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For the past year, I’ve worked in a daycare, working with kids from six weeks old to five years old. As might be expected, this job has shown me just about every behavior issue I could think of, and a few more on top of that. From social issues to emotional issues to some physical issues, I’ve seen most of it, and the job has made me realize that no behavior problem is coming from nowhere. A student always has a cause for their actions. However, this isn’t to say there’s nothing a teacher can do to adjust behaviors. Whatever is happening in a students life outside of the classroom, there are always steps to take to ensure the students are as engaged and excited as possible for their language class. The days I have the hardest time with children’s behaviors are the days I come in with little or no plan. Even when it just takes a few minutes to prepare for the class, in those few minutes I lose so much focus from the students. Once the focus of the students is lost, behavior issues start arising. Whereas, the days where I come in with the day completely planned out, I’m able to waste no time when I get in and, therefore, capture and hold the attention of my students. I imagine the same would apply when teaching an ESL class; if I’m able to come in with a clear and concise lesson plan, I’ll be able to reduce the time for behavior issues to arise. If I’m coming into a class I already know has behavior issues, I would plan for a bit longer of an engage phase and focus it around something the students were interested in. Since the engage phase of a lesson has to do with getting students to start thinking and talking in English, a group conversation around something in their pop culture or relevant to their personal lives would hopefully keep them interested in the lesson and excited to participate. In a room full of students who are engaged and excited, you can almost completely avoid behavior problems. Of course, there are exceptions to this assumption, but for the most part, every behavior has a function; the student is bored, confused, etc. so with precise planning and focus towards engaging students, you can avoid them before they start. In addition to this, the engage phase isn’t the only part of the lesson plan that can and should be personalized to your class. Almost any part of a language can be taught in a way that’s relevant to the people learning it. Ultimately, as the teacher, it’s my job to design a class where students don’t feel the need to act out. However, behavior problems in a classroom will never be something that can be lesson planned out. When they do arise, making sure you, as the teacher, don’t get mad or frustrated but instead assess where the problem is coming from and how to re-engage your students, you can avoid feeling like the behavior problems are a failure as a teacher but instead take them as a sign that your students need something different.