All teachers have had their dreams haunted by that one child in class who is always up to no good. Naughty children are not bad per say. They can be good and bright and irresistibly attracted to any form of rule breaking. Other than the irresistible attraction that rule-breaking holds, some children also misbehave in class simply because they crave attention.
So, here are six tips that teachers can use to deal with mischievous children.
Don’t yell – Children know that the moment they misbehave, an adult might raise his or her voice. Appear calm and collected as you explain to the child why their behaviour is not right. Children old or young tend to mimic adults’ behaviour. When they see you calmly reacting to them, they too will react calmly and hopefully realize that misbehavior within the classroom is not right.
Follow the leader – Take all the naughty, rule-breaking children and give them responsibilities. Make them class monitors, board monitors, homework collectors or anything that endows them with responsibility. You will often find that the most hardened rule-breakers are the strictest rule-enforcers.
Humiliation is never the answer – Sometimes yes, you are going to have to pull up a naughty child in front of the classroom, especially if they have disrupted the classroom one too many times. But instead of berating them in front of everyone, call them out and take them outside. The implication of being taken outside to talk is serious enough by itself and also you can say all that you have to without making the child the centre of bad attention.
No Corporal Punishment – No matter what a frazzled teacher does, there is always going to be one child who is not going to listen. But never, in any circumstances ever, use corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is a decision a parent makes, not a teacher. If you feel like you are close to administering a well-deserved smack, rein yourself and contact the principal or the parents.
Reward good behaviour – For a naughty child, managing to sit still or even going without causing mischief for an hour or so is a great achievement. By rewarding and reinforcing positive behaviour, children learn to eventually have some measure of control over their impulses and learn what constitutes acceptable classroom behaviour. Also, do not forget to reward or praise the children who already behave well. The idea is to not only reinforce good behaviour but to also include the whole class and not make any child feel left out or ignored.
Enforce classroom cooperation – If a child does something that could be potentially damaging or dangerous, instead of punishing just the child, punish the whole class. When children know that their entire class is being affected by them, they will either rein in their own impulses or their classmates will rein them in. In addition to teaching naughty children the value of discipline, it will also teach a group of children the value of collective responsibility.
Got any horror stories about naughty children for us? Share them in the comments section below!