I have been managing for some time difficult cases in the classroom. A few weeks ago I presented: the method of gradual interventions .
Now I present to you a method that I often quote in my works and publications and which is fundamental in extremely critical situations, which I call Almost 3: the method of non-escalation of the conflict.
In the classroom at the end, we teachers are alone in front of our Cases 3.
The non-escalation method
This method allows the teacher, in the first place, to focus on the behaviors he must avoid in front of his own almost 3 difficult in extremely critical situations.
Before being able to find a real solution, it is easier to think about how to avoid an escalation and a tightening of the positions of the parties.
So I have to ask myself:
“What’s the worst thing I can do right now with Massimo listening to music on his phone?”.
And of course don’t!
The instinct of …
A “normal” instinctive reaction would be, for example, to shout one of these phrases of your choice or all at the same time:
“Now I destroy it ”,“ I throw it out ”,“ I send it in the direction ”,“ I bud it ”,“ I make it pay for it with votes.”
Or you want to cry and get out of the classroom!
But it could do even worse!
Typical errors – “visible mistakes”
Massimo listens to music from his mobile phone during the lesson.
Among the mistakes that a teacher can make some are obvious:
- he becomes very, too nervous, therefore less credible
- it approaches the pupil and invades his intimate – proxemic area
- if the class laughs at Massimo’s reaction who says:
“I won’t give you the cell phone!”,
the teacher threatens to do a summative punitive test for everyone
- he takes the pupil by the arm and tugs him
- she sends him out the door, saying she doesn’t want to see him anymore
- threatens to send him in the direction and does not.
The non-escalation method can allow us to focus on the core of the symptom that appears in the classroom in this case “the cellphone“, Without mixing personal and professional, disciplinary and didactic plans.
The “Principles” to be respected
In applying the method of “Non-escalation of the conflict” the following principles must be respected:
– appropriate and positive use of the non-verbal
- open posture
- gaze directed at the pupil, not too fixed
- normal tone of voice, slightly higher volume
– focus on the situation and the problem without making references to the person and the discipline, therefore avoid:
“You are a beep beep”, “With your grades you can’t afford to behave like this “,
phrases that therefore imply that “an Anna“Who is good could he do it? Strange no!
– position and role must be kept separate from situation (see in this regard the negotiation techniques of the Harvard Law School);
“You are a student and I am the teacher, here I am in charge”.
– refer to written rules and customs:
“The regulation states that the mobile phone is not used in school”.
– leave an alternative and even minimal freedom of choice:
“Put your phone away and go out and rinse your face (a) or lie down for a moment with your head on the counter for five minutes (b) ”.
Eventually turned off the phone you can think of resolve the conflict a posteriori, calmly, through resolutive talks.
Ethics and attitudes underlying the method
This method presupposes a clear ethical attitude on the part of the teacher, which includes different levels, namely:
- wanting to understand the feelings and emotions of the student, which are the basis of the symptom;
- focus only on the symptom “music and mobile phones”;
- offer at that point always an alternative the pupil, in Massimo’s case, close his eyes and rest for a moment, while the lesson continues;
- finally pass the responsibility to the student, who has to decide between different alternatives and is not faced with the obligation to follow only the instructions of the teacher.
- refer only afterwards to the overall situation: breaking the rules and disrupting the lesson;
As a teacher I must obviously ask myself:
- How do I feed the conflict at certain critical moments?
- How can we avoid fueling such conflicts?
- What can I do to ensure that the interpersonal situation, including the class, does not degenerate?
Nobody is perfect though
The ideal non-escalation situation, of course, is very difficult to achieve (attached: description of the case with ideal application of the method).
However, many of these tips aren’t that difficult to apply over time.
With classroom practice, you can get closer and closer to full awareness of the above method.
We recommend starting to experiment with simpler cases of medium severity, which I define Cases 1 and 2, where it is easier to control one’s instinctive reactions.
For managers and teachers
Now you know I’m going through a holistic approach to managing difficult situations at school, therefore consider both dal point of view of the teacher and the manager.
In fact, this method is particularly appropriate in managing conflicts even between adults: between colleague and colleague, between teachers and parents and between managers and teachers.