How to Deal with Students Who Hit Others?




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We’ve all had a student who has lost their temper and lashed out. It’s never fun, but it is something that happens from time to time in the classroom. How you handle these situations can make or break your relationship with a student. Read on for some tips on how to deal with a child who hits. 

I bet you’re wondering why I’m talking about this! Well, one of the hardest parts of being an educator is dealing with students when they get angry and lash out physically at someone else in the room (teacher included). This can be scary and frustrating, but there are ways to help manage this type of behavior, so it doesn’t happen again. Let me share my strategies for handling kids who hit others in the classroom.

Why Students Hit Others?

This is a question that has puzzled many teachers since student-teacher relationships were first established. There are multiple reasons why students hit others in the classroom, some more common than others. Here are ten possible reasons why students might hit other classmates in the classroom:

1) Being obnoxious

Some students are just plain rude to their classmates and enjoy teasing or making fun of others. When an unruly student gets in another child’s face and starts muttering bad things, it can quickly lead to hitting.

2) Classroom environment

How a classroom is conducted plays a role in how often students hit each other in the classroom. If rules aren’t enforced and procedures aren’t followed, then students might start pushing or hitting each other.

3) Poor decision making

Some students just don’t think through their actions before they act. For example, if two students are sparring with each other verbally and one student gets mad enough to throw a punch at the other, that’s not thinking things through very clearly! This says a lot about whether or not students are thinking before they act.

4) Lack of self-control

Discipline starts in the home, and if teachers have to constantly keep an eye on their students to prevent hitting, then the student obviously doesn’t have very good control over themselves. This lack of discipline can result from many things, mainly the inability to control emotions.

5) Violent environment at home

If students are around violence, drugs, and other negative influences at home then they may lack the restraint needed to be in school without hitting others. School is supposed to be a safe place for children to learn and grow up properly, not expose them to more negative behavior!

6) Lack of awareness of the consequences

Many times, students don’t even realize that they’ll get in trouble for hitting their classmates. This demonstrates a lack of knowledge about what’s expected and how to behave in school. If students aren’t taught what is and isn’t appropriate behavior, then this can lead to frustration on their part and an increased possibility of hitting other students.

7) Lack of self-esteem

Students with low self-esteem often take it out on others because they don’t feel like they fit in or aren’t very popular. This can lead them to hit classmates just so that they can vent their frustration and anger at not getting the attention that they want.

8) Poor impulse control

Students with very poor impulse control often act out without thinking through their actions. When they get mad at another student, they might lash out physically to deal with that anger. This is because students with poor impulse control either can’t or won’t contain themselves until they calm down and think things through rationally.

9) Inability to control emotions

Students who can’t control their emotions can often lash out at others when they’re upset about something. They might hit a student because they’re mad at them, but it’s important to realize that violence isn’t a solution and that these students need help in learning how to keep their cool when they get upset.

10) Not feeling safe

Sometimes, even if students are aware of the consequences of hitting their classmates and have good impulse control, they still feel threatened or targeted by others. If a student thinks that there’s no way of escaping from a situation in which they’re being bullied, then it might seem like hitting another student is the only option.

Why Is Hitting Affects Classroom Management?

Have you ever been in a situation where students were constantly disrupting your class, and despite being fully aware of their distracting behaviors from the moment they entered the classroom, it took almost five minutes just to get them to settle down? One of the most annoying things is when students hit each other during a lesson.

In my early years as a teacher, I experienced this problem on an almost daily basis.

Here are nine reasons why students hitting each other affects teacher’s classroom management efforts:

1. It distracts the teacher from teaching the lesson.

2. It disrupts learning for those who want to learn, as well as those who don’t want to learn.

3. It often leads to injury, which can force the teacher to miss valuable teaching time.

4. Students who are apt at hitting others need to be separated immediately, or else their presence in the classroom will contaminate other students with behaviors that they may not have had otherwise. That is, it makes other students who see the hit think that violence is an appropriate way of solving problems.

5. If one student hits another, then that student may be more likely to hit the teacher.

6. Teachers are then put in a position where they must discipline students for hitting, which is time-consuming and difficult.

7. It takes up valuable class time that could be better used on other lesson objectives, especially when teachers spend more of their time disciplining than teaching.

8. Hitting often leads to bullying, which can make students feel unsafe, or it can turn into cyberbullying if the incident is recorded on cell phones.

9. Studies show that violence breeds more violence – thus, any student who hits another student is more likely to be hit or attacked by that student in return.

How can you avoid classroom management issues like this in the future?

There are a few simple steps that teachers can take to prevent and deal with classroom management and discipline problems before they escalate:

1. Maintain close proximity to students during transition times.

2. Keep students under control when they enter the classroom to prevent any altercations between them.

3. Discipline students that are prone to violence immediately and remove them from the class if necessary – even if that means having them miss valuable instruction time in lieu of their bad behavior.

4. Avoid students who are prone to violence, if possible. If you must teach a student that is prone to violence, consider moving him or her from the front of the room to the back of the room to decrease their risk for violence.

5. Remind students frequently why they should behave appropriately, without hitting others, in your classroom – because they are all there to learn.

6. Create consequences for hitting and other disruptive behaviors that are clear, consistent, and applied fairly to everyone involved.

7. Teach students how to resolve conflict peacefully through acting out and modeling social scenarios with each other or role-playing their way through potential conflicts that could arise between them during the school day.

8. Use the buddy system whenever possible – pair students up who have a special relationship with each other so that they can watch out for one another and prevent altercations from happening between them.

9. Keep a smile on your face no matter what you’re going through, as it puts those around you at ease and improves your mood.

10. Take care of yourself – even teachers need someone to watch out for them when they’re in a tough situation, so make sure that you have at least one person with whom you can talk about what’s going on when you feel overwhelmed by the stress or responsibility of your job.

How Can You Deal with Students’ Hitting You or Other Students?

Do you get hit by your students, either on purpose or accidentally? This is a common problem in the classroom. Teachers get hit by their students for different reasons: teasing, bullying, and even flinching from getting hurt. Whatever the reason may be, teachers can find help with how to deal with students who hit them and manage and control students who hit each other. Here are 21 things teachers can do to deal with this problem efficiently and effectively:

1. Make sure that the student has a clear understanding of why you don’t allow hitting.

Hitting is never allowed in schools, so you need to make your students understand this fact. Sometimes, the student might have not realized what he/she was doing.

2. Let them know that you are the teacher and it’s your job to keep everyone safe in school, including them.

3. You can also ask for another adult’s help if the situation gets out of control. It’s definitely better to have two adults trying to hold back one student than to try holding him/her yourself because you don’t want that same person to hit you again.

4. If the student keeps hitting or hurting other kids then, of course, you will need to have a discussion with his parents about it if he is not your student.

5. Once they calm down and realize that they’ve hit you or a colleague, don’t spank or punish them. They already know they were wrong and punishing them will not help the situation as much as just calmly talking to them about what happened.

6. The next time he/she starts getting out of hand, give him a warning that if he does it again then he’ll have to go to another room or a time out.

7. It’s important to always stand up for yourself and don’t let the student hit you as much as he/she wants because this will make them think they can get away with it again in the future.

8. Discuss with parents how their child is behaving at school as soon as possible.

9. If you can, try to let the student know that it’s not okay to hit and that they need to talk about and solve their problems amicably and respectfully.

10. If you end up sending the student to timeout, don’t forget to tell parents why their child is being sent out of class, so they know what happened exactly.

11. Establish clear consequences in class for when this sort of behavior occurs.

12. Be aware that some kids might be hitting you or other students because they feel like nobody cares about them or loves them so remind them that you do love and care about them.

13. Just explain to the student what he’s done wrong, why it’s wrong, and that you will report this to the headteacher.

14. Remind them that hitting, kicking, or hurting other people is not okay because everyone needs to be safe around here.

15. Ask if they are mad about something or if anything is bothering them which they would like you to help them with.

16. Give the student a signal to let them know you’re about to touch them before you do so they can prepare for it.

17. When talking with the student, give them space and make good eye contact if they seem aggressive or angry.

18. Write down everything that happens in case you need it for court or if there’s an emergency and you’re not able to.

19. Make sure that any discipline you give is fair and equal.

20. If the student continues to exhibit this behavior, refer them to the school’s counselor. The counselor will further work with the student, and everyone involved to solve the problem.

21. Make sure all your actions are in line with the rules and regulations of your school and ministry of education.

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