Stressed out teacher

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  • Debs_89
    24 September, 2013 at 20:38
    • Total posts: 17

    Hi Guys

    I really need some advice. I have a group of seventeen twelve year old boys that I am finding very difficult to control. They talk all the time (in arabic) and are generally quite rude. They also keep touching my interactive board. Their English level is quite low but I’ve tried being firm, being nice….nothing helps.

    I don’t know what to do!!!!

    I’d appreciate any help!

    25 September, 2013 at 7:33
    • Total posts: 158

    Reply To: Stressed out teacher

    There’s a lot of different strategies you can use. I think first you need to talk to your DoS and find out what options are available (i.e. how you can punish them). Then you need to set some boundaries in the class. Begin simply with a single rule (for example, English Only) and make sure that’s adhered to or you will enforce a punishment.

    However, these are only really covering up the symptoms. You need to ask yourself why the students aren’t behaving. Is the lesson boring? Is it too easy or too hard for them? And so on.

    As I say, there’s a lot of options and a lot of tactics you can use in class; take a look at this article [url=]TEFL Class Discipline[/url] which examines them in detail.

    Good luck!


    City Kids English
    19 January, 2014 at 0:19
    • Total posts: 1

    Reply To: Stressed out teacher

    Hi Debs_89

    Sorry to hear that your having a hard time in class! Have you had any luck sorting out the class since you posted?

    My first piece of advice would be, whatever discipline strategy you use, make sure you follow it through for a long time. It can take months to finally start to see it work. If you give up just a little bit then you will have lost. You have to be patient with any discipline technique.

    Try to find out what the boys enjoy doing in their free time. If possible, try to bring their hobbies into the lesson. Expand from their textbooks and talk about their hobbies using the textbook’s learning points.

    Try not to punish them too much, sometimes it is better to be be positive rather than negative. Instead of punishing, if they do a good job in class then reward them with something.

    I have been using point circles in class with 12-14 year old students in class. I found printable bingo counters online (choose ones with interesting or cool pictures). I laminated the counters and cut them out.
    Every time the student answered a question correctly they would get a counter.
    I would have the students competing against each other to see who can get the most counters. Also, if no one could answer the question then I would get the counter. So they are also competing against me.

    I found that after the age of 10, points on a board doesn’t have the same affect. It worked better to give them something to hold onto and physically have,

    You can adapt and change the point game every few weeks. Try new picture counters or new rules. That way the game stays interesting for them.

    I hope that this can help you a bit! Remember it won’t happen over night. It’s tough but keep trying!


    Niall Houghton
    15 January, 2018 at 8:18
    • Total posts: 20

    Yes, you need to find a way to manage this group of young people. You need to be clear about classroom rules and be consistent with the young people. Despite being stressed, you will find that if you have your plan of dealing with this problem you will regain confidence and order.

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