Harry Wong
Dec 2017
Vol 14 No 4

Purposefully Disruptive Students in the Classroom

By Stewart Brekke

While many hours and millions of dollars are spent on curricular and organizational reforms, teacher workshops, university courses and seminars, and penalizing teachers and administrators for low test scores by their students because of “bad teaching,” very little is done in dealing with non-productive students who are often purposefully  disruptive in the classroom in order to stop the teacher from teaching. Also, very little is done to ameliorate the poor environmental conditions which cause poor student performance and which cause behavior problems in the classroom such as violence in childrens’ lives and such as the detrimental effects of poverty and gang activity.

The “No Child Left Behind Act” does not address the effects of disruptive children in the classroom and instead concentrates only on teachers and test scores. For true improvement in the learning process to occur the problems of student disruptions in the classroom must also be addressed by the education and political elements of our society. In a Carnegie-Mellon website it is stated that problematic student behaviors are not only on the rise in the classroom, but in society as a whole. Even Jaimie Escalante, once called the “best teacher in America,” and his fellow AP Calculus teacher had purposeful disruptors in their classes.

We in the teaching profession all know that it takes just one disruptive student to destroy the learning that should take place in the classroom. New ways must be found to deal with disruptive students and many of the efforts of the education establishment for improving the school mentioned above are wasted unless this is effected. Unless ways are found to deal with purposefully disruptive students educational  improvement efforts by the legislature, the federal government and local city officials will come to little fruition.

Purposefully disruptive students must be removed immediately from the classroom and dealt with by the school administration so that the disruptive behavior will not occur again. In more affluent school settings there may be one disruptive student in the classroom, but in the inner city classroom there may be more than one disruptive student and this student  may coordinate with other students in the classroom to thwart the teacher’s efforts to teach and the other students to learn. Purposefully disruptive students can be in even classes for the “gifted”as well as more of these type students in lower level classes.

Disruptions may include purposefully talking out of turn, disrupting class by getting out of the proper seat without permission, dropping something or perhaps striking another student in order to generate a disruptive response by another student to interrupt the positive flow of the classroom and to prevent the classroom teacher from teaching.

Very often, the amount of teaching in the classroom depends upon the mix of students in the class. All it takes is a few troublemakers in the class to destroy good teaching. I saw a  fellow physics teacher spend over three solid hours perfecting a physics demonstration originally done by Galileo only to have the students constantly talk through the entire demonstration—it was if the three hours of preparation went for nothing. Sometimes, the students as a whole gang up



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This entry was posted on Saturday, March 1st, 2014 and is filed under *ISSUES, Mar 2014, Stewart Brekke. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.11 No.3 March 2014

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