Three Ways to Modify Disruptive Behavior
Nov 15, 2011 Classroom Management 3688 Views
When student behavior becomes disruptive it can take away from the lesson and distract the students and teacher. I have discovered three ideas that have worked for me to get things back on track. The ideas are; pulling them close, letting them take a walk and giving them a job. Making a plan ahead of time with the students can give you both the advantage.
1. Pull them close. No matter the age, pulling a student close works much better than pushing them away. I have had students come sit or stand by me when they were causing a commotion and they usually stopped the disruptive behavior. Walking over to the student works in some cases. Often, I have seen teachers put the student's desk next to their desk or up next to the instruction area to keep behavior under control more easily. When I sub, I notice the student next to the teacher's desk or separated from the groups. I make a mental note to watch that student to see what works to keep them on track. I like this idea much better than putting the child outside the door or in a corner or in time out. I have actually see students forgotten in the hall for hours at a time. If the only choice is to get the student out of the way, a timer must be set so they are not forgotten. When a student is behaving badly it is often because they need attention and pushing them away does not give them what they really need and often is unproductive.
2. Have them take a walk. Sometimes students just need to get away for a minute. Giving them a purpose for their walk can be very productive. I would arrange with a fellow teacher, the librarian, the psychologist or a secretary in the office a plan. If so and so comes to them with a dictionary, or some other item, they are to take it and send the student back to class. I would collect the dictionary later. This worked very well with the student that just couldn't sit still that day or with the one who had had a stressful morning. More than once, I made arrangements with a student to have him or her give me a pre-decided signal and they would leave the room for a short walk until they could calm down. Then they would come back when they were under control of their emotions and get back to work.
3. Give them a job. Often the student that has trouble sitting or being quite just needs a job. I would often notice the student that is always out of his/her seat and ask them to pass out or collect papers. If another student had that job for the day, I would have this student help them, not take their turn. Sometime, I would have them come up and help me with something I knew they could do well in teaching the lesson.
In my experience, these three ways to modify disruptive behavior have worked. I believe pulling them close, having them take a walk and giving them a job have been very beneficial to keeping disruptions to a minimum. The time working out the details of the plan with the students has proven a good teaching experience also.