Student Classroom Misbehavior-Tips and Techniques

We are unique individuals. We have unique capacity and capability to grow in life. In fact, nobody is inferior and nobody is superior in the world. We face this reality in real life situation. Handling kids in classroom is really a challenging job for teachers. We meet a group of mix students in a classroom. Each student is king of his own nature. He behaves in the class according to his nature. Teacher fixes some class rules for his students for the smooth functioning of class which ensures quality teaching learning process. What happens when a child modifies some class rules for his own interest? How does a teacher handle this problem? How does he modify a child behavior? What happens when a child performs all duties on time but sometimes overrule teacher’s instruction?

Individual teacher has different perspectives to handle classroom problems. Which behaviors should be considered as student misbehavior? There is a thin layer difference between good and bad behavior. People interpret different behaviors on different parameter at different occasions. It means a student behavior at one place is acceptable but another place same behavior is not acceptable due to various personal, societal and cultural problems.

We always see through our own spectacles. We always interpret what we want to interpret. Have we checked the emotional level of other person before labeling a behavior as misbehavior? Mr. Tappu studies in class 4th in a reputed CBSE affiliated school in a small town of Uttar Pradesh. He is an intelligent student of his class. He completes his class work and home work on time. He replies to his teacher questions in the class. He is a little bit more active in the class in other words naughty. It has been observed from last two years that he has strong desire to sit in front of teacher (1st student bench of any row). Class teacher changes students’ seat in an interval but Tappu always tries to sit on his favorite seat or after sometimes he manages to come at first student bench. Teacher counseled him. It is common incident with Tappu. Do you think this is misbehavior? If it is counted as misbehavior then what action should be taken against him? If it is counted as his passion and his impulsive desire then what corrective measures should be taken? He always obeys his teacher but two things he always love to do i.e. (a) sitting on 1st bench (b) reaching to school bus firstly at departure time. Other aspects of his behavior is that when teacher finds guilty of other misconduct, he says innocently, ma’am he(other student) supported to do this/ other also committed same mistakes. Do we need to differentiate among these 3 observations? Do we need to consider all 3 observations on same ground?

When we minutely observe the boy, we found that sitting on first student bench and running fast at departure time to get front seat was his impulsive behavior. He does not harm others’ while doing so? He has been scolded and reprimanded on various occasions for doing this activity. I was personally watching him. It is amazing that he admits his fault. He tries to modify his behavior but the outcome of his behavioral change fluctuated in an interval.

Mr. Tappu is not an aggressive and harmful student. He is not even aware that he is committing a mistake. School caters the need and interest of one and all students in the classroom and at the campus. Firstly we develop self awareness and an understanding to know other student’s right to sit in front of teacher and take seat besides driver. Gradually he realized the importance and rights of other classmates. He tried to modify his behavior but intrinsically he aspires for the same. We used same corrective measures repeatedly (1) showing empathy (2) being compassionate with him (3) fixing his seat with strict order and everything was as usual since it was not such a big issue. Notwithstanding we were very clear that Mr. Tappu should not carry this negative habit for a long time so we were trying our best to correct it on different level. It may be possible that this mild behavior can be converted into an aggressive nature to do something. We never used to miss an opportunity of observing, praising and reprimanding him.

One day an amazing incident occurred in the morning assembly. We were talking on characteristics of a good person.  We should polish our shoes on daily basis and also discussed all essential qualities of a good student. Mr. Tappu’s shoes were shining. I called him to stand in front of all students. Although, he was a confident student however he was little nervous. He was not aware the reason for standing i.e. (for punishment/for praise). I asked students to clap for him for his shining shoes. Then, he gained his confidence. Ok, it was good for him. Since, we used to scold and reprimand him on various occasions for various silly mistakes in the classroom. I went to his class and once again surprised him. I called him on teacher’s teaching platform. I asked him, “Why did I call you? He was really confused whether it was punishment and praise for him. I embraced and patted him for his well polished shoes before classmates. We did not know, “ how did he perceive this act”  but since then Mr. Tappu is most obedient boy in the class, neither he changes his  seat and tries to come on first bench, nor he runs fast at departure time to reserve his favorite front seat in the school bus.

We use various techniques to modify child misbehavior. Empathy is one of the greatest virtues to handle student misbehavior in the school premises. Wise teacher initiates corrective measure at early stage. No behavior is permanent. Human beings’ behavior is always at a flux. We learn and also relearn it. Our behavior can be modified at any stage of life. It may take time for behavioral modification but it is certain that student’s misbehavior can be corrected at any moment of life if he comes in contact with a wise teacher.

Wise teacher takes necessary action at early stage of student’s misbehavior because it is very easy to correct it but when a student becomes rigid and stringent, it may be hard for teacher to change it in a short span of time. Students’ misbehavior can be corrected and modified no matter how much stringent and rigid. It may take a little longer time. We should avoid those situations and circumstances in the classroom due to which a child becomes rigid to repeat act of misbehaving in the classroom.

When we train a mind, mind becomes rational; when we train a heart human being becomes humane. (जब हम एक मन को प्रशिक्षित करते हैं, तो मन तर्कसंगत बन जाता है, जब हम दिल को प्रशिक्षित करते हैं, तो इंसान मानव हो जाता है।) Wise teacher trains simultaneously students’ mind and heart. Let us! Be wise to become a good teacher who trains students to be a good human being.


Rajeev Ranjan

Indian Educationist

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