As the teacher was writing the topic on the board, some students made loud rude noise. The teacher became mad and punished the whole class because he could not figure out who the culprit was. This manner of disciplining the students usually causes more problems than it meant to solve. As a result of this collective punishment rather than investigating, trouble makers will continue to get their way easily. It is not uncommon to have students who cause unnecessary distraction because they are not interested in subject or may be they are simply not serious.
I was contemplating the disadvantages of this method of reacting to students’ distraction. In effect it is unjust to punish the whole class for a crime committed by few. It might also negatively impact innocent students who may develop resentment for the teacher. It might even further lead to transferring annoyance to another circumstance where these students may develop hatred for the teacher’s subject.
In effect in this chaotic situation, time will be wasted and syllabus might not be completed on time which will eventually affect students overall performance. Does it mean that such teachers who respond to students’ misbehavior by collective may have put up a lack of leadership behavior from the onset and therefore lost the students’ respect? Or is it as a consequence of not understanding of students’ psychology?
Emerging from this scenario, I think as teachers we should find ways and methods of responding to students’ disturbance that will not be counter productive. So if students immediately initiate distraction at the beginning of the lesson, what should be our response? Execute collective punishment or to ignore them completely and go ahead with the lesson? For me I prefer lay a solid foundation for what is acceptable and unacceptable for the very first day I meet my students. I usually let them know what would be the consequence of any violation. Setting down principle initially helps prevent future problems. A teacher must try to maintain a thin line between rigidity and flexibility i.e. he or she must not be too flexible or too rigid in dealing with students.
It will be very much appreciated if you could mention in the comment section about your experience on how to deal with students’ disturbance and misbehavior.