This post will complete a three part series on Guiding Behavior. I started with Understanding Bad Behavior, shared Principles for Guiding Behavior, Part 1 and today will share the last five principles.
I’m convinced that preventing bad behavior is the preferred strategy. These ideas have helped me over the years prevent instead of deal.
- Model proper behavior for the children. Too many times our behavior doesn’t match our expectations for the kids. If sitting on the table isn’t appropriate for the kids, then DON’T SIT ON THE TABLE. If bringing a drink in to the classroom isn’t appropriate DON’T BRING YOUR DRINK INTO THE CLASSROOM. Time and time again I see teachers whose behavior isn’t consistent with the expectations of the kids.
- Dislike the behavior, not the child! The Bible doesn’t say that you have to like all the kids in your class. However, it’s very clear that you are to love each one with an unconditional, Christ-like love. Be very careful not to equate the behavior you detest with the child you love.
- Provide choice and alternative solutions. Kids will work hard to see their choices be successful. The key here is providing a teaching session that allows for choices. Always have two teachers in the room, regardless of how many kids you have… with that said, plan for each teacher to do a different activity and then allow the kids to choose which activity they will do. You’ll be surprised at how much more successful your sessions will be.
- Never confront or embarrass a child in front of the class. As tempting as it might be, don’t confront in an effort to embarrass. There will be times when immediate action must be taken, but don’t choose that option as your rule. Kids deserve our respect and embarrassing them in an effort to correct their behavior will ultimately backfire on you. In a public place, quietly discuss the behavior problem without breaking his spirit. Embarrassing a child in front of his peers will most likely result in additional bad behavior.
- Be fair! Kids are quick to see when things aren’t fair. You can’t punish one child for something you allow another child to get by with. You can’t choose to have favorites in the classroom. If Jason can’t sit on the table, neither can Mitchell. Be fair.
I’d rather prevent poor behavior than deal with poor behavior. Understanding why kids misbehave and implementing these 10 principles will help you be well on your way to classroom management. This is a skill that can be learned and worth the effort.
Prevention is the Preferred Strategy!