Teaching in the UK doesn’t just end with maths, science and all the other subjects on the curriculum. Instead, it’s also about teaching right and wrong as you guide young minds to become respectful adults. That’s why you shouldn’t shy away from resolving conflicts in the classroom. History has shown that not all children are going to get along. In fact, there’s sure to be regular disagreements between pupils of the same age. With this in mind, here are four ways that you can ensure conflict resolution between your students.
Nip it in the bud
Don’t wait for pupils to escalate their issues to you. Instead, you should nip any sort of animosity in the bud before it can develop into a bigger problem. This means you’ll have to keep an eye out for any signs of conflict in your classroom, including friends who have fallen out or possibly even kids who are being picked on. From doing this, you should find that rifts don’t progress into something worse – such as physicality and bullying.
Cooler heads prevail – and there’s no one with a head cooler than yours in the event of a classroom conflict. You should therefore enforce your authority by acting as a mediator between the students. Sit them down, create a safe space for them to talk and try to build bridges between them as soon as possible.
The mediation can end in two ways. Firstly, the two pupils can settle their differences and patch things up. Secondly, they could agree to disagree and vow to give each other space. Even though this solution might initially suit them, you should hold a follow-up meeting sometime in the future. This way you can confirm that both are still happy with the resolution and that things are progressing in a positive direction.
It’s valuable for young minds to learn that they won’t always get along with the people they work with. You can teach them this by making them work on a group project. In the best case scenario, this task could help the pupils make up. If not, they should still come away from the project with an understanding of how to work alongside people who aren’t their friends.
You can make a difference
You can never overestimate how much power you have in your classroom. Your job isn’t just about helping kids achieve good grades, it’s about teaching useful life lessons. Therefore, be sure to take a hands-on approach to conflict resolution.