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Posted on September 19, 2012 9:41 pm
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Zafer Unal
Zafer Unal
Reps: 957
Keeping Appropriate Behavior in Classroom (Avoiding Snowball Effect)
When you start your teaching job for the first time, amazing things will happen during the first couple of days. You will realize that your students are behaving almost perfectly, they are quiet, passive and they follow your directions. All of a sudden you start thinking that you took classroom management too seriously and you start to loosen up a little bit. This is usually the biggest mistakes beginning teachers usually make. Why?

The first days of the school is called "honeymoon period" where students are actually expected to be passive, quiet; in short well-behaved. There are many reasons for this behavior. The first reason is you have probably started your academic year with a good defense on your classroom management (well-written and explained classroom rules and procedures, being firm for misbehavior etc.). Secondly, students do not know much about you, however, they are learning very quickly about what kind of teacher you are. Also, students probably do not know each other as well, therefore, the forming of groups in progress. In addition, parents apply pressure for good behavior since it is the beginning of academic year and they would like to be involved with their kids' education.. With all these, it is difficult for new students to misbehave immediately. However, you should never assume that this will continue forever. The honeymoon period ends quickly. Students will want to know their boundaries and will try to cross them with off task behaviors. There are strategies that can help teachers to keep appropriate behavior in classroom.

Monitor Student Behavior:
In order to monitor student behavior effectively, you must know what to look for. The golden rule for this step is to watch all of the students at all times (active monitoring - before, during, after teaching). Monitoring student behavior allows teacher to intervene early for misbehavior and redirect and correct inappropriate behavior. Teacher should know what to during each phase of a class (before, during, after teaching). The entire class has to be planned in a way that students do not have a lot of free time to misbehave.

Before Class: Most of the noise and misbehavior occur at the beginning and end of the class where there is so much for teacher to prepare allowing free time for students However, establishing a daily routine you and your students follow would help a lot in this case. For example, a daily beginning of class may include:
•Greet students at the door,
•Have an agenda on the board,
•Have a 'do now' or 'warm up' ready for students.
•In addition, take care of attendance and other housekeeping routines while students are busy writing the agenda and answering any 'do now' questions that you have posted.
During Class (when teaching): Teachers get very busy focusing on the subject/problem and their teaching style when they teach and somehow forget about monitoring students. Even when teaching, each and every student must be observed for any misbehavior. This can be accomplished by:
•Standing/sitting where you can see everybody
•Not talking to chalkboard all the time
•Moving and activating eyes
•Focusing on everybody – not just the front seats

During Class (when working with students): There will be times when teachers are busy working with one or multiple students or groups such as helping individuals understand what to do. This is also a time that teachers have to be very carefully and keep monitoring their students. Students should not get the idea that you are busy at the moment and you are not watching them. Here are the things you can do:
•When working with individual groups, pay attention to others. Once the first group is done, walk around before starting the next group
•When students are working individually, you should not just “chase hands” - watch all
•It is difficult to monitor progress on assignments from your desk or from any other fixed location, so do not spend too much time in one place

After Class (until the bell rings): There needs to be preparation by the teacher in case the class ends earlier than expected. Waiting for the bell to ring at the end of class can provide enough time for students to start misbehaving.
•Do not release students early, and do not permit students to finish their work minutes before the bell rings and stand by the door.
•Ask your students to be in their desks before the bell rings
•Do not think the time before bell time is a time for purely social time in class. Social time should be planned and organized rather than allowing students chit-chat.
•Do not permit students to pack up before you dismiss class
•Find a time-filler activity (start homework, do puzzle, etc.) if there is enough time for

Deal with inappropriate behavior promptly: This is probably the most important item in a classroom management plan. Teachers must ensure that inappropriate behaviors (even the minor ones) are handled promptly to keep it from continuing and spreading. You need to make sure that each issue is address in a balanced manner. Do not ignore them. Do not overreact. Here are basic steps to dealing inappropriate behavior:

1.Make eye contact with the student. This should eliminate 90% of minor problems that occur daily.
2.Move closer to the student. Students sometimes ignore eye contact; sometimes they do not see you. Moving closer to the student without interrupting your teaching will most probably help.
3.If the two steps above did not help, it is time to let the student know about the misbehavior and remind the correct procedure. This should be followed by redirect student into the appropriate behavior. “Sammy you should be writing now.”
4.If the misbehavior continues, ask or tell student directly to stop the inappropriate behavior. Then monitor until it stops.
5.If all did not help, and if you cannot confront a student at that moment, “take a mental picture” or “flag it” and handle the behavior issue privately by speaking with student after class. Additional measures might be necessary.

