This year I’ve been training a large number of professional support staff on how to conduct formative classroom visits. This is a good thing.  But these new observers aren’t Assistant Principals or Principals and that has highlighted a blind spot in our observer training, which I’m rectifying now.

You are the observer, and you visit a classroom. The teacher is doing an excellent job of teaching the class and keeping students focused on the task at hand.  But there is one student who is doing his level best to take over and disrupt the class. 

What do you do? 

If you aren’t an administrator, your instinct is to do nothing.  This would be wrong. Because this student is attempting to show his peers that he runs the class.  If he does this with two adults in the room he is showing his peers that he runs the school. This has to be corrected. Here is what you should do.

1. Go stand by the disruptive student.  This will solve the problem 90% of the time.  If the student continues to disrupt…

2. Quietly remind the student to pay attention to the teacher and/or start working on his assignment.  This will generally solve the problem.  If the student continues to disrupt…

3. Ask the student to step in the hall with you. In the hall, tell the student there are now two options. Option A – Get it together, go back into the class and start working.  Or Option B – Go to the office and deal with the consequences.

If the student picks Option A, escort the student back in the classroom, make sure the student gets settled and give the teacher a wave of support.

If the student picks Option B, escort the student to the office.  Let the AP know that the student was disrupting an entire class and disrespected and was defiant to two educators (you and the teacher).  Let the AP determine the appropriate consequence.

You would be hard pressed to find a better way to support teachers and hard working students.   

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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