Bad behaviour in the classroom is a common problem for educators. The types of bad behaviours that negatively affect teaching and learning range from excessive talking to verbal and physical abuse. There are many reasons behind this type of behaviour, and educators should try to identify the root of the issue before implementing disciplinary methods or labelling the misbehaving child as a "bad apple."
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Many common learning disorders trigger negative behaviour in students. Attention- deficit disorder (ADD) is a medical condition that affects a child's ability to concentrate and focus on tasks. The bad behaviour associated with this condition usually includes daydreaming and drifting off. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition that combines the symptoms of ADD with hyperactivity and impulsiveness. This typically leads to disruptions in the classroom, as well as excessive talking. If you suspect that one of your misbehaving students has one of these conditions, contact his parents immediately to have him diagnosed. The bad classroom behaviour may be remedied with medication or by learning coping skills and tools.
Lack of Effective Behavior Modification
If the majority of your students have bad behaviour, then perhaps you should look at your teaching and behaviour modification methods. The root of the problem could be you, the teacher. While this is not often the case, the problem does occur. Most teacher-caused discipline problems are caused by lack of preparation, attitudes towards students and inadequate training in discipline techniques. Using your students' preferred learning methods, such as visual, kinesthetic or auditory, might help engage them. Avoiding wanting your students to like you and not punishing the entire class for one student's misdeeds can help get a teacher back on track and in control of her classroom.
Lack of Home-Based Support
Some students misbehave in the classroom as a way to get their parents' attention. Let's face it---negative attention is better than no attention in many children's eyes. Other indicators of this type of problem are a student's lack of cleanliness, refusal to complete homework assignments and other signs of neglect. If you do not think a student's behavioural issues stem from a learning disorder, physical problems or psychological problems, consider scheduling a parent-teacher conference as soon as possible.
Many children act out in the classroom because they are not physically comfortable. They might have vision problems and cannot read the chalkboard, or they may not be able to hear the questions. They may not be aware of their physical problem and act out in an attempt to avoid embarrassment in front of their peers. If you think this may be the issue, send them to the school nurse for assessments.
Psychological problems are often at the root of bad behaviour in the classroom, and they are not always easy to remedy. Some issues, such as Tourette syndrome are easily identifiable. Students may have anxiety disorders or depression problems that they try to hide with bad behaviour. Sometimes this type of problem is caused by abuse, and you should immediately involve the school counsellor or psychologist if this is suspected.
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