Authors: Salome Ikokoyo and Racine Dia (edited by Linda Ruas) |  Published on 11 April 2024


Question: How can teachers help solve conflicts? 

Answer: By being aware, listening, and developing skills of negotiation

Here are some tips/ideas on how we can become better at solving conflicts:

  • Understand what conflicts are and that they are a natural part of human society - as humans we all come from different walks of life, we hold different values etc. Hence it is almost impossible for our actions and decisions not to rub off negatively on others sometimes.
  • Recognise that conflicts and will happen wherever there is communication ,eg. in language classes, in Teacher Associations, so we need to be prepared and able to help
  • Try to identify the root cause and implement strategies to lessen the negative impacts
  • Improve and develop your skills in negotiation, mediation, diplomacy, and reconciliation
  • Use a skilful mediator who can facilitate communication between both sides, reframe points in a positive way, give each side opportunity to express their views and interests so they feel listened to and understood and keep you all focussed on finding a solution
  • Use role plays in class to give learners practise, under no pressure, at airing grievances, listening, cooperating and seeing things from the point of view of others
  • You might find you need to use professional services, if available eg. peer mediation, or counselling, to help solve complex conflicts
  • Get trained in skills such as active listening, empathy, effective communication and negotiating to be able to help both learners and other teachers