Research shows us which behaviour management strategies are more Strong Teacher-Student Relationships: Teachers who have strong Group reinforcement works well because of the pervasive power of peers. How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships and subject matter -- as you embrace the power of feelings and how they. At those times, we should contact a behavior-management specialist, school negativity results in impaired student-teacher relationships and increases the .. The power of the peer group can be used to produce positive changes in student .
We challenge you to begin using one or two of these strategies today to build high expectations and positive teacher-student relations. Correcting Students in a Constructive Way Correcting and disciplining students for inappropriate behaviors is a necessary and important part of every teacher's job.
However, it doesn't have to be a negative part of your job. In fact, you can actually build positive relationships when you correct students. If you don't believe this, think for just a minute about students you have had in the past who came back to school to visit you.
Often it is the students who were the most challenging and with whom you had to spend the most time who continue to visit you over the years. This is due to the positive relationships you developed with them. The goal in correcting students should be to have them reflect on what they did, be sorry that they disappointed you, and make a better choice in the future. I'm going to be sure I don't get caught next time.
If you allow students to keep their dignity, you increase the chance that they will reflect on their behavior and choose their behaviors more wisely in the future. The correction process will be counterproductive if students are corrected in a manner that communicates bitterness, sarcasm, low expectations, or disgust. The goal is to provide a quick, fair, and meaningful consequence while at the same time communicating that you care for and respect the student.
Steps to Use When Correcting Students Review what happened Identify and accept the student's feelings Review alternative actions Explain the building policy as it applies to the situation Let the student know that all students are treated the same Invoke an immediate and meaningful consequence Let the student know you are disappointed that you have to invoke a consequence to his or her action Communicate an expectation that the student will do better in the future Imagine that Johnny hit Sam because Sam called his mother a name.
This is how you could put these disciplinary steps in place: Discuss the incident with Johnny. Begin with fact finding to be sure that you are appropriately correcting the student. The worst way to affect teacher-student relationships is to unfairly discipline a student. Identify and accept the student's feelings. Tell Johnny that you understand why it upset him to hear somebody call his mother a name and that you, too, would be upset if someone maligned your mother.
It's important to understand that this step communicates that you respect and understand his feelings but that you are not accepting his actions. Go over with Johnny the different actions he could have taken, such as ignoring the remark or reporting it to a teacher.
Explain the building policy as it applies to the situation. Remind Johnny of the building policy of not fighting and that the rule is if anyone hits another student, he or she will be sent to the office and possibly be suspended from school. Let the student know that all students are treated the same. Make sure that Johnny understands that all students must adhere to the policy and that any student who disregards the rule will suffer the consequences.
Invoke an immediate and meaningful consequence. Communicate with the office about what happened and send Johnny to the office. Let the student know you are disappointed that you have to invoke a consequence to his or her action.
Tell Johnny that you are disappointed that his actions have led to this situation. Communicate an expectation that the student will do better in the future. Remind Johnny that, although you do not approve of his actions and do not like to send him or any student to the office, you like him and know that he will make a better choice next time.
Also tell him that you are there to support him and work through these issues with him in the future. In addition to your following these steps when correcting a student, it is important to keep some key philosophical precepts in mind. First of all, remember to correct the student in a private location. Although it is not always possible to remove a student from the classroom, do your best to prevent visual access by other students as you discipline. Public correction can foster feelings of anger, embarrassment, and bitterness; it can also become a sideshow for the other students.
Finally, remember to stay calm and avoid frustration. The worst thing you can do is to invoke a consequence when you are angry or upset, as this can lead to regrettable actions on your part. Key Philosophical Precepts When Correcting Students Correct in a private location Treat students as you want your own children treated Stay calm Avoid frustration It is also important to follow certain steps after disciplining a student.
These steps are shown in Figure 1. Steps to Follow After Disciplining a Student Touch base with the student Acknowledge postdisciplinary successes Don't give up too quickly Let's go back to the example of Johnny, in which he earned an office referral because he hit Sam.
