The biggest challenge students present in the classroom: attention deficit. No, not the clinical kind related to paying attention, but rather the literal kind related to getting it. The problem is that most kids need more attention than they typically get. Success or failure as a teacher thus has a lot to do with how you handle a classroom full of kids striving to bring their attention deficits into balance.
And to me it all starts with the assumption that every action by every student at every moment is aimed at getting attention—even sneezing in the case of one of my students. Click here for more on the student who achoo-ed for attention, and for keys to narrowing students’ attention deficits—and maybe even creating surpluses.