Having disruptive children in a class can be incredibly frustrating for teachers and students alike. The teacher is trying their best to keep control of the class and the students may want to learn, but they are being frequently interrupted by the disruptive child. There are many reasons a child might be disruptive in class.
The first most serious cause of disruptive behaviour is underlying mental health issues. Chemical imbalances in the brain or psychological conditions can all cause changes in behaviour, sometimes causing the child to act out and interrupt the class with their behaviour. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD can cause children to be easily distracted, have a short attention span and be physically restless. It is the most common behavioural disorder in the UK and it affects 2-5% of children. Another behavioural disorder that occurs mainly in children and teenagers is oppositional defiant disorder or ODD. If a child has this condition, they will be disruptive, rude, uncooperative and angry towards people. They will also be extremely argumentative, particularly to people in authority which means they will often argue with teachers, despite the fact that they know it is disrupting the class.
Probably the most common reason for disruptive behaviours is a need for attention, it does not matter what kind of attention the child gets, even negative attention is still attention to them. They disrupt the class because they need people to notice them and see how “clever” they are. Attention seeking behaviour is much less serious than a behavioural disorder, but it is also harder to remedy, but the more attention you give to this kind of behaviour, the worse it could get.
Feelings of inadequacy can lead to disruptive behaviour, if a child feels as though they are not as intelligent as the rest of the class and they may disrupt the other students. They may be struggling to keep up with the rest of the class and rather than admit it, they simply disrupt their classmates and their teacher.
If a child is dealing with problems at home, then sometimes they will become disruptive in order to divert attention away from that fact. They do not want anyone to discover what is wrong, so they act out and behave badly to distract people from what really is wrong.
Rebellion makes a child feel powerful in front of their classmates, having the power to bring a lesson to a standstill means that they are in control and doing so in front of their friends will lead to an increased social status. They may be seen as cool by their friends because they managed to frustrate the teacher and disrupt the class.
Identifying the cause of disruptive behaviour is the only way to eliminate it. Sit the child down and try to communicate with them, if necessary you can talk to their parents to see what their behaviour is like outside the school grounds.