Behavior management. Sigh. This is something I struggle with, especially in the transition from high school to middle school.
Students are difficult creatures sometimes. They test you, they push your buttons, they like to be crazy, and they like to have fun. But learning has to happen in a classroom, and that’s why a solid plan for behavior management has to be in place.
Here are some slides from a behavior management Google Slideshow at Forest City Middle School. I do not own or claim any ownership of these slides, I just thought they were awesome and make light of the serious issue of behavior management in the classroom:
This is something that I really connected with and think is super relevant for all classrooms. It shows that there is a fun way to talk about classroom rules, and if students and teachers are on the same page (and not dreading rules) then class can go very smoothly.
IN THE HIGH SCHOOL: For my first placement, I focused on responsibility as the core of my behavior management. I expected students to be responsible: bring materials to class, be on time, respect one another, and complete expected work. When students failed to do these things, they would suffer (missing out on important information, losing points due to late work, not doing well on a test because they didn’t study, etc.) Because it was a high school environment, I felt this was appropriate. And it fostered accountability.
I didn’t have too many outlandish issues with behavior management in my high school placement. When students were out of line I either redirected, ignored, said something to them and moved on, brought it to the attention of the class as a means of changing student behavior, or talked to the student(s) privately.
At times I struggled with one individual, but I learned that if need be (and as a last resort) I do have the option of seeking someone higher up to control a situation. This is something I learned in the process, but I definitely like handling things on my own as much as possible.
IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL: With the shift to my second placement, my ideas on behavior management changed. Middle schoolers are definitely more squirrely, rambunctious, and silly. They aren’t ‘too cool’ as high schoolers might be/act, but they are seeking peer approval, which can mean acting out for the sake of laughter from classmates.
In my eighth grade classes, I have a student who continually acts out, disrupts, and squeals for attention. What I have found to work in this situation is to tap on her desk, say something to her quietly, speak to her in a transition moment, say something to her in front of the entire class, or speak to her after the period. I know that my behavior management philosophy isn’t perfect, and I know that my strategies and means of regulating student behavior will change, but this is what has worked so far and I’m excited to keep on keepin’ on and working on this in my future.