Essay on Critical Incidents in the Classroom: Aggressive Behaviors and Outbursts

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1870 Words
Date:  2022-08-29


After working at Block Institute over a year now, I have become conversant with many issues involving disruptive behaviors that occur in children with special needs/autism among other concerns. A day after the other, it is apparent that critical incidents are highly possible to take place and can affect the learning process in profound ways. Like in my case herein, aggressive behaviors and outbursts in children with special needs can occur as the learning process takes place. Consequently, it is necessary for the teacher to be conversant with the students' characteristics among other requirements.

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Before looking at how things progressed and the various lessons, it is essential noting that unusual occurrences in the classroom can be detrimental to the learning process in profound ways. Firstly, they are likely to disengage the students from what they are doing. As such, they affect concentration. Secondly, they make the work of the instructor highly challenging. For instance, if a case emerges and the teacher isn't adequately aware of how to handle it, chances of getting depressed are incredibly high. More so, they obligate the teacher to possess other skills apart from the typical instructional routines. A perfect example is the ability to assess mental-related concerns.

Another essential note that requires special mention is that the criticality of the issue depends on age. Here, if problems are affecting the young populations, the level of difficulty in their management is somewhat high. However, the situation changes as children advance in age. The main reason for asserting the same is the fact that it is older children can help their colleagues in the classroom which those in the kindergarten and similar age categories cannot. It is, therefore, essential to understand these features and ensure that there is an instant help for students in times of need.

How the Critical Scenario Unfolded

While in the preschool and handling some students with special needs, the probability of unusual occurrence is exceptionally high. The possible causes include unexpected changes in the students' emotional and physical states which cannot be planned in any way. Herein, the class comprises of 10 children. After recently getting a new student (Tyrec), it happened that he has a behavior problem, but there is no comprehensive individual education plan to address his concerns. In particular, the kid experienced aggressive behavior and outbursts. He is also older than the rest in the class.

When enrolled on the first day, Tyrec made the day a bit different. It is also right to deduce that it was one of the most challenging that I have ever experienced in assistant teaching. Among the evident disruptive behaviors included the issue of constantly getting up, running around in class and getting outbursts. When it reaches such a point, there is no doubt that learning cannot proceed as the system requires. Concentration in the other students is affected, and the teacher is no longer in a position to instruct as needed. At this point, the necessity for immediate intervention becomes inevitable.

Tyrec would consistently ask for one toy after the other. Surprisingly, he could not play with any of them. With his outbursts being uncontrollable, other students would get scared of him. Reactions at this point are also investable since one student with special needs too started to cry while throwing chairs. Therefore, the challenge intensified considering that the number of children requiring special attention increased from one to two. At this point, we (the staff) immediately called for specialists. The behavior therapists came to our rescue since they could help in problem identification and solution generation. As a strategy of ensuring that we get the best out of the situation, the head teacher recommended a behavior therapist to spend an entire day observing Tyrec.

In a different day, we went to the amusement park. Here, Tyrec was given a one on one para to observe his behaviors during the trip. Fortunately, the case worked well for both since Tyrec could run around as the para held him. However, things changed at the gym where Tyrec had another outburst; it made him run to another student (Denize) and push him from the back. Sadly, Denize fell while facing the gym floor, hit his face, and started to cry.

After noting the condition of his face that was all red, Denize was taken to the nurse immediately. After examination, the nurse gave an ice pack that I applied to Denize even though he hadn't stopped crying. His face was also swollen with bruises being visible on his forehead. His chin was also scratched. The nurse also checked whether there was bleeding from different parts including the gums and teeth. All these incidences took place before 9.30 am. I filled out an incident report and passed it over to the school nurse and informed Tyrec's parents about what happened.

With no doubt, the above incident is critical due to two reasons. Firstly, it is not affecting one student, but it is contagious: this means that when it occurs, the entire climate of the classroom will change. In classes, the teacher should provide the best possible learning environment for the students irrespective of their age and abilities: this is because the teacher is the one who brings the passion and commitment required for learning (Denton, 2013). As a result, teachers should be in a position to control different disruptive problems as they emerge. Secondly, far from affecting others, it is apparent that the size of the issue is enormous. For instance, it requires the help of behavior specialist and nurses, and some schools might not be having them when needed. Such situations leave the teacher at a risky position since he/she must solve a critical incident whenever it happens.

