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Classroom Tantrums: What Do I Do?

by on 26/01/2022 3630

Being a teacher is definitely rewarding. There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching your students flourish, develop, and grow before your very own eyes. But sometimes, the job can be tiring. It requires patience and planning, and often times demanding, especially when the little ones throw tantrums in class.

Tantrums are inevitable, but you can stay in control of your classroom. Here’s what you can do to diffuse the difficult situation the next time a meltdown threatens to strike your classroom.

There are 3 main strategies in tackling those classroom meltdowns; what to do BEFORE a tantrum, DURING a tantrum, and finally, AFTER the tantrum. Here’s what to do to effectively approach tantrums from every stage.

Certain behaviours and strategies can be implemented to reduce the risk of a classroom meltdown. Here’s what to do BEFORE a tantrum.

1. Talk about emotions

It’s really important that teachers talk to students about tantrums and emotions. Discussions about emotions and why people get upset are highly encouraged in the classroom a few times weekly. Roleplaying also helps children put themselves in other people’s shoes, and learn to handle their emotions in a positive way when upset.

2. Get to know your students

Getting to know your students is a great way to gauge their emotions. Talk about their likes and dislikes or what makes them happy or sad. These triggers are important for when recognising when a meltdown may be incoming. Paying attention to their facial expressions and body language throughout the whole day is also essential in combating tantrums.

Classroom Tantrums: What Do I Do?

Sometimes tantrums are inevitable. Here’s what to do DURING a tantrum.

3. Keep your cool

Always remember to keep calm. Matching the child’s temper won’t do the stressful situation any good. Keep in mind that tantrums are normal for young children, and the behaviour is to be expected. Give children the space they need to calm down. Ideally, removing them from the stressful environment and into a quiet room, can give them the space to work through their feelings without becoming even more upset.

4. Talk through it

When adults feel upset, it helps to talk about their problems with close friends. This also applies for young children. Get on their level and quietly let them know you understand what they’re going through and understand wha they feel.If children open up, you may respond, but never force a reply from them. What’s most important is listening and making these children feel validated and heard.

Now the class has settled post tantrum. But the children are distracted. Here’s how to get the class back on track AFTER a meltdown.

5. Don’t ignore the elephant in the room

Often times we feel like avoiding talking about a tantrum is the best thing that should be done, but that’s actually not true. On the contrary, talking about emotions and outbursts and how to handle these sensitive issues that come up when we’re upset is the best strategy for a teacher. By making children understand what they’ve just witnessed, this will teach children to work through their feelings and deal with issues in a positive way. It will also encourage empathy amongst children, and help them understand why their friends act or feel a certain way. Children can learn to kind, respectful, and helpful in times of tantrums through understanding and empathy.

Classroom Tantrums: What Do I Do?

Dealing with tantrums is never an easy task, but teachers can learn to manage them using these helpful tips so the next time a meltdown rolls around, you can be calm, collected, and prepared to help your students work these tantrums through.