It’s funny how most of us imagine a classroom to be the place where all the serious business happens.
In reality, it’s where hilarity is turned up to the max—from funny typos on the board, to photocopying skills running errands, to plain absurd incidents that do happen more often than we’d like to think.
But this time, we're gonna turn the cards around and let the teachers share their fair amount of awkwardly funny accidents that have happened at school. In the end, they are humans too.
And what can be more human than failing on duty, like accidentally using a glue stick as a Chapstick in front of a class of little giggling devils?
The classroom is one heck of a tricky business, especially when you’re the one in charge. And even though being a teacher is generally regarded as a rewarding profession which has probably one of the biggest influences on our future generations, that doesn’t mean it’s not stressful.
In reality, incidents and accidents in a classroom are part of their daily bread, and it’s up to the teacher to manage the situation and not to let it escalate. Sometimes the incidents are indeed harmless and even mood-lifting, but other times, with 20 people in class, things spiral out of control.
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That’s why every teacher has to have a few classroom management strategies at hand. Rob Plevin, a teaching expert who specializes in noisy class solutions and teaching techniques, suggests a couple of useful tips to get everything under control.
First, as a teacher, you shouldn’t ask "why?” “Asking a student why they have or haven’t done something is an extremely confrontational and threatening way of approaching and almost always results in more conflict,” he suggests.
Second, Rob urges teachers to create a diversion: for example, redirection of attention to a demonstration or something else happening nearby, a change in activity, or a story or joke. “Any off-topic question should do the job or, if you’re more adventurous, you could change your behavior and do something they aren’t expecting."
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Third, if a student is behaving ill, remind them of their past success. He suggests trying this by asking: “Remember how well you coped last time this happened?” or “Hey, I saw you behaving impeccably this morning. Come on, get back to your true self.”
Other strategies include offering support, staying silent, offering them space, and using your sense of humor. It’s incredible what a powerful tool humor can be in stressful situations and it can immediately lift the edge off the whole classroom.