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STUDENTS’ MISBEHAVIOUR; FACTORS AND SOLUTIONS BY THE

TEACHER SIDE

Student misbehaviour is one of the most troubling phenomena in education


today. Discipline problems, morality issues and ‘gangsterism’ cases are
increase. Predictably, the misbehaviour accelerates to retaliation measures
such as vandalism, hostility, apathy, and rebellion creating even greater
problems. Utusan Melayu report shows there are three bullying cases in
February 2009, including one fatality case (Abu Bakar Yang, 2009: 10). Mohd.
Hadzrin Mohamad was dead after eight days coma due to be beating by 24
gangsters. Consequently, school are not safe anymore for the student.
School environment seem has expose students’ to ferocity and vice versa,
students’ also are exposed to be violent. According to analysis in PTK (Mok
Soon Sang, 2005 as cited in K.Shoba a/p C. Karuppaya, 2007: 48), there are
ten misbehaviour problems that often occur in the school; school cheating,
threaten other students, stealing, roughly with other students, rude, come
late to school/class, make noisy, vandalism, cheating the co-curricular
activities, and class cheating.

Thus, many question poses. Does this discipline problems start from the
school? However, how about the parent and family role? What actions that
the stakeholder has take to overcome this situation? Perhaps the basis and
solution of the problem occur if we are able to make reflection. We need to
look back for the purpose of the education. The only purpose of education is
to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping
him to deal with reality (Ayn, R: n.d.). In this case, all descendants are
responsible to give education to the student (parents, teacher, and
stakeholder). Moreover, in the formal education, teachers are responsible to
educate their students’, not just teach them although nothing is more
frustrating for teachers than the daunting task of teaching students who
can’t, don’t, or won’t even try to learn, cooperate, follow procedures, or
behave. It causes more teachers to fail. Therefore, the teacher also must
competences to deal with their students’ misbehaviour. Most research
studied students’ misbehaviour state that relationship between teacher
beliefs and competence with students’ behaviour (Ulerick & Tobin 1989;
Brophy, 1988; Doyle, 1986 as cited in Weinstein, 1996). Furthermore, a
recent survey show found that “disruptive student behaviour to be a major
learning inhibitor (Seidman, 2005). In this situation, most teachers have to
prevent and cope with those problems.

In some condition, teachers themselves are the factor for the students’
misbehaviour. Many teachers enter this profession as the last choice and
they don’t have pure interest in teaching (K.Shoba a/p C. Karuppaya, 2007:
39-40). Whether their students well behave or not, that is not important for
them. Moreover, there are some teachers that don’t prevent the
misbehaviour because they want be popular among the student Besides,
Kyriacou, 1997, (as cited in Mulholland, 2003: 880) claim that it is difficult for
beginning teacher not only to apply theory into practice but also to develop
new perspective. In this case, teacher must be able to determine the
appropriate method or strategy in handle different students with different
abilities. Furthermore, according to Mackler (2005: 2) “a false assumption
that there is theory-pure, untainted and rationally perfect-and there is life-
messy, unpredictable, and in need of repair.” However, that false assumption
has to overturn. Teachers have to use their creativeness to shape the
wonderful theory into practice. However, the common problem is “when
behaviour problems arise, teachers often avoids creative instructional
approaches because they have to deal with increased misbehaviours”
(Manning & Bucher, 2007: 6). Therefore, they have to prepare their skills,
especially in classroom management, teaching strategies, and personal
approaches.
In any community, including a group of people in a classroom, there is a
standard of behaviour that permits the group to function according to its
avowed purpose. Therefore, discipline is a process for classroom members to
affect, monitor, control and cope with the behaviour of its members-not all
behaviours-just those that affect the avowed purpose. And to control or
manage behaviour in the classroom, the teacher must be responsible for
control, to have an authoritarian, unilateral set of rules that reflects the
teacher's needs and expectations. For many teachers, discipline means
managing behaviour problems or classroom control (Page, B.: 2008a). It is
equated with obedience or ‘minding’ the teacher and it is used to deal with
‘how to get kids to shut up, sit down, pay attention, follow directions, and at
least act interested.’ Classroom management is strategies to support
teaching and learning process, which are controlling misbehaviour and
effective teaching (Manning & Bucher, 2007: 4). In general, classroom
management is important, especially to convince students’ behave. In
addition, according to Wang, Haertel, & Walbergs, 1993 as cited in Kullina,
Cothran, & Requalos (2006: 39), “classroom management had the largest
effect on student achievement. This implies that good classroom discipline
means that the socio-emotional condition prevailed in the class is conducive
and harmonious. Classroom management is not a discrete activity but a
combination of various processes that occur in the dynamism of the learning
classroom.

