It is no secret that there is a rise in student disputes for
a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is as simple as shouting unkind
words to each other or as severe as breaking into a physical fight.
Teachers are often faced with students who do not gel, students
who are tough, and students who do not regard school entirely
as the learning institution it was intended to be. When you place
a classroom of kids together in one space, there are going to
be conflicts. Learn some effects ways on how to teach students
to settle their own disputes for a lesson in getting along with
When a problem arises in the classroom between two students,
teachers may opt to have those students leave the classroom and
go to the principal's office. While in some cases this is the
only option available, due to the dispute becoming violent, you
might consider letting the students work out their problem with
a peer mediation session. Peer mediation is where the two fighting
students sit with another student to get a third person's view
of the problem. It is a structured setting that provides students
the chance to resolve their differences with an objective student's
point of view. Peer mediation helps students resolve their differences
without aggression, which could lead to violence.
The "Walk Away" Method
Teaching your students to walk away when a dispute is heated
is very important. Teach them that there is no need to get into
a disagreement that escalates to violence. Let your students know
that walking away from a potentially dangerous situation does
not mean they are a chicken. It means that they are aware of danger,
and it is a smart decision on your part to avoid the dispute.
Keep Your Students Informed
Make sure that your students understand the consequences of fighting
in school or even causing commotion in school. Sometimes students
will think twice about getting into an argument, if they know
there are serious repercussions to it. They may feel it is not
worth their time or effort to even start an argument in the first
place. Be sure to place classroom rules in a place where everyone
can see them clearly, and talk about the rules at the beginning
of a new school year.
Let your students know that you are always available to be the
mediator in a dispute. It is their decision to come to you for
advice, but you are available. Also let your students know that
you need to be aware of any potentially dangerous situations that
students may place themselves in, such as planning a fight after
school, etc. This is important.
Teach the Importance of Taking Turns
If a dispute between students arises because they are having
trouble sharing something, point out the benefits of sharing.
For instance, it may be time for recess and two kids want to play
with a ball. Point out that instead of playing with the ball by
yourself, why not share the ball and play catch? Give children
examples and scenarios of how sharing can be good for two people,
so that the next time this type of dispute arises, your students
will know how to handle it.
Building character exercises into your curriculum is a good way
to teach kids about how to resolve conflicts. Teaching them how
to respect others, being honest with others, and how to be compassionate
towards others may stick with them in times of dispute. Arming
your students with information, such as character training, gives
them a chance to practice what they have learned, if they find
themselves in a dispute.