One of the most common problems I encountered while teaching was the desire of administrators and teachers to label students. Once labelled, they could ignore the individuals who weren’t served by those assumptions. For instance, students who were bored and acted out, students who were inquisitive and asked difficult (unwelcome) questions, students who were determined to push boundaries, and students who were defiant and resistant to authority were all labeled “troublemakers.” (In many cases different students might be bright and resistant to authority, or even all four, but that doesn’t change the fact that four different motivations might be in play.) By forming a composite profile, they failed to address the cause of class disruption, and failed to solve the problem.

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