Furthermore, an effective classroom manager understands the common


causes of misbehaviour and is able to develop a variety of effective skills and
techniques to prevent and deal with such behaviour. Classroom management
relates to prevent from students’ misbehaviour. Therefore, teachers have to
manage it appropriately. Moreover, establish the rules and rewards are
effective to conduct positive classroom environment (Wong and Wong, 1998
as cited in Ackerman, 2006: 39). According to Ackerman (2006: 40),
“effective teachers employ more positive reinforcements than negative
ones.” Because the student with misbehaviour problem always used to
receive the punishments, which did not influence them anymore, positive
reinforcements will be more effective. Moreover, Siti Salina Ghazali et al.
(2006: 67) also agree that most types of misbehavior can be overcome
through the appropriate use of positive reinforcements. Positive
reinforcements are allowing students to have a sense of support, without
feeling attacked by rules and regulations. Students begin to take ownership
of their actions because they are given choices and rewards for good
behaviour. Rewards can range from giving stickers and books to a pat on the
shoulder and words of praise (Siti Salina Ghazali et al. 2006: 69).

Creating a positive and conducive learning climate is perhaps one of the


most important aspects that one has to think about when one enters the
classroom for the first time. The positive classroom is one that brings out the
best in students. This can be accomplished through effective teaching that
brings joy to learning (Siti Salina Ghazali et al. 2006: 68). The teacher
provides the students with the least restrictive environment by providing a
dependable atmosphere, clear expectations, and allowing the students to
have a feeling of comfort and warmth. A research of “student satisfaction
and retention found that instructional effectiveness was the top predictors of
overall student satisfaction (Polinsky, 2003 as cited in Seidman, 2005: 45).
Students’ satisfaction relates to their motivation to study. However, as an
educator, teacher always did a mistake which was just taught the students
with “speech” method. Moreover, teacher always just thought about how to
finish the syllabus and just wanted to share the material. The other mistake
was the used of complex language that the students did not understand.
Furthermore, some teacher was also too serious. They never told a story, a
joke or everything to let the students stay relaxes. The last mistake was
teacher always arranged difficult questions for the test. There are some
competencies in curriculum that students have to achieve and it was very
difficult for them to achieve those competencies. This condition influences
them to feel inadequacy in academic achievement, which contributes to
students’ misbehaviour (Ackerman, 2006: 41). Of course, the low exam
scores did not help to raise their morale. For the solution, teacher can
motivate students by providing interesting and creative lessons that call out
to students to come in and join the fun. To do this, teacher must display
passion, enthusiasm and excitement in the content that is imparted to the
student participation.

Another important strategy to dealing with students’ misbehaviour is


personal approaches. These students with misbehaviour problems need help
seeing themselves in new and different ways, and with renewed hope and
possibilities. If they perceive themselves differently, they will behave
differently. Ackerman (2006: 41) believe by building good teacher-student
relationship will assist teacher to cope with students’ misbehaviour. Most
research studies find that good relationship between teacher and students
lead to successful behaviour management because student behaviour is a
manifestation of beliefs, attitudes, emotions, and experiences. Moreover,
they also build a level of trust amongst their students. Teachers have to
“show respect for each student dignity” to create positive classroom
environment (Abrams, 2005: 41). Behaviour modifications can be made only
by the students themselves. Beliefs and perceptions must be examined and
altered by students so they can change their own behaviour. Change must
emanate from inside each individual. Perception cannot be manipulated from
the outside. Through a caring relationship with mutual trust and respect,
teachers can help students change their perceptions by facilitating a
willingness and freedom to examine, question, compare, and consider other
possibilities. Until students see themselves as capable, or until they have the
desire to change, they cannot acquire the study and learning skills by which
they can ultimately improve their behaviour and academic achievement.
With all of these considerations, it is necessary for the teacher to establish or
develop a relationship with the ‘behaver’. It is this relationship that can allow
the teacher to facilitate the changes in feelings, beliefs, attitudes and
understandings. Ideally, the relationship would be a growing, improving, long
range, learning relation with shared objectives and mutual trust.

