‘The christmas holiday syndrome’

Ensuring that learners were paying attention in a lesson was a challenging experience, as I feel partially they were still on ‘Christmas Holiday mode’. Symptoms include being very talkative and losing track in the lesson. Additionally, an incident occurred where a student walked out of the lesson because she refused to take her coat off.  I was questioning on how the situation could be handled, whether to continue teaching or stay firm and ensure the pupil will listen. Yelling was not going to help so the obvious decision was to stay firm and composed, within addressing the challenging pupil. Afterwards, I wanted to learn more on how to deal with challenging students, so I read a book called ‘Teaching post-compulsory and education’ by Armitage et al. (2007), who suggested one to one interventionist strategies can be often the most effective because we are addressing issues personally with the learner in question. For next time, using the technique can allow me to probe possible causes of the behaviour and enable me to offer the learner an opportunity to reflect on the effect they have on their own learning. By gradually getting to know the learner and providing them with a role in the next lesson, I was able to understand the learner more and give them a sense of leadership in the lesson. This showed that I held no grudges towards the learners action as Tauber (1999) states, “holding grudges only exarcebates the situation”, citied by Boynton & Boynton (2005). And I agree, the learner should feel part of the class and by providing them with a role, I can help turn the negative self-concept into a positive self-concept, where the learner is always excited to learn. Personally, I feel I had handled the situation in a mature way, in which the student still felt they were in a learning environment despite the problem from the previous lesson.

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