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Parenting & Education in Ireland

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Parenting & Education

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Five Types of

Challenging Behaviour

Every Teacher Finds

in the Classroom



Teachers face many different challenges in the classroom. Disruptive and disrespectful behaviour however cannot be tolerated. Here are some of the types of challenging behaviour that teachers may encounter in the classroom.


1) The Chatterbox

Talking in class when a lesson is being taught is disrespectful to both the teacher and the other students. It is important for students to understand that this behaviour is unacceptable and rude. There are a number of ways to stop the chattering but isolating the student or ordering them to stop will only cause resentment. Rather than using negative forms of correction, simply stop speaking and wait for the talking to cease. Once this has happened, direct a thank you and a smile towards the students who were inturrupting.



2) The Alpha


Teachers may often encounter a power struggle with certain students who refuse to do any work or cooperate in any way. Don't be dragged into this power play. Give the student a clear choice of either doing the work or not doing the work and facing the consequences. This could include missing out on free time or fun activities. This way, you are putting the responsibility on the student to make the right choice. When they do start to do their work, make sure to acknowledge their good behaviour with smiles and encouragment.




3) The Argumentative


Being contradicted by a student is another form of power play which must be nipped in the bud immediately. Try not to be sucked into an argument while also not completely disregarding the students opinion. Defiant students may feel the need to assert themselves even more when they are presented with opposition. Instead, calmly explain that this is not the right time to have that discussion and move on. If the student persists, suggest an after class discussion of the problem. Remember to encourage curiosity and questioning in your students while still remaining in control of the class.


4) The Brooder


Having a moody or brooding student is a distraction for the teacher also. It is important to have a discussion with the student as soon as you notice this behaviour, especially if it is out of character or a sudden change. Have a descrete discussion with the student after class to try and get to the root cause of the problem. There may be issues at home, bullying or other problems going on in the student's life that may be getting them down. It is your call whether or not the behaviour is worrying enough to notify the parents.




5) The Clinger


A student who constantly calls for your assistance may be doing so out of the need for attention or may genuinely not be able to understand the task at hand. It is your job to properly evaluate the situation and assess if there may be a learning disability involved. If you do feel that it is a cry out for attention then you will have to make the student more dependent on their own. When they ask you to explain a task for the second time, tell them that they can ask the student beside them. Encourage them to attempt the work before calling for your assistance and give your note of approval when the work is done properly.




The information and advice above are only general guidelines for teachers and every educational professional should always rely on their own experience before they discipline a student. If you are a teacher and you have some advice you would like to share, then please comment below.




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