Ms. Rollison is both relieved and proud to have survived her first year of teaching. She attributes her staying power, in part, to the fact that she implemented a comprehensive behavior management plan for her classroom. However, though the management plan prevented many problem behaviors, there were still two students for whom it was not enough. Although things were rocky for a while, Ms. Thibodeaux, a special education teacher, taught Ms. Rollison some specific behavioral interventions as well as the acting-out cycle of behavior. Applying this knowledge allowed Ms. Rollison to address the problem behaviors of these two students. Because of her acquired behavior management skills, Ms. Rollison’s second year of teaching started off well. She encountered few behavioral problems, and she easily handled those that did occur. That is, she encountered few problems until December, when a new student named Joseph joined her class. Joseph makes smart-aleck remarks, is rude, and teases his classmates. Sometimes he makes disruptive comments when Ms. Rollison calls on him in class. At other times, he makes fun of his fellow students’ responses. Though many of her students laugh at Joseph’s antics, Ms. Rollison suspects that some of them feel embarrassed when he ridicules their answers. She believes strongly that she cannot allow this behavior to continue, but when she asks Joseph to behave appropriately, he simply rolls his eyes or heaves a theatrical sigh—setting off peals of laughter from the other students.
Ms. Rollison isn’t happy about the atmosphere that Joseph is creating in her classroom. She’s tried some of the behavioral interventions she learned last year, but they are not working. She wonders what else she can do to stop Joseph’s behavior.
Here’s Your Challenge:
What should Ms. Rollison know about behavior in order to help Joseph?
How can Ms. Rollison determine why Joseph behaves the way he does?
What can Ms. Rollison do to modify Joseph’s behavior?
How will Ms. Rollison know if the intervention is successful?