Create Positive Climate in Classroom
Sometimes teachers get caught in the trap of seeing only faults and problems and overlooking the better features of students’ behavior. Teachers should also address the positive behaviors with praise or rewards in order to create a positive climate.
•Praise and rewards should not be too easily obtained. Public praise of a student for success on an easy task can communicate to the rest of the class that teacher believes s/he has little ability.
•Do not overdo it. You do not need to praise or reward students for the things they are expected to. For example: Students should not be praised or rewarded for coming to class on time.
•Rewards too easily earned or too difficult to achieve lose their motivational effect. Avoid complex – long term reward systems
•Check your school and district policy on what incentives and rewards are allowed/prohibited
•Be careful not to create incentives that only the most able students can achieve
•Not only for achievements, but also try to use it for improvements
•Praise behaviors or actions, not persons.
•Do not compare one student (or class) with another
•Avoid giving up on a student (or appearing to)
•Seek to praise privately as well as publicly such as comments on a student work, verbally during private conversations, send a note to parents, or praise during parent conference. Praising a student privately avoids the complications of public praise in front of the class. It also allows more detail to be conveyed.

Most of the people who quit teaching career in their early years report that student misbehaviors are mostly the major reason for their decision. Teachers should understand that most students exhibit good behavior initially. Gradually this can change if a teacher does not pay attention to maintaining good student behavior. They are usually lulled into a false sense of security. When these inappropriate behaviors left unaddressed, they can spread and escalate to a major level that it is not bearable anymore. Remember, the unmanageable classroom management issues always start by letting little things slip! Consistent monitoring and prompt attention are always necessary.
Votes: +21 / -0 Vote Up This Article Is Useful   Vote Down This Article Is Not Useful  

Comments posted for this article: 31

yseruW
yseruW
Reps: 201
I also use a marble jar in my classroom. I use red and white marbles only. The white marbles represent ignoring bad behavior and the red marbles represent showing respect. On the jar, I have multiple lines that stand for growth. When the students reach the line, they receive treats. I also use music in my classroom (classical or jazz) at the beginning and end of class. When the music is on, students know that there is no talking. In the morning they are doing work and in the afternoon it helps with packing up for dismissal.
  Posted on: October 14, 2014 10:27 pm

ezaDyR
ezaDyR
Reps: 100
I love the idea of you stating to create a positive environment. Children behave better in a more calm and positive environment and once they feel a difference in the classroom that's when things abrupt.
  Posted on: October 16, 2014 11:30 pm

JepyBe
JepyBe
Reps: 101
I moved from high school to middle school this year and the difference is incredible. The necessity of a very rigid routine cannot be understated. These are some very good ideas that hit some high points.
  Posted on: October 18, 2014 11:28 pm

uLyJaj
uLyJaj
Reps: 99
I loved the term "honeymoon period". This term is so true. Just wait until all the students get comfortable in your room!
  Posted on: October 26, 2014 1:28 pm

Jen
Jen
Reps: 225
The marble jar is a great idea.
  Posted on: February 25, 2015 7:03 pm

Ashley Noe
Ashley Noe
Reps: 99
Awesome ideas. I love this guide. So in depth and easy to understand.
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 4:56 am

JuMaPa
JuMaPa
Reps: 100
Sweet guide, dude!
  Posted on: March 2, 2015 3:01 am

unuhaj
unuhaj
Reps: 102
I agree with your idea of the "honeymoon period". Students are usually very well behaved at this point in the year.
  Posted on: March 10, 2015 12:19 pm

yqeSeL
yqeSeL
Reps: 102
Starting my first year of teaching I ran into multiple classroom management issues with my Pre-K students. I thought of different ideas that would be beneficial in helping to maintain a more structured classroom environment. I developed a "good choice jar" and students were able to place cotton balls in the jar whenever they viewed their peers making good choices (this helped to provide peer support as well). Once the jar was filled to the line, then the whole class was able to participate in having a special treat for snack. This worked well and by following this idea the second year and by implementing classroom rules and procedures more frequently I have found that it helps tremendously. The "honeymoon effect" occurred for me my first year of teaching and I wanted to ensure that this was more controlled the next year, as it was.
  Posted on: March 15, 2015 1:29 pm

adenar
adenar
Reps: 104
i have experienced the 'honesymoon period' in my internship this semester.
  Posted on: October 4, 2015 10:35 pm

