Behavior

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Behavior

I love teaching but I admit that year after year, students’ behaviors are becoming more challenging. Misbehavior is a significant problem in the classroom nowadays, not only because it is mentally and physically draining for everybody involved but also dealing with misbehavior takes away time that could be used for academic instruction. Still, that doesn’t mean we cannot manage our classrooms and help our students learn manners, proper behaviors, and coping skills.
“The number one problem in the classroom is not discipline; it’s the lack of procedures and routines” (Harry Wong)
I agree with the statement above, but I would also add that lack of consistency, organization, and differentiation is what adds to the problems in the classroom.

 

Important things to know that most teachers don’t know

  • Human brains do not fully develop until age 25.
  • The human attention span is approximately one minute per each year of life.
  • An average human brain requires up to 60 repetitions to learn something new or form new habits.
  • Correcting unwanted behaviors sometimes can take twice as long as it took to learn them.

What to do with the information in the statements above

Be patient, understanding, and emphatic! It is important to understand that changing some behaviors in children can take time. Sometimes more time than one school year.
It is essential to have a relationship with the students and their parents. Having regular communication with parents can help you see into the students’ home environment, which very likely will give you a better understanding of their behaviors.
The students’ parents must be your allies, not your enemies. You will be surprised how some parents can open up to you if you demonstrate that you genuinely care for their children.

 

Behavior Plan

You need to have your list of rules and consequences visible to all students, preferably to their eye level and near to the board or the rug to review them daily as part of the morning routine. The rules and consequences need to have positive language, be age-appropriate, and preferably no more than five.

Rules

We walk
We listen
We share
We clean up
We keep our hands and feet to ourselves

Consequences

Remove from center
Student-teacher conference
Parent-teacher conference
Sit during recess

You should talk to your students about the consequences daily without giving them in the first weeks of school. I usually start mandatory conferences with parents in the third week to give me time to assess and observe the students. I always start conferences with the parents of the student that have shown challenging behaviors and leave the well behave students’ conferences for last. During the meetings with the parents, I talk about the behaviors that I noticed in the child that I want them to help me with, make sure that I have all their signatures on school and classroom rules and paperwork, then inform them of the consequences. I advise the parents that respectful behavior is expected at all times and that they will be hearing from me regularly if it is not happening.
I usually start using consequences after I am done with all the conferences with the parents, and we are all on board with it including the students.
 

Ways to Achieve Appropriate Discipline

  • Be fair. Children will trust you if you are firm, fair, friendly, respectful, and have a sense of humor. It is essential to stick to your rules and consequences but also differentiate from time to time when needed.
  • Be Organized. Maintain an organized and cleaned classroom where students want to be and encourage good student behavior.
  • Know your students. You will be able to anticipate trouble before it begins. It is essential to know the parents and their home environment. A child whose parents are in jail and lives with grandma will not behave or learn the same way as a child with a more emotionally stable family.
  • Make Learning Fun. School should be exciting and fun as well as relevant to your student’s lives.
  • Keep The Rules Simples. All rules should be observable. Send the rules at your beginning of the school year for parents to read and discuss at home with your students and have them all sign it as their contribution to an effective classroom management system.
  • Act Not React To Your Students. Never humiliate a child in your classroom.
  • Let Your Students Know That You Care. Enjoy your students and their uniqueness. The most important of all, DIFFERENTIATE YOUR INSTRUCTION! Not all students know the same things, they do not learn the same way, and they do not all have the same needs. Some students require more attention than others.
  • Involve Parents/Guardians. They can be wonderful allies to assist in the classroom and give you insight into the child’s life.

Rules

We walk
We listen
We share
We clean up
We keep our hands and feet to ourselves

Consequences

Remove from center
Student-teacher conference
Parent-teacher conference
Sit during recess

You should talk to your students about the consequences daily without giving them in the first weeks of school. I usually start mandatory conferences with parents in the third week to give me time to assess and observe the students. I always start conferences with the parents of the student that have shown challenging behaviors and leave the well behave students’ conferences for last. During the meetings with the parents, I talk about the behaviors that I noticed in the child that I want them to help me with, make sure that I have all their signatures on school and classroom rules and paperwork, then inform them of the consequences. I advise the parents that respectful behavior is expected at all times and that they will be hearing from me regularly if it is not happening.
I usually start using consequences after I am done with all the conferences with the parents, and we are all on board with it including the students.
 

Ways to Achieve Appropriate Discipline

  • Be fair. Children will trust you if you are firm, fair, friendly, respectful, and have a sense of humor. It is essential to stick to your rules and consequences but also differentiate from time to time when needed.
  • Be Organized. Maintain an organized and cleaned classroom where students want to be and encourage good student behavior.
  • Know your students. You will be able to anticipate trouble before it begins. It is essential to know the parents and their home environment. A child whose parents are in jail and lives with grandma will not behave or learn the same way as a child with a more emotionally stable family.
  • Make Learning Fun. School should be exciting and fun as well as relevant to your student’s lives.
  • Keep The Rules Simples. All rules should be observable. Send the rules at your beginning of the school year for parents to read and discuss at home with your students and have them all sign it as their contribution to an effective classroom management system.
  • Act Not React To Your Students. Never humiliate a child in your classroom.
  • Let Your Students Know That You Care. Enjoy your students and their uniqueness. The most important of all, DIFFERENTIATE YOUR INSTRUCTION! Not all students know the same things, they do not learn the same way, and they do not all have the same needs. Some students require more attention than others.
  • Involve Parents/Guardians. They can be wonderful allies to assist in the classroom and give you insight into the child’s life.

No-nos for managing behavior

  • Sending students to the office as your first option. When you send a student to the office as your first option, you are sending the message to your students that you don’t know how to manage the class.
    The principal’s office should be your last resource. If you ever get to use the administration, make sure that the student has been in school for at least six months, you have met with the parents at least three times.
    You have behavior reports signed by the parent or parents. You have detail documentation of the behaviors with dates, times, and all the interventions you have used and are allowed by the school.
  • Screaming. A person that screams, has emotional meltdowns in public, gets red on the face because of other people’s behavior, is a person that has little to no self-control, plus it is disrespectful. When someone has to scream to communicate with others says a lot about a person’s mental stage. Children can identify these behaviors quickly and engage in power games with the teacher.
    Children learn from adults’ behaviors. So, it is very likely that the students will yell back at the teacher, other students, and their parents if that is the way adults treat them.
  • Sending messages to parents daily, giving them a piece of your mind. Seriously, I do not need to elaborate on this one. If you do not have something good to say about someone, don’t say anything. Ask the parents to come to have a conference with you and politely ask them for their support. Through a teacher-parent conference, you can obtain helpful information. That can help you identify the reason for a child’s misbehavior, and a way to help the child and the family. With a peaceful, respectful, differentiated, rigorous, proper classroom management, and calm caring teacher, all the students can listen, learn, and be happy to be in school.

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