Common Behavior Problems and Solutions

Ever teacher will inevitably face numerous behavior problems during their career as a teacher. Learning new ways to handle these problems tactfully and effectively will make the classroom a more pleasant place for both the teacher and the other students.

What do I do if a Student is Swearing?

Some options for dealing with swearing in the classroom include ignoring the language, rephrase the statement with proper language, or have the student use dictionary to rephrase and improve language skills. Students can also be told to write an apology letter to the teacher or student to whom the swearing was directed.

How do I handle a student who hits?

When a student hits, it is important to protect the safety of everyone in the classroom. Sending the student to timeout may be appropriate for minor infractions, but for repeat offenders or for more serious actions, a trip to the Principal’s office may be in order. It may also be prudent to send a letter home or call the parent to make the parent aware of what is going on in class. Other consequences include the loss of recess and a written apology letter.

How do I handle teasing in the classroom?

While some teachers may find teasing a minor issue, it is in fact an important problem that some students need to be protected from. Teasing is a short step away from bullying and students who tease others do not often do so without some intent at malice. Having the student write an apology letter or give a verbal apology is a good start, but the loss of a privilege may also be in order to prevent the student from repeating the teasing.

How do I handle students who call out in class?

When students call out in class, it is often a lack of self-control, rather than a purposeful choice to break class rules. Calling out can be disruptive, though, so it is important for teachers to know how to handle it when a student forgets to raise his or her hand. Teachers can simply ignore the student until he remembers to raise his hand, or gently remind the students of the rules. Alternately, teachers can praise another student for remembering to raise his hand as a way to remind the entire class how to answer questions.

How often should students be allowed to go to the bathroom or get a drink?

Many students will learn that a teacher will allow them to go to the bathroom or get a drink whenever they ask, and thus abuse the privilege. To find out if the student truly needs to go to the bathroom, teachers can ask her to wait a moment or two (perhaps to wait until an activity has ended). If the student asks again at the end of the activity, the odds are that the child does need to go to the bathroom.

Teachers can limit the water breaks to between activities or other specified times during the day except in very rare instances. It is important to remember that these issues require a judgment call and that the teacher in the classroom needs to step up and be in charge, making an executive decision instead of allowing students to disrupt the class.

Do you have a classroom issue not answered here? Leave a comment!

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2 comments

  1. Geneva Ross says:

    I have a student( 3rd grader), who has difficulties focusing on completing and doing classroom assignments. He has a moment of moving his head from side to side. His is very disruptive attitude, by running to be the first in line.

    Parent was called in, trying to get more information on the male student. but mom does not have interest in taking her son to the doctor. Mom laughs when ask about homework, she replied, “Oh yes, it at home, Yah yah!”‘

  2. jenniferw says:

    Geneva, Thanks for sharing your struggle with this student. It is always hard when the parent is not supportive and it sounds like this parent does not comprehend the importance of school. I would probably try making this student a special helper – giving some “important task” to help focus the student. You can also create a behavior plan for the student to see if that helps.

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