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Ask an expert: Classroom behaviour

Author: Canadian Living

Family

Ask an expert: Classroom behaviour

Q: My son's teacher tells me he is more interested in socializing than doing work. Is there anything I can do to help solve this or should I leave it up to the teacher?

A: Does this mean that he is disrupting others and interrupting their work as well? If so, this is a classroom management issue and up to the teacher to deal with. Ask the teacher what strategies she or he has used to address the concern.

However, it's also important to ask your son his perspective on the teacher's concern and to try to encourage him to think of some strategies that might work to keep him focused.

Ask him what kind of socializing he thinks he does in class -- maybe he thinks it is valid and not excessive. Chatty kids need to be able to "talk" through ideas and questions in groups. You may need to advocate for more opportunities for those sorts of learning opportunities.

Is there too much teacher talk and not enough activity to keep him interested? Not much you can do about that. Often kids that chat and "carry on" fooling around with their friends are not engaged in the learning task and this is where I would go for the root cause.

What is he interested in and how can that interest be harnessed so he will be more engaged? In what classes is this behaviour the biggest problem? Maybe the work is too hard or too easy for him. In this case a discussion with your son and his teacher might be in order. In fact a parent-teacher-student conference might be the best place to start. Listen to your son first in preparation for the conference so you can advocate for him.

When kids are really interested in what is going on, classroom management issues disappear. Too often it is the dance and not the dancer!

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Ask an expert: Classroom behaviour

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