Dealing with Disruptive Students: It’s not because you are (necessarily) a bad Teacher

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ESL Tate
I have been an ESL Teacher for more than 15 years and a Teacher trainer for the last three. Now I help new teachers start their journey traveling and teaching English abroad.

Disruptive students don’t mean you’re a bad teacher

It is tough teaching but it’s even tougher teaching in another country. This reason alone is why a lot of teachers don’t travel teach. But they are mistaken because the rewards outweigh whatever problems they might face in another country.

english language games; disruptive students

One of the biggest issues we face as travel teachers is discipline. Not necessarily because it’s hard but because what is acceptable in your country might not be acceptable in another. And there is a lot of room for miscommunication.

Handling Disruptive Students

It’s not that students are bad a lot of the time. It’s mostly because they just don’t get it. They are behind other students or above other students and because of that, they find other things to do in class while you are trying to teach.

I mean look at their government exams, they are way over their heads. As if that’s not bad enough, they are taught to memorize via tapes and CDs rather than learning for substance and longevity. Instead, they rot memorize for an exam after exam but soon enough it catches up with them and then that parrot in the back of your class is born.

Thus the real problem with disruptive students stems from the imbalance in English levels.

Some students have parents who are willing to send them to hagwons while others are not so lucky and therefore speak at a much lower level than those students. And because of that, you as a Teacher have to work extra hard in gaining the interest of those less motivated students. And because you are a good Teacher :), you try to motivate them with games, activities, candy and many other things they can relate to and enjoy.

But sometimes that doesn’t always work so what do you do then? You start asking yourself, how do I manage disruptive students? How do I deal with the kids that are constantly talking and disrupting others?

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