Teaching can be very challenging at times, especially in a classroom setting. There are so many possible distractions and the classroom can be very chaotic. It is already difficult enough to hold a great number of students in one room, but it becomes even more difficult when one or some of them have challenging behaviours.

In the classroom, there are many different kinds of students. More often than not, there will be some students who are a challenge to work with. They tend to be the ones who cause distractions in class. This kind of situations often compromises the quality of learning for the other students. There is no one-method-fix-all solution when working with these children. As such, to help you with that, here are some strategies on how to work with them:

Pay Attention To Triggers

Children start displaying difficult behaviour when they are triggered by certain events. One very helpful way to manage such situations is to identify what are the possible triggers. By doing so, you are able to pre-empt when a tantrum might happen and take pre-emptive measures to prevent it from happening. For example, whenever a student gets hungry, he will become sulky and starts distracting the class. What you can do is schedule frequent breaks in between lessons. These breaks are also useful for the other students as well as it gives them a break from studying and gives them a chance to refresh their brains by walking around.

Understand Their Level Of Capability

Being aware of the child’s level of capability very important as it might be the reason why a child is misbehaving in class. There are times when a child might throw a tantrum as they are unable to understand the instructions that are being given due to the complexity of the task or the words being used. Knowing the extent of their skills and capability is important to avoid any form of misunderstanding between you and your perceived knowledge of the child’s behaviour. This could also help you to come up with various solutions like engaging a private tutor or requesting additional aid from the school to help them keep up with their school work.

Learn About The Student’s Background

Possessing an in-depth knowledge of the student’s learning journey is also beneficial. Ask about their performance from previous teachers, learn more about their family, their relationships at home, what kind of rewards are they partial to, and even what kind of consequences are they aware of. This comes in handy when working with the student in class.  You gain a better understanding of how to work with them, what possible difficulties they might encounter and what are the appropriate solutions that can be taken.

Observe Their Style Of Learning

Each student has a different style of learning. Some prefer reading words while others prefer drawing diagrams and mind maps to deepen their understanding of a concept. As mentioned before, there is no one-method-fix-all solution. Not all teaching methods are suitable for every student in class. As such,  they start to lose interest as they are unable to follow along with the class. One way around it is to employ various learning styles in your lessons so you are able to engage every student in class.

Build A Relationship With Them

Build a relationship with them so that they become more comfortable with you. This could help them to be more open and cooperative in class. Students with challenging behaviours are often misunderstood, neglected and perceived as annoying by their peers and therefore, are often loners in class. However, these children need only require a little more patience and love from those around them. If you have a comfortable relationship with them, they will be more open and receptive when you teach them different methods to help them manage their behaviours. It will be difficult and trying at times but the benefits will be worth it.



Crowe, C. (2010). Teaching Children with Challenging Behavior. In Educational Leadership (pp. 65-67). ASCD.