by Wendy C. Ward, M.A.T.
Teaching a student with behavioral issues can make the school year seem to last a very, very long time. The key to effective classroom management is stopping problematic behaviors before they transpire. Below are four proactive behavior management strategies that will assist teachers in managing their classrooms more effectively.
- Setting Limits (Rules)
When creating a list of classroom rules, consider the following:
- Set no more than five rules per classroom.
- Keep the wording simple ("Raise your hand to speak" ).
- Keep the wording positive ("Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself," instead of "Don't touch or hurt anyone" ).
- Have the rules describe observable, measurable behavior ("Bring books, notebooks, and pencils to class," instead of, "Be responsible" ).
- Post the rules in a prominent place, like the front of the classroom.
- State the positive and negative consequences (What happens if the students follow/don't follow the rules ).
- Include a compliance rule ("Follow your teacher's directions immediately" ). The purpose of this rule is to increase students' compliance.
Disruptive behavior generally occurs during non-structured times. The best defense is to schedule well and over-plan. Structure of Space
When planning how you will use your classroom space, move your disruptive students close to you, but do not let them sit together. When two or more students with behavioral issues sit together, they tend to reward each other for disruptive behavior. Teacher Position
Constantly walk around the classroom. Meet students at the doorway when they come in the classroom and walk around while they are completing work at their seats. This allows you to anticipate problems and handle them before they get out of hand. This also allows you to quickly reinforce any positive behaviors you may see.
Rhode, Ginger, Ph.D., Jenson, William R., Ph.D., & Reavis, H. Kenton, Ed.D. The Tough Kid Book. 1996. Sopris West. Longmont, CO.