Communication and Behavior Management

Lately, I have been reflecting upon and evaluating the importance of communication and behavior management with regards to implementing effective classroom instruction.

In “Classroom Management for Achieving Readers,”  the authors discuss their findings on research for behavior management that has taken place over the years.  They found that studies show that there are three key elements to effective classroom management systems:  the teacher being aware of everything going on in the room, multitasking and dealing with two or more issues at a time, and effective transition time.  Also important, they found, was having “well-paced, varied, and challenging lessons.”

In my experience, you can have the best laid out lesson in the world – and nothing will work out right if you don’t have an effective behavior management system in place.

This is one thing that I have struggled with and it feels as though everything is related to behavior management.  Learning about cultural awareness, diversity, discourses, critcal literacy, etc.  All of it depends upon and contributes to behavior management.

My question is – how do I put it all together?  I feel like my teaching is piecemeal in a way.  I have all of these ideas, theories, research, and findings in my mind and I feel as though I am stop – start – stop – start like someone learning how to drive stick.  How do I make everything flow?  There are so many unpredictable variables with teaching that it can be hard to keep up with in the middle of lessons.

2 Responses to “Communication and Behavior Management”

  1.   leighahall Says:

    I tend to not think of it as behavior management. The term suggests that there are behaviors – that are poor – and we need to control them. I tend to think of it as helping kids developing healthy behaviors for interacting with each other in a given space. Let’s take transition time. Are there rules in place to help kids know how to get from A to B? What do you expect, why do you expect it, and will you modify it if it’s not going well?

    All of the things you want kids to do really depends on their social skills and how well they can interact with each other around tasks ranging from the simple to the complex. There is no recipe for putting it all together. I would focus on helping them develop the skills they need to interact well wth each other.

  2.   andersem Says:

    I agree with Leigh. I spend sooooo much time at the beginning of the year talking about the expectations, modeling them, and practicing them. For transitions, my students know what the expectations are and they know that there is a consequence if our transition is not up to par. Our consequence is of time. I refuse to leave the classroom if my class is not in a straight, silent line. Often times that means that we are late to recess or lunch because I am waiting on them. This encourages them to work together to create a successful transition.

    Whatever system you have in place, make sure you are consistent. When I find that I have inconsistencies, my students react by not following rules. As long as I am consistent with my expectations, rules, and rewards, my students know what is expected and are able to react accordingly.

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