Managing a Rowdy Classroom

The ‘Storm Method’ teaching technique I use when managing an enormous group of insane teenagers

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Photo by Josep Castells on Unsplash

Teaching — The golden apple career

Teaching is the career that actors can pursue once their bodies have broken down. Teaching is the career that writers can pursue during those all-too-common valleys of absolutely zero income.

If you’re shouting, you lost the kids 10 minutes ago

When you’re teaching, you’re not just talking at some punks who weren’t alive when S Club 7 was a big deal.
Your job is to manage a room full of people and ensure that after 40 minutes (or so) they walk out of the classroom excited, inspired, and a little more knowledgeable about something you’re passionate about.

The pivot system

The pivot system is what I call my system of redirecting kids attention and bringing their focus back to me. I often achieve this by switching up whatever I’m doing.

Flash Floods

Sometimes the kids are insane and there was no warning at all.
This can be because the class has only just begun and the kids entered already insane, or it’s sometimes it’s caused by something crazy happening that derails everything. Like a kid sneezing snot all over his desk. (It happens).

Points

Teens and younger kids are all insanely competitive.
It’s important that when you implement the points, you put a lot of weight on their value.

Carrot

Do the opposite.

Can’t do points?

Maybe you’re a relief teacher and can’t do the points system. For those classes I use a form of subtle fear.

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

To Summarise

If you manage the kids, predict their actions, and look out for storm warnings; you should never be caught off guard and never be caught screaming at them.

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Written by

I write articles that inform and delight from my anti-virus bunker in Shanghai, China. 🇦🇺 🇨🇳

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