Stop Letting Disruptive Students Steal Everyone Else’s Education
If you’ve ever been in a classroom setting, whether as a student, teacher, parent, or administrator, you have probably witnessed an all too common phenomena: one or two students who have no desire to learn behave disruptively, ignore and disobey the rules and the instructor, and ultimately negatively impact the learning and even the safety of the environment for everyone else in the room.
Teachers already wear so many hats – they create lesson plans, enforce discipline, tutor, come up with new ways to share information when lessons aren’t working, interact with parents, and much, much more. On top of all this, now teachers in many schools face violence, threats, shouting, and other forms of abuse from their students – and there is nothing they can do about it. This article will discuss what constitutes a disruptive student, why it is so detrimental to everyone in the classroom, and what has to change.
What is a disruptive student?
Unless you have been an educator or student in a classroom with truly disruptive students, it can be difficult to understand the deep effect they have on learning for the entire class. A disruptive student is not just one who chats or passes notes during class, although this does constitute rule-breaking and misbehavior. The disruptive students this article refers to are the ones who threaten teachers or other students, shout and scream at the teacher or other students in the class, or are so loud and aggressive that it makes classroom learning impossible and even unsafe. Stories from educators like this one are all too common. Yes, this is really what many teachers deal with on a daily basis, at all grade levels.
What makes disruptive students so harmful to learning?
When one student requires the full and immediate attention of the teacher, it becomes impossible to continue the lesson. This becomes a greater drain on classroom time when there or more disruptive students or more frequent interruptions. It is simply impossible to continue teaching over a screaming or violent student and stopping the lesson to implement disciplinary actions (such as instructing the student to switch seats, taking them into the hallway for a one-on-one discussion, or calling for an administrator).
Not only does it make it impossible for other students to learn, but it can also make them feel unsafe coming to class or school. School is supposed to be a safe environment for children, but teachers simply are not given the support they need to ensure this safety, nor should they have to be the only ones responsible for correcting this behavior. According to this article, many qualified teachers transfer schools or leave their jobs due to unacceptable, outrageous behavior from students.
What has to change?
Teachers cannot be the only ones responsible for defending not only the education but also the safety of themselves and other students from overly disruptive students. Parents, administrators, social workers, and others need to support teachers so they are able to do their jobs. According to this article, the lack of support is the main reasons teachers quit or change schools. Students have all the rights in the classroom, not the teachers, and disruptive students know this and take advantage of it. The education system is failing teachers and students by keeping these students in a typical classroom setting.