A classroom is a place where teachers get to work with students who widely differ from each other in terms of their level of maturity, intelligence and sense of responsibility. It is important for teachers to learn as much as possible about their students early in the learning process and the process is rarely a smooth one. Critical incidents that occur during the learning process form valuable learning tools for both the students and the teacher. As a teacher, I have experienced several critical incidents and learned much regarding how to handle such situations.
A critical incident that could occur in a classroom setting is racial and social class discrimination. Racial discrimination occurs when a student is treated unfairly because of their actual or perceived race. Students who come from a minority race are discriminated and find it hard to socialize with the rest of the students. Racial discrimination normally has a negative impact on the students who are being discriminated. Such discrimination normally leads to the student being discriminated loosing concentration and the will to continue learning. Some cases can even lead to depression which can lead to mental instability or suicide thoughts. Such students end up performing very poorly in class. Social class discrimination mainly affects students from poor backgrounds who are avoided and ignored by the other students due to their low social class.
The death or accident of a student can be a big blow to the rest of the students. Teachers need to be prepared to deal with the consequences of such situations. Teachers need to be equipped with the necessary psychology skills to be able to deal with occurrence of such. The death or accident of a student can lead to depression among the rest of the class especially when such a students made a great impact on the rest. Accidents in the class room can create fear among the class and will make them more reserved to participate in activities that lead to the accident of their classmate.
Use of pictures and visual example is a teaching method that teachers must consider in their teaching. Most students are normally receptive to visual lesson as they are able to relate to the situations. It is also a very useful method in capturing the attention of students. Where possible, teachers should create charts, videos and pictures that will be used in class. An example of situations where videos and pictures can be used is a lesson on the weather seasons. He can use the visual examples while explaining the seasons. A lesson on nature and animals can also successfully use videos and pictures.
Use of key words or songs to help students in remembering a lesson has been used previously by teachers. Kids love songs and therefore it can be an effective tool in teaching. They can be used to help the kids remember new words, sentences and phrases easily. The songs can also include visual aid to help the kids remember its vocabulary and lyrics. An example of a song that has been used before is the family song which helps the kids to learn family member vocabulary and the phrases that are used when talking about family.
Another key incident that has been experienced in class is the group of students who chose not to behave. Such cases have been reported to have occurred between both teacher and student and also among the children. Cases among students lead to situations like bullying and discrimination. Some students choose to discriminate against their fellow classmates based on their race, gender or their social class. Such behaviors are mainly due to the raising of the kids and what is considered normal at home. A kid who is physically tortured at home will see that as a normal thing and will often bully his fellow students without feeling guilty or sorry. Students who see their parents discriminating people based on their wealth and races are likely to pick this behavior. Misbehavior that occurs between students and teachers includes the student intentionally missing out on class, talking during lessons and openly defying the instructions of the teacher. Such cases of misbehavior has a number of effects including poor performance of the kids who are bullied or discriminated and also poor performance of the student who misbehaves due to him or her missing classes or not concentrating in class.
A very common critical incident is the resistance of students to learning. Some kids resist to learning right from the start. This may be due to the mind-set that the kid has about learning. The kid might have heard negative things being said about learning and instantly developed a negative mind-set. The kids can also develop resistance to learning during their course of learning especially the ones who face discrimination or bullying while in school and the ones who are not able to understand lessons as easily as the rest of the class. Resistance to learning normally leads to student absenteeism, lack of concentration and eventually poor results that the student gets at the end of a course.
Another incident that is likely to be experienced in the classroom is the case of the students not understanding the lesson plan. Students widely differ from each other in terms of their level of maturity, intelligence and sense of responsibility, and cases of students not understanding the lesson plan is a very common occurrence. Students who do not understand lesson plans end up not understanding or grasping the knowledge being taught. Eventually this will be seen in the performance and grade that the kids get. Such kids perform poorly and are not able to remember whatever they were taught. If left unattended to the kids may eventually develop resistance to learning and have a negative attitude towards learning.
Incidences of kids resisting to the changing of teachers is a common occurrence. Students develop a connection with the teachers during the course of learning. Changing or introducing of a new teacher is likely to be met by resistance. It might take a while before the kids finally embrace the change and fully accept the new teacher. The resistance to change is likely to affect the students in a number of ways. The kids may not concentrate in class or even refuse to open up to the new teacher. Lack of concentration will make it difficult for the kids to grasp the knowledge being taught. Refusing to open up to the new teacher will make it very hard for the teacher to know of cases of discrimination, bullying and the students not understanding lesson plans. Such cases going unnoticed or not being reported has a lot of negative impact on the student and even the teacher. The effects might include depression, lack of concentration and even dropping out of the students.
Lessons That Can Be Learned From Managing such Situations
A classroom is meant to be a safe place for the students. By handling and managing situations that deal with discrimination, a teacher is able to be aware and prepared for occurrence of any such events in the future. The teacher can also take his or her students on a lesson that seeks to discourage occurrence of such events. By knowing that social and racial discrimination is a likely event, the teacher is able to gather information on this area. He or she will be able to talk to the kid who is discriminating and help them let go of such behaviors. This will help in significantly reducing the number of such cases that occur. The teacher is also able to talk to the student who has been discriminated and help him forget the occurrence of the event. He can help the kid to continue having a positive attitude and prevent them from going into depression. This will help create integration and connection among the students and also with the teacher.
By understanding that students widely differ from each other in terms of their level of maturity, intelligence and sense of responsibility, a teacher is able to come up with teaching practices that puts into account the needs of all the students. This will help reduce or even completely eliminate cases of students not understanding the lesson plans. The use of songs and key words has previously been proven to be an effective teaching method. By being aware of this, the teacher can make an effort of coming up with suitable songs that will help the weaker students be able to cope up with the rest of the class. The teacher can also put more effort into understanding the kids. This will help him or her to identify the problematic areas of each individual student and deal with them accordingly.
By having knowledge of the previous teachers who have used pictures and videos effectively in teaching, a teacher is able to consider this as a possible teaching method. Pictures and videos are known to help capture the concentration of students. Being aware of this will help the teacher use this teaching method to help get the concentration of the kids in class and reduce the number of students who get absent minded while in class. Using real life examples and situations can also be a method that the teacher will use to help the students to relate to the lesson that is being taught.
By being aware and prepared for accidents and deaths of students that may occur during or in the course of learning, a teacher is able to adequately prepare himself in case such happens. The teacher is able to train and prepare adequately to help him deal with the occurrence of such. Training will involve knowing the necessary psychological practice that will help avoid or eliminate fear or depression after the occurrence of death or an accident.
Knowing that it is possible for the kids to resist to changing of teachers will enable the teachers come up with ways that will help the students transition smoothly into the change. A method that can be used is the outgoing and incoming teacher carrying out lessons together before the change is made effective. This will help the new teacher to get introduced to the kids and get to understand and develop a relationship with the kids before the change is made effective. This will help to reduce the resistance that the new teacher will face and it also helps the kids to accept the change before the familiar teacher is completely replaced by the new one.
In conclusion, teachers who have faced critical incidents or have prior knowledge of such incidents will be able to anticipate and come up with ways of avoiding the occurrence of incidents that have negative effects. They are also able to know how to effectively deal with them in case they occur. Being aware of the incidents that are likely to have a positive impact on the teaching process like use of videos and pictures enables the teacher to use these methods to improve his teaching methods.
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