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Posted on September 20, 2012 2:59 pm
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Zafer Unal
Zafer Unal
Reps: 957
Dealing With Problem Behaviors
Even though teachers take all of the preventive measures as well as tactics for managing inappropriate behaviors, working with lots of students, they might still face difficult situations that must be resolved. The concept of problem behavior is broad. Rather than enumerate all possible misbehaviors that might occur in classrooms, it is more manageable to consider categories.
There are mainly four problem behavior categories: (1) Non-problem, (2) Minor Problem, (3) Moderate Problem, (4) Major Problem and (5) Special Problem Behaviors. The strategies teachers can apply for each category as follows:


Non-Problem Behaviors:
Description: This level of behavior includes very small of task activities such as brief inattention, daydreaming during instruction, some talk during transition between activities.

Management Strategies:
As long as they are brief and not spreading/escalating, teacher can chose to ignore them during instruction and wait for it to end, otherwise address this continuing misbehavior very quickly with eye contact or proximity.


Minor Problem Behaviors:
Description: These are the behaviors usually go against the classroom rules and procedures. Examples include calling out, leaving seats, passing notes, extended talking, eating candy, and other off-task activities. These behaviors must be addressed and must be addressed promptly. Teachers should not ignore these behaviors and should never let them slip by. These behaviors can spread and escalate very quickly if not addresses, affecting learning and undermining your classroom management system.

Management Strategies:
Again, prompt attention is needed because these behaviors can be persistent and spreadable.
Make eye contact with the student. This should eliminate 90% of minor problems that occur daily.

* 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.
* 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. “Jennefer you should be writing now.”
* If the misbehavior continues, ask or tell student directly to stop the inappropriate behavior. Then monitor until it stops.
* 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.


Moderate Problems:
Description: These are serious misbehaviors that disrupt classroom activities and interfere your teaching. Moderate problems sometimes are self-contained that they are limited to one or a few students: For example: a student refusing to do work, chronically off-task, walking around the room and talking with others. In addition, these problems also can be more serious that they are spreading and becoming a commonplace in classroom and threat to order in the classroom. For example: students roaming around the room, students talking back and refusing to comply with teacher’s requests

Management Strategies:
Always warn students before doing any of the below by framing a choice: comply or consequence. For example: you may choose to do x however, if you choose, y will happen.
Withhold a privilege or desired activity: Abusing a privilege will cause losing it such as limiting or removing the computer use, library use

* Isolate or remove students: Time out, sitting alone in the back. Be careful, some students will see this as reward because of attention they get from others. Do not make them heroes.
* Use a penalty: Extra math problems, extra reading, extra homework etc.
* Assign detention: Serve a detention during recess, or before and after school. Most students do not like detentions and it allows teachers conference with students while monitoring the detention.
* Contact and confer with parents: Students do not like parents to be involved in their cases. Tell parents you would appreciate support in helping understand and resolve the problem. Don’t make parent feel defensive/responsible. Determine if phone or in-person meeting is warranted.
* Referral to School Office: Referral to an assistant principal who then deals with the student. Teachers should be careful on this so that it does not become a habit. Even though students do not like referrals, and referrals work for teachers because teaching time is not wasted,
your classroom management problems are now known by others. You are simply transferring the problem to outside person (rather than dealing with it. Teachers should not make referrals easy/quick solution since assistant principals do not like them either.
* Contract with student: Before contacting parents, referring student to the office, teachers sometimes prefer to give students a choice which also includes a contract between teacher and students. During this written contract, teacher discusses problem with student, identify possible solutions, and agree on a course of action. The contract will specify expected change in behavior and consequences if not. There might be incentive for the corrected behavior.


Major Problems:
Description:
These behaviors can be more serious that they are spreading and becoming a commonplace in classroom and threat to order in the classroom. For example: Students roaming around the room, students talking back and refusing to comply with teacher’s requests, making noise all together.

Management Strategies:
The escalating and spreading misbehaviors should not take place if minor problems were not ignored in the first place.

* Do not try to discipline the whole class at once. 'Hey, please be quiet!' will work for five-ten minutes only.
* Remember Jackie Chan movies. Seems to be fighting a whole group of guys at once but no matter how many guys are attacking, he only actually fights one at a time. Some down, some run!
* Once you successfully crack down on the first few individuals, the rest of the class will start to 'run away'-realize they don't want to tangle with you. This does not mean asking to be quiet individual students one by one.
* Address one student with a consequence that counts, until the rest of the class is listening and sees that they do not want to be in his (or her) position. Remember police officers who are writing tickets, nobody wants to be the one getting ticketed!
* Who to choose? Not the student you can handle, choose the ringleader: the one others follow. You will always know who that is!
* Remember just approaching and telling the one “to be quiet” does not matter to him. Therefore, be ready for a consequence he cares about: detention, involving parents, etc.
* Ignore any protests or comments from him (Why are you picking on me) or others (that’s not nice). This is what puts you in charge!
* Again, let everyone see a car pulled to the side of the road, and everyone slows down.


