One of the major challenges facing the education sector is stress among teachers and learners.  Educators have to constantly deal with the issue of difficult students. While teachers are regularly faced with indiscipline or have to deal with poor learners, this can be a big challenge for them. Not only will it erode their confidence but it can also affect their wellbeing.

classroom management

So, what can teachers do to deal with indiscipline among learners? Can they do something to help the poorly performing learners improve? The god thing is that there are some classroom management tips that teachers can use to influence their students to behave better and improve their performance. These tips will help the instructor to draw closer to the learners, influencing their attitude.


  • Create a good relationship


Many teachers care a lot about their learners even though they still have to use strategic management to control their learning. However, they do not go the extra length to create a good relationship with the students. It is advisable for teachers to motivate and encourage their students especially those who have a problem with discipline. Take time to counsel them and encouraging them to behave better. Also, create an environment in the classroom where learners can cheer one another. If you do not know where to start, here are some questions you can ask students to answer:

  • My strongest area in school where I would of help to others is______.
  • My strongest area at home where I would be of help to others is______.
  • One area that I am strong in and people don’t realize it is______.
  • In case I need assistance i______.

Use the answers they provide you with to help them support one another.


  • Make the lessons practical


One reason why learners become discouraged about education is that they hardly apply what they learn in class to solve life problems. You hear them ask questions like; ‘how is this useful in my life?’ This is an indication that the majority of students don’t see how the content they study in class is relevant to their lives.  This often causes them to lose interest in the subject that you are teaching students. On the other hand, learners who can see the interconnection between education and a good life can value school.

A good idea would be to begin your lesson with something interesting before trying to connect it with your lesson. Alternatively, make sure you are connecting with your students for a few seconds when you teach this. Some of the areas where students have a lot of interest include video games, music, money and sports.


  • Mentor each student individually to be responsible


Kids have to be taught to be responsible as this is one of the skills that they will need in life. Some of the right ways of promoting responsibilities include involving them in teaching and making them part of the lesson. Make your students involved in the making of decisions. Avoid giving them immediate solutions and instead ask them questions that promote their thinking. Isn’t it interesting how students learn and the implications for teaching.


  • Help them understand success


One of the main reasons why learners lose interest in studying and become difficult is poor performance.  Challenge the students to improve their performance every day. If a student gets a C, congratulate them and remind them they can score a B. Create an ‘APPP “for success. APPP stands for Appear, Prepare, Plan and Practice. Always make them ask themselves a question “What are my subject activities?”

Make sure the learners understand that getting better than the person they were yesterday is the true measure of success. As a good instructor, help your children to understand that it is possible to turn any learner into an A grade student. Encourage them to show that success attitude and never lose hope on your students. Praise your students when they perform well and focus more on the strategy or attitude that they used. Let them understand that they don’t have to struggle with assignments as they can seek expert assistance from


  • Communicate your expectations


Ensure that you communicate your expectations clearly to the learners when they are in class. When you do that, it will be possible to have a safe and smoothly functioning classroom. Some of the things that you should have rules on include the time to get into the classroom, getting permission to go to the washroom and what to do if a challenge occurs in class. On top of communicating these rules and regulations, make sure the regulations are practiced. When you find the learners following the rules well, congratulate them for it. Reinforcement can be very helpful.

To deal with difficult students, make them understand that you are not ready to stop your lesson to deal with their misbehaviour as you do not want to embarrass them. Instead, let them understand that you will postpone the necessary disciplinary action until at an appropriate time.


  • Teach them ways of having fun


There is no doubt that students like having fun. They also like hanging around people who engage them in fun activities. If they realize that you are fun to hang around, they will definitely enjoy your lessons. This is on top of the fact that enthusiasm is contagious. If you teach them animatedly and have fun with the curriculum and students, they will also catch the enthusiasm bug.

It can be quite interesting watching difficult students pursue knowledge that pushes students to start teaching strategies. The fact that they may not enjoy learning doesn’t mean you cannot make it fun. Help them understand there are different ways of having fun and learning can be one of them. You can do that by making your lessons more interesting.


There are different ways in which you can make your lessons to be more relevant and successful and therefore deal with difficult students better. Instead of just disciplining them now and then, challenge them to more positive about life. Offer some rewards like points or even a smiley sticker but also allow them to register their dissatisfaction if they have any.  Remember that all these will start with you. When you follow the above classroom management ideas, your learners will definitely benefit, and it will be easier for you to handle difficult students.


William Stewart is a lecturer and researcher on effective teaching methods. He has developed teaching methods and aids that have helped to transform C students into A students.