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Linda Dunsmore

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3 Steps for Dealing with a Student with Challenging Behavior

3 Steps for Dealing with a Student with Challenging Behavior | ITTT | TEFL Blog

It is highly likely that at some point in a teacher’s career they will be faced with the task of managing the behavior of a child with additional needs. However, managing students with challenging behavior can be extremely stressful for all those involved. It is critical that when problems arise in the classroom, teachers take the appropriate steps to address any issues.

This post was written by our ITTT graduate Ashleigh S.

Investigate the Reason for the Bad Behavior

In order to effectively manage student behavior in the classroom, teachers need to be aware of the impact that the environment plays in meeting or hindering the needs of these students. The implementation of appropriate instructional strategies can also be used to assist teachers with promoting engagement in learning and positive behavior. When observing a classroom setting it is often apparent that there are a variety of behaviors on display. These behaviors can have a profound influence on the teaching and learning that occurs within the classroom. It is useful for teachers to investigate the cause and purpose of a student’s disruptive behavior as it can be motivated by a number of factors. This includes things such as a students cultural background, age and other languages spoken.

Also read: 7 Fun Activities for Teaching Vocabulary in the ESL Classroom

Acknowledge Both Positive and Negative Behaviors

It is important that teachers develop the skills to manage both positive and negative types of behaviors. An analysis of the motivations that are behind inappropriate behaviors can result in a better understanding of why students act the way that they do and what purpose it serves them. Such motivations for disruptive behaviors can include learning difficulties or a behavioral disorder. Power plays an important role in the student/teacher relationship and it is in the teachers’ hands to control it. When developing a behavior management style, teachers are encouraged to examine a range of theoretical approaches to determine which of these fits with their beliefs about children.

Be Consistent!

A crucial factor in behavior management is consistency. Students particularly respond positively to routine and clear consequences. Children must know what the consequences are for their behaviors and know that these consequences will be enforced. When students are clearly aware of what the consequences of their actions are and they choose to misbehave, they also choose to accept that consequence. Teachers must ensure that the rules are the same for all children within their class. In other words, what is good for one child is good for all children. When students realize that everyone gets the same punishment, no matter who they are, they are less likely to take it personally when they are given a ‘‘consequence’’. Teachers also need to be consistent with rewards. Rewarding good behavior reinforces the desired behavior and takes the focus away from the undesired behavior.

Also read: Guide to Writing a TEFL Resume That Will Get You Hired

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Classroom management is something that all teachers must utilize to different degrees, depending on the range of students within their class. Without positive behavior management, the learning environment will not be harmonious and students will lose the ability to achieve their learning potential. It is crucial that teachers adopt strategies to support the learning of all students.

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