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Positive Classroom Behavior Support Ideas

Positive Classroom Behavior Support Ideas

The three school-wide behavior management approaches I have used include “PBIS,” “The Leader in Me” and the “Nurtured Heart Approach.” All three have good reasons and takeaways that I will incorporate in my teaching; however, I believe one helps me better at teaching as well as connecting with students.

The PBIS, positive classroom behavior support is to teach specific, observable expectations. This approach, takes a school-wide behavior management approach, seeking to improve social, emotional and academic through outcomes and data collection for all students. I found the School-level supports of classroom design for efficient reactions and student focus as well as having practiced routines essential for classroom management.  This system helps to produce a “culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader.” There are a lot of good information and tips for approaching issues that I will integrate, but it does not solve the main issues of why a student will misbehave.

The Leader in Me approach focuses on Leader Development. I found very good too and will be taking a lot from this model. I loved the “7 Habits” to create leaders, Leadership, Responsibility, Accountability, Problem Solving, Adaptability, Communication, Initiative, Self-Direction, Creativity, Cross-Cultural Skills and Teamwork. However, it does not address the reasons behind misbehavior and the ability to connect with a student; thus, the third approach I found to be the most effective is the “Nurtured Heart Approach.” I will be incorporating all three of these approaches with the “Nurtured Heart Approach” as my lead.

Here is a breakdown of the “Nurtured Heart Approach.”

The name and theme is by Howard Glasser; however, I have first seen this in 1985, called “positive reinforcement” while taking child psychology and classroom management courses at SJSU. This approach is about celebrating and Reinforcing constructive behavior by accentuating the positive while eliminating the negative. We are to be looking for what they supposed to be doing right already and encourage them for doing so. Identify behavior that is working and point out their success. Students want our focus, heart, relationship and energy. Because they are mostly in homes where they have none. They need positive feedback because they usually do not get any or it is just negative or pointing out what is wrong with them. Our power is not in punishment; rather, to give and be positive. What is the percentage of positive statements verses negative ones to you give? Usually it is 80-90%. What is yours?

Three main approaches:

  1. Do not be drawn into energizing negativity. When a student misbehaves, give the consequence and move on. Do not dwell, save time and energy for the positive feedback. This is where you do not give your relationship too.
  2. Purposely create energizing success. When they behave well, give them an energetic response.
  3. Give clarity to the rules, not ambiguous, like just “be kind’ or “No…” Here are the rules, this is what happens when you break them. No warnings.

This will energize the students’ experiences of success. This helps students build well-adjusted self-confidence. Thus, as they feel good about themselves and able to achieve more will make them productive members of society. It creates a better disciplined and engaging classroom with less stress for the teacher.

  • Active recognition, catch them doing something right.
  • Experiential recognition, examples, qualities…
  • Proactive recognition, celebrating rules not broken, which reinforces the clarity of the rules.
  • Be careful how you ask a student or class to do something. Instead of saying could you, which may give a negative behavior or response, be clearer. Such as, “I need you to…” And make sure they can do it too.  
  • Instead of a time-out, do a “Reset.” When you have an engaging class, they will not want to be left out, like a video game.  Like they go back to their seat for a minute, then you thank them for following the rule.
  • Students need to feel respected and listen to.
  • Reflect what is truly appreciated about the child.
  • Identify what is going on and describe it as like telling a blind person.
  • Avoid needless over the top emotional “junk food” like just saying “good job,” as in flattery or generic complements; rather, find what they are doing right and say it.

Examples: “I love how you are doing…” “Victor, that was a great…” That is a good way…. “That is an excellent job…”; “Amy, I like how you connected…”;  “I see Jose cleaning their area…”; “Karen, I like how you are still trying…”; “Steve, I like how you are…”; Great technique…”; Thank-you for raising your hand, that shows maturity”; :You finished your assignment on time, that shows me presentence”; “That takes a lot of self-control to stand here and not talk”; “You did this all by yourself? Great Job”; “I like how this class is…”; I love how this class… And say it so other students can hear it!

Be consistent! Remember, you are investing into not just in the education of your students, but in their lives and future too! So, do what it takes to be positive and give your students the cherished quality of success.

Challenge yourself, know this will go against what you learned and have self-taught or from the mistreatment you been subject. Fight the rut you have gotten into. Be the change in yourself that you want to see in others. Then, you will build the qualities in yourself and in your students that you are looking for.

Dr. Richard Krejcir is an Author, Researcher, seasoned Special Education teacher and the Director of a nonprofit that does educational training in third-world countries. He is also a STEAM teacher and a father of a son with autism.

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