find the participation of any student monopolizing the whole class, talk to them personally about it. First thank the student for his enthusiasm in learning, then talk to the student about the problem faced by other students in the class because of his over zealous behavior. You can also ask the student to suggest ideas how to make other quiet children in the class participate.

2. Provide participation time

Students thinking in participation time

Students thinking in participation time

Wait longer after you have posed a question, this gives students time to think and answer. Tell your students not to answer the question before 30 seconds. This gives the other students in the class opportunity to think and answer the question. This also makes the over-zealous students wait for and answer the question competing with other students in the class.

3. Let the students know the type of participation you encourage

Teacher pointing to a student

Teacher pointing to a student

Make sure that your students know the type of participation you encourage in class. Insist upon the uniform participation of all the students rather than participation from a single student. This helps all the students participate accordingly and reduces over participation from any single student. You may also reward students who follow uniform participation to prevent over participation in your classroom.

4. Encourage quiet students

Quiet student raising his hand

Quiet student raising his hand

Talk to the quiet students in your classroom and encourage them to participate. Ask the over-zealous students to help the quiet children participate in classroom, by assigning a group of quiet children to them. This helps the under-participated children participate more in classroom and it eventually leads to uniform participation of all students in the classroom.

5. Use turn taking techniques

Use turn taking techniques for participation in the classroom. Assign students from roll number 1 to 15 to answer the first question asked in the class, students with roll numbers 15 to 30 answer the second question etc.

Student waiting for his turn to answer

Student waiting for his turn to answer

Use different turn taking techniques so that the over-zealous students get to answer only when they are asked to. This helps all students in the class get equal opportunity to participate in the class.

What problems did you face with over-zealous students in your classroom? How did you deal with them? Share your ideas and experiences with us in the comments section below!


About Author

Rohia is an aspiring writer, who once upon a time used to be an engineer, until she decided to follow her true passion, writing. She enjoys playing piano, listening to music and singing too.


  1. Abbas Khaleel SM on

    All techniques are useful particularly 3 & 4. These over zealous students are always hyper and they use to have subconscious desire to show the remaining class that they are best. As mentioned in point 1; By little counselling teacher can make them understand the point regarding participation of other students.

    • You are right Abbas, some children do not leave any chance to show that they are best. They need little counselling to realize the impact of their behavior on other students.

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