There are three moments when we can react to bad behavior:
- before they happen
- during the time they occur
- and after the time when they happened
The question arises which of the moments is the least efficient and why?
The reaction during the time when something happens is the most ineffective reaction, the reason is easy to understand, the student is affected and we are also affected by the situation created and influenced by what we want to achieve with the lesson of learning. But, it is not only that. Such a diversion of the group/class situation may find us unprepared and without a well-thought-out strategy for handling the situation. Our quick reactions during the time when the event happens are usually short, quick and in a definite form such as: enough, it shouldn’t be like that, you are wrong, sit in your seat, get out, etc.
We are usually faced with two scenarios;
- The student does not know that the behavior is wrong
- The student knows that the behavior is wrong
In the first case when the student does not know that the behavior was wrong and possesses the ability to control emotions, and understand the seriousness of the created situation – the situation is easily resolved.
The situation is much more complex in the second case when the student knows that the behavior is wrong, but cannot control himself immediately (at the present moment).
The response after the misbehavior has occurred most of the time takes the form of a “serious talk” which is actually nothing more than a delayed reprimand usually with more people involved meaning: more many reproaches. Such conversations, in many cases, are also attended by parents who hear criticism directed at the student (their child whom they have educated); a criticism that, indirectly, questions the ability of the parent. The question arises: which side should parents choose – “the side of the prosecution” or “the side of the defense”? If we expect the parents to support us, then who will support the student, who needs a lot of support, not scolding. Asking parents to choose a side is unethical, but above all there is a risk that they will choose their child. In this case, we have created two opponents and destroyed the willingness to cooperate with both the student and the parents. Studies show that the more we pay attention to bad behavior, the greater the risk that it will increase. On the other hand, we also need to understand that rebuke is not concrete action.
Before it happens is absolutely the best strategy for dealing with problem behaviors. Being one step ahead and paving a clear path for the student is the most effective method.
The difference between teachers in high-problem classrooms and teachers in low-problem classrooms lies in how they work to prevent problems, not how they deal with problematic behaviors that have arisen.
Studies show that there is an extremely powerful effect if teachers also look behind their backs, in other words; they “have eyes in their necks” and directly and objectively notice something that is happening.
So, in orderly classrooms, teachers make sure that problems do not arise. And when they do happen, they are dealt with discreetly and before they grow large.
Scientific studies have also shown that problems can be prevented, and the most effective methods for their prevention are summarized in several points:
React live: React immediately if something is happening.
Respond with discretion: But don’t shift all focus to the disturbing behavior, address the concern in passing with a sign/touch on the arm or a look while the lesson continues. Save negative criticism in the class/group.
Don’t judge: Try to be as emotionally objective as possible with the student who is causing concern when talking about the inappropriate and unacceptable behavior the student has shown.
Behavior: Help/teach the student to act, instead of scolding him/her that everything he/she does is wrong – so bring up the positives.
Push forward: Keep students engaged/busy at a fast pace in teaching so that each student/student has assignments at all times, either in a group or individually. So plan for the whole group and all levels, for those who need help and those who need stimulation. Everything is based on planning.
Success is inevitable when:
- students know what to do;
- are respected for their strengths and weaknesses;
- learn that conflicts can be resolved without judgment;
- busy students do not have time to make a mess;
- when we understand that security and understanding are difficult to achieve only through observation.
When the student is busy with work and assignments, he doesn’t have time and doesn’t feel the need to invent other things and show himself in class.