Lately, an issue I have been having involves on particular student. He is the biggest source of headache in my class, and I’m not entirely sure how to deal with him anymore. He is constantly disruptive. He never stays in his assigned seat. No matter where we put him, he manages to disrupt the learning of the other students and distract them. Some of my best students have seen their averages fall as a result of this student sitting near them. He never hands work in on time and complains when he gets a zero. He will usually go over my head and try to talk to my cooperating teacher, but he knows this student’s trickery. My cooperating teacher always backs up my decision making.

The main problem I am having with this student is his defiance. He never listens to a word I say when it comes to discipline. Yet, when I teach he is mostly engaged. Sometimes I will call on him when I notice he is talking. When I am asking a question, he usually has the right answer. He has his moments of brilliance in the room. My challenge is figuring out why his behavior is so off. Is he not feeling challenged? What’s going on at home? Problem is, the cooperating teacher says he has been like this all year.

We now moved his seat right next to my cooperating teacher, so he can possible handle situations that arise when I am teaching so that I don’t have to stop the class to reprimand him. The first day, everything went well. But he also complains that he can’t see. I asked him if he had glasses and he said he does. He also says he doesn’t want to wear them because they make him look funny. He usually leaves them at home. To me, that’s just an excuse, but who am I to judge?

The next day, the problem came right back. He tried to go back to his old seat and when I told him to move he immediately became defiant and answered me back. He’s constantly on his phone no matter how many times I tell him to put it away. I finally became fed up and kind of lost my cool. I asked him “Why do you constantly defy me? Why do you always answer me back?” And his response is usually, “I need to move my seat because I can’t see.” I told him “You can stay here as long as you don’t disturb people.” And what did he do? Went right back to disturbing people. Perhaps you can give me some guidance on how to handle the situation, because I really don’t know what to do anymore.