What Are the Causes of Classroom Discipline Problems?

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Handling discipline issues is one of the most taxing parts of a teaching job. Unfortunately, each discipline problem, like every student, is individual, stemming from a set of circumstances directly related to the child causing the problem. The best way to respond to a discipline problem in your classroom is to understand the root of the issue.

1 Problems at Home

Issues and stresses at home are a major reason for students to act out in class. If students are abused or neglected at home, their anger can boil over and lead them to disrupt your classroom. Students who come from homes where the parents are divorcing are also under duress and can act out in class as a way to deal with their fear and frustration. Acting out in class is a way students who feel helpless about their home situations feel like they still have some control.

2 Peers

Students who are bullied by their peers are also prone to discipline issues in the classroom. Although many students who are bullied become withdrawn in the classroom to prevent calling attention to themselves, others act out. Often students who bully are abused at home, leading them to lash out at their classmates. In rare cases, students lash out and attack their classmates in class or even their teacher.

3 Perception

If your student feels you don't like him, you're not protecting him or supportive of him, he could become a discipline problem in the classroom. Feelings of abandonment, lack of voice and depression affect students who feel like you don't care about them. Some students could have issues adjusting to your teaching style. Many teachers now differentiate lesson plans to include all types of learners. If you are not reaching a student, he could shut down and act out in class.

4 Disabilities

Children with learning disabilities can also sometimes be disruptive in class. These disabilities can be classified anywhere from attention deficit disorder (ADD) to autism and dyslexia. In most cases, students with learning issues require a specialized education plan to teach to their needs. Many students with learning disabilities are on medication that helps them focus. Occasionally, students forget their medicine and act out in class on those days.

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.