fbpx

How To Handle Students Who Make Classmates Laugh

how to effectively use humor in the classroom 157527221 842x474

So you have this student, or maybe several, who during instructional time try to make their classmates laugh. Sometimes it’s just a look or whispered comment, but it can be a major disruption. It can also be hard to know how to handle.

 

Should you hold all students who laugh accountable or just the student who started it? Also, if nothing was said, is it fair to follow your classroom management plan?

 

In the moment, it can seem as if there is no good answer. Darned if you do and darned if you don’t.

 

You’ll either have students angry at you—“Oh my gosh, I didn’t do anything. I just laughed. Is laughter against the rules?”—or you’ll open the door to more of the same behavior. So what’s the solution?

 

There are two keys to handling the situation in a way that is both fair and effective.

 

The first is to set parameters beforehand. In other words, because laughter falls into a gray area, you must sharply define what is and isn’t against the rules ahead of time. In this way, there are no surprises, hurt feelings, or anger towards you.

 

Doing so is simply a matter of explaining that any behavior that attempts to make other students laugh during instructional time is a disruption and therefore transgresses rule #1 – Listen and follow directions.

 

You’ll also want to model specific examples using the exact behaviors you’ve seen in the past. The idea is that once defined any student who engages in such behavior will be doing so by choice.

 

The second key is to only enforce a consequence on the instigator, which attacks the misbehavior at its source and avoids the perceived unfairness of holding accountable those who, sometimes against their will, laughed.

 

What the student did or said may in fact have been funny.

 

It’s even okay for you to smile as long as the humor wasn’t inappropriate. Just follow your classroom management plan as promised and be on your way.

 

It’s important to mention that when students repeatedly try to make others laugh, it’s a sign that you’ve been less than consistent in the past. There is a subtle but sure indication of disrespect when they know it will interrupt you, your teaching, and what you’re trying to accomplish.

 

This underscores the importance of keen observation and supervision. If your back is turned and you don’t know who misbehaved, then you’re out of luck.

 

It’s your job to catch them in the act and follow through.

To sum up, first eliminate the gray area by defining the behavior and what rule it transgresses, then hold only the instigator accountable.

 

With these two keys, plus your vigilance, this and other similar disruptions will rarely if ever happen again.

https://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/

 

Call To Action Subscribe2


elt excellence awards

Latest

Free Webinars for Teaching Online

02 April 2020

  Cornell University has created a series of webinars to help you make the transition from face-to-face to online teaching as effectively as possible. Visi...

7 Ways to Maintain Relationships During Your School Closure

02 April 2020

Suddenly, you’re not in the same physical space as your students. We asked teachers to share strategies for maintaining relationships—both peer-to-peer and stu...

Teaching online

02 April 2020

• It’s as important to keep to a routine online as offline • Get up and get dressed as if you are going out to work and keep to your lesson timetable as far as...

The Dos and Don’ts of Teaching Online

02 April 2020

  With such a rapid shift to online school, there are bound to be some mishaps … and lessons learned. We turned to our community of teachers to ask what t...

March 2020

01 April 2020

  Teaching English to young learners Early learning of English in the school context is becoming more common in our days. However, for a class of youngste...

Latest Issue

© 2017 ELT NEWS. All Rights Reserved.