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Behavioral Management & Discipline

Proactive Approach vs Counterproductive Approach

Proactive Approach
Counterproductive Approach
1. Maintain your composure. Students dont know your trigger
points unless you reveal them. If you lose your temper students may lose
respect for you and regard you as an ineffective teacher.

2. Acknowledge your feelings when student misbehavior occurs.

Do you feel angry, threatened, challenged, or fearful? How do you typically
respond when a student defies you? Know and understand yourself.
3. Design a plan for when difficult feelings arise. When you feel
anxiety building because of student misbehavior, use a calming approach
such as counting to 10 before responding, or take five deep breaths, or avoid
dealing with the student misbehavior until you feel your emotions are under
4. Know your options for dealing with the challenging behavior.
Talking meaningfully with students is best done after class if it is going to
take more than a few seconds. Options to use when you have only limited
time include discreetly warning the student, removing the student from
class, or sending another student for help if a situation is severe or

1. Preaching or Moralizing. Example telling students they

should know better than that! If they actually knew better, they might
not have behaved in an unacceptable manner in the first place. Students
make mistakes because they are inexperienced and learning as they go.
Part of learning is making mistakes. Correct mistakes in a quiet and caring
2. Threatening. Threats are ultimatums intended to terminate
undesirable behavior, even though you know you cannot carry them out.
Example If you dont stop that, Im going to kick you out of class,
sounds tough but is usually impossible to enforce. If students hear
numerous idle threats, theyll start to tune out and their respect will wane.
3. Ordering & Commanding. If teachers sound too bossy, students
begin to feel like they are nothing more than pawns to be moved around.
Ask students firmly but respectfully to carry out tasks. Courtesy and
politeness are requisites for effective teacher-student relationships.
4. Interrogating. When there is a problem (i.e. argument between two
students), an initial reaction is to try and figure out who started the
argument rather than deal with the feelings of the students. Little is gained
by trying to solve who started it. Try calmly saying, You know loud
arguing is not acceptable behavior in my class. You must have been very
angry to place yourself in this situation. This encourages students to talk
about their feelings rather than place blame on others. It also
communicates a caring and concerned attitude toward students even when
they misbehave.
5. Refusing to Listen. This commonly manifests itself as Lets
talk about it some other time. At times, such as during instruction, this
response is necessary. However, if you always refuse to listen, students
will avoid interaction and believe you dont care.
6. Labeling. Labeling is characterized by telling students, Stop
acting like babies or Youre behaving like a bunch of loonies. This is
degrading and dehumanizing to students. Often, labeling is done with the
intent of improving performance. In actuality, it is usually destructive and
leaves students with negative feelings.

Cooperative Approach to Conflict Resolution

1. Stop the aggressive behavior immediately

4. Test the solutions

2. Gather data and define what happened

5. Implement the plan

3. Brainstorm possible solutions

6. Evaluate the approach

Decrease Unacceptable Behavior (know your options)

1. Ignore or gently reprimand the
2. Give a time-out

3. Remove from activity

5. Send the student to the principal

4. Make a phone call home

6. Suspend or reassign the student

Implement Your Management Plan

Develop awareness of class / Be a leader, not a friend / Communicate high standards / Discipline individuals
Give positive group feedback / Avoid negative group feedback / Use activities that involve the entire class

Corrective Feedback
Do not reprimand publicly

State your position

Speak about the behavior

Isolate the student and yourself

Walk away

Dont threaten or bully

Avoid touching

Reinforce acceptable behavior

Darst, P. W., Pangrazi, R. P., Sariscsany, M., & Brusseau, T. A. (2012). Dynamic physical education for secondary school students (7th ed.). New York: Benjamin Cummings.