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Post taken from our Discipline Help membership website.

I. BEHAVIOR: Specific attitudes and actions of this child at home and/or at school.

1. Continually disrupts class with wisecracks.

2. Will do or say anything to be in the spotlight.

3. Doesn’t know when to stop.

4. Has a smart-aleck response for everything that happens.

5. May even enjoy the attention of being reprimanded.

6. May actually be quite funny at times. This is a reality a teacher cannot overlook.

7. May be either a very bright or a very poor student.

8. Won’t quit until he/she gets attention. His/her behavior cannot be ignored. Tweet this

9. May be popular and gregarious.

10. Physically and mentally active.

11. Usually, emotionally immature.

12. Bothers other students—touching, grabbing, etc.

13. Not really a leader; may actually be a loner.

14. Too busy clowning to get work done in class.

15. Very peer-conscious.

16. Clowns to cover up for poor performance.

17. May be hyperactive.

18. Tries not to be serious—makes a joke out of everything.

19. Very insecure.

20. Often unprepared; doesn’t bring books or supplies to class.

II. EFFECTS: How behavior affects teachers, classmates, and parents in the school learning environment and the home family situation.

1. Attention of teacher and classmates is constantly diverted to this student’s clowning. Tweet this

2. Teacher is upset by his/her inability to channel this student’s energy constructively.

3. Teacher fears other children may begin clowning as well.

4. Teacher often becomes upset because this student is not working up to his/her potential.

5. Other students are prevented from concentrating.

6. Classmates are either entertained or disgusted by the behavior.

7. A real danger can be presented by such behavior in open equipment classes.

8. Often, classmates resent the fact that the teacher is spending so much time on this student.

9. Regaining attention is difficult because some kids linger on this student’s humor.

10. Creating a serious tone in the classroom is difficult.

III. ACTION: Identify causes of misbehavior, pinpoint student needs being revealed, and employ specific methods, procedures, and techniques at school and at home for getting the child to modify or change his/her behavior.

1. Primary cause of misbehavior:

  • Attention: This student desires attention at any price, and feels clowning is the only way he/she can get it.

2. Primary needs being revealed:

  • Sex/Sexuality: This person wants to establish relationships with people and is very unsure of how to go about it.
  • Escape from Pain: Situations at home or at school may be very painful, and this student may be hiding the pain by being the class clown.

3. Secondary needs being revealed:

  • Achievement: Sometimes the student’s inability to achieve in the academic world causes him/her to become the class clown.
  • Status: The class clown is saying, “Look, I’m somebody!” He/she seeks to feel worthwhile. Conversely, some of these students have high self-esteem and just like to entertain.

4. Remember, this student may not like the role of class clown. Help the student find a way out of this behavior, knowing he/she will pay any price for attention.

5. Become a member to view 13 other actions to take!

IV. MISTAKES: Common misjudgments and errors in managing the child which may perpetuate or intensify the problem.

1. Overreacting to this student’s behavior, both in personal conferences and in the classroom.

2. Become a member to view 9 other common mistakes!

Thought for the Week

AI can teach and share knowledge, sure, but it lacks the key elements of human modeling, nurturing, and connecting that are essential components of a comprehensive learning process.

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