Special Problem Behaviors:

Description:
These are major special problems needing others to be involved. For example: Bullying, fighting, obscene language, vandalism, and unexcused absences.

Management Strategies:
* Most schools have prescribed procedures for dealing with certain types of major problems and sometimes even the minor ones.
* Teachers’ responses are likely to be directed by school (or district) policies.
* Therefore, beginning teachers must learn what policies are in force and follow them.

Last Words:
Remember, no matter how you prepared, student misbehaviors will occur. The key is always to identify the misbehavior and take action promptly. Also, focusing on behavior not the student is something to keep in mind. You should work with each and every single misbehavior by finding out why they are occurring, what solutions exist, and how to implement your solution or obtain a commitment from your students. Since every misbehavior is unique, teachers should be able to involve other parties (ask for help) when looking for solutions. This includes but not limited to classroom management books, other teachers, parents, school personnel (counselor etc.), internet community (forums/boards), your university supervisor or faculty at your college.
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Comments posted for this article: 38

Charles Owen
Charles Owen
Reps: 49
Thank you.
  Posted on: December 30, 2012 5:29 am

yseruW
yseruW
Reps: 201
I find it very useful to move closer to the student that is misbehaving. I also like to flag behaviors and keep notes on students actions throughout the day. This is useful when having meetings about the student.
  Posted on: October 15, 2014 10:01 pm

ezaDyR
ezaDyR
Reps: 100
The techniques you discussed were very helpful in a sense that we all as educators can benefit from. Every teacher disciplines different and has techniques that work for their students and that may not for others. So, it is important to hear your thoughts on behavior when we will all come across misbehaved students in our classroom.
  Posted on: October 16, 2014 12:16 am

XeQymy
XeQymy
Reps: 102
Your information was very beneficial. It is very important to communicate what we have encountered to seek solutions.
  Posted on: October 17, 2014 2:05 am

uLyJaj
uLyJaj
Reps: 99
I was unaware of the sub categories of different behaviors. I quoted them below:

"There are mainly four problem behavior categories: (1) Non-problem, (2) Minor Problem, (3) Moderate Problem, (4) Major Problem and (5) Special Problem Behaviors. "
  Posted on: October 26, 2014 1:29 pm

JugaVu
JugaVu
Reps: 98
This was very insightful. I was unaware of the categories of behavior levels, and the definitions that followed. The strategies fit great with behavior mentioned in each of those categories.
  Posted on: February 24, 2015 5:32 pm

eQyVuj
eQyVuj
Reps: 200
great post, I loved how you gave a definition.
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 1:11 am

Danielle Brock
Danielle Brock
Reps: 100
I enjoyed reading this idea.
I will use this in the future for sure
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 11:11 pm

upyRyX
upyRyX
Reps: 185
I enjoyed this article. It was very helpful when thinking about the school that I am currently volunteering at!
  Posted on: March 2, 2015 1:55 am

qaqeHy
qaqeHy
Reps: 101
Good read. Always helpful to hear good teaching principles like these.
  Posted on: March 10, 2015 12:37 am

unuhaj
unuhaj
Reps: 102
I feel that behavior must be dealt with in order for students to know when it is negative and not to act that way again. Great post on behavior.
  Posted on: March 10, 2015 12:20 pm

emazag
emazag
Reps: 100
Very good strategies.
  Posted on: March 11, 2015 4:57 pm

eRuPeT
eRuPeT
Reps: 103
I like the categories of behavior, I feel that a school should come up with these categories because there are some things that I don't see as a big deal (the candy/gum), but some teachers see as problematic.
  Posted on: March 11, 2015 8:34 pm

ybereD
ybereD
Reps: 104
I like how you have listed the various categories of misbehavior. I have had much success with student proximity and using non verbal cues to control various misbehaviors.
  Posted on: March 15, 2015 1:20 pm

atuTyL
atuTyL
Reps: 121
I was unaware of all of the different behaviors. However, in my short time of teaching, I have learned a few things that work. I developed a point system for my students. Each team has a chance to gain points by simply following the rules of the classroom. Because the behaviors of two of my students were more difficult to maintain, I noticed that they did not care that they were on a team. Therefore, I put them on a point system by themselves. They then could not effect the other students in a negative manner, but they were still able to participate in the point system.
  Posted on: March 16, 2015 12:19 am

