What do you do when a group of students seem to stick together and cause trouble together?
Why do you suppose gangs form? Answer that question and you will begin to know what to do when you have this situation.
- Foremost is a strong need for acceptance and belonging.
A typical reaction to a group problem in the classroom is to split them up with the hope that they will not misbehave individually. If they grouped together because of "power in numbers," this tactic may have some merit. But, if it was due to a need for connectedness, you will probably agitate the situation with this tactic. Your best response may very well be to not fight it. Structure group activities, projects, and presentations. Constructively channel this need.
- It is possible, however, that you may have a group of students who all have the need or desire for power.
If so, boundaries need to be defined immediately. Consider having a meeting with this group where you lay all the cards out on the table. The teacher states his/her position and allows them to openly express what is happening. Together they come up with a solution to which each member of the group is asked to commit. If one member of the group violates the contract, they all suffer the consequences.
(Last updated 2/01/16)
For more training to help you with Classroom Discipline:
Read other tips in the Handbook on the Basics of Classroom Discipline.
Or, go beyond by using the Effectively Handling Classroom Discipline Workbook.
Learn the difference between Biblical Authority versus the Authoritarian and Permissive Teachers Worksheet and the implications for your teaching.
Think through the challenges, causes, corrective measures, and ways to circumvent 56 different discipline issues using the one page sheets in the Discipline Issues: What to Do About Specific Challenges resource.
And, click below to read helpful articles on classroom discipline: