As any teacher knows, with any class you are going to get a mix of personalities and characters. While some students will be keen to keep their heads in their books, others will be more intent on being disruptive. Some youngsters will stay quiet and just listen while others will have their hand up ready to ask a question every two seconds. It is the teacher’s job to bring all of these personalities together and find a way of engaging the class so that all of the pupils take part.
Some pupils will be described as difficult and normal methods of discipline will not make much difference to their behaviour. It is of course a problem when they start to disrupt other members of the class and make it difficult for anyone to learn. For some children, it can simply be a case that they do not find traditional teaching methods relevant or engaging and therefore get easily distracted and restless.
New technology has made a considerable difference in allowing more modern teaching methods to be brought into the classroom and for some pupils, a change to the learning process can have major benefits. Interactive whiteboards for example have become a familiar sight in classrooms up and down the country, and schools have come to rely on them as highly important pieces of kit. Unlike the old blackboards and traditional whiteboards that you used to get in schools, the new versions are interactive and capable of performing a huge array of functions. Not only can you watch videos and stream audio through them, but pupils can move text and pictures about, draw and interact in a whole variety of different ways.
Pupils who generally find it difficult to concentrate at school may just find these new methods of teaching engaging and exciting, allowing them to take part in lessons in a way that they have never been able to before. If these methods of teaching help to make more members of the class sit up and take an actual interest in the subject matter being discussed, then this can only be a good thing. Of course, different methods will have different results when it comes to specific pupils, but the great thing about interactive forms of learning through a whiteboard is that there are so many variations and ways to mix things up, while still making use of the core technology.
Difficult pupils can be a real problem for teachers, but with the right kind of teaching methods these children might just uncover a love of learning that even they never knew they possessed.
Rich Price is a freelance writer who specialises in education and classroom technology such as student response systems.