Disruption… or Opportunity? Flipping the Script on ‘Rowdy’ Students

Carolyn Abrahamzon is a 28-year-old mother of two human children and one dog named Lola. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside, cooking, and reading with her children! She has worked with Qkids for about 2 months and has loved every second of it! 

Disruption… or Opportunity?

“Teacher! Teacher! Teacher! TEACHER”
“Ant! Ant! ANT! AAAAAAAAAAAAANT!”
"Teacher! Look! Look! Look, Teacher! LOOOOOOOOOOOOK!"
“OLD MCDONALD HAD A FAAAAAAAAAAARM…”

There's precocious. There's loud. And then… on its own level… there's DISRUPTIVE. A title reserved for students whose behaviors actively inhibit the lesson through their nature, volume, or… persistence. 

It's easy to become distracted or irritated when a student is acting this way or to think that they aren't getting much out of the lesson as they should. As a work-from-home mom of two very young children, I am quite familiar with disruption and the need to find a way to still accomplish tasks. 

Flipping the Script on ‘Rowdy’ Students

Sometimes, corrections aren’t enough. The entire classroom (or home) environment needs to shift. In my opinion, this is a great opportunity to flip the script and work their behaviors into the lesson!
The particular student I have in mind as I type this was just plain loud. Persistently requesting my attention, answering for other students, jumping and screaming and taking over the entire lesson and, undoubtedly, distracting the other students. Working from home with Qkids has fortunately allowed me to exercise my problem-solving skills every class; seeing new students each half-hour certainly brings up many new challenges: this was a new level of disruptive for me. 

My first instinct was simply to mute him; and I did, for about 2 minutes (while still giving him opportunities to answer, of course), but it became clear to me quickly that this was not going to be an effective way to conduct a class. This student wanted, NEEDED, to be involved; it was the behaviors that weren't melding with my teaching methods, not the student. He was doing great! I took a step back and thought of what to do next, and it came to me.
“Hey, who can be really LOUD!!!”
Four silent faces peered back at me. Loud, on purpose? When this screaming student is distracting us all? Why would we want to be LOUD?
“LOUD!” I mimed, making a megaphone with my hands. “Let’s be LOUD!”
I muted all but my disruptive student, and as the image came on the screen, I asked, “What is it?”
He screamed, "ANT! ANT! AAAANT!"
“LOUDER!”
“AAAAAAAAAAAANT!”
The other students were laughing and he was beaming. I moved onto the next, and then the next, asking each of them to identify the item on the screen as loudly as they could. We were having a blast! Each student was receiving individual attention, which I believe canceled out some of the moments lost early on before we flipped the script. Soon, we were all jumping, yelling, laughing, and learning- very loudly. 
One of the main reasons I love working from home with Qkids is the ‘fun’ aspect (btw, if you love teaching, having fun, and making money, follow this link and apply today http://teacher.qkids.net/ref?code=CJQMXR), and it’s easy to lose sight of that when things aren’t going as planning in the lesson. This was the perfect opportunity to bring it back to basics and bring that fun back into the classroom. It’s simple to discount behaviors we see as disruptive or inconsiderate, but oftentimes, adjusting the style by which we as educators deliver the information can be a much more effective (and fun) way to solve the problem!


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