BlogGeneralA Framework for Managing Teacher-Student Conflict

A Framework for Managing Teacher-Student Conflict

Conflict is when your opinions clash with some person on a particular topic, this is what the internet will tell you. But actually, conflict is when you try to impose your thoughts on a certain topic or situation over someone else. It is evidently visible when you try to supersede the thoughts of another person, only to prove that what you have to say is correct. You do so because you want to feel superior to others; you want people to listen to you more than anyone else. This is human nature. We want to be accepted in society, and so we try to find ways to meet our motives. When your opinions clash with someone, you start raising your voice, in the hope that your raised voice will frighten the other person, so to counter the fear you are trying to create, the other person also raises their voice, and it’s a mess, the usual vegetable market feels. Nobody gets to listen to anybody and the voices, opinions, respect, are all burned in the fire of anger, a by-product of conflict. The same conflict can nowadays be seen in the classes between teachers and students.

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    What leads to Conflicts?

    Conflicts can be ego-driven, acceptance-driven, or superiority-driven. Conflict is not an issue; an issue is not listening to what the other person has to say. Conflict is when you make another person feel inferior in front of others. You crack a joke on someone, you think it’s funny, but have you ever thought about how it makes the other person feel? And that can also become an issue for conflicts.

    Psychology of You vs. You:

    When you sit with your friends in the class, not paying attention to what the teacher is trying to teach, instead, you pass specific comments on their teaching style, their pronunciation, their appearance, etc. Ask yourself why you do so? You do so to look and sound like a wiseass so that you get more attention in the classroom so that people start listening to you. Why do you want people to listen to you in the first place? Because you are in a conflict with yourself in your brain. You feel nobody listens to you. This conflict of you vs. you leads you to develop a grudge against anyone who gets more attention, that is, the teacher in the classroom.

    Lack of understanding:

    When you try to ask or get some doubts clarified, you ask questions to your teacher. You come up with your theory for the explanation of not understanding what the teacher taught in class, how it can be simplified further, or how you try to approach the same problem but did not get the results. This time, the teacher tries to shut you up and provides the age-old explanation and methods for solving a problem. The teacher here is trying to impose and exhibit his or her knowledge as superior to the efforts you made to come up with a new one. He or she tries to assert themselves or their opinions over you. Even when you try to argue further, to prove your point, after a certain period of the argument, both of you, you and your teacher, are driven by ego. You are trying to prove one another superior. You don’t listen to what he has to say; he defines your entire future in the rage of being proven wrong.

    How to avoid or manage teacher-student conflicts?

    The teacher-student relation is that of a mentor and a mentee. This allows both of them to learn from each other and execute their learnings strategically into the task they are working on. Your teacher is supposed to teach you, listen to what you have to say, and make you understand how and where your theory or your explanation of a certain topic is wrong, and even if it is correct, he should admit the fact that you have practiced or thought more upon what he couldn’t figure out in his age-long teaching experience. Things to keep in mind to avoid conflicts:

    Keep your mind open:

    Having an open mind will solve more than half of this planet’s problems. Our problem is that we keep orthodox views. We don’t know how to make space for improvement; we don’t value acceptance. We as human beings need to evolve to accept life changes. An open mind will help you understand another person’s point of view. It will allow us to become compassionate to others. When your teacher says something, think of it as advice for the future you.

    Respect other person’s views:

    You think as you think, you don’t like when another person questions or counters or challenges your views, your opinions of certain things, you may be too typical or orthodox of your thoughts. Then why nag someone else’s viewpoints? You don’t like it, you disagree on something, try to stay humble and respectful of their opinions. What is the need to judge? What is the need to impose your way of thinking over others? Why make fun of other people and their opinions? If a student does not agree with your method of teaching and comes up with another method with which he or she can understand the same concept better, then where is the problem? As a teacher, you should appreciate your students for coming up with new methods of finding a solution to the problem, and as a student, you should respect your teacher’s point.

    Conflicts have no end:

    When they are over, you are not left with a sense of entitlement or anything; you will have your energy and time wasted. Try to understand what the other person has to say, try to understand their views. Do not jump to conclusions. Be humble and calm enough to comprehend your teacher’s or student’s opinions, even if you don’t agree, politely say that I am still not sure to agree with you on this thing, but I will think about it. That’s it. It’s that easy. Why shout, yell and grab someone’s collar and say things you will regret later? There are grays to agree on, blacks and whites are way too extreme to go to.

    Also read: Time Management In Exam

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do all disagreements lead to conflicts?

    No. If the person is humble enough to respect what the other person has to say, they would politely decline to agree with the other person but will never impose his thoughts.

    How can I make my friend agree with my views?

    That is the crux of all problems, my friend. You don't have to make your friend agree with you. You can express your opinion and ask your friend for some advice. That's a valid option, but forcefully making them agree with you will lead to a conflict. Do not impose or assert your opinions.

    To avoid conflicts, shall I agree on the incorrect information?

    No. But be polite when you say the provided information is incorrect. Keep your intentions fair. Do not say to impose a sense of superiority.


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