Scripts to Role Play on Classroom Behavior

Understanding student behavior is an essential task for a teacher.

Teachers can role play with other teachers to practice dealing with negative classroom behavior. This technique is especially helpful for new teachers who need guidance and advice on how to handle themselves and challenging students. As the teacher and authority figure in the classroom, the key is to practice frequently. With experience, teachers will learn to handle any kind of situation and utilize effective strategies to keep an even class flow and also keep students engaged in learning.

1 Bored or Disinterested Student

Many times, teachers will encounter the bored or disinterested student in class. These types of students usually show their boredom by slouching, not making eye contact, doodling or yawning. Role playing what to do with this type of student helps teachers (especially new ones) on how to constructively deal with this type of student. It is also important for the teacher not to take this behavior personally. Use two teachers to enact the scenarios below--the experienced teacher should be the bored student who exhibits the characteristics and motivations of a bored student.

First, the teacher should find out from the student what is boring about the subject matter. This is important because other students may be feeling the same way. If the delivery or the lesson is actually boring, then the teacher could quickly modify the lesson to engage the student(s) more. The teacher can find out by asking the student at different points in the lesson to participate. Using phrases, "Is this clear?" and "Does anyone have any questions?" Letting the student repeat a part of a sentence such as "The first month of the year is---" where the student repeats the word.

Next, the teacher should attempt to engage the student by either asking for help at the board, acting out a part of the lesson or by repeating or filling in words while the teacher delivers the lecture. Also, moving closer to the student encourages him to pay attention and perk up. Asking the student to come to the board to work on a problem is helpful. When doing this, stand at the board and help the student work out the problem in a casual way to keep the student relaxed. Make sure that you are not turning your back to the class. One technique is to stop the student after a few steps, explain the steps to the class (take questions if necessary) and then ask the student to go on. This technique draws the student into the lesson by making him an active participant in actually "teaching" the subject to the class.

2 Distracting Student

The distracting student is one that engages in distracting behaviors that disturb you or other students around him in class. Behaviors such as chewing gum loudly, eating food, combing hair, putting lotion on the body, answering a cell phone or laughing loud all seem harmless but are actually detrimental to class flow. Role play these situations and practice a constructive response to each one. The experienced teacher should act as the distracting student in the classroom. The goal here for the teacher is to correct the student's behavior and to keep the class moving.

First, the teacher should let the student know that she noticed the behavior. This acknowledgement should be done subtly by giving a disapproving look or a hand gesture indicating that the student should stop doing the behavior. The idea here is to make the correction casual so as to still encourage the student to stay engaged in the class and also to not to further distract the rest of the students from the lesson. If the student does not get the subtle hint that the behavior is inappropriate, then walk over to the student and whisper a correction or by asking the student to put the item away or to stop doing the behavior. For younger children, you can just take the item away or correct their behavior. For instance, if a younger child does not put his work away, simply walk the child back over to the work and guide him to put the work away.

3 Attention-Getting Student

Some students want attention when in class settings. They will attempt to get other students to look at them or engage them in laughter by making jokes, talking when teachers turn her backs or by dropping items on the floor. Practice each of these scenarios with a more experienced teacher acting as the attention-getting student.

The teacher's goal in dealing with this type of student is to firmly correct the behavior immediately and discourage the student in continuing this distraction. The teacher should firmly tell the student to stop and issue a warning. The warning should be specific such as "Jimmie, stop talking out of turn or you will get a demerit." If the student continues, then the teacher should give the demerit and warn again. This time the teacher should explain the ramifications of the punishment such as "OK, I am giving you another demerit and one more means detention." If the student insists on the behavior, then he should be removed from class. For younger children, this means removal from class activities such as placing the child in a corner. Class should then resume as normal.

4 Overly Excited Student

The over excited student is the one who has a lot of energy but can't control it while in a class setting. Some students will fidget in their seats, tap their pens excessively, raise their hands excessively or speak out of turn. While most of this behavior starts out as somewhat harmless, it can quickly become a nuisance and disturb the teacher and other students in the class. The difference between this behavior and disturbing behavior is that it is usually not done maliciously. Teachers should practice gently discouraging the behavior that is not constructive and encouraging the behavior that is good for the entire class.

To deal with overly excited students, teachers need to discourage this behavior without discouraging the student to still participate in class. Excitable students need help in controlling their behaviors and so teachers should discourage the behavior while in class by asking the students to stop and getting the students actively involved in the lecture. The students can become helpers, help with lessons and act as peer leaders to other students.

Patricia Smith Michaels has been writing business and technology articles online since 2010. She has written instructional manuals and white papers for corporations and has more than 20 years of experience as a researcher and consultant in the areas of health care, education and management. She holds a Master of Business Administration in management and a Bachelor of Science in computers from St. John's University.