Challenges are ever present in life situations. The classroom is not exempted as all persons and things that interact in a learning environment are capable of breeding conflicts. It is important to note that learning occurs when we are able to identify and eliminate problems that may arise in the classroom.
A positive mindset in dealing with learning challenges is the belief that all conflicts encountered in the classroom during teaching must be resolved and learning must take place.
Four Major Challenges in the Classroom
1) The teacher: the teacher can impede learning process when she or he is guilty of any of the following: poor content, lack of confidence, rigidity, high-handedness, lack of emotional intelligence, being in a bad place, e.t.c.
2) The learner: students create problem in the classroom when they are controlled by or exhibit any of these: absentmindedness, truancy, lack of intrinsic motivation, immaturity, immortality, peer pressure, health emergencies, distractions, mental exhaustion, bullying, e.t.c.
3) Lack of instructional materials or failures of available ones.
4) The physical environment.
Applying Positive Mindset in Dealing with These Challenges
In other to solve classroom conflicts and achieve the objectives of every class contact, teachers must apply positive mindset in dealing with these problems when they arise. We can achieve this by doing the following:
1) Tell yourself that everything will be alright.
2) Bear in mind that circumstances beyond your control may arise.
3) Understand that you can’t solve all problems and seek higher authority.
4) Be flexible and innovative.
5) Surprise your students with novelty.
6) Pay attention to identify a problem and solve it.
7) Give every child a space to thrive. Don’t have favorites.
8) Apply wisdom. Don’t return the energy if it is negative.
9) Be generous with kind words and advice.
10) Give them personal, short and long term goals.
11) Understand that they are kids and guide them. You can do this by simplifying the process for them.
12) You must realize and admit that learning happens differently and learners learn at different pace.
13) Make them understand that no one is a monopolist of knowledge and everyone is capable of making mistakes, both the teacher and students.
14) Give them positive images of who they are.
15) Bear in mind that every contact with your students is a test to you, and you must redeem your image as a teacher. Having this in mind will make you prepare and plan for your lessons before you go into the classroom.
While conflicts and challenges are inevitable in classrooms, a teacher can overcome them if she approaches those challenges with preparedness and a positive mindset.
This article is written by Adaeze M. Nwadike.
Adaeze M. Nwadike is a Nigerian poet and teacher. She teaches English language and literature at the Nigerian Army Officers Wife Association College, Abuja. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Lolwe, Littlestone journal, State University of New York Journal of Gender and Cultural Studies, the Rising Phoenix, Brittle paper, Type/cast, Nipe Stories Podcast, e.t.c. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Arts Lounge.