Common Behavior Issues and How to Reframe Them
Tardiness and absences: Teachers may believe that tardiness to class is the outcome of lazy, unmotivated or apathetic students and parents. In reality, there may be a host of factors contributing to your students’ tardiness or absences.
Some students are dealing with unstable situations at home and it is important that we begin to understand what obstacles our students face in making it to school each day. Rather than reacting with disciplinary measures, try opening up an honest and sensitive dialogue with your students to see what’s really going on and how you may be able to help.
Calling out of turn: It can be irritating to try to maintain order in the classroom when students are calling out of turn. Rather than viewing these behaviors as defiant, you can think about your students’ behavior as an extension of that in their home and social lives. When a student feels comfortable, he may feel that he is participating in a conversation.
Rather than punishing this behavior, try to promote more in-class opportunities for student participation and engagement. Instead of seeing the outbursts as disrespectful, realize that your students may be in need of some attention or may be enthusiastic to participate and join the conversation.
Homework non-compliance: Over the years, I have heard teachers air their frustrations about students not coming to class prepared. Whether they are missing pencils, textbooks or assignments, these students may impress a serious degree of apathy upon their teachers.
Rather than accepting this behavior as a sign of apathy, consider what children may have going on outside of school, including family obligations and even long hours working for older students.
What other behaviors do you see in your classroom, and how can you reframe them in order to view your students in a positive light? Thinking outside of the box is essential, and can really open up the possibility for positive relationships and a caring climate in your classroom.