What can Ms. Rollison do to increase the chances that her students will behave appropriately in class?
Page 5: Components of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan
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If she’s to follow the first key principle of behavior management—invest time at the front end—Ms. Rollison must be proactive in her approach to addressing disruptive behavior. Through her research and her discussions with knowledgeable professionals, she learns that to minimize disruptive behavior she needs to think about how she expects her students to behave. By planning ahead, Ms. Rollison can establish an effective comprehensive behavior management plan, one that contains the following core components:
- A statement of purpose: A brief, positive statement that conveys to educational professionals, parents, and students the reasons why various aspects of the management plan are necessary
- Rules: Explicit statements of how the teacher expects students to behave in her classroom
- Procedures: A description of the steps required for students to successfully or correctly complete daily routines (e.g., going to the restroom, turning in homework) and less-frequent activities (e.g., responding to fire drills)
- Consequences: Actions teachers take to respond to both appropriate and inappropriate student behavior
- An action plan: A method to support the implementation of a comprehensive behavior management plan
Each of these components will be discussed in greater detail in the following resource pages.
Once Ms. Rollison has developed a comprehensive behavior management plan, she will need to introduce it to her students. She should do this within the first few days of school to help the students learn what behavior is acceptable and to minimize disruptions.
Many of the core components listed above are supported by research. A recent review of research identified a number of evidence-based classroom management practices that can be grouped in the following ways:
- Maximize structure (e.g., explicitly define routines, arrange physical space to avoid crowding and distractions)
- Establish and teach rules (i.e., post, teach, review, monitor, and reinforce rules)
- Actively engage students during instruction (e.g., employ peer tutoring, use direct instruction)
- Use a variety of strategies to respond to appropriate behaviors (e.g., praise, token economies)
- Use a variety of strategies to respond to inappropriate behaviors (e.g., planned ignoring, specific feedback)
(Simonsen, Fairbanks, Briesch, Myers, & Sugai, 2008)
When they develop their own behavior management plan, teachers need to understand that behavior management styles can vary greatly from culture to culture. In some cultures, permissive management styles are viewed as a way to encourage the child’s individuality and self-expression. In other cultures, a permissive management style might be viewed as an indication of weakness or a lack of concern. In addition, to develop an effective behavior management plan, a teacher must have an understanding of how culture influences students’ behavior. As they set up a culturally responsive behavior management plan, teachers might benefit from Deborah Voltz’s insight about respecting cultural differences. Next, Lauren Acevedo discusses how she considers students’ cultural experiences when she addresses their behavior.