How to Teach Students to Be Cooperative

Could caning or striking deter students from being uncooperative? In my years of teaching and in a lot of cases, caning stimulates a beastly disrespect for the authority in question, especially in secondary schools. 

Applying caning to punish offending students can detract from our competence as teachers.
So what then can we do if we don’t want to cane or punish students who are uncooperative?

When students are uncooperative when we want them to, with all punishment importance this is not the time to cane or punish cruelly. We can’t do anything about the fact that some students will sometimes joke with the classroom positive culture, and all we can do is try to keep this type of act from happening ever again when they occur.

Here is a scenario:
I was going to take a phonics and phonetics class one day in a school when I saw a student being punished and sent out of the classroom. Contrary to what the teacher expected, from the moment the student walked out of the classroom, reeling from three lashes to his butt, he was insolent!

When I drew closer to him, I asked why he was sent out of the classroom. He said the reason was because he was drumming on the desk while teaching was going on, and that was why his teacher got real angry at him. I decided to tell him a story of a boy who behaved exactly like him and suddenly lost his parents.

Slowly I told him how this boy was moved from relative to relative who did not care for his education after his parents died. And by the time his mates graduated secondary school and he was hawking chin-chin for an aunt, he wished he had used well the time his parents and teacher tried investing in his education.  

So the moral of the whole story; I made this young boy realize the consequences of demeaning time. Both the precious time his teacher devoted to teaching him and the time he’s supposed to learn something that would give him better outcomes in life. Consequences can be a person’s biggest lesson. While your story might not be too tragic as the aforementioned, let students know the impact their actions would have on them. Use consequences as model to correction instead of striking. This technique should be a custom in our classrooms and schools when students are uncooperative.

Furthermore, I told the student that if I were in his shoes, when the class period comes to an end I would walk up to the teacher and I would apologize. I would say something like, (giving the student specific language to use) “Mrs. Abba, I am sorry I disrespected your class.” Why did I give the student word-for-word language, because he might not have it himself?

Telling a child to do something without teaching him how makes no sense at all. So I taught him what to say. Now, how did I actually have him to apologize? Simple: As I’ve said above, I made the situation a loss one for him so that he sees that as he is hurting the teacher, he’s also inflicting ruins on his future. If head of schools and teachers take the opportunity to let students learn the consequences of their bad actions instead of caning and unleashing harsh punishment, the teaching jobs become easier and the student lives become better.

That being said, I’m not suggesting that we should ignore punishing students sometimes. But I am suggesting that competent teachers and head of schools don’t have to react harshly every time a student steps out of line. When teachers bring this exercise to life in their classrooms, they do more than alleviate classroom discipline problems and prepare their students for success in the work environment. These effective teachers help to build a more peaceful world.

Action Point: Determine to ignore trivial disturbances and develop the ability to respond to inappropriate behavior without escalating the situation. When student are uncooperative, let them see that as they hurt their teacher, they inflict loss on themselves. 

If you need more help on constructive teaching, please drop a message for me using the contact form.

Create More Success
Damilola Ogunremi

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