Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Topic 3: Managing classroom behaviors

Behavior management is one of the most important jobs for a teacher.  The following are ideas and information that may be helpful when setting up your classroom!  Enjoy!

More to come as the computers become more useable:)



Behavior Management – Proactive Measures

Most of what happens in a classroom must be closely controlled by a caring, trustworthy adult. Order, limit setting, and structure are essential in a classroom setting. Teachers should take every possible proactive measure using the following steps:
  1. Arrange furniture to meet social/emotional needs as well as instructional and organizational needs.

  2. Adjust schedules to provide a balance between highly structured periods and more stimulating activities.

  3. Establish a group behavior management plan that incorporates individual needs.

  4. Provide direct instruction, programmed learning, and precision teaching lessons. These will build students' self-confidence while establishing a knowledge base from which to expand problem-solving and higher-level thinking skills, as students demonstrate readiness for learning experiences that require less external structure.

  5. Keep student-to-student interactions to a minimum initially. This is especially important during times when adult monitoring would be difficult. Trust and safety cannot be established if individuals within the group continually undermine each other or the adults, with problems created in secret.

  6. Provide group-building opportunities that move students from an "I" to a "We" orientation without overstimulating or threatening them. These activities and opportunities are most effective when integrated into the affective, academic, and recreational arenas.

  7. Select a group peer leader. The group will select a leader whether the teacher assists with this process or not. Qualities of leadership include being perceived as similar to other group members and being reinforced for modeled behavior.

  8. Be aware of how individual needs affect group dynamics. Group members typically assume roles early in the establishment of the group dynamics.
  9. Show empathy and unconditional regard at all times, but especially when students are in the midst of a crisis.

  10. Attend with extreme care to students' physiological as well as psychological needs. Have extra clothing, food, and drink available. Make washable pillows to use when students sit on the floor. Keep bandages, hand lotion, and soap available. Much of the acting out behavior reflects a need for power or attention. Attempt to give as little emotional response as possible to inappropriate behavior. Make responses to appropriate behavior obviously animated and positive.

Characteristics of Effective Behavior Managers

Effective behavior managers:
  1. Respect their own strengths and weaknesses as seriously as those of their students.
  2. Understand that social-emotional growth is a never-ending process.
  3. Clearly communicate rules, goals, and expectations.
  4. Respond to behaviors consistently and predictably.
  5. Discriminate between issues of responsibility and problem ownership.
  6. Exhibit high degrees of empathy and self-efficacy.
Behaviors teachers exhibit that contribute to successful classroom management include:
  • having materials organized
  • using a pleasant tone of voice
  • being aware of multiple elements of group functioning simultaneously
  • being able to anticipate possible problems and react quickly to avoid them.
High levels of self-efficacy have a positive effect on behavior management as well as academic achievement. Teachers who exhibit high levels of self-efficacy use more positive reinforcement, prefer to work with the whole group, and persist with students who are experiencing difficulty, rather than ignoring or giving up on them. The teacher's ability to be empathetic can also be associated with student success. Empathetic teachers report experiencing less stress and exhibit the following qualities:
  • Warm
  • Caring
  • Affectionate
  • Friendly (smile frequently)
  • Soft-spoken
  • Calm
  • Relaxed
  • Humorous
  • Analytical of behavior and motives
  • Able to predict how another will act
  • Able to sympathize
  • Not easily incited to express anger
  • Not easily depressed under difficult circumstances
  • Able to subordinate their own needs and feelings for another's benefit
  • Spontaneous
  • Balanced in feelings of self-worth and self-regard
  • Encouraging
  • Inspiring
  • Motivating
  • Adaptable to the needs of others
  • Altruistic (desire to make a personal contribution)
  • Able to give positive verbal and nonverbal feedback
  • Conscientious in attending to students' needs
  • Do not need to be the center of attention
  • Make others centrally involved
  • Independent and creative
  • Totally accepting of individual differences, but do not focus on deviance
  • Highly intuitive and feeling
  • Do not feel a great need to control all people and events

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