In teaching students with autism spectrum disorders, it’s helpful to implement a variety of strategies for dealing with disruptions, distractions and inappropriate behavior. Some things to keep in mind are: If possible, involve the student in finding solutions and writing up a behavioral contract that focuses on what he can do when he becomes upset. Kids connect with teachers who demonstrate consistency, fairness, and respect. Identify potential distractions in the classroom like noises, lighting, windows or movement of other students. Creating these habits on the first day of school and sticking to them throughout the year will not only help your students grow academically; it'll go a long way toward preventing behavioral issues. Draw a map of your classroom, including doors, windows, desks, blackboards—all significant items and areas. Every educator’s objective is to provide the best instruction and education for his students. Poor behavior should get either no attention or the kind of attention that is so negative the student won't want it. All Autism Society of NC offices are closed to the public due to COVID-19. Disruptive behavior: Actions which are annoying or disruptive, not malicious in nature. The student might have a hard time stopping on their own. In most cases, it doesn’t happen that way. The following are examples of effective syllabus policies: Cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off during class. First we brought a trampoline into the classroom for him to use after scheduled instruction times. For example, eye contact and name dropping may go unnoticed by a student with autism; whereas redirection can be a great tool. 2. Another time a teacher was having problems with a student scratching and pinching her arm while she attempted to teach him. When the bell rings the trampoline is put up. Plan lessons using high interest materials and incorporate choices. To achieve this, responses to misbehavior should: Stop the misbehavior and reestablish positive behavior as … The teacher had all the student’s desks in the middle of the room facing the front board. Learn Your Students… 1. Stay up to date on all the latest from Hey Teach: Get periodic emails that include exclusive content, special guides, and other great resources you won’t find anywhere else! Writing on theNational Education Association's website, teacher Dave Foley offers several tips to connect with kids on the first day of school—and every day after. It’s important to have the support of the whole team when making decisions and monitoring students with these type of behavior plans. Be sure instructions are clear and given visually as well as verbally. Good behavior rarely attracts attention. Don't be sarcastic, and don't raise your voice. Once I was consulting on a student who was not completing his work. We considered the high activity level of this child and his need to jump and climb and created some new options for him. Should students be allowed to \”escalate\” as they learn to self-manage their behaviors with less adult assistance, visual methods, etc.? 10 Strategies for Teachers on How to Deal With a Disruptive Class. 3. Telling kids a little about yourself and your subject is a great way to build relationships, too. Listen Carefully to Students. A mentor once told me that all teachers like some students better than others—but no one, especially the students, should be able to tell. The key is building strong teacher-student relationships from the beginning. Using dividers to section the room, arranging students’ desks to reduce visual distractions, keeping the noise level of the room down, softening harsh or bright lights and modifying other potential distractions are examples of structuring the classroom for success. Teachers need to have “eyes in the back of their head” to prevent inappropriate behaviors and/or address them before they escalate into bigger concerns. Talk to the student publicly and privately. Hi Amy, Thanks for this article. Her work has appeared in many publications including Education Week, and her blog, Practical Leadership, was featured on the Scholastic website. educators to deal with disruptive behavior. Please click here to read how we protect your personal information. Classroom staff can handle behavior challenges more successfully when they implement calming techniques themselves and with the children. Then he asks them to write down why they don't like it; his job, he says, is to make his students love history. A glance, a directed question, or your proximity may be enough to stop misbehavior. We teachers know how hard it can be to reorient students once bad behavior has taken root. All Rights Reserved. Many times teachers mistakenly think that if they put students with autism in the regular education class then they will figure everything else out on their own. There has been growing concern over disruptive behavior, including violence in educational and work settings, in the last decade. This helped tremendously because it reduced the visual distractions of the room and he was able to focus on his work. Teachers need to be aware of what is going on in the classroom at all times. Remember that disruptive behavior is often caused by stress or frustration. It may become harmful and then will likely be harder to stop/redirect/manage. What can happen then is that the student develops a routine of engaging in the inappropriate behavior and it is more likely to occur than if the teacher stops it and redirects the student. Studies support the idea that strong teacher-student relationships are a bulwark against disruptive classroom behavior. I hope this is helpful. Here are a few. If a student has a specific learning difference (SpLD) which the teacher is unaware of, who may be displaying behaviour which the teacher perceives to be disruptive. There are many reasons for the source of a child’s disruptive behavior in the classroom. 