Correcting Early Stage Misbehavior
Early stage misbehaviors are those that are not yet a pattern or habitual. These are typically not intentional violations and are aligned with PBIS Tier I, or the universal level, meaning that 80% of students will respond to these correction strategies. The best corrections for early stage misbehaviors are addressed using explicit instruction, rather than a consequence or punishment orientation.
- Proximity - the closer you are to the student, the more likely it is that the behavior will cease and the student will exhibit the desired behavior. Proximity control is easily established when the adult moves about the room frequently and in unpredictable patterns.
- The Look - 'nuff said. :)
- Gentle verbal correction - go to the student and quietly and clearly tell them what you expect them to do at that moment. Effective verbal corrections are short, direct, given in close proximity to the student (in private), are delivered in a respectful tone, are clear, and state the expected behavior, not an accusation of misbehavior.
- Discussion - engage the student in a more detailed discussion at a neutral time and provide specific feedback on how the student can align their behavior with expectations and/or handle the situation in a more constructive manner in the future.
- Use the student's name in the lesson
- Use an "I-Message" - when addressing the misbehavior, use statements such as "I was disappointed when...," "I cannot allow students to...," etc, which puts emphasis on the teacher rather than the student feeling attacked.
- Point to the rule or procedure expected without speaking
- Keep your voice low and calm, rather than escalating a situation
- Family contact - suggest that a family discussion regarding expectations for responsible and cooperative behavior with be helpful, being careful not to in any way imply that the student should be "punished" at home or that the family should "make" the student behave. The family must be left with the genuine impression that you can work together as partners in helping the student reduce misbehavior and enjoy success. Family contact should be frequent and positive.
- Humor - sensitive humor can be a powerful and effective way to respond to typical misbehaviors. Appropriate humor does NOT include sarcasm or ridicule on the part of the adult.
- Restitution - the goal of this tactic is to have the student learn that if their behavior causes damage to someone or something, they need to both repair the damage and not repeat the behavior. Repair is not viewed as punishment, but as reparation.
Note: these resources are not mine, but that of my district's professional development dept.
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