Does Poor Classroom Management Affect a Child's Behavior?

by Jennifer Zimmerman Google

    A child's behavior at school can be affected by many circumstances, including lack of sleep, lack of nutrition, family issues, temperament, neurological issues and the environment he is in. According to research cited in the book "Classroom Management That Works," the teacher is a critical element in student achievement. The book analyzes large groups of studies to show that effective classroom management reduces the number of disruptions 28 percent to 40 percent. So, poor classroom management means more disruptions and more behavior problems.

    One way to show poor classroom management is to be prepared. For example, after a lesson on addition, a teacher might want to hand out worksheets for the children to practice independently. If the teacher can't find them, the class must sit and wait. The teacher isn't observing closely as he looks for the worksheets, so children have the opportunity to talk, poke each other or throw paper airplanes. If the teacher had been able to immediately hand out the worksheets, they would not have had the opportunity to misbehave.

    Teachers who manage their classrooms effectively know what materials and activities are appropriate for their students. Students who are given material that is too difficult for them, suggests a web page on the Yale University website, are likely to act out instead face failure. When the material is too easy, they will become bored and more likely to find disruptive ways to entertain themselves. Because all students in a classroom aren't at the same level, a good classroom manager modifies assignments so they are appropriate for each student. A poor classroom manager will have behavior problems from students who are avoiding failure or who are bored.

    Imagine trying to drive on a highway if you had no idea what the speed limit was or how turn signals worked. You might speed or drive too slowly, or get into an accident while merging. The classroom works the same way. If a teacher doesn't show children how to follow the rules and procedures, or doesn't even have a clear set of rules and procedures, a child can misbehave without even intending to do so.

    Another way poor classroom management can affect a child's behavior is by rewarding negative behavior. If the teacher only pays attention to the students who misbehave and never praises the students who make good choices, more students will make bad choices to get the teacher's attention. Good classroom managers focus on positive behavior and reward students for making good choices.

    About the Author

    Jennifer Zimmerman is a former preschool and elementary teacher who has been writing professionally since 2007. She has written numerous articles for The Bump, Band Back Together, Prefab and other websites, and has edited scripts and reports for DWJ Television and Inversion Productions. She is a graduate of Boston University and Lewis and Clark College.

    Photo Credits

    • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images