Teaching Tip - No Mercy
One the best ways to create chaos in a classroom is to beg for help from the students. If you arrive wholly unprepared to handle your duties as a teacher, the worst thing you can do is plead with your class. You’ll find that many students will respond to this at first and give you a temporary reprieve from their off-task behavior, but soon you’ll find yourself at the head of a class that is totally out of control. Not all students try to take advantage of their teachers. Some legitimately want to learn. It’s the teacher’s job to control the students that disrupt class and try to get through to them with the value of the knowledge you are trying to impart, but at least you have to control disruptive students so that the ones there to learn can have a chance to.
When you appeal for mercy at the hands of your students, the disruptive students will see that you’re weak and can be taken advantage of. They will continue to disrupt class and prevent the students there to learn from being able to do so. While it’s wrong to treat the classroom like a prison yard, you can’t show weakness so readily in a classroom either.
Daniel Behan of McQuaid Jesuit Middle School has helped many teachers handle their classrooms the right way over his twenty-five years as a high school and middle school teacher. He knows never to appeal for mercy and can take control of his classroom upon walking in.