Dealing with conflict in an education environment can be difficult, depending on why the clash has arisen and how other students react to this conflict. If you are looking to improve your conflict resolution skills for your students and for a more peaceful classroom, here are a few tips on ways to deal with conflict in this type of environment.
1. Get appropriate training for the learning environment
Ensure that you understand conflict resolution, including the appropriate ways to keep yourself and other students safe, body language, and methods of mediation. If you want to improve your skills further, this FPU conflict resolution training for teachers is a great way to resolve conflict within the classroom. With these skills, you can become a role model for students and other teachers.
If you are working with students with any challenging behaviors, be sure you understand their condition and perhaps have a meeting with the student or their parents to find ways to help manage their behavior in the classroom.
2. Teach students skills to resolve issues beforehand
Don’t wait for conflict to start before teaching your students how to resolve conflicts. Being in an education environment is much different from home life and how we resolve conflict at home is often not the same as in a classroom. Not all students will have been taught by their parents how to deal with conflict, so teaching them the skills they need to communicate and show empathy will ensure fewer conflicts within your classroom.
Make group work a part of your curriculum and help students to communicate their feelings in a healthy way, through communication rather than violence. Mindfulness is an important part of this, as students who don’t take proper care of their mental health and anxiety are more likely to get frustrated and get into conflicts that could have been avoided.
3. Create a safe space for conflict resolution
If conflict has broken out in a learning environment, let the students in question cool off and calm down before creating a safe space where they can speak openly with one another. While they are calming down, get them to reflect on their feelings and their behaviors and write down any thoughts they have. Sit them both down and allow them to talk to one another.
Using “I” statements can help them to get their view across without any violence. Once the students are done discussing their feelings, then it’s time to come to an appropriate solution. This may be with the help of the students, depending on their maturity and understanding.
Allowing students to choose what happens next can stop the same problem from arising in the future. Ensure they understand that while not everyone is meant to be friends, students need to get on without conflict for a peaceful learning environment.
Be sure to teach your students conflict resolution skills from the first day of teaching and if conflict does arise, get the students to resolve this themselves in a safe space with you overseeing things. Be sure to improve your own skills on conflict resolution so you can feel in control of your classroom.