Conflict is an inevitable and exciting component of human development, but it may create tense conditions in the classroom. Even in the most encouraging, upbeat, and open classrooms, conflicts can arise and distract your students. It could potentially escalate into violence if nothing is done. School systems often provide classes on how to talk to each other instead of fighting. Although not all schools have formal conflict resolution procedures in place, it is encouraging to know that teachers who find themselves in the middle of a classroom dispute have access to a wide range of potential solutions.
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Here are some suggestions for handling a troublesome student or mediating a dispute between students. In addition, we’ve included a few classroom exercises to help teach conflict resolution because it’s an important aspect of a student’s social and emotional development.
Conflict resolution can be made more fun through role-playing. Students learn empathy and perspective-taking skills when they are asked to assume positions that are diametrically opposed to their own.
Playing out the issue in a role-playing setting can also help shed light on its origins. Instead of escalating tensions by asking “Well, how would you like it if I did this to you?” Students can have a more objective perspective on conflict after acting it out on stage.
This is a great strategy to teach students how to resolve conflicts and is worth trying out in the classroom. Your students will develop greater empathy for others and the skills to resolve their own conflicts.
Students are to keep a journal in which they record their observations and reflections on the conflicts they encounter or in which they participate. A notebook is a great way to keep track of these and to write about them without naming any other students. They should focus more on what they see and how people react than on who exactly they are.
Motivate your students to keep an eye out for scenarios in which conflict resolution could be useful. It will also serve as a starting point for evaluating the potential severity of an issue.
At some point, students should deliberately compare and contrast the positive and negative responses they saw from other students in their diaries. As a result, students can talk about instances without fear of “outing” offenders.
Repeating this exercise throughout the academic year will reinforce the importance of paying close attention in class. You’ll get insight into the dynamics of your classroom, which will allow you to better assist students and adopt techniques for resolving conflicts.
Misunderstandings and poor communication are often the root causes of arguments. Instructing students on the art of attentive listening can be a useful technique. Initiate a class discussion on recent student issues. It’s common to hear complaints like “He just wouldn’t listen” or “They just didn’t get it.”
This is a great chance to impress upon students the importance of listening. The skill of “how to listen” can also be taught with this method.
Teach them to:
- Make eye contact with the person you are speaking to.
- The speaker should be allowed to finish their sentence without being interrupted.
- Make inquiries.
- Leave out the suggestions and advice.
- Show your approval by nodding and smiling at the speaker.
- Restate what was said but use your own words.
It serves two goals to have the affected students sit down and write about disagreements that arise in the classroom. It first acts as a break or a moment of calm. Additionally, it encourages students to think critically and proactively about the experience.
When you ask your students to write about a disagreement, make sure they include their feelings about it as well as any alternate, wiser decisions they may have made. List 3 things that you would do differently now that you have had time to consider other possibilities, for example, if you were giving them advice.
Writing encourages self-reflection in students, a potent tool that will increase their self-awareness both within and outside of the classroom.
A healthy classroom environment can be fostered through the use of positive reinforcement strategies. Extrinsic motivators can be provided as a form of positive reinforcement. Examples of extrinsic motivators include rewarding students with treats for behaving well in class or giving them a few minutes of free time at the end of class. Public recognition is another effective extrinsic motivation that can be given to students. Praise a pupil in front of their peers or contact their parents to let them know about their child’s positive behavior or academic success.
An educator may occasionally have to deal with a student who is upset and causing a disruption in the classroom. The following are some recommendations for this situation:
Try to keep your cool and be kind, and don’t let your temper show. Making direct eye contact and speaking clearly (without raising your voice) are two essentials. (It’s worth noting that certain cultures consider making direct eye contact to be aggressive. There may be other nonverbal indicators that demonstrate you are listening that are useful.
Offer to meet with them during a class break or, if necessary, in a quieter area. Respect the student’s feelings of frustration and encourage them to share their concerns with you. Just listen and see if you can figure out what the pupil is really struggling with. Restate what you think the student stated and clarify your comprehension during the dialogue. Instead of refuting the student, expand on their ideas.
You can be of assistance by providing the student with an exit strategy, allowing them to calmly withdraw from the stressful circumstance. Open-ended questions can be used again to assist the child to relax and figure out what it is that’s bothering them.
Lastly, push your pupil to think of their own ways to fix the issue.
When the child suggests a workable resolution to the problem, restate and comfort them.
Conflict will inevitably arise in your classroom; it can hardly be avoided. You can take specific actions to resolve issues in the classroom. Since no two conflicts are the same, no two conflicts can be resolved in the same way. But in the majority of cases, knowing fundamental tactics can be helpful.
There are various different approaches to resolving disputes, depending on the circumstance. Five efficient conflict-resolution strategies for the classroom have been provided. To find out which method works the best, try one (or all) of them. But first, a point to make regarding the conflict.