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Healthy Tutor-Student Relations Makes Classroom Management Smooth

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

Teaching is not always easy. I admire how primary and secondary teachers manage their classes. Once I met a teacher who had 25 primary students of which 4 were ADHD and 4 had autism. How do you manage a class like that? That is why I feel that without enthusiasm, clear boundaries and time to recharge, burnout becomes the only way for a teacher.

Build Relations With Unmotivated Students, Or Trouble Can Easily Grow

I teach at higher education. Truth be told I haven’t come across many serious situations. The first time I encountered an issue not related to the content I was teaching a diploma course at STC. STC attracted students studying IT who usually came from well-off families.

In this course, there was a woman who did not enjoy being at STC. She was there only because the course had been paid by her parents. She hated IT and was in the process of finding a job. The time in class was a way to pass the time. Usually, I don’t have issues with this unless that person disturbs the class.

Tackle Trouble Fast Or It Will Fester

As she was looking for entertainment, she was latching on people who were motivated. As their antics started being a distraction for the whole class, I realised that this dynamic had to be dealt with. As it was the first time I had to step up, I felt very insecure.

The only thing that supported me was that I had a good relationship with students. During the break, I faced all three people individually and had a conversation with them. I explained what I was seeing and asked them not to disturb. I was lucky as everyone was mature enough to comply

Treat Students As People

Like Brene Brown suggests, it is in our vulnerability that we connect. For me, going up to students and advise them on changing their attitude put me in a vulnerable position with them and the rest of the class. As this is done tactfully and with respect, the whole connection with the class increases.

Although this is a minor issue compared with what some teachers face, it still taught me many important lessons. First, relationships not only facilitate learning but also makes it easy to manage the class. Once this is present being vulnerable and opening to students builds a greater connection. Third, in 99% of the cases this put the tutor at an advantage to face difficult scenarios and smoothly sort them out.

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