Q: What steps would you take with a student who was disruptive in your classroom?
A: First, I would make sure my intervention was quiet, calm, and inconspicuous. For example, one day I saw that Michael was not paying attention in class. So, I used his name in part of my presentation, as follows: “As an example, let’s measure Michael’s height in centimeters.” The disruptive student – Michael – who had been whispering to his neighbor, heard his name and was drawn back into the lesson with no disruption of the class. I also believe that the more immediate a reprimand, the less likely a student will feel I condone his or her behavior. And, perhaps most important, reprimands should be kept brief. The more I talk, for example, the more I will distract from the lesson and the more I “reward” a student for inappropriate behavior.
This is another opportunity in which a personal example or anecdote will help to illustrate your point and your philosophy. Show the interviewer that you’ve had some first-hand experiences and that you knew how to deal with them. Don’t even think about suggesting that the student be sent to the principal’s office. If you do, you’re dead!
FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S DESK:
“We have had candidates carry in suitcases of dusty art and materials they spread out all over the table. Some used it, but it was mostly overkill.”