• Welcome teachers! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Disruptive student, help please!

City Mouse

Senior Member
Hello Everyone!
Warning: This post is LONG!!
I am seeking advice about a particularly disruptive student in my classroom.
This child is rough, loud, and is quickly turning into a bully.
He does not listen, purposely does or says things to get the attention of everyone in the room(and everyone in the next 2 rooms!), and is VERY disrespectful to both myself and the other students.
To give just a few examples, when I call on another student to give an answer, he will shout out the answer to the question loudly to make sure he is heard before the student I called on gets a chance to answer. I have tried telling him that he was not called, I have told him to let the student I called answer...nothing works.
He makes very mean comments to and about other students.
He sits in our circle time and will do anything he can to disrupt the teaching time. He turns and talks to other students, touches or grabs them, and will not keep his hands off the toy shelf no matter how many times I tell him to stop.
He is also being a bully to one of the little girls in my room. He will grab her and try to pull her down, and he makes fun of the way she talks(she can't say yellow...she says lellow). Every time she says this word, he mocks what she just said. I have told him REPEATEDLY that this is mean and we do not make fun of people, but he will not stop. Today he was making fun of the picture she was making. We were gluing beans to the letter B and he was teasing her about her picture.
I haven't even begun to touch the surface of his behaviors, but suffice to say he is not making our room a pleasant environment!! I have tried everything I can think of. I have removed him from circle time and ignored his outbursts from the chair I put him in across the room, he flips his color card daily, he has had silent lunch, missed recess, I have talked to his parents repeatedly, I have had the principal talk to him about our school rules with me there...nothing has helped. He knows exactly what he is doing wrong. He can tell me that he doesn't listen, teases people, touches them...he says exactly what he has done wrong. However, he is still very purposely choosing to make poor choices.
Anyway, I am hoping that one of you wonderful people has some miracle ideas for me. :) I am at my wit's end with this child. I do not know what to do with him next! I have read Love and Logic, and love it, but even that does not seem to be working.
Help Please!!!!! :)
Last edited:


Senior Member
me too

i am anxious to see the responses, as i have a situation almost identical to this. the only difference is that mine is not defiant or bullying. Just VERY disruptive, and i've done all the things that you've mentioned.
I have moved his desk away from the other students because he hurts other kids because he's always trying to do acrobatics with his chair, etc.
it literally wears me out calling his name all day long.


Full Member
Hang in there! (long post too!)

I feel for you! Two years ago I had a little girl who would would refuse to follow simple directions, start yelling, singing in the middle of a lesson, throw tantrums if I refused to let her do what she wanted, physically throw chairs and other materials, run out of the room... you name it! I tried being firm and forceful with her- and it only made it worse. I tried ignoring some of the behaviors- but it still didn't work. I did what I usually do by saying things like "I am so proud of Jimmie and how he is sitting on the rug!". Usually that would work with my class - but she did not respond to any kind of praise. She was thriving off of the negative attention - and it sounds like your little boy is doing the same. I felt so horrible giving her attention for her awful behavior and seemingly ignoring the rest of the class when they were following all the rules!

My AP suggested the following- and it turned her around in about 2 weeks! I made a class list, printed it out and carried it around on a clip board. For the first few days -literally, every 3-5 minutes I would stop, look at my class and praise EVERY SINGLE one of them giving them a star stamp next to their name, saying "Jimmie is sitting on the rug, he gets a star! Jane is sitting on the rug, she gets a star!... etc". I would completely ignore any of her of negative behavior- only praising the children that were doing what was expected. It was SOOOOOO difficult to ignore her singing or running around the classroom - but after about the third day she realized the only way she could get my attention was if she did what everyone else did. Yes- it interrupted my teaching by having to stop every 5 minutes- but that was happening anyway. I would then cut the paper into strips and send the stars home with each child. After three or four days I began to lengthen the intervals to about 10-15 minutes and just used it as needed. Of course, she had some bad days, here and there - but for the most part we could function as a class. That two weeks or so was so worth it! We were able to move on and work together as a class the rest of the year.

I don't know if this will work for your little guy- but it's worth a shot. It sounds like you need to have some people in there observing him! Have you spoken with your guidance counselor or school psychologist or spec. ed teacher? Has the principal observed him? At this point in the year they should be consulted and very involved!

Hang in there and good luck! Keep us posted as to how it goes and what works!


