Dealing with Students Considered Troublemakers

The problem of deviant student behavior in public schools has always been a concern for teachers, the schools’ management, as well as parents. Troublemaking students not only compromise the classroom learning process, but they also distract and demoralize teachers from their profession. Indeed, just a few students can be considered troublemakers, but their impact is felt in the wider community.

Deviant behavior by high school students is characterized by cheating, speaking rudely to teachers, disregarding deadlines, using cell phones in class, engaging in fights, and threatening the teacher and other students. Although most teenagers are prone to delinquent behavior in high school, most of them become responsible if early intervention is forthcoming.

An effective way of dealing with troublemaking students in high school is to consider placing them in a behavioral program. A qualified counselor makes the students aware of their behavior in this early intervention approach. Brophy (2003) explains that students will learn new ways of adjusting their behavior. This way, a student is no longer a threat to the teachers and fellow students. Behavioral programs can be effective if the student actively participates in it for a substantial period.

Another approach is to encourage students to be responsible for their learning. Sorcinelli (1991) explains that in larger classrooms, as may be the case in public schools, some students may feel disengaged from the learning process. This may cause them to participate in classroom incivility. However, a teaching approach where the students participate in the learning process encourages troubled students to take additional responsibility.

Finally, parents or guardians play a significant role in correcting the problem of deviant student behavior. Some parents may leave the work to the school management and others advocate for a zero-tolerance policy towards student indiscipline. However, Greene (2009) explains that a zero tolerance policy only serves to increase student’s deviance. Instead, parents should take time to advise their children to identify unresolved issues.

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