Classroom conflicts

"classroom conflict"


Classroom conflict is a general problem. Every teacher should be ready to face it.

  • As a teacher, we should be supportive, encouraging, and respectful of student ideas in the classroom. We should provide them proper space to put their views, we should correct their wrong answers, we should point out their academic weaknesses but we should never discourage our students.
  • We should always listen to our students carefully and we should respond to them properly whenever they offer an idea.
  • We should not dismiss a weak or incorrect idea immediately, we should ask our pupil to clarify it using the class material. Often, they can talk their way into a more thoughtful response.
  • We can try some funny things in the classroom to engage our students but we should know that this act require extra care as it can easily be misunderstood

We are also less likely to fall into conflict with our pupils if we resolve any mixed feelings we have about our superiority as a teacher. Students expect us to set clear boundaries and to hold them to their academic responsibilities.


Arguments in Class

When arguments erupt in class, or when a pupil makes any wrong comment, our role as the teacher is to save the learning atmosphere of our classroom. This task is two-fold:

  1. We should make a safe environment for all our pupils. we must ensure that the debate doesn’t turn into an event of attacking any individual or any group to which our students may relate themselves. It also means that we keep ourselves cool and stay respectful if a student challenges us this saves students’ trust in us.
  2. We should always try to look if there is a chance to use the content of the argument to help our teaching goals? Or, is it better to defuse the tension and swiftly refocusing on students?

If the discussion between students becomes more heated than we would like, we can use the following ways to convert arguments into a productive debate:

  • Keep calm and check what is going on. Are the students getting frustrated? Are they misunderstanding each other?
  • Whenever possible, we must encourage our students that they focus on ideas, and not on individuals, in the classroom.
  • If a student attacks another student’s idea, we should ensure that the interpretation is accurate and both of them understand each other correct.
  • Encourage them to continue the discussion after class or ask interested students to message you their ideas if the debate is not centralized to the class session.

A student can criticize us in the classroom, in this case, we should not be offensive and  take the following steps to find some value in the exchange:

  • We should stay calm and try to understand what our student is trying to say. we should ignore, for a moment, if any rudeness is involved.
  • We need not be judgmental, no matter excited the student becomes. If we respond to the situation emotionally it will only worsen the situation. This thing is more relevant if a student makes a personal attack.
  • Never behave in a way that you are a teacher that’s why you claim superior knowledge or logic, it will convince your students in a rarest of a rare case.
  • Show evidence when disagreeing with a student and ask them to show evidence for their positions.


This is a very common classroom scenario that an over talkative an over intelligent student dominates the classroom, we should try the following ways solve this problem.

  • Try participation ways that involve the whole class, such as asking them to raise hands or doing a “round robin,” in which all pupils gives a short response to a question or a problem.
  • If the dominant student seems to be in good intentions, we should meet with him privately, thank him for his warm participation, and ask for suggestions on how to involve other students. Let him understand that participation should get distributed more evenly.
  • If we find that the student is not in good intentions and he/she merely asking disruptive questions, we can ask the full class how many students would prefer that the teacher spends class time answering that question. If the vote is “no”, let the student know that you can answer his question after class or in office hours.

We should understand and recognize that disruptive pupils often think they are exhibiting mindfulness,  we can deal them by show praising their commitment and contribution in the class. This way will make them more responsible and calm


Disruptive students are not the only problem in the classroom. Sometimes it’s the silent one

If we have pupils who never offer an opinion, answer a question or participate in any classroom activity, we should try these ways  to  involve them

  • We should ensure that we know the names of all our students and we call them by their name. It will be of additional help if we attach us with students in a bit informal way
  • We should create a safe environment. We should motivate silent students by publically displaying their good work. It will be better if we make them realize their importance in the classroom.
  • We should involve silent students in the classroom activity by constantly asking their feedback.
  • We should make a norm to call the pupil who is less participative in the classroom. Making a norm will ensure that no student is singled out. This method will help to reduce embarrassments among the less participative students
  • We should meet and talk to our silent students outside the classroom .this will generate confidence among them and they will more likely be able to share their problem

Student Excuses

Whenever we ask our students about their homework or practice work, we have to hear some common  phrases

I had to visit my ailing grandmother

I was down with a headache,

I was having a school test for a different subject.



Are we going to allow any of these excuses? Definitely not!! Or perhaps it depends on who is making these excuses and how often these excuses are made. Reacting on these excuses is among the most challenging things in classroom teaching .we can use these ways to deal above situations

  • We should offer all students some flexibility e.g., one “grace chance”
  • We should have pre-declared standard grade penalty for all students for similar offenses. No discriminations should be made, No partiality should be done
  • A teacher is a person who has the biggest accountability for the result and growth of our students. So we need to be affectionate like a mother to understand the mindset of our students. While at other hands we need to be strict as father to get the assigned work done by our students

Above methods can help to solve a lot of classroom conflict


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