Behaviors That Children Display in the Classroom

A classroom can't run efficiently if students don't behave appropriately. Teachers have a hard time focusing on lesson plans if some children in the class are constantly causing disruptions. In some cases, the behavior might indicate a mental health condition, such as ADHD, and in others children simply act out for attention or because they're bored. Misbehavior might also be because they don't understand the material being taught, according to the Intervention Central website.

Physical Actions

Some children act out by putting their hands or other body parts on other students. This can be distracting for the student being touched as well as those around him. In some cases, the child is behaving badly on purpose by hitting, kicking or poking another child. In other instances, the behavior might have good intentions, such as one child putting his arms around another student. The behavior is likely still distracting and inappropriate in the classroom 5. Some students might verbally threaten teachers or other students before putting their hands on them, according to California State University 1.

Undermining Authority

Children often like to see how far they can go before they are punished. In school, some students might undermine the teacher's authority, either occasionally or on a regular basis. Students may do this if they get a bad grade or if they are called on to answer a question they don't have an answer for. Other times, students might just enjoy debating with the teacher, notes California State University 1. This behavior might spark a lively discussion, but gets the other students off topic and can interfere with the learning environment if it happens all the time.

Side Conversations

It is a rare classroom that doesn't have side conversations going on during instruction time. Maybe the teacher says something that sparks a student to tell a similar tale to a friend or maybe the topic is confusing and students discuss quietly in an effort to better understand the material. In any case, side conversations in the classroom can distract other students as well as make the teacher lose her train of thought. If a teacher has to repeatedly stop and redirect talking students, she might not be able to get through the lesson for the day.


No teacher can make a student learn, but children who display inattentiveness by wandering the classroom, calling out, repeatedly getting up for a drink or to sharpen a pencil, or talking over the teacher and other children can negatively affect the learning environment. In fact, this type of behavior is one of the top types of behaviors that causes concern to teachers, according to the Economic and Social Research Council. It gets in the way of concentration on the part of students and effective instruction on the part of the teacher.