What can Ms. Rollison do to increase the chances that her students will behave appropriately in class?
Page 4: Introduction to Comprehensive Behavior Management Plans
As was described in this module’s Challenge, in an attempt to alleviate her fears about how to deal with potential student behavior and to restore her self-confidence, Ms. Rollison talked to a number of other teachers. As you might recall, she received a number of suggestions like:
- “Don’t smile until Christmas.”
- “The best approach is to be their friend.”
Not only did these suggestions fail to alleviate her fears, they actually made Ms. Rollison more confused about how to handle behavioral issues. In addition to sounding contradictory, much of the advice did not seem as though it would be effective, and it certainly did not seem evidence-based. Unfortunately, many teachers like Ms. Rollison’s colleagues rely on a bag-of-tricks approach to address behavioral issues.
When a teacher does not have a behavior management plan in place, at-risk students are more likely to demonstrate poor academic achievement and to be referred for special education services.
(Donovan & Cross, 2002; Harrell, Leavell, van Tassel, & McKee, 2004)
Ms. Rollison decides to research the topic for herself. She is relieved to learn that many behavioral issues could be avoided if she were to establish an effective comprehensive behavior management plan. Comprehensive behavior management is a method of behavioral management in which a teacher views a classroom as an organized, consistent, and integrated setting where instructors, school leaders, students, and parents are all active participants, rather than as a collection of discrete parts. Teachers are more likely to develop an effective behavior management plan if they keep in mind six key principles.
|Comprehensive Behavior Management: Six Key Principles|
|Invest time at the front end|
|Teachers should spend time before school starts developing a behavior management plan. The more time a teacher spends addressing prevention before school starts, the fewer behavior problems he or she will face during the school year|
|Teach well with quality instruction|
|Teachers should create lessons that are interesting, relevant, and within the instructional range for all students. Teachers can avoid or minimize a number of classroom disruptions by providing evidence-based supports and accommodations to students who are frustrated by challenging academic content.
Note: This is the simplest, most-powerful way a teacher can prevent many problem behaviors.
|Focus on positive behaviors|
|Teachers should recognize students who are doing the right thing. Otherwise, students may seek attention in less-than-desirable ways.|
|Teachers should be prepared to provide additional supports and strategies for students with academic and behavioral challenges.|
|Be educative, not vindictive|
|Teachers should not take student’s actions and comments personally. They should remember that the goal is to help students learn to manage their own behavior, not to get back at kids. It is important to remain professional.|
|Be persistent and consistent|
|Teachers should understand that there are no quick fixes. Consistent hard work leads to gradual yet significant changes.|
Lauren Acevedo discusses why she developed a comprehensive behavior management plan before ever entering the classroom (time: 1:38).
How does a comprehensive classroom behavior management plan fit with PBIS?
A comprehensive classroom behavior management plan, such as the one described in this module, is compatible with positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). PBIS is a framework that guides the selection, integration, and implementation of evidence-based practices for improving important academic and behavior outcomes for all students. It is a tiered model that consists of:
- Tertiary intervention—individualized interventions that support 1–5% of students for whom secondary intervention is not adequate
- Secondary intervention—small-group interventions that are required for 5–10% of students for whom primary intervention is not adequate
- Primary intervention—a school-wide or class-wide behavior management system that is effective for 80–90% of all students
A comprehensive classroom behavior management plan is considered primary prevention because it is implemented with all the students in a classroom. Listen as Michael Rosenberg discusses how a comprehensive behavior management plan fits within the PBIS framework (time: 1:11).
Michael Rosenberg, PhD
Professor of Special Education, Associate Dean of Research
Johns Hopkins University