3. Focus on the behavior, not the student's worth. The meetings can be the whole class, small groups or individual meetings based on the present needs of the class. Degree, 6 Tips for Skillfully Managing Extreme Student Behaviors, How to Deal with Entitled Behavior in the Classroom, 6 Tips to Help You Thrive As a Substitute Teacher, Encouraging Students to Participate: How to Help Shy Students Speak Up, Ed Tech Review: Create Engaging Quizzes for Students with These 3 Free Online Tools. Speak for yourself only, not the class. Asking what they think, listening carefully, and acknowledging that their opinions are valid goes a long way toward building strong teacher-student relationships. Show your students that you're interested in getting to know them and that you're looking forward to working with them. So, Foley says, teachers should correct behavior quickly, privately, and without drawing the whole class's attention. Remove the student from that class session if the student does not comply with your actions. Four Techniques to Better Manage Behavior in the Classroom. Learn what is important and interesting to them and program lessons based upon these interests to increase motivation and engagement. Have a Sense of Humor. That's why it's important to nip behavioral issues in the bud—and to prevent them when we can. 5. © Western Governors University — WGU. She is the author of the funny, but practical book for teachers, How to Handle Difficult Parents (Prufrock Press). They need visual supports to help them remember what to do and teachers or parent to remind them while they are learning the calming techniques and other replacement behaviors. Because of the tendency of students with behavior issues to be seen as trouble makers, this positive role can help change how teachers and other student view them and can also improve their self-esteem. You can lose focus on what is important. Be specific about the behavior that is disruptive and set limits. Remove the Audience. The student might need help remembering what else to do. Teaching calming strategies and appropriate ways of expressing anger can also be incorporated into the class meetings. Automated Behavior Technology for Disruptive Classroom Behavior Alternative Behavior Educator (ABE) is an online learning management system that provides behavioral, evidence-based interventions in the classroom, addressing school discipline problems. Five teacher behaviors--modeling, designing, interacting, responding, and assessing--are discussed as ways of introducing students to a way of life in the classroom. 4. 2020 Autism Society of NC. She is a strong believer that all kids can learn and that teaching requires art, skill, and a good sense of humor. Focusing on the classroom structure, consistency and predictability as well as establishing positive relationships and involving students in finding solutions are all equally important in creating a positive classroom environment. For a complete list of workshops available through the Autism Society of North Carolina Training Department, click here . As a result, he began to complete his work with no pinching and scratching. Seek to understand the reason for the disruption. Teachers need to have “eyes in the back of their head” to prevent inappropriate behaviors and/or address them before they escalate into bigger concerns. Be sure your behavior management plan reinforces the school's code of conduct regarding disruptive behavior. The study found that increasing the individual time teachers spend with children who display disruptive behavior – whether through Banking Time or Child Time – improved children’s behavior compared to children in the control condition, who were not asked to spend individual time with teachers. 1) Clear rules about what is acceptable and what is not. Among her honors is a Woman of Distinction Award from the New York State Senate. What is the line between ignoring/re-directing? If you do not there will be a disconnect because the kids will not like ... 