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How to Handle Classroom Conflicts?

By Ryan Crawley,

24 Jan 2020

If you spend enough years in the teaching profession, you will see just about everything that could possibly happen in the classroom.

One of these occurrences is classroom conflicts.

Whether the conflict is between two students, groups of students, or the teacher and a student, they should all be handled a bit differently from one another.

Keep a level head and remember the classroom is supposed to be a safe place from physical fights and arguing.

Teachers have a duty to manage classroom conflicts, because for some, the classroom may be the only real safe place they have in their lives. Student VS.

Student Conflict
It is not uncommon to have two students going back and forth with one another.

Students don’t always get along well and there could be a long, troubling history between some of them.

This might be the first time you have seen them arguing, but their problems could have happened years earlier.

And you have to be very careful about choosing sides since there is a chance parents will get involved as well. If it happens in the classroom, put an end to it as soon as it begins.

Don’t let it fester and continue to build.

Besides them acting juvenile, they are disrupting the class, so make them aware of this.

The trouble occurs when teachers don’t step in quick enough.

Even though teachers receive professional training in their college courses on how to properly teach kids, they don’t always get training on how to deal classroom conflicts.

Some educators are uncomfortable when arguing starts between students and fail to act as the adult and leader in the situation. Rather than go off the handle and shout at the students to stop, pull them out of the classroom to ask what exactly the problem is.

Sometimes it is all just a big misunderstanding.

In any case, taking them out in the hallway removes the other students from participating or listening to them.

Plus, many times troubled students just want an audience of some sort to act like the big shot. Once you are alone with them in the hallway, the audience is removed and they will generally calm down.

If you did the opposite and berated them in the classroom, you are not giving them the respect they would probably want.

Think of when your parents would yell at you in front of your friends.

It made you feel about two inches tall.

Keep this in mind when dealing with classroom conflicts.

If you feel it is a serious issue, talk to the parents of each child and see if all of you can come up with a solution. Group Conflict Group conflicts in the classroom can be tough to corral.

Having so many students angry at one another is not an easy thing to manage classroom conflicts.

Usually it will involve a few close friends having a disagreement with another group of friends.

While it is difficult to have a bunch of students meet with you out in the hallway in this situation, there are ways to handle classroom conflicts.

Ask them all to stay after class so you can speak with them without the rest of the class choosing sides.

Be firm with them and say there will no more discussion in the classroom in front of the rest of the students.

Once you have them after class, find out what the problem is.

Don’t just start lecturing them on how to behave properly in class.

There might be real trouble here, so involving administration and calling up their parents is always an option. Students VS.

Teacher Conflict
A conflict between a student and teacher is more likely to occur when the student is extremely young or when they are in their high school years.

When they are young, they are just acting out and possibly throwing a tantrum.

When they are older, they are often having to deal with the pressures of life and the hormones racing through their bodies.

Sometimes they are just searching for someone to strike out against. Don’t be combative with the student.

Try as best as you can not to raise your voice.

Once one person starts shouting in a disagreement, the other person is soon to follow.

Talk to the student alone after class.

If the student refuses to calm down and behave rationally, call down for administrator assistance. Once again, if you teach long enough, you will see all three of these types of classroom conflicts.

Remember that you are the leader of the classroom, though, and treat everyone with respect.

Try your best not to raise your voice, but make sure they know who is in charge.