Basic Premises to Dealing with Or Avoiding Problem Behaviors in
Dr Kathie Nunley, 2017
Teachers are frequently
concerned with how to manage problem behaviors in the classroom.
Classroom management books workshops, and seminars are very popular.
I've always subscribed to the idea that if the curriculum and
teaching methodology in the classroom is working, classroom management
is largely, a non-issue.
There are three main
premises to keep in mind when setting up your school or classroom
in order to avoid problematic behaviors.
First, make sure you
tell students what behaviors you are expecting or what behaviors
they need to exhibit rather than telling them what not to do.
For example, “be here before the bell,” as opposed to “don't be
tardy”. Or "remain quiet during teacher instructions"
is preferable to "no talking."
Secondly, make sure
that you are providing consequences for following the rules as
opposed to consequences for not following the rules.
Lastly, and perhaps
most importantly, the people in your building need to put a lot
of thought and discussion into ensuring that being inside the
school and inside the classroom is a more positive experience
than being outside the room. Extra time in the classroom should
never be used as a punishment. Having to stay in during lunchtime,
stay in during recess, or stay in after school, as a punishment
for misbehavior indicates that the general consensus is that being
in school or in the class is less desirable than being outside
the class. If ISS or in-school suspension seems to be a greater
punishment than out-of-school suspension, why? What is going on
in the building that makes it so uncomfortable? What can be done
to change that?
Again, the overarching
philosophy in a school building should be one that is positive,
encouraging, and promoting positive emotions. This means spending
the majority of our behavior managment time and effort outlining
our expectations, providing consequences for those students who
follow rules and meet expectations, and making sure that for every
student, being in-chool and being in-class is preferable to be
outside of the building. This is accomplished by providing students
with choice, a sense of control, and a safe place to explore personal
best practices for learning.
Dr Kathie Nunley is an educational psychologist, researcher and
author of several books on parenting and teaching, including A
Student's Brain (Brains.org) and the best selling, "Differentiating
the High School Classroom" (Corwin Press). She is the developer
of the Layered Curriculum® method of instruction and has worked
with parents and educators around the world to better structure
schools to make brain-friendly environments. In addition, her
work has been used by the Boeing Corporation, Family Circle Magazine,
the Washington Post, and ABC television.
her: Kathie (at) brains.org