Classroom Drama: Redirecting the Class Clown


Give me Attention! Such is the unspoken desire of class clown.  They thrive on the attention from their classmates.  From the moment that enters into the classroom to the time they get ready for home, classroom clowns want to be the life of the party.

Getting others to burst out in laughter at the most inappropriate times is a remarkable accomplishment for such movie star students.

In classroom discussions, the class clown takes over all conversations.  Such students want others to know that they know what they know.  Disrespectful interruptions, yell outs, and constant reminders are the order of the school day.

Class clowns are not comedians without significant causes.  Many times such students are afraid of sitting still and doing seatwork. Quietness is a threat to their personality.  Other times they may be bored with the seatwork due to the degree of simplicity it offers.

Nevertheless, if you allow classroom comdians to act out uncontrollably, you will not be able to teach effectively.  The quality of your teaching in the classroom will continually diminish, resulting in undue stress and frustration.

The good thing is that you can redirect the energy of classroom movie stars toward a number of positive activities.  You can use their desire for fame to your advantage.

Assisting in demonstrations

Since you movie star student have such a big appetite for attention, why not allow him or her to assist you in role play or demonstration activities.  Such approach is ideal if you are trying to teach conceptual ideas or tasks that could be understood via role play.

Teaching Consideration

Help classroom clowns to understand that giving respect is the most effective way to become popular within a classroom.  Tell the student that her ideas are awesome.  But also make it clear that you will like to see her allow other students to talk and participate without him interrupting them in the middle of their thoughts.

Setting a Time Limit

If you don’t do this, the classroom clown will continually steal the show from other students and use up valuable teaching time on one idea.  Give such a student a 1 to 2-minute deadline for expressing his ideas to the classroom.

Continue to find ways to take advantage of the energy of classroom clowns. Some will change during the course of the semester once they discover that the best way to get attention is to perform well in seatwork and in other instructions.

Others will probably not change considerably.  However, you will have taught them how to use their desire for fame in a more positive way.



First of Series: A1


Student Personality Series: next up: the defector