Why Children Misbehave in the Classroom

Written by Dan

Last updated

It is a common occurrence in any classroom: children misbehaving. It can be anything from talking out of turn to outright defiance and disruption. As teachers, it can be frustrating and sometimes disheartening when we see this happening in our classrooms. So why do children behave this way? And more importantly, what can we do to help them?

They are bored

It’s no secret that children misbehave. But many people don’t realize that children will often misbehave in the classroom because they are bored. When children do not have enough stimulus in the classroom to keep them engaged, then often they will resort to mucking around.

This can be disruptive to the learning environment and frustrating for both teachers and students. One way to combat this issue is to ensure the classroom is interactive and engaging. Incorporating games, activities, and lively discussions will help to keep children focused and help them learn more effectively.

Fundamentally our teaching needs to meet the class’s needs, and if the course requires us to be full of singing and dancing, then that is what we will do to get the job done. Remember that children learn in very different ways, so keeping the class engaged and entertained will require you to be a comedian, dancer, juggler, and the rest!

They do not understand

Children will often misbehave in the classroom because they do not understand what is being taught. I have countless children in my school who switch off when they see something on the whiteboard that they do not understand.

Part of the problem can be that they are lazy and do not want to put effort into learning. However, I believe most of the blame lies with the teachers. Teachers will often try to teach a concept without first Checking to see if the children have a basic understanding of the building blocks.

As a result, the children become quickly lost and frustrated, leading to disruptive behaviour. To ensure that all children can learn and behave in the classroom, teachers need to take a step back and ensure that every child has a strong foundation before moving on to more complex concepts. Only then will we see an improvement in behaviour and learning in our classrooms.

Problems at home

One of the most common reasons why children misbehave in the classroom is because of problems at home. Issues such as poverty, family conflict, and poor housing can all lead to big distractions in the school.

The biggest issue that I see, however, is tiredness. Children who come to school tired often cannot focus on their work, which can lead to disruptive behaviours. In addition, fatigue can lead to boredom, further contributing to misbehaviour.

To help address this problem, teachers need to be aware of the signs of fatigue in their students. If a child appears to be struggling with fatigue, it may be necessary to give them a break or take a nap. By accepting these measures, teachers can help reduce the likelihood that problems at home will lead to misbehaviour in the classroom.

Communication with parents is critical at this stage. Speak with parents to let them know how their child is behaving in class, and maybe you will gain some extra information you did not know before. Perhaps the family is having building work done, and your child has to sleep in another room with an older sibling who stays up late.

Remember to look at the bigger picture.

Special Educational Needs

It is estimated that up to 15% of school-aged children have some form of particular educational need, yet many of these children struggle to access learning in the classroom. There are several reasons for this, but often it is because the work in class has not been appropriately differentiated to meet their needs.

As a result, these children can become disengaged and may start to misbehave. This is not because they are trying to be disruptive but because they are struggling to keep up with the rest of the class. If more effort were made to adapt classroom learning, these children would be more likely to succeed. In turn, this would reduce the school’s disruption and allow all pupils to reach their full potential.

The way that works is differentiated and will depend on the child’s needs. The spectrum of the market is vast, and how one child reacts will be very different from how another child reacts.


The Environment

It’s no secret that children can be naughty, especially when they’re bored or feel like they’re not being challenged. However, there may be a deeper reason behind a child’s seemingly deviant behaviour in the classroom. In some cases, a child may find the learning environment to be challenging to be in.

This could be due to noise level, lack of restorative material, or simple restlessness. If a child struggles to learn in a particular setting, it’s essential to identify the issue and find a solution.

Otherwise, the child may continue to act out to get attention or relieve boredom. With some understanding and patience, we can help every child reach their full potential in the classroom.

One of the methods to help with distractions is to provide a structure for the day. Having a schedule with specific activity times can help children focus on the task.

Additionally, it can be helpful to create a quiet work space free from distractions like noise and movement. Finally, it is essential to encourage breaks throughout the day. This will allow children to take a break from their work and return refreshed and ready to focus again.

By using these techniques, young children can learn to manage distractions better and improve their academic performance.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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