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Help Teachers Improve Behavior
Effective Solutions for Keeping Students in Class
Unlock your teachers' full potential and create a positive learning environment with effective behavior management. As an administrator, you have the power to provide your teachers with the necessary tools and strategies to stay calm during challenging moments, prevent disruptions before they happen, and find win-win solutions. By doing so, students can focus on learning and growing both socially and academically, leading to exciting moments of discovery and development. Don't miss out on creating a ripple effect of positive change that will benefit your entire school community. Learn how to help teachers improve behavior in the classroom now.
As a school administrator, it's important to remember that building strong relationships with teachers is a crucial step in motivating change and improving their practice. In fact, the success of any change initiative is heavily dependent on the trust and respect that exists between leaders and their staff. This doesn't mean you have to be best friends with every teacher, but it does require a level of understanding and collaboration that's built on mutual respect and trust. When teachers feel like they're part of the change process, rather than just being told what to do, they're more likely to embrace new ideas and approaches. One way to achieve this is by starting a conversation about the beliefs that guide their work, which can create a sense of ownership and collaboration. Ultimately, strong relationships are the foundation of any successful change initiative. By prioritizing these relationships, you'll create a positive and productive environment that motivates teachers to improve their behavior management skills, leading to better outcomes for both students and staff.
As an experienced school administrator, you understand that motivating teachers to change their practices can be a daunting task. However, one effective approach is to focus on the students. By meeting with teachers one-on-one and asking, "What needs to change to better support our students?" you can show that you value their input and perspective. Listening attentively and paraphrasing what they say can make teachers feel heard, valued, and more motivated to set goals for themselves and work towards them. Empowering teachers in this way leads to engagement and positive change in the classroom.
Motivation is the driving force behind any successful change initiative. It's what propels individuals and schools forward, helping them overcome obstacles and navigate challenges. When people are motivated, they become more committed, engaged, and open to new ideas and approaches. They're also more receptive to feedback and guidance, enabling them to achieve their goals. Whether it's personal or professional, motivation is what gives people the energy and drive to sustain their accomplishments over time. As a school leader, it's important to harness this energy and channel it towards achieving positive change.
Setting clear and measurable goals is essential for achieving success in any area of life, including education. As school leaders, we must help our teachers set goals that are specific, achievable, and student-focused. By collaborating with teachers to identify and define goals related to student behavior, engagement, and/or achievement, we can create a shared vision and plan for success.
Identify the Problem
To begin the process of identifying problem behaviors, administrators should meet with teachers and encourage them to provide examples of what they are experiencing. This collaborative approach helps to create a shared understanding of the problem and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals.
Effective questioning is also an important tool for identifying problematic behaviors. Asking questions to determine the frequency, impact, and the number of students exhibiting the behavior can help administrators develop more targeted and effective strategies.
Throughout the process, it's important to check for understanding by paraphrasing what has been said and asking, "Did I get that right?" This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. By involving teachers in the process of identifying problem behaviors, we can create a collaborative and supportive environment that leads to positive change.
Establish the Desired Outcome
Once the specific problem has been identified, it’s important to determine the desired outcome. This involves having a clear understanding of what success looks like for all stakeholders, the teacher, the student/s, and the administrator. The desired outcome should be based on a common understanding of the overarching goal, which is student achievement and success.
It is also crucial to develop measurable outcomes that are directly related to the behavior that needs to be changed. This data helps make the invisible visible, allowing progress to be tracked over time. When writing a desired outcome, it is helpful to frame it in a positive manner. For example, instead of focusing on reducing disrespectful incidents, a measurable outcome could be to improve positive interactions between students and teachers. This positive framing can help the teacher focus on the outcomes they hope to achieve, rather than the negative behaviors they are trying to avoid.
Whatever we put our attention on will grow stronger in our life.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Direct Your Attention
Attention is a crucial aspect of achieving goals in education. The brain is naturally drawn to problems and danger, which can lead to a focus on negative behaviors and reinforce them inadvertently. Instead, once a problem has been identified and a desired outcome has been established, it is important to pay attention to behaviors that are directly in opposition to the problem. For instance, if the problem is excessive talking in class, a strategy to achieve the desired outcome of reduced talking could be to positively reinforce students who raise their hands to speak.
Research supports the idea that paying attention to a behavior will increase that behavior, making it an effective tool for promoting positive behaviors and achieving goals in education. By directing our attention to positive behaviors, we can create a supportive environment that fosters growth and learning.