But, since this factors that are currently driving them are the same ones
necessary for making a change, students cannot be expected to initiate that
change on their own. Students need a responsible adult to intercede and
advice, but they are reluctant to take advice or counsel from anyone they
don’t trust, they don’t like, or who has already failed to help them. Since
these problem students see teachers on a daily basis, it is imperative that a
good student-teacher relationship be established before students can be
helped to improve and begin to take responsibility for their behaviour and
success. One of the first and most important ways of doing this is by forming
a good relationship and creating a strong image with your students.
Therefore, as a teacher one must first establish a positive, nurturing and non
threatening climate in classroom (Siti Salina Ghazali et al. 2006: 69). Give
each student a reputation to hold and show how each of them is a valuable
person in the classroom community who has something to contribute. As
examples, teacher can use a strategy to be closer with students by learning
their slang words, chat, and hang around with them in the canteen. Besides,
teacher also has to remember their students’ entire name. Even though,
sometimes, it is very difficult for teachers, but this approach will help them.

In addition, teaching institutes and universities should aware about those


problems to prepare their students as teachers. Therefore, the students
never realize that the theory is different from the real practice. They have
difficulties to using their knowledge and skills in applied the theory. In
institutes or universities, the lecturers taught teaching methods, evaluation,
and class management. However, they never give case study to give
description of the real teaching experiences. As a result, it is important for
teaching institutes and universities have to prepare their students to face
with various classrooms environmental. According to Kullina, Cothran, &
Requalos (2006: 38), “ideally, pre service teachers would have opportunities
to participate in quality field experiences in multiple school settings which
would allow them to see different, effective management techniques”. Abd.
Rahim Abdul Rashid (1999), agree that teachers knowledge from the
teaching and learning perspective will enable them to be more effective and
manage the problems occur in this scope. It is unreasonable to expect
teacher preparatory programs to produce excellent teachers when the
teachers have little to no classroom experience.

For many years, dropouts, force-outs, psychological dropouts, failures, over-


age students, social misfits, delinquents, and students in categories
misbehaviour were relegated to the lowest socioeconomic levels when they
exited school, and might expect to find menial jobs and a degree of
acceptance by society at that low level (Page, B.: 2008a). But, times have
changed. Society no longer expects or accepts failures nor is there a place
for them. Every child is expected to be a literate, productive, independent,
critically thinking, and self-actualizing member of society. If they not, they
becomes doomed to failure in life just as they was in school. Unfortunately,
their fate is not in their hands. It is in the hands and hearts of schools and
teachers, who have the opportunity and obligation to salvage their lives.
Teachers must set high standards and expectations to their students because
when teachers expect the best, they will get the best. We must not let them
down because educational excellence is via instructional excellence.
Students cannot be expected to increase their achievement unless their
teachers improve their teaching effectiveness and willingness. Students
cannot change unless and until teachers and schools change. Most
programs, reforms, and innovations have focused on changing the students
instead of changing teachers’ understanding of the way they need to relate
to the students and deal with the problem of identity (Page, B.: 2008b).
When teachers change their approach, their responses, their emphases, and
their part of the teacher-student relationship; the students change
accordingly. Teachers, as authority figures, have responsibility for
establishing a good relationship and the obligation to initiate changes. But
normally, teachers do not know or do not accept that responsibility. Teachers,
especially beginning teachers who face the students’ misbehaviour will find
their job as a stressful, but if professional educators can’t change
themselves, they should not expect inexperienced, struggling students to
change themselves. However, their conscious of the problems will help them
to be a creative teacher to create the improvement and solve the problems.
As beginning teachers, management classroom is more important than their
cognitive skills to cope with students’ misbehaviour. However, to solve this
problems, integrated solution are needed, there are not only teachers’
strategies such as classroom management, teaching strategies, knowledge
on the applied subject, but also the role of teaching institutes and university
which prepare their students to be teachers.

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