I have very little teaching experience in a classroom setting, almost none. I am a support analyst and team leader at a large corporation where the type of support I provide is mostly one-on-one. I rarely support more than three people at the same time, however, even though the idea of teaching adults should be approached differently from adolescents, there are many similarities between the two when it comes to learning and even behaving. Every day, I experience frustrated professional adults trying to understand the process of the new software. If they cannot figure out how it works within the specific timeline, they’ll experience stress and frustration.
I understand the causes of adult and adolescent misbehavior are different. Nevertheless, according to the Learning Style Handout, written by Dave Bisonette, an assistant professor of neurological surgery, Both adults and adolescents learn better when the information is relevant to their own experiences, they both need feedback, they both fear embarrassment when their performance or participation is being judged, and they both value working in groups among other things.
In my opinion, the difference is that while adults usually have one specific reason to get frustrated and “act up” the root causes of adolescent misbehavior can vary. In general, they misbehave for pleasure, without thinking about any consequences. They also want to feel independent, and avoid listening to their parents because they feel old enough. Some of the key points about classroom management, referred to gaining our student’s trust. The first week of class students don’t really know if teachers will be able to keep a classroom management plan, therefore, the first few weeks are crucial to set up classroom rules, stay firm, and be ready to be tested by our students. In addition, when misbehavior happens, we should be ready to lose the battle, a good strategy to win the student’s hearts and minds. During my last observation, the students had college summit, and the teacher told the students to open a Word document and write good things about themselves. One student replied “What are you going to do? You never do anything, just use your phone and talk to your friends. You should turn your cell phone off.” This was shocking to me.
How can a student disrespect the teacher that way? Did the teacher create a misbehavior plan at the beginning? I believe the answer is no. In my case, In order to address behavior I try to put myself in the learner’s shoes. Finding the root of the problem in order to support the student with their needs is important. Finding the original cause can help us identify the kind of support that should be provided. The main strategy we need to support learner’s misbehavior is being patient by listening carefully to their requests, spend extra time if needed assisting the learner, and ask many questions in order for me to know their level of expertise, and that way assist them according to their specific necessities. Establishing rules, having firm boundaries, but then loosening up; becoming someone my students can look up to and count on when they need help are just some of the qualities and steps I would take for successful management in the classroom or in other enterprise learning environments.