You’d be hard-pressed to find a teacher who hasn’t dealt with their fair share of disruptive students. However, one type of problematic student can provide educators with a seemingly endless well of frustration – the class clown. While class clowns are seldom violent or outright disrespectful, their constant need for attention and stimulation can make it difficult for educators to teach and for students to learn. Although dealing with class clowns can be an uphill battle, there are several effective ways to calm them down and quell the constant disruptions.
Engage Them with Learning
Many class clowns use goofing around as a means to offset the boredom they feel in school. As such, taking breaks from traditional book learning and introducing material that’s more interactive can sometimes break up the monotony class clowns feel throughout the school day. For example, blended learning is able to engage children through a combination of words and images spread across multiple platforms and media applications. This approach often makes children feel more involved in the learning process and therefore less likely to disrupt it.
Regardless of whether or not they realize it on a conscious level, most class clowns crave attention. Getting laughs from classmates and receiving reprimands from teachers are among their most common goals. That being the case, ignoring class clowns is often an effective way to calm them down. They’re performing for an audience, and if that audience proves completely unreceptive, their motivation is likely to vanish. In addition to ignoring a class clown, instruct your students to follow your example. If the class clown is particularly ambitious, they may carry on even after receiving a collective cold shoulder. While it may be tempting to give in and provide them with a reaction, they’re practically guaranteed to give the antics a rest if you hold out long enough.
Step in When Necessary
While ignoring a class clown can be an effective way to take the wind out of their sails, there are certain behaviors that shouldn’t be overlooked. For example, if the child begins saying or doing things that are particularly vulgar or offensive, make a point of stepping in immediately, as it’s important for the rest of the class to know that this sort of thing won’t fly.
Be Mindful of Seating Arrangements
Class clowns are often at their zaniest when spurred on by others. If there are any students in your class who are particularly receptive to a class clown’s humor and offer them frequent encouragement, make a point of seating them away from the resident comedian. If the class clown is unable to easily reach their preferred audience, their performances are likely to stop.
A dedicated class clown can be frustrating hindrance to a class’s academic success. Not only do they create constant annoyances for teachers and fellow students, they deprive themselves of a quality education in the process. As any seasoned educator can attest, calming down class clowns can be an arduous undertaking. However, with the help of the previously discussed pointers, you can effectively keep clowns in line and get your class back on track.