Children with behavioral and emotional disabilities already have a difficult time functioning in school. Teachers without the tools to effectively work with these students can potentially "make matters worse" for these students and the entire class.
Without an effective plan to use with students with behavioral and emotional disabilities, unfortunately, no one wins...
Created by: Jesse Coy email@example.com
Fail to understand behavior
Instead: Learn about students. Do they come from a background of poverty? If so, they may be more apt to act-out and be impulsive.
Become Very Frustrated
Instead: Display patience and calmly offer alternate options that the student can use instead of acting or shouting-out.
Throw in the Towel
Instead: Don't give up on students with behavior problems. Realize that sympathy, cooperation, patience, shame, gratitude, humility, forgiveness, empathy, optimism and compassion ALL NEED TO BE TAUGHT and are not hardwired.
Punish the Behaviors out of them.
Instead: Discover positive reinforcement, such as, "Ben, I am so happy that you were able to sit in your chair without shouting out answers during math- how about a high five?!" Sprinkle in negative reinforcement if needed. For example, "You kicked Emily's leg at recess. That is unsafe and you hurt her. Because you kicked a classmate, you have to sit out of Fun Friday. Next time, ask Emily if you can have a turn instead of kicking her"
Instead: Although it's hard work, consistent behavior management is essential to the success of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Students with behavior problems need immediate feedback and then need to be taught alternative and desired actions and behaviors. Keep in mind, the goal of reinforcement is to INCREASE POSITIVE BEHAVIOR, not just to snuff out the bad ones.
In the End...
Instead: Realize the external motivators, like candy or stickers only work for a very short while and don't TEACH students desirable behaviors, which is the purpose of using reinforcement. Adding a sticker or sucker to a behavior chart does not create a super-ultra-motivation, rather it may confuse students and even undermine efforts to increase INTERNAL MOTIVATION. Teachers need to create an environment where good behavior is desirable- if this is accomplished, then there is no need to influence students through external motivators like suckers, stickers and "things".
Stock up on stickers and candy.
Assert Teacher Dominance through a Discipline Plan
Instead: Although many schools and teachers use the traditional, "my way or the highway" assertive discipline plan, it doesn't necessarily work...particularly for kids that have behavioral and emotional disabilities. The threats and warnings prevalent in a discipline model like the assertive discipline provide students with exactly the opposite model students with disabilities need to succeed. They are already good at shouting out and threatening others and don't need a teacher modeling this as appropriate behavior!
No one Wins.
MAKING MATTERS WORSE