Framework for managing Teacher-Student conflicts

When presented with a stressful situation, you may have been instructed to take deep breaths and count to five as a child. This advice was intended to help you relax so you could manage your emotions and respond correctly to the circumstance.

If you’re a teacher, counting to five is still a valuable method. Consider the following scenario: You’re checking homework when you come across a kid who claims they didn’t have enough time to finish it. This circumstance necessitates a discussion, but how you initiate it, who you involve, and how you conclude it can make or break your relationship with the student. So, how do you go about it? Take a few deep breaths and count to five.

It’s critical for new teachers to feel confident in their abilities while also knowing when to seek assistance. Someone invented the 2-3-4-5 Method to help teachers deal with day-to-day concerns like a student failing to complete an assignment on time or engaging in disruptive but non-dangerous behavior. When faced with a common school day issue, the numbers represent the number of persons who should be involved in the discourse and the steps to take:

  • 2: Student and Teacher
  • 3: Student, teacher, and parent or guardian
  • 4: Guidance Counselor or Dean, Teacher, Student, Parent or Guardian
  • 5: Teacher, student, parent or guardian, guidance counselor or dean, and administrator are the five categories.

The framework that shows the management of teacher-student conflict 

Consider the following scenario: During your class, a kid gets caught texting on their phone, which is against school regulations. So, what exactly do you do?

  • 2 individuals: Begin with a one-on-one talk with the learner. First and foremost, politely request that the student put their phone away in class. Second, tell the student discreetly that you’d like to speak with them after class. You should inquire as to why the student was on their phone during this talk. Let’s imagine the student tells you they were messaging a friend with whom they’re disagreeing. Now that you know why, validate their sentiments by demonstrating that you understand what they’re going through, and emphasize that you’re going to start with a private conversation. You’re talking because you believe they’ll be able to solve the problem on their own. 

Reiterate the school policy and come to an understanding that cell phone use will not be accepted in the future. Keep a record of the talk and inform the student that if the behavior continues, their parent or guardian will be notified and invited in for a meeting.

  • 3 individuals: You see the same student texting again two days later. You, the student, and their parent or guardian should have the next talk. Remind the student of the earlier arrangement after class, away from their peers, and inform them you’ll be setting up that meeting. 

You should inform the parent or guardian about the school policy and go over it during the previously recorded chat with the student, as well as the agreement you reached with the student. All parties involved should reach a consensus on how the matter should be handled in the future. If they’re discovered using the phone during class again, the student might ask that you keep it. The parent agrees to pick it up after the school day.

  • 4 Individuals: You find the student using their phone in class again the following week. You quietly approach their desk and request the device as previously discussed. The pupil will not hand over the phone to you. You, the student, their parent or guardian, and the guidance counselor or dean should have the next dialogue. After class, inform the guidance counselor or dean of the previous meetings and actions taken, and invite them to an upcoming meeting in which all parties should discuss the policy, the reasons for the student’s repeated violations of the policy, and the next steps after the student has failed to follow previous agreements.

The parties agree that the student will drop the phone off in the guidance counselor’s or dean’s office at the outset of each school day, depending on a new request from the student and parent. Make a note of this chat.

  • 5 Individuals: After five days, the student still refuses to hand over the phone, and you find them texting in class. The preceding parties, as well as an administrator, should now be included in the debate. The administrator should be notified of the three previous meetings. Disciplinary action will be decided at this meeting, and all parties will agree that the kid will no longer be allowed to bring their phone to school and that the parent or guardian will keep it at home because the student has demonstrated an inability to follow previous agreements. 

As you can see, the teacher maintained control of the classroom while maintaining a pleasant and respectful connection with the student by taking the right steps. Academic problems such as missing homework, low test grades, and failing to finish assignments on time, as well as behavioral concerns such as disrupting friends in class or talking back to the teacher, are examples of scenarios that may begin with two people.


In this article, you see how due to the seriousness of the issue, teachers may have to skip the one-on-one talk stage. Physical violence or threats of physical violence, mental health or substance addiction concerns, and/or the use of discriminatory or derogatory language, for example, may require quick notification to others. Whatever the circumstance may be, be prepared to respond appropriately and in your pupils’ best interests. Remember to take a deep breath and count to five whenever you’re in a stressful scenario. This will be helpful for you all. 

Carter Martin

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