HaXeSy
HaXeSy
Reps: 100
Thank you for giving multiple options for each type of student. These will be very helpful in my classroom.
  Posted on: March 17, 2015 5:51 am

uZyvaP
uZyvaP
Reps: 204
Again, this information will be very useful in the classroom.. I will be certain to familiarize myself with these strategies ahead of time so that my response can be quick and effective when the time comes.
  Posted on: October 4, 2015 1:50 am

HaLyvy
HaLyvy
Reps: 100
It's important to keep in mind all of the different problem behaviors, and find ways to eliminate and prevent them from happening in your classroom.
  Posted on: October 4, 2015 7:13 pm

meXyHy
meXyHy
Reps: 158
It is always most important to make sure behavior is corrected in class and this really shines light on the importance of learning and good behavior in the classroom.
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 8:36 pm

eSyTyt
eSyTyt
Reps: 101
Good strategist for the classroom.
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 1:04 am

Hudyja
Hudyja
Reps: 84
I agree with the fact that one child's or a just a few students behavior should justify the way the whole class is disciplined. Just as we differentiate instruction, I think we must differentiate for behavior and find the thing that works best for our students.
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:22 pm

Henry Hobby
Henry Hobby
Reps: 82
I like to handle problems in my classroom when I can. I have found that many students will act out in class to avoid having to stay in class if they know that the teacher will send them out of the room for misbehaving.
  Posted on: October 18, 2015 7:02 pm

gegede
gegede
Reps: 102
Thank you for sharing. I believe that the teacher sets the tone for discipline within the classroom. Having a plethora of strategies to attend to misbehavior is a win for teachers!
  Posted on: October 19, 2015 1:41 am

Thomas Anderson
Thomas Anderson
Reps: 104
* Once you successfully crack down on the first few individuals, the rest of the class will start to 'run away'-realize they don't want to tangle with you. This does not mean asking to be quiet individual students one by one.
* Address one student with a consequence that counts, until the rest of the class is listening and sees that they do not want to be in his (or her) position. Remember police officers who are writing tickets, nobody wants to be the one getting ticketed!
I think these two are so important especially when you have a class that tends to feed off of each other. Students tend to see one student getting away with it so the misbehave as well. It is always best to move quickly and try not to ignore a behavior that is disrupting the class. I also think moving a student out of the class should always be a last resort because sometimes leaving class is not a punishment to students it is a reward.
  Posted on: February 28, 2016 6:05 pm

ezyHes
ezyHes
Reps: 101
Thank you
  Posted on: March 5, 2016 4:50 am

yDydez
yDydez
Reps: 100
Great strategies to use in the classroom.
  Posted on: October 4, 2016 4:55 pm

yZaHuM
yZaHuM
Reps: 100
I will have to keep thes points in mind. Thanks.
  Posted on: October 8, 2016 4:02 pm

ZaBuBy
ZaBuBy
Reps: 200
Thank you for this post it was very informative.
  Posted on: October 10, 2016 6:39 pm

sazaXa
sazaXa
Reps: 200
Learning all the different levels of behavior issues is important for classroom management
  Posted on: October 13, 2016 1:30 am

Nicole McVey
Nicole McVey
Reps: 201
I appreciate the distinction between the types of behavior problems and the severity rank as well as the reaction advice. This again is another useful post to keep in my back pocket.
  Posted on: October 14, 2016 12:32 am

XequMa
XequMa
Reps: 201
This is great information! Classroom management is something I have been personally trying to improve on, I am happy to have these resources at my fingertips.
  Posted on: February 28, 2017 11:53 am

eqeJaQ
eqeJaQ
Reps: 200
Great article! I like the strategies as well!
  Posted on: March 1, 2017 1:19 am

Travis Cannon
Travis Cannon
Reps: 211
excellent strategies for the classroom
  Posted on: March 2, 2017 10:19 pm

aDuZyJ
aDuZyJ
Reps: 99
Thank you for sharing, this was informational on how to deal with bad behavior in the classroom.
  Posted on: March 3, 2017 10:43 pm

Jenna Herberson
Jenna Herberson
Reps: 200
Thank you for the multiple strategies to deal with bad behavior.
  Posted on: March 6, 2017 3:36 am

aWyVys
aWyVys
Reps: 201
I appreciate the point made in this article to treat each behavior situation appropriate to the behavior and student. That even if the behavior has existed before in the classroom with another student, do not simply group the students for having the common behavior. Instead work on the case uniquely for each student to help them get back on the right track.
  Posted on: October 2, 2017 2:04 pm

yZanaJ
yZanaJ
Reps: 202
This information is so useful. I am utilizing all the good information in our classroom management class. I am in a self contained ESE class and their is so many behavior issues that this class is helping to resolve. Always monitor the classroom and make eye contact with the person usually stops it.
  Posted on: October 8, 2017 1:02 am

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

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