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Why Students Act Out

Learn some common reasons students act out from education consultant Grace Dearborn in this Howcast video.


From my perspective, students act out because they feel unsafe in some way in the classroom. And while you might not have been the source of them feeling unsafe, you've inherited that feeling and when they don't trust adults to come through for them to be safe and structured and consistent, to hold them accountable for their behavior and their progress, but without beating up on them, or humiliating them, or being confrontational with them, when they don't trust us to do that for them, they act out in class. There might be a lot of things behind that that we can't do anything about. Their home situation might be awful and there's really nothing we can do about that, but there are things that we can do for them in our classroom. And where we wanna start is by thinking about how we can be safe, structured and consistent. The number one thing I would say related to that is don't yell at kids. Don't be sarcastic with kids. Yelling and sarcasm, these things only make students feel less safe and less like we're on their side when they're already clearly struggling with issues outside of school, or they wouldn't be acting that way in school. So, assume the best about your students. They wanna do better, they don't wanna be acting out, they don't wanna be misbehaving and they need our help to figure out how they can work with us without having to display those behaviors in order to get our attention or do well in our classes.

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