Lesson 8: Dealing with an Attention-Seeking Student

Of the three basic human needs, the most important is to feel loved and to belong. If a student believes that the only way she can feel loved and can experience a sense of belonging is through demanding attention, she will prefer negative attention to no attention at all.  It’s the most common reason for misbehavior in the classroom.

Mr. Thomas coaches football and teaches mathematics. One of his players, a boy by the name of Jorge, is a student in his class. Jorge constantly interrupts class sessions with inappropriate behavior. While the rest of the class is working on an assignment, he hangs around the teacher’s desk asking for help on material that he is perfectly capable of handling on his own. Sometimes Jorge interrupts a lecture, blurting out questions like, “Mr. Thomas, how do you think we’ll do against Tremont High in next Friday’s game?” or “Coach, weren’t you proud of me in last week’s game?” The boy’s behavior is frustrating and annoying to Coach Thomas and the rest of the class.

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