While the integration of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) has become a political issue, it has been repeatedly proven to be an effective approach and necessary skill for success in both school and life. School leaders should model and discuss the integration of SEL, demonstrating how it can be woven into the fabric of teaching, rather than seen as an additional task. It's important to remember that many educators have no formal training in SEL and may not instinctively know how to integrate it into a lesson. Therefore, providing guidance and support can be beneficial in helping teachers understand what SEL is and how it can modify the classroom learning environment to decrease problem behavior.
To support teachers in addressing behavior issues in their classrooms, consider sharing evidence-based strategies that align with their specific needs. Depending on whether the focus is on an individual or the classroom as a whole, different strategies may be more appropriate. These strategies should be designed to shape and reinforce expectations, and may include approaches for the whole class, as well as targeted interventions for individual students. By modeling and discussing these strategies, teachers can learn how to effectively address behavior issues and promote positive outcomes for their students.
What it looks like
You are standing in the middle of the classroom as students enter. Greet each student and frequently remind them of the behavioral expectations and the routine to be followed. Walk around and positively reinforce those students who are following directions (Nice job, Thanks for following directions, a sticky note with a star). Be sure to try and reinforce everyone who meets expectations.
Take attendance once everyone is settled and finishing up take a few minutes of quiet to Pause and Prepare
Mini Lesson - Students are now calm and their minds are open and ready for learning. It is a perfect time to deliver new content or instructions for an independent task.
What it looks like
During this timeframe the teacher should be circulating throughout the classroom. Focus your attention on those students following directions using verbal positives or silently adding stars to a sticky note on their desk, provided prior to class starting.
This should not last more than 10-15 minutes because minds will begin to wander and disruptions will likely ensue.
Collaboration - Collaboration gives students opportunities to share their thinking and understanding; it will also clarify misunderstandings, deepen learning, and boost comprehension for everyone.
What it looks like
Have established groups or clock partners. Tasks should not extend 10-15 minutes before sharing out or changing activities, unless the collaborative activity involves movement.
Have necessary materials prepared before class for each group
Circulate around the room and positively reinforce (verbal praise or stars) those groups who are following directions. Be sure to state you are looking for everyone in the group to be participating and on task.
Mobile Minutes - Brain research shows that moving while learning is beneficial. Movement ignites areas of the brain as well as improves neuron activity, helping to strengthen working memory and develop different areas of the brain; offering a variety of mental health, behavioral, and academic benefits. Movement can easily be tied to content, or it can simply be a break in structured-thinking.
What it looks like
Everyone, including the teacher, is out of their seat and moving. This can be done in teams or individually.
You may wish to include music, as this often shifts the brain into an uplifting and engaged state. There are a variety of methods, activities, and goals that can be used with movement in the classroom.
This may be a bit loud, but it helps to inject the environment with happiness and it builds connections among students.
Press Pause - This is a great strategy to teach at the start of the year and rehearse regularly so the simple hand signal of “press pause” triggers the response of stopping immediately and pressing the pause button, the countdown, the breath, and silence.
This can be used following a Mobile Minute to get the class calmed down quickly. Check out the link to see it in action.
Hold That Thought - If a student begins to argue or refuses to follow direction.
What it looks like
A direction is given and a student ignores or argues. The teacher holds up a finger, signaling “wait one second. ☝🏼” S/he turns around, records the time on the board, and moves on with the lesson.
A student argues or is defiant - Pause, fake an interruption (i.e. your watch or phone just buzzed, you just remembered an important message you need to send to another teacher).
These prevent a negative escalation and implies it is not open for discussion. The teacher may repeat the direction, but if the student continues to be defiant the teacher addresses the problem after class.
Remove the Trigger - When escalation is mounting it is best to remove the trigger. Whether it is two students, the teacher and the student, a situation and a student. The brain can not problem solve when it senses danger. It is best to wait until emotions are not so hot.
Cueing - This is a predetermined signal that messages the teacher a downshift is in progress. It can also be used to cue a strategy that will prevent the shift.
Build a trusting relationships
Collaboratively set goals
Identify the Problem
Establish the Desired Outcome
Determine Where to Direct Attention
Individual or isolated problems
Hold That Thought
Remove the Trigger
As an educator, you know that behavior management is essential to creating a positive and effective classroom environment. By providing your teachers with the tools, strategies, and resources they need to manage behavior effectively, you're not only helping them reach their own goals, but you're also creating a ripple effect of positive change that will benefit your entire school community.
If you're looking for more strategies and resources to help your teachers improve behavior in the classroom, don't hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts is here to support you every step of the way, from identifying the problem to implementing effective solutions. Let us help you unlock the full potential of your teachers and students. Contact us today to learn more.