When teachers consistently and systematically follow psycho-educational principles, we can influence the direction of any exchange with a student to move the child away from confrontation, non-compliance, and disruptive behaviors and toward restoring a climate of cooperation and learning in the classroom. The teacher-student relationship is the glue that binds any behavior management intervention to a successful outcome. Simply put, teachers’ positive and supportive interactions with students are our most powerful behavior change tool. Through rapport, benign confrontation, optimistic messages and high expectations, psycho-educational teachers defuse disruptive behaviors, generating positive behavioral responses in students.
1.One size does not fit all. The process of behavioral change must be sensitive to and acknowledge the unique socio-emotional needs of the disruptive student.
2.Relationships with students are dependent on language. For therapeutic and growth promoting relationships, we need to use positive language.
3.Positive messages and high expectations generate positive emotional and behavioral responses. Critical and negative messages generate negative behavioral responses.
4.By changing our messages and vocabulary from critical to supportive and positive, we shape children’s behavior and get better class control.
5.We can reduce disruptive behaviors by communicating positive expectations. What we expect influences what we get.
6.Approaching classroom situations differently can change students’ behavior and the classroom atmosphere.
7.Responding differently to disruptive behaviors in the classroom empowers the teacher. Our greatest power is the power to choose how we are going to react to our students’ disruptive behaviors. We can treat difficult and disruptive behaviors as a challenge or as a threat.
8.Psycho-educational teachers see students’ disruptive behaviors as an opportunity to help children develop more productive and effective ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
9.The disruptive student does his behavior, but he is not his behavior. Disruptive behaviors are dysfunctional behaviors, not a fixed personality characteristic. In other words, the behavior is the problem; the child is not the problem.
10.Disruptive behaviors are actions capable of change.
11.Positive and therapeutic relationships with adults shape social roles, problem solving skills, and decision-making.
12. Some rapport with children arises naturally, some we have to create.
13.Teachers can enhance children’s socio-emotional growth. Students that exhibit disruptive behaviors can grow socio-emotionally and can improve themselves.
14.We can teach self-control and self-management of behavior. In the psycho-educational classroom, the long-term goal of discipline is to develop self-awareness, self-direction, and self-control.
15.Students engage in fewer disruptive behaviors when they believe that they have the skills to control (self-manage) their behavior.
16.Students are empowered in behavioral change and self-control when they believe that their effort makes a difference.
17.Self-management of behavior stems from the child’s personal understanding and decision-making skills, rather than being founded in external controls and reinforcement.
18.Students have the resources they need to improve their behaviors. The psycho-educational teacher’s role is to notice those resources and to ally with the child in the process of behavioral change.
Of Interest to Teachers and School Staff...