As a new teacher, what do you need to know about managing student behavior?
Page 1: Prerequisites for Developing a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan
Behavioral issues are a challenge for all teachers, but they are especially problematic for those just starting out in the classroom. Although many problem behaviors are minor (e.g., talking, being out of seat without permission), many of them—like defiance or aggression—are more serious. Regardless of their severity, however, these behaviors are disruptive. Disruptive behavior is any behavior that interferes both with a teacher’s ability to effectively provide instruction and with her students’ ability to learn. Such behaviors also often result in:
- Lost instructional time (according to some sources, up to 50%)
- Lowered academic achievement for the disruptive student and others
- Teacher stress and frustration
- Decreased student engagement and motivation
Teachers can prevent or interrupt many disruptive behaviors by implementing an effective classroom comprehensive behavior management plan. This plan should contain the core components described in the table below. If the plan is to be effective, a teacher must apply these components in a consistent, well thought-out fashion.
|Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan: Core Components|
|Statement of Purpose||A brief, positive statement that conveys to parents and students the reasons that various aspects of the management plan are necessary|
|Rules||Explicit statements outlining how the teacher expects students to behave in her classroom|
|Procedures||A description of the steps required for students to correctly complete daily routines (e.g., walking in the hallway, working in centers) as well as less-frequent activities (e.g., responding to fire drills)|
|Consequences||Actions teachers take to respond to appropriate and inappropriate student behavior|
|Crisis Plan*||Strategies for obtaining immediate assistance for serious behavioral situations|
|Action Plan||A method to support the implementation of a comprehensive behavior management plan|
The components of a comprehensive behavior management plan are not written in stone and should be changed as necessary. Nevertheless, as you develop the components in your plan, you should give them serious consideration so as to minimize the need for subsequent revision and to avoid the need to reteach them to your students.
The results of a meta-analysis of research on classroom management practices indicate that, when teachers use effective behavior management techniques, students exhibit less disruptive, inappropriate, and aggressive behavior than do students whose teachers do not use such techniques.
(Oliver, Wehby & Reschley, 2011)
Listen now as Lori Jackman discusses how a comprehensive behavior management plan can help a teacher enter the classroom with confidence (time: 0:42).
Lori Jackman, EdD
Assistant Professor of Special Education
As you work through this module, you will have the opportunity to put each of these components into action. Every time you see the pad-and-marker icon displayed here on the right, you will be asked to create a component of your comprehensive behavior management plan. When you have finished the module, you’ll be able to print out your plan.
Note: The first IRIS Module in the series includes information critical to the successful completion of the activities in this one. If you have not yet viewed that first module, we highly encourage you to take a look at it now:
- Classroom Management (Part 1): Learning the Components of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan (formerly Who’s in Charge? Developing a Comprehensive Behavior Management System)