Thomas Smallwood
Thomas Smallwood
Reps: 82
These strategies are definetey valid.
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 12:15 am

meXyHy
meXyHy
Reps: 158
if I were in this situation, I would do this as well.
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 8:37 pm

eSyTyt
eSyTyt
Reps: 101
I'm glad I read this so I am aware of what is to come when I start my teaching experience.
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 1:01 am

aTeRaz
aTeRaz
Reps: 201
This article was very insightful.
  Posted on: October 17, 2015 7:11 pm

LeHaWy
LeHaWy
Reps: 154
I fell into the trap of easing up a little after the first few weeks of good behavior. Bad move! I also did not reward positive behavior. This year I have changed that. I give my students raffle tickets when I catch them doing good. They place their ticket in the box and I do drawings for rewards twice a week. Students really look forward to this. I also have tried to get into the habit of saying things like "I like the way Sally is quietly working" or "thank you to those who came in and got settled quickly." This seems make those who aren't on task reevaluate their behavior and get on task so they can receive recognition.
  Posted on: October 23, 2015 1:01 am

pytaLy
pytaLy
Reps: 89
Classroom management is an important topic. Working in the school system, I have seen several teachers leave the teaching profession because of the student's behaviors. Children will definitely test their boundaries.
  Posted on: March 1, 2016 6:17 pm

ereTuB
ereTuB
Reps: 202
Great guide, very useful.
  Posted on: March 1, 2016 7:39 pm

buhyLu
buhyLu
Reps: 106
This was a great article and very useful. I intend to use Dojo points in order to keep track of my students behavior in class. I also intend to do warm-ups every morning in order to keep disruptions from happening. I also believe that if you give students too much down time it will cause too many problems for the teacher and the students as well.
  Posted on: July 5, 2016 1:53 pm

Kady Schlemmer
Kady Schlemmer
Reps: 202
This is very useful information. I will be referencing it in the future.
  Posted on: July 9, 2016 6:14 pm

yDydez
yDydez
Reps: 100
This is great information to use in my classroom one day.
  Posted on: October 4, 2016 4:55 pm

yZaHuM
yZaHuM
Reps: 100
This seems to be the most difficult part for a first year teacher.
  Posted on: October 8, 2016 4:00 pm

sazaXa
sazaXa
Reps: 200
Another student here mentioned using music at the beginning and end of class which I found fun!

I also love positive reinforcement so praising the good behaviors is something I would like to focus on. Keeping students busy will be important and I also think switching up seating often creates variety as well as keeping students from getting too comfortable and starting the "bad behaviors"
  Posted on: October 13, 2016 1:17 am

Nicole McVey
Nicole McVey
Reps: 201
The different time of day strategies details seem like effective techniques. I agree with the importance of positive energy. I as well want to incorporate music into the structure of my class.
  Posted on: October 14, 2016 12:08 am

nydyra
nydyra
Reps: 202
Some situations in the classroom still need to remain serious at certain parts of the day. Not that serious cannot be positive, too much can turn test time into play time.
  Posted on: February 25, 2017 6:10 pm

eqeJaQ
eqeJaQ
Reps: 200
I really liked how you called it the "honeymoon period" I think it is important that students do understand what proper classroom behavior is.
  Posted on: March 1, 2017 1:17 am

quJuja
quJuja
Reps: 201
I have been volunteering in a classroom at an academy with many children with behavior problems and have noticed how children tend to "test" the teacher, but the teacher has grown so tired of trying to control all her students that she begins to ignore the problems and bad behaviors in her classroom. As time goes on I have also noticed that she is quick to send students away when they misbehave. I think a lot of your points could help her classroom management specifically the tips on making sure she is watching over all of her students at all times and not ignoring the problems because they will not get fixed but will begin to get worse.
  Posted on: March 1, 2017 10:21 pm

Travis Cannon
Travis Cannon
Reps: 211
This article has taught me many new things
  Posted on: March 2, 2017 10:20 pm

Jenna Herberson
Jenna Herberson
Reps: 200
This article feels like it could be printed off as a check list that I could use to guide me through the first day of school.
  Posted on: March 5, 2017 9:02 pm

Emily Alvarez
Emily Alvarez
Reps: 15
I really like when you talked about dealing with inappropriate behavior. I feel like so often you know to immediately deal with the behavior but so many teachers hesitate. I liked how you disused eye contact. I have found that eye contact is all I need to refocus both the class and an individual.
  Posted on: March 6, 2017 4:38 am

aWyVys
aWyVys
Reps: 201
This is a great article to have kept in a teacher folder that can be referenced too all throughout the year and even as a resource for substitute teachers. It is important that even when absent that the classroom management plan is followed.
  Posted on: October 2, 2017 2:17 pm

azuTen
azuTen
Reps: 217
Great Post!
  Posted on: October 8, 2017 6:12 pm

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