Lessons in Management of Similar Cases in the Future

Students with special needs require a lot of attention since they are likely to develop issues that can make the learning process challenging. In agreement with this suggestion, the case of Tyrec is a manifestation of the same considering that his issues affected others in the classroom and the surrounding too. Also, instructors must be conversant with children identities during childhood. Indeed, such knowledge helps in the detailed examination of their concerns which as well offers an excellent opportunity for responding accurately when a critical incidence emerges.

Among the various lessons that come out regarding future management of such cases, the need for designed intervention is essential at all times. At this jucture, there are several things that a teacher can do as he/she interacts with the students. Firstly, irrespective of whether the condition is new or chronic, teachers must first examine what they know about the special interests of the students. The implication, here, is that the teacher must find a hook that connects him/her with the various students.

Secondly, collaboration with the family is crucial whenever possible. The main reason for assuming the same is the fact that many of the issues that students go through have family connections. Therefore, when a teacher collaborates with the family, it becomes easier to identify the cause of the problem and various interventions as different cases necessitate. Reason being, a responsive family-school relationship help to understand a child better (Amatea, 2013). For instance, due to family conflicts and other issues such as child abuse, a student might experience mental problems that may affect his/her concentration in diverse ways.

As the scenario above proves, there is a need for having people with advanced knowledge regarding children support nearby. A perfect example is a behavior theorist. When children have mental conditions, a majority of these issues require a short therapy session to help the child regain normalcy. However, it is not everyone in a position to do so. More so, considering that students come from different backgrounds and complexity of their issues vary, having a behavior therapist within the learning environment is critically important so that he/she can offer help in behavior analysis.

As Skinner's theory of operant conditioning hypothesizes, learning occurs by reinforcing stimulus (Engler, 2009). In such a case, the individuals are conditioned to respond in a particular way according to specific behavior that someone wishes to develop. In classrooms with students with mental issues among other problems, it is essential for the teacher to emphasize that students are differently gifted and no one should discriminate the other. In doing so, they condition the other students to appreciate the unique responses in others and avoid getting utterly distracted if a critical incidence takes place as learning progresses.

According to Gagne's conditions of learning theory, different kinds of learning require different strategies (Tomei, 2008). In agreement to this point, it is vital to use different approaches when dealing with disruptive students. As a result, the methodology employed will always ensure that learners with disruptive behaviors are actively engaged. For instance, as opposed to the use of a nurse companion like in the scenario above, a teacher can ensure that the student stays amidst others who can help them stay active and comfortable. This way, the teacher is likely to disconnect the students from disruptive feelings that can trigger conflicting emotions and thoughts.

Up to this point, the obvious case is that classrooms are full of issues that require active management. Since they are diverse and the students come from different backgrounds, the teacher must assess the possibility of critical incidences and establish mechanisms to solve them when they emerge. Indeed, learning is multifaceted, and various incidents are likely to develop in the learning process hence the need for assessing them adequately. Therefore, there is a need for critical analysis of the students' conditions and getting prepared for possible occurrences. Disruptive behaviors are no doubt a serious issue in the teaching-learning process since the output is high when everyone concentrates. Therefore, it is vital to examine the students' characteristics and apply learning strategies that are suitable to all. If not, they should suit the majority particularly when some have mental health issues.


To sum it up, the role of the teacher is to facilitate a smooth learning environment where learners can feel free to associate with others and raise their concerns. In such a case, there is comfort both for the teacher and learners and the outcome is positive. In spite of that, depending on the class composition, activities taking place in a lesson, and the student characteristics among other elements, it is possible to experience critical incidents. As such instances, the intelligence of the teacher comes into the equation since he/she must provide a solution that is suitable to all. Indeed, it is right to deduce that one cannot teach different grades without experiencing such challenges at some point. If a child shows aggressive behavior and outbursts like the case of Tyrec, the teacher needs to have immediate help as well. For instance, a behavior therapist can be nearby to help in behavior interpretation.


Amatea, E. (2013). Building culturally responsive family-school relationships (2nd ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Denton, P. (2014). The power of our words: Teacher language that helps children learn. (2nd ed.). Turner Falls, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children.

Engler, B. (2009). Personality theories: An introduction. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Tomei, L. A. (2008). Encyclopedia of information technology c...

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Essay on Critical Incidents in the Classroom: Aggressive Behaviors and Outbursts. (2022, Aug 29). Retrieved from

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