Developing a Comprehensive Behavior Management System for Difficult Students
Why is it important to have a classroom management plan? What are the most important elements that your plan should include?
Such a plan can help ensure teaching is most efficient and that students benefit as much as possible. An ideal plan should include a purpose, rules and expectations, procedures, consequences and an action plan, along with cultural and other considerations of students. All of these elements serve to explain the workings of a classroom and the goals of the teacher for students in order to allow for optimal functioning and performances.
Two key assumptions that are critical for a comprehensive classroom management system and that you think a beginning teacher might have difficulty following include investing time at the front end.
It might be difficult to invest time at the front end because teachers may not be able to immediately recognize ways to prevent unwanted behavior. This seems easier said than done; it probably takes years of experience to realize what it takes to discourage, let alone prevent, behavior problems and disruptions.
It would also be difficult to "teach well" because a beginning teacher might not understand the needs and instructional range of all types of students. Education classes and training may give ideas for interesting and fun lessons, but it's challenging to find a curriculum that would be engaging yet relevant for typical as well as diverse and special-needs students.
What should teachers keep in mind when delivering positive and negative consequences?
Teachers should understand the effects of positive and negative consequences, and the appropriate situations each should be used for. If you understand the results of positive and negative consequences, one could encourage or discourage behavior in a desired manner.
Consequences should be delivered consistently, without anger, revenge or vacillation. Also, teachers should make sure students understand why they are receiving a consequence and how it relates to class rules and expectations.
Teachers should also remember that some consequences may be seen as positive by some and negative by others, based on culture and other factors; teachers should keep this in mind so they do not accidentally reinforce an unwanted behavior or vice versa. They should understand each child and what kind of consequence would be most effective in the desired direction of behavior.
How can procedures that are well developed and specifically taught reduce behavior problems?
If procedures are well developed and clear, then there will be less confusion in understanding them and less of a chance of disruption. Each component of a procedure should be delineated and explained so students can understand why each part is important. Expectations are important here; if kids know what to expect and see how a procedure can lead to a smooth transition, then it should be easier for them to follow the procedure. Once they continue following a procedure consistently and without problems, a routine can be established so the class can function well.
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