Here are some actions you could take: Touch base with the student. Follow up with Johnny after the consequence, checking to see how he's doing and simply making contact with him. The next time Johnny has difficulty with a student and handles the situation more appropriately, such as by verbalizing his displeasure rather than using his fists, be sure to acknowledge his behavior and praise him for making the right choice. This will reinforce the on task student and has the added benefit of notifying Jamal of his misbehavior, without singling him out.
When using praise, we should remember that it is effective when it is provided immediately minimally before the next opportunity to perform the behavior againspecifically by identifying the behavior as we praiseand frequently.
Our most challenging students, such as students with severe emotional and behavioral problems, often need the most reinforcement, yet they often receive the least. Descriptive research of classrooms for children with behavior disorders shows low praise rates of only 1.
This trend needs to be changed. Finally, when we find ourselves making more stop than start requests, we need to reverse our behavior. For example, instead of asking Sam to stop talking, ask him to work on his assignment.
When he complies, provide praise. For excellent resources on practical, positive classroom management techniques, see Rhode, Jenson, and Reavis and Kerr and Nelson in the appendix. Violating the Principles of Good Classroom Rules Classroom rules play a vital role in effective classroom management. However, rules alone exert little influence over student behavior.
Too often, rules are posted at the beginning of the year, briefly reviewed once, and then attended to minimally. When this is the case, they have little to no effect on student behavior. Follow the Guidelines for Classroom Rules There are several rules for rule setting that, when followed, help create orderly, productive classrooms that teach appropriate social skills along with the academic curriculum. To be more effective, our classrooms should have four-to-six rules that could govern most classroom situations.
Too many rules can make it difficult for students to comply and for teachers to enforce. Along with other professionals e. When students play an active role, they begin to learn the rules, and they are more inclined to have rule ownership.
The rules become their rules, not our rules. To include students, conduct several short rule-setting meetings the first few days of school.
Classroom Behavior Management: A Dozen Common Mistakes and What to Do Instead
For these meetings to be effective, we need to share with our students the rule-making guidelines e. With guidelines in place, students often select rules similar to the ones we would have selected. Without guidelines, students are inclined to make too many rules, make rules that are too stringent, and make those that are not specific enough. Classroom rules should be simple, specific, clear, and measurable.
The degree of rule simplicity depends on the age and ability levels of our students. For younger students, we may want to include pictures in the rule posters. Rules are specific when they are clear and unambiguous.
For example, the rule "bring books, paper, and pencils to class" is much clearer than the rule "be ready to learn. The classroom rules should be posted. Another characteristic of effective rules is that they are stated positively.
Positively stated rules are "do" rules. Do rules provide information as to how to behave and set the occasion for teacher praise. An example is "Raise your hand for permission to talk.
An example of a don't rule is "Don't call out.
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For example, a classroom rule might be, "Follow classroom expectations. Some teachers continue to review subrules prior to each activity or periodically, depending on their students' needs. A simple, quick way to review is to have a student volunteer to read the posted subrules prior to each major activity. We consistently need to carry out the consequences and noncompliance of our classroom rules or they will mean very little. If our students follow the rules for group work at the learning center, we should verbally praise them and provide additional reinforcement as needed e.
On the other hand, if the classroom consequence for fighting with a peer is the loss of recess, then we must make certain that we follow through. We often need reminders to praise our students throughout the school day.
One way is to place a sign in the back of the room that says, "Have you praised your students lately? Another way is to keep a running tally of our praise comments on an index card or on a card clipped to a string that hangs from our necks similar to those used with many school identification cards.
To summarize, the guidelines for classroom rules include the following: Treating All Misbehaviors as "Won't Dos" When students misbehave, it often seems as though it is exclusively a motivational issue. At times, this is true. On those occasions, we need to increase the reinforcement for appropriate behavior and eliminate it for inappropriate behavior. However, several misbehaviors are due to a lack of appropriate skills not a lack of motivation.
