Common misbehavior of children in a classroom

Written by lauralee moss
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Common misbehavior of children in a classroom
Minimising classroom misbehavior benefits the entire class. (books and apple. image by mashe from

Student misbehavior is bothersome, but more importantly, it prevents the teacher from teaching and children from learning. Children exhibit misbehavior in the classroom when they do not clearly understand expectations, grasp or feel consequences or are bored. Learn to identify common misbehavior problems and why students act out. Then decide the best correction for situations.

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Chatting with friends or talking out of turn disrupts classrooms. Activity and excitement from outside of class carries over to the classroom. Other students may not totally be aware they are talking out of turn.

Quickly and decisively addressing a talker can stop the situation. Creating a new seating chart separates the two most talkative students. Speaking to chatty students individually sometimes helps as well. One may surprise her teacher by admitting peer pressure with talking.

Not Focusing

Daydreaming, not working and ignoring class discussions are common misbehavior of children in a classroom. Sometimes students are unsure of what is happening in class, so they act out to avoid the embarrassment of asking or looking confused.

Refocus students if they start to wander, before the situation worsens. Clarify classroom expectations and re-explain the current project's goals and instructions. Ask him to repeat back what you just said. This will allow the teacher to correct any misunderstandings. If a student persistently cannot focus, be sure a more serious, underlying problem does not exist.


Cheating is another common misbehavior. Students pass notes, copy directly off papers, complete a peer's assignment and plagiarise. These are all serious offences, and must be dealt with on two levels. One, cheating hurts the cheater because she is not learning the material. Additionally, cheating jeopardises the positive atmosphere in the classroom.

Teachers must proactively explain the problems with cheating so students understand the rules and serious consequences. Review rules as necessary throughout the school year. If appropriate, incorporate lessons about cheating into teaching units.


Students may purposely ignore requests to put books or supplies away or disregard safety rules. A student may also begin to argue with his teacher about her requests. A teacher must address disobedience quickly, or the bandwagon effect will influence other students. Keep calm and do not yell. Redirect the student and, if necessary, remove him from the situation so he can calm down.

Always contact parents before a situation spans across multiple class periods. Ask them to speak to their child and ask for insight.

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