Recognizing Masking Behaviors

One of the hardest things to understand is that the problems kids cause are not the cause of their problems. In fact, a lot of behavioral issues are just masking behaviors because the student is unable to do the work but unwilling to ask for help for fear of embarrassment or ridicule. The student would much rather take the hit as a behavioral problem than admit that they cannot do something. Differentiating instruction for these students is one of the easier ways to reduce behavior problems in the class room. Below is a quick description of commonly seen masking behaviors.

  • Mask of Super-competence –If a student claims this is boring, we have done this already last year or that it is easy yet dies not complete the work, this might be this masking behavior.
  • Mask of Helplessness-If a student cannot seem to complete the work without a staff member being right there to walk them through it, it might be this masking behavior.
  • Mask of the Clown- If a student is the class clown and always seems to act out before the actual work is about to start, it might be this masking behavior.
  • Mask of not Caring- If a student acts indifferent to what is being taught, it might be this masking behavior.
  • Mask of the Victim-If a student accuses the staff of always picking on them when the work is about to start or they are called upon to answer, it might be this masking behavior.
  • Mask of Boredom-If a student acts bored, it is a way to attack staff through the curriculum, since the curriculum is very important to the staff who spent years learning how to teach it. The goal being that the staff will give up on that student.  This might be this masking behavior.
  • Mask of Activity- If a student appears to busy with outside activities such as sports or performing arts to complete their work, it might be this masking behavior.
  • Mask of the Good Samaritan- If a student always wants to do favors for the staff and never seems to complete their work, it might be this masking behavior.
  • Mask of ill-Health-If a student suddenly gets a headache, stomach ache or has their period when work is about to begin, it might be this masking behavior.
  • Mask of Being Bad- If a student gives of an aura of being dangerous and a personal threat to staff and other students, this might be a masking behavior.

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