Praxis II Preparation

Students will tend to cause disruptions in class for a number of reasons. In most cases, it may be due to natural loss of concentration. In Adam’s case, according to Mr. Potter, it was a way of getting attention, a cry for help. However, he chose to ignore his behavior in the hope that he may tire himself out or just get bored. Thompson et al (2010) explains that a need to be pleasing to others is necessary in order to avoid rejection and that one’s survival depends on whether people love them. This is the reason why Adam is always entertaining the class so that his approval rating is always high. The teacher’s resolution to ignore Adam could be justifiable. Johnson (2011)   says that if one has a short temper, the students will take advantage of one’s short fuse. Since his misbehavior occurred repeatedly, it was a signal that he needed help.  The teacher should have inquired about Adam’s situation at home. This could be cause of his poor performance and stubborn behavior. If Mr. Potter felt that he was not a qualified counselor to help Adam, he could have sent him to the school’s counselor or psychologist.

The act of sending Adam to the office should have been the last resort. The office was busy, and the principal may not have given his case the full attention it deserved. Johnson (2011) argues that principals do not always support their teachers. One can assume that the teacher just slapped him on the wrist and sent him back to class. That is why he was quiet for just a day and was back to his disruptive behavior the next day because to him the punishment seemed light.

What normally occurs with sending a student routinely to the office is that it forms a cycle whereby the student sees the teacher as the cause of the problem. The student does the punishment given by the principal, comes back to class angry or amused and ready to start the cycle again. This will end in Adam missing valuable hours or even days from your class or other subjects.

Once one has understood the cause for misbehaving, one can put it in perspective. One can also identify a way for corrective action to prevent future recurrences. Adam’s problem seems to sprout during a writing assignment. He may be having a problem and it would be better if the teacher stands next to him to see if he needs any assistance. Nilson (2010) argues that the classiest way to handle a student in a situation like this is to handle it with humor, even asking the student to share the conversation with the entire class.

Instead of reprimanding Adam publicly, he should consider calling him aside privately. Most students do not like embarrassment in front of their classmates and may still be rebellious even after receiving their punishment (Nilson, 2010). Johnson (2011) says that a more subtle way is dropping a behavior card during class so that one does not disrupt the others. Using other non-verbal messages such as staring may work since we all respond to body language more than words. Trying to shout over a misbehaving or rowdy student will only make them more excited or get even louder. Adam’s temerity to make a paper plane and fly it in class exemplifies this fact. If left unchecked such behavior may spread to the other students.

To stop this, Mr. Potter needs to draft a classroom conduct contract at the beginning of the semester in which students read and sign showing that they will adhere to the set rules. The students can also add to the contract listing what the norms in the classroom should be. This way, they also feel responsible and part of the system.  Finally, positive feedback will help improve Adam’s behavior. When he does behave appropriately, one should appreciate that there was notable improvement (Johnson, 2011).


Johnson, L., (2011). Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students By Their Brains. (2nd ed.). San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons.

Nilson, L. B., (2010). Teaching At Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors. (3rd ed.). San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons.

Thompson, C. L., & Henderson, D. A., (2010). Counseling Children. (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning

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