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What Are Teaching and Learning Disorders?

Teaching disturbances are events that make the teaching or learning process unbearable or no longer possible for one person or more people involved in the lesson and impair it in such a way that the lesson must be interrupted or even completely interrupted.

The reason for this can be the misconduct of the students as well as that of the teachers.

What can these teaching disorders look like:

  • verbal disturbances (chatting, heckling),

  • restless behaviour (tilting, running around, fidgeting),

  • inattention (no interest in class, mental absence, writing notes),

  • Handling of disturbing objects (smartphone, change football stickers)

  • refusal to attend classes,

  • aggression (verbal disputes, damage to property, physical altercations) and

  • gross violations of school rules.


  1. Strong children show moods, outbursts of anger, acts of rebellion, aggression but also disobedience and destructive instincts.

  2. Weak children are inhibited, they are sluggish, inactive and afraid to take the initiative without stronger people. They also often tend to lie.

Important for you:

Learn to distinguish between the activities to be supported and the activities to be prevented.

Activities to be supported lead to concentration, discipline and mental enjoyment at work. Activities to be prevented lead in the long run to the fragmentation of forces and to the defense against work and effort. Whether something is an activity to be supported or stopped can vary from child to child.

This can be illustrated by an example on the topic:

If the second grader Ervin wants to paint, he has an idea and wants to implement it. For example, he is interested in books and wants to paint a certain book character. He does this quietly and concentrated. After painting, he can tell a whole story about his painting. But if his classmate Marco wants to paint, he wants to relieve himself of the effort of deciding on a task. In addition, when painting, he can do what he likes to do most according to the teacher's observation: talk to other children. The same activity that is an activity to be supported in Ervin's case is an activity to be stopped in Marco's case and leads to a disruption of lessons by talking to other children.

How to Deal with Teaching Disruptions?

Change your behavior, not that of your students

It is important that you always supervise the students and have eye contact during class. Because if they are without supervision, the orientation point is missing and it can lead to even more teaching disturbances. For this reason, it is important that she adapts your own behavior in order to bring about a reaction of the students to the changed situation. Enforce your rules (again) more consistently, check homework more regularly, have (un)announced tests written, pick up the pace of learning, change your learning methods.

Avoid sanctions

Remember: the older your students are and the more lack of concentration, reluctance and lack of effort have solidified, the more important it is for them to receive friendly and consistent guidance from adults. You decide how much freedom they get in class. This is necessary so that they experience this limitation, so as not to prevent themselves from being immersed in work by superficial occupations. Try to strengthen them positively in other ways, e.g. by praising them in front of the whole class.

Don't shout into the class

In order to create a constructive atmosphere for working, it is important to perform exercises to become still. Remember Silence must first be learned by the students. For many, it is a completely new experience not to be able to speak when they urgently want to. Not everyone will manage to comply with the rules of "working in silence" at the beginning. Only through practice can this be achieved. Some even need to be taught to whisper. This helps to build a peaceful working atmosphere and to enable concentration.

  • This can be trained, for example, by exercises during the time of free work. In a certain period of ten to twenty minutes, everyone has to work in silence without a word. The teacher draws a certain sign on the blackboard and the time when the silent work is finished.

  • It is important to clarify in advance how to communicate in silent work: With facial expressions and gestures, who can already write, writes what he or she wants. The teacher is also not allowed to speak during this time. The teacher should not remind the rules by loud words, but rather by agreed and practiced signs.

  • Above all, calm and determined and that the requests to the students are clear, clear and understandable for everyone.

  • If the class is much too loud, you can also stand in front of the class and ask for silence.

Be consistent

Keep in mind that when your student exhibits disruptive behavior, they are in a state they don't like because of a momentary imbalance. At that moment, you need a force to cling to. At this moment, your help is to extend the kind hand of the strong to the weak in this situation. This ability to provide orientation through authority can help to clarify the situation or prevent disruptive behavior in the case of disruptive behavior. But again, not every student should be met with the same authority. Sometimes you have to act less as a strong authority figure, but more as a loving mother or father, so that your students can confide in you and learn to assert themselves.

For preventive purposes, it is best to think about what is important to you and what you really want to and can do before you take on a new class. In the first lesson, inform your class about the rules in your lessons. Important for you: Don't announce anything that you're not sure you can stay consistent.

Be organized and structured

Boredom syndrome" is a central problem for learners in the classroom. If the students' expectations of the lessons deviate too far from the actual lessons, react first with increased side activities. As soon as they are prevented from the side activities, learners react with subversive activities to overturn the lessons. This can be done through three things:

  • One reason may be that these children did not have enough opportunities to translate their actions, wills and thoughts into meaningful activities.

  • On the other hand, the reason may also be that adults unnecessarily impose their own on the child's will.

  • A third possible constellation could occur if the child is largely left to its own devices.

Meaningful structuring of lessons, the "prepared environment" plays a central role. The better the "prepared environment" is set up, the better the students get into the concentrated work and the less disturb them.

Important for you

Take yourself out, change your teaching methods, therefore try to optimize your classroom management and workflows in the classroom, make sure that all students always have something to do, that assignments are clear, unambiguous and uninterpretable. Create structured worksheets instead of just giving the work orders orally or writing them on the board. The good students can, for example. prepare the presentation or help the slower students as "experts". Set timelines for your students to follow, and continue consistently with your lessons if progression is jeopardized by unfocused work or disturbances of some students.

Be reflected

Every teacher should also check himself once a week whether the reason for the negative attitude and poor working attitude of some students is not a neglect of their own duties towards them. Such "neglects of the teacher's duties" are, for example, shelves of the "prepared environment", which are storage for dusty or not directly usable, confused, hoarded and at the moment not current objects. Another type of neglect would be given if the teacher spends the free work with work or conversations that have nothing to do with work on the child. It can be seen here that the blame for poor work behaviour and the associated disturbances is not only sought on the part of the learners. It is also important to give students feedback on their performance to give them the chance to improve. Always ask yourself what went wrong and why. What is the cause of the present teaching disturbances? Is it your own teaching, puberty, lovesickness or problems at home? Only with a good analysis can you choose suitable means.

Don't get stressed

You should "take a relaxed approach" to acute conflict situations. It is important that you as a teacher show personal presence and take a personal distance during admonitions. Nonverbal messages should be preferred over language. A teacher should use signals, as they can be effective if they are used infrequently, authoritatively and consistently. A consistent behavior of the teacher is also of great importance. Discussions should be avoided as much as possible when dealing with classroom disruptions. In situations with high emotional stress and personal concern, you as a teacher should postpone consequences in order to avoid reacting with "fight or flight".

Develop measures together as a team, which you then consistently follow. If your students notice that all teachers are pulling in the same direction, they cannot easily play you off against each other and it becomes more difficult for them to enforce their disruptive behavior.

Communicate with parents

Some parents fall out of the clouds when they first learn about their children's behavior. Informing them can do wonders for children's behavior - as long as parents are interested in their children. As soon as your students know that you have a dedicated line to father and mother, they often behave quite differently.


Teaching disturbances can be very challenging and push us to our own limits. But if you manage to look behind each student's façade and understand what's going on inside him or her at that time, you'll understand why it's important to stay calm and objective at such a moment. Your heart is the key to everything.

Proactive measures against classroom disruptions

1. Prepare the classroom. ...

2. Introduce and adhere to rules and rituals. ...

3. Draw conclusions. ...

4. Create a good classroom and learning climate. ...

5. Stay alert. ...

6. Prepare the lesson well. ...

7. Let students take responsibility. ...

8. Structure lessons clearly.

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