Children can often be fire balls of energy that are seemingly impossible to contain. They can also be the exact opposite. Managing behavior is quite possibly the most difficult task that a teacher faces. Add the element of only interacting with the child through a screen, with virtually zero back-up and support, and the idea of managing any type of behavior becomes pretty daunting. It’s true that managing behavior in the online classroom can be extremely challenging. Disruptive students are a challenge in any teaching and learning environment, but it becomes particularly evident in an online classroom, especially when teaching one-on-one.
How to Combat Brattiness and/or Disinterest
Most educators would agree that the first step to behavior management is setting the guidelines and expectations from the beginning. In the case of online schools, it is typically safe to assume that the company has gone over a basic code of conduct with the parents beforehand, but, since the student is typically sitting alone with you and their computer, that code often means nothing.
You are the one in charge of your classroom, so it’s also a good idea to let the students know what will and will not fly, to put it bluntly. This certainly does not need to be harsh or aggressive, and it should always be age-appropriate. For example, I start my lessons by introducing a reward system and giving the students examples of things that will earn them ‘a point’ and things that will cause them to lose a point. This is a quick and easily understandable way to make the expectations known from the outset. Read the full article on our $39 course for online ESL teachers!
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