We call these behaviors "can't dos. Treat Some Behaviors as Can't Dos Can't dos occur because of lack of skills not lack of motivation or reinforcement. We should deal with can't do misbehaviors the same way that we deal with student's academic mistakes. When students make repeated errors during our lessons, we make changes in how we teach e. Our improved lessons make us more proactive teachers, decreasing the likelihood of chronic, academic errors being repeated. In contrast, when students chronically misbehave, we are more inclined to remain reactive, provide only correction procedures simply tell them that they are misbehavingand increase the intensity of our negative consequences.
We would be more effective in solving chronic misbehaviors if we moved into the precorrective mode. The following are seven major precorrection steps: Identify the context and the predictable behavior where and when the misbehavior occurs ; Step 2. Specify expected behavior what we want instead ; Step 3. Systematically modify the context e. Conduct behavior rehearsals have students practice the appropriate behavior ; Step 5. Provide strong reinforcement such as frequent and immediate teacher praise; Step 6.
Prompt expected behaviors; and Step 7. Monitor the plan collect data on student performance. Let's apply this step to a traditional classroom behavior problem--calling out during teacher-led instruction. The misbehavior occurs during guided instruction Step 1. The behavior that we want instead is for our students to raise their hands and wait to be called on Step 2. To accomplish this goal, we could verbally remind our students to raise their hands prior to each question and no longer respond to our students' call outs.
Also, we could model hand-raising as we ask the question to prompt students to do the same Steps 3 and 6. Before our teacher-led lessons, we could have a short review of the rules for appropriate hand-raising Step 4.
When our students raise their hands appropriately, we should praise immediately and frequently and perhaps give them bonus points on the classroom management system Step 5. Finally, to determine if our plan is effective, we should tally how often students appropriately raise their hands Step 7.
Although initially more time consuming, precorrection procedures allow us to be more proactive than reactive and to reduce or eliminate behavior problems before they become well established.
This, in turn, increases the amount of time that we have to reinforce appropriate behavior. Lack of Planning for Transition Time When planning our teaching day, planning for transitions often gets overlooked. Yet, a significant amount of class time is spent transitioning from one subject to another or from one place to another. Without proper planning, transitioning can be one of the most frustrating times of the day for teachers.
These times seem to invite behavior problems. At times students are not ready for the transition. Inconsistent expectations cause transition problems. Furthermore, because we are often transitioning with the students, our attention is diverted away from them, making transitions longer and inviting even more misbehavior.
Appropriately Plan for Transition Time Successful transitioning requires just as much planning as effective academic instruction, but the time is worth it. When transitions are done quickly and quietly, it allows lessons to start on time and can set a positive tone for the lesson, whereas unplanned, poorly done transitions can waste valuable time and cause negative student--teacher interactions.
Transition problems can be reduced significantly by following a few practical procedures. First, it is best that our transition expectations are consistent, meaning the same rules apply for each type of transition. Consistency begins by developing transition rules with our students e. Once we have developed our transition rules, we should teach them to our students.
We can do this by having brief lessons at the beginning of the school year followed by frequent reviews. It is a good idea to post the transition rules, and have a student volunteer to read them before transitioning. We should consistently provide readiness signals or cues for pending transitions. We can do this by letting our students know that in 5 minutes the next activity will begin and that it is time to finish the task at hand.
We need to follow that statement by praising students as we see them finishing their tasks. It is important not to move to the next step of the transitioning process until everyone has followed the previous steps. For example, if we ask our students to return to their seats and get out their math books, everyone needs to have followed those directions before we begin our math lesson.
Chapter 1. Developing Positive Teacher-Student Relations
For groups that have a difficult time switching gears, such as many students with learning disabilities or behavior disorders, providing a second group silence at their seats prior to beginning the next activity promotes calmness before moving on.
