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When faced with a tricky situation with a student in front of a class, how the teacher responds is all-important. The urge to assert authority over both the individual who is challenging you, and the rest of the class can be overwhelming. The teacher can feel the need to ‘win’ the confrontation and to come out on top. However, when it comes to behaviour management, teachers should not expect to win all the time. The need for the student to not lose face should not be overlooked either.

Sometimes, it is prudent for both parties to settle for a metaphorical ‘draw’. In the short term and the long term, being able to diffuse a situation there and then will have beneficial effects for the teacher’s relationship with the individual and the whole class.

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