The teaching environment in the classroom creates an entire set of challenges that are not truly faced in any other situation or career. Teachers are tasked with teaching, and at times there are students who are not interested in learning. This usually materializes in the form of disruptive student behavior. Handling those behavior problems is something that all teachers face, nearly every day they are teaching.
One of the biggest behavior challenge comes from the student who is just seeking attention. This student will do anything to get the focus on them. They may talk, they may throw things, they make make noise. They thrive when the attention is on them. The best way to deal with this behavior is to engage the student. Don’t try to embarrass the student, just get them more involved in the classroom discussion. Ask them specific questions about the topic and get them to help guide the topic. You can even suggest the student work on preparing and delivering part of the lesson to help them stay on-topic and this will help them thrive because the focus of the entire class will be on them.
Another behavior challenge faced by many teachers is that of the student who knows a lot and wants others to know they are smart. These students will often attempt to answer questions of other students, disrupting the class. They may also try and ask obscure questions of the teacher, attempting to trick the teacher. These students are usually quite smart and just need validation of their intelligence. Work with these students and ask them questions. Ask difficult questions. Challenge that student with questions that others won’t know. When starting a new topic, ask this student to share their knowledge about the topic with the class. This will give them an outlet for their intelligence and feed their need to be acknowledged, and will help the teacher work with the other students and determine what areas of knowledge need more emphasis.
Some students will be bored and even sleep in class. These students are often not doing it intentionally, but the student behavior must be dealt with. Talk with the individual student and see if a source of tiredness can be identified. Find out if this is a temporary problem. Attempt to find out if the student is receiving proper nutrition and meals, if possible, as lack of nutrition can lead to extra sleepiness. Then find ways to engage the student in the subject. Find out what the student enjoys and determine a way to involve that in the topic of the class. If a student is more engaged and excited by the class, they are more likely to stay awake and alert – and are more likely to retain information learned in the classroom.
Each class and each student is individual, and students will act differently in different circumstances. When you add a teacher and an entire classroom of other students, each classroom will have different dynamics and create different challenges for the teacher. But each challenge can be overcome by the teacher provided with the right tools, ideas, and support.