This is particularly useful when students are returning from a highly stimulating activity, such as physical education. Many students respond positively to transition timing games. To do this, first set a time goal e. Using a stopwatch, time their transition and then praise individual students or the group for meeting the goal.
When transitions involve leaving the classroom, prior to leaving, we should have our students take out the materials for the lesson that is going to be conducted on their return. This will facilitate getting started when they return to the classroom. Our role as teachers during transitions should be to monitor students' performance and to praise appropriate behavior. To do this, we must have our materials prepared ahead of time. When needed, we should use students or aides to gather materials or equipment, allowing us to better attend to our students and provide praise.
Ignoring All or Nothing at All Ignoring can be a valuable tool in reducing misbehaviors when used with behavior-building strategies. However, it's difficult for many of us to determine which behaviors to ignore and which to give attention. We tend to take ignoring to extremes by ignoring almost all misbehaviors or none at all.
Neither approach is effective. Ignore Wisely First, not all behaviors should be ignored. We should only ignore the behaviors motivated for our attention. For example, if Larry is playing his favorite computer game instead of doing math, ignoring him will not work because his behavior is not motivated by our attention.
His motivation is playing on the computer. However, when behaviors are attention seeking we need to ignore continuously every single time. As soon as we begin to ignore our student's misbehavior, he or she will seek it elsewhere, most likely from peers. It can be difficult for peers to ignore misbehaviors.
Therefore, ignoring misbehavior should be a classroom rule that receives powerful reinforcement. Also, we need to plan for the misbehavior to get worse happen more often and more intensely before it improves. When this happens, we must continue to ignore. Ignoring must be used in combination with behavior-building strategies, such as reinforcement of appropriate behaviors, teaching replacement behaviors, and reinforcing peers.
Ignoring teaches students what not to do, but does not teach them what they should do instead. For example, a preschool student, Monica, has a tendency to tug at our clothing or yell to get our attention.
In this scenario, we should ignore these misbehaviors. In addition, we need to teach Monica appropriate ways to gain our attention e. To add to the effectiveness, we could also praise peers who, in her presence, appropriately seek our attention. There are occasions when ignoring is inappropriate. These include when there are concerns for observational learning of misbehaviors, when our students are engaging in extreme or dangerous behaviors, and, as stated earlier, when the misbehavior is not attention seeking.
Overuse and Misuse of Time Out Time out occurs when a teacher removes a student for a specific time from a chance to receive reinforcement. There are several time-out strategies ranging from brief in-class ignoring to placing a student in a secluded area. We are tempted to overuse time out because it results in a reprieve from problematic students. At times, we misuse time out by inadvertently reinforcing misbehaviors while using the procedure.
First, we must remember that time out is not a place. Instead it is a process whereby all opportunities to get reinforced are withdrawn. Consequently, for it to work, the time-in area the activity must be more reinforcing than the time-out area. Ways to make the time-in area more reinforcing include changing the activity, our instructional techniques, and increasing our praise.
For example, Trevor constantly disrupts the language arts lesson by throwing paper or talking to peers, resulting in frequent time outs in the hall.
Time out would only be effective if the language-arts lesson is more stimulating than what is going on in the hall, which often is not the case. A better method would be to make the language-arts lesson highly stimulating by using cooperative learning, hands-on activities, and frequent student responding.
If we still need to use time out with Trevor, we need to find a less stimulating, designated time-out area, such as a partitioned corner of the room. For mildly disruptive misbehavior, time outs should be done in class. In-class time out involves the removal of all forms of reinforcement for a brief period of time. One type of in-class time out is planned ignoring, which involves the brief removal of social reinforcers, such as attention or verbal interaction.
This involves looking away from the student, refraining from any interaction, or remaining quiet. A second form of in-class time out is the brief removal of the student from an activity by being placed on the outskirts i. When misbehaviors are more severe, we may need to send our students to out-of-class time out. The out-of-class time out area should be a quiet, nonintimidating, reinforcement-free room with no other purpose.