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How to Control a Difficult Classroom


As a teacher, one of the biggest challenges you are likely to face is controlling a difficult classroom. You could experience this while working in a new school on supply or at a permanent job with a class that is particularly difficult and unless you know all of tricks to helping to control a classroom, your job could be more stressful that it needs to be.

In many cases, it is just one or two students who disrupt the rest of the class and knowing how to deal with them will make life easier. One student misbehaving can start a chain reaction as other students join in, so the sooner you can gain control, the better.

These are some of the top tips for controlling a difficult class:

  • Don’t argue

Sometimes you can quickly get drawn into an argument, which puts you on equal footing in terms of how you are responding. Try not to argue back with the student, as you might find more students start arguing with you during the lesson.

  • Keep calm

 The best way to regain control if students start to misbehave is to keep calm, as the more irate you get, the more control you will lose over the class. If problematic students can see that they are getting to you through your body language or raising your voice, they may try to see how far they can push you.

  •  Punish misbehaviour

 If you are on supply cover, make sure you are aware of the school’s behaviour policy, so you can know when to warn students and when you can have them removed from the class, should it come to that.

  •  Build relationships

 As a permanent teacher, you will probably have to teach the same misbehaving students each week, so you should try to work on the relationship that you have with them. Speak to their form tutor or year tutor to find out if there are any issues that could be prompting misbehaviour, such as family problems or other issues in school.

  •  Start afresh each lesson

 Don’t hold grudges against any students, show them that if they are better behaved in the next class, you will not hold a grudge against them for their previous behaviour. By greeting them with a genuine smile and a hello when they next come into your class, this should hopefully make them feel more comfortable around you and start them off in a positive mindset.

  •  Don’t shout at students

 You will probably remember that when you were in school, teachers had a tendency to shout at misbehaving students and you might also remember that the teacher was regarded as scary or not a good teacher. Even if a student is really difficult to control, shouting will lead to other students having a negative view of you and your teaching methods. The most effective teachers are approachable and students do not feel scared of them, knowing they can ask questions without fearing being told off.

Once you have faced a few difficult classrooms, you will start to learn what does and doesn’t work well and you will improve your own classroom management skills.

If you are looking for your next teaching role, Worldwide Education Recruitment can help you to find the right type of job for your skills and experience.

Check out our current vacancies and get in touch.

Oliver Denison

Compliance Officer and DSO

With a background in compliance and security vetting in the aviation industry, I decided to
transfer and further develop my expertise in compliance within the education sector. I joined
Worldwide Education in July 2021, and since then have gained a great deal of knowledge,
through day-to-day learning and training courses. I look forward to what the future holds at
Worldwide Education. I love travel, cinema, good food and going on walks with my sausage


Samantha Neziri

Branch Manager : Langley

Hi I’m Samantha. I joined Worldwide Education in 2017 and since then I have developed my
career within in recruitment. I am now the Branch Manager for Langley and work across the
Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire area. I am currently completing my level 3 in recruitment
practise and I am looking forward to putting my new skills to good work. I enjoy spending
time with family and friends and getting to experience new adventures in life.