I also explained that if there was a major conflict between students, I would ask one student to move away to a designated location in the room. This does not mean that student is in trouble but rather it gives space for both parties to calm down. I would ask each student to write down what they felt happened and describe how they were feeling. Meanwhile, I continued with the lesson. After both parties have finished, I collect the writings. I mean with each student separately and discuss their behavior and explain how we can’t change other people’s behaviors and only our own. This was very effective in dealing with major conflicts. In fact, it became quite cute because the kids would decide that the episode was not a major conflict so they didn’t need to do any writing! By handling it this way, both parties felt like they got their say and was treated with respect also. The main thing I asked for was for no profanity and no physical threats.
I also explained to the students that we would be learning things together so I might make mistakes right along with them. I might need their help because they might be better at something that I was. Once when I was trying to explain a concept to another student for the fourth time and we were both getting frustrated, another student volunteered to help out and let me move away from the situation. Thank goodness it worked and the concept made sense to the first student. If I had not had a climate of understanding and respect, this would never have happened. As a teacher, I had to get rid of any insecurities and inferiority complexes to allow learning to happen. This encourages the students to help each other in a positive way which prepares them for real life.