Senior Member
I have one too...

One thing that helps us from time to time is to time the child out in another room. We have one male teacher at our school and my disruptive student will behave for him but no one else. Fortunantly for us, this teacher's class is next door, so when he gets so out of control and we just can't take it anymore, we time him out in that classroom - which he hates- It doesn't change his behavior, but it does give me a much needed break when I need it. I don't do it often but it sure is nice to know that I can on those days when nothing else is working. I like the suggestion by almckenna and may try that. It is frustrating, though, because no one else needs that and it takes so much time.


Full Member
Get a break

I agree that it's so important to get the extremely disruptive kid out of the room on occasion, for your sanity as well as the well-being of the rest of the kids. When my challenging boy is gone for some reason the whole class relaxes--it's such a relief. So use another teacher or the principal or whoever will take the kid for brief periods. Sometimes inviting (strongly!) the parents to come in and observe helps. They probably have no idea how bad their child is.

City Mouse

Senior Member
You are all quick responders! Thank You!
I love the star idea. I am going to try that tomorrow. I have a few kids that might benefit from that, and I really hope my boy will! He is definitely thriving off the negative attention. It might be time consuming, but I am having to stop to address behaviors anyway, so I might as well praise the heck out of the other kids instead of saying his name every 30 seconds.
I have talked to the principal about this kid and I am going to ask her to meet with myself and the mother of this kid. I also talked to the counselor today and he is going to talk to the child on Thursday when he is back at our school. He only works at our school two days a week.
We don't have any special ed resources because we are a parochial school. We get title one support services and that is it.
ABC123gal, I know exactly how you feel! I am literally exhausted from saying his name(and a few other kids,but he's the worst) all day too! I can't even move his seat by himself because we sit at tables and the only desk I have is occupied by another child that needs to work by himself.
I will also try the time out in another classroom. The first grade teacher next door is really nice about allowing my kids to take a time out in her room when I need them to. I don't know if this would cure his problem, but it would give the rest of us a much needed break!
I have actually considered giving him after school detention, but I am not sure what assignment I could give a kindergartener to work on for an hour. Generally, our teachers assign something that relates to the rules broken. Since he can't write well yet, I don't know what this would be. :)
Thank you again, I will keep you all posted on how things are going and I am open to any other ideas anyone has! I will try anything!


Senior Member
I have taught for about 11 years now and I thought I'd used everything or heard everything possible but i too like the star idea! I've just used parts of it for a short while but the 2 week thing really makes sense because in the whole picture of the school year that is probably a lot less time then would be used daily dealing with the behavior!!


Full Member
I do something similar to the star thing except instead of carrying around a clipboard I use Crayola mini stampers. I carry one around in my pocket and whenever I see something positive I state the behaviour and give that student a stamp on their hand. The kids respond really well to this. They are always excited to go home that day and show their parents and tell them why they have a stamp on their hand. I also have a few disruptive boys in my class and whenever they see someone else getting a stamp they straighten up and try harder. It works great but you have to be consistent with it. Hope this helps!

City Mouse

Senior Member

My disruptive student is still disruptive. :( My new efforts have proved inneffective.
I talked to him yet again today and he told me that he acted the way he did because he watched his older brother act the same way. He knew that what his brother did was wrong though, and he still chose to be disruptive and obnoxious.
I think he is influenced by what he sees, I just wish he would be influenced by more positive role models!!
New ideas anyone? :-)


New Member
video tape

If you have access to a video camera you might consider taping the behaviors he exhibits. I did that for two of my students and one thought it was funny and the other was surprised and diminished the behaviors. You then have a visual to show parents when you call for a conference. Document, document, document with a timed checklist. My checklists had 20 minute intervals from beginning to end including lunch. Headings were the most prevalent behaviors like out of seat, blurting out, not keeping hands to self, attending to instruction, etc. Hash marks under the behavior exhibited are easy. This will give you an idea when the most disruptive behaviors occur and may give you a clue as to what may trigger some of them. My checklists showed me that there really were some times that were better than others and gave me some idea of which behaviors to concentrate on extinguishing first. Good luck. I have 6 hyper students this year and boy are we moving fast in our instruction. I have found that when students are not listening, go faster with your speaking and directions.

City Mouse

Senior Member
Video taping is a good idea. If I can get my video camera to work, I might try that. He was a little better today, but we have a long way to go!
Thanks for the ideas!