2. Praise students when they're prepared, when they work hard, and when they listen respectfully to you and to one another. Researchers note that the most effective way to minimize disruptive behavior in the classroom is to prevent its initial occurrence through effective classroom management, principally organization and communication. For higher functioning students, class meetings can be designed to address challenges in the classroom. WARNING. Ignore or minimize minor problems instead of disrupting the class. She has been a presenter and consultant, and with Magna Publications she developed videos on demand highlighting successful strategies for classroom teachers. Strategies to Handle a Disruptive Student. Focusing on classroom rules and expectations seems like the logical way to begin the year. A warning is a teacher statement informing the student that continued misbehavior will … Recommendations for faculty include the following: Schedule regular times to check in with the student during the day/ and during the week as needed to give the feedback and a time to talk about things that may be issues. When you talk with your students— and not at them—you're actually using sound behavior management strategies in the classroom. Instead of starting with this assumption, try welcoming students into your classroom and engaging them in day-one activities. Focusing on finding solutions with your students as opposed to giving them consequences for behavior will give them a sense of autonomy and also increase their motivation to regulate their behavior. Try to get agreement on expected norms. Before class ends, give them a quick preview of what you'll cover tomorrow. Writing a syllabus that clearly spells out your classroom’s policies and going over it with your students is an excellent tool to prevent disruptive behavior. Give examples of what your students will be learning. It is timely for some questions I have been having. For additional information and/or consultation please email Amy at ahobbs@autismsociety-nc.org. children have lower grades and an increased dropout rate later in their education career (Finn et. Establishing strong relationships early on will benefit everyone as the year progresses. To avoid 'losing face,' students may react by talking back, smirking, or walking out of class. Review your expectations of classroom behavior, if necessary. Writing in Education Week, Sarah D. Sparks says that strong student-teacher relationships improve "practically every measure schools care about: higher student academic engagement, attendance, grades, fewer disruptive behaviors and suspensions, and lower school dropout rates. A history teacher I know starts each year by asking how many of his students don't like history. We provide a wide selection of educational material, media and access to events to help you equip yourself with knowledge to tackle autism. Instead of avoiding their work, students will talk to you about struggles they're having with the material. If neither works, isolate the child in a peer teacher classroom with … ", Sparks also points to a study in the European Journal of Psychology of Education that shows that a teacher's relationship with students is the best predictor of "how much the teacher experienced joy versus anxiety in class.". Be Firm and Direct. When there is inappropriate behavior that is interfering with learning in the classroom, it is important for the teacher to respond quickly. And it may take longer for an instructor to realize that a student is actually being disruptive online, since online communications can be ambiguous and one always wants to give students the benefit of the doubt. Degree. He can choose the trampoline during his breaks & the teacher sets a timer for 3-5 minutes. al., 1995). We improve lives through skill-building, clinical services, employment supports, and social recreation. They're far less likely to misbehave when it means jeopardizing that connection. Don't expect your students to look like this in your classroom. Suzanne Capek Tingley started as a high school English/Spanish teacher, transitioned to middle school, and eventually became a principal, superintendent, and adjunct professor in education administration at the State University of New York. It may be disruptive to the rest of the class and also interfere with that student’s instruction time. "As teachers," Foley says, "we are dealing with fragile beings. Of course, there's a lot more to building relationships with students than fun opening-day activities. Spell out the positive behaviors that you want the student to engage in. I suggested having an independent work station for this child that was facing a wall. by Suzanne Capek Tingley, Veteran Educator, M.A. Instead describe their behavior as "positive," "acceptable," "disruptive," or "unacceptable." By submitting you will receive emails from Hey Teach! Prevention First. DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR IN THE CLASSROOM 6 . These relationships are critical to preventing behavioral issues that tend to arise as the school year progresses. But starting this way suggests that you believe that kids will misbehave—that's why you have rules. Focus on recognizing and rewarding acceptable behavior more than punishing misbehavior. Understand how your students communicate and how they best understand information presented to them. When students disrupt the classroom with incessant talking or getting out of their seats, tell them immediately to stop and inform them of the consequences per your class rules and expectations. The Autism Society of North Carolina improves the lives of individuals with autism, supports their families, and educates communities. See our COVID-19 page for updates and resources. \”the teacher preventing a behavior before it escalates into something big\” particularly for students who have a behavior related to attention. For example, if a student is off task and tapping a pencil loudly on a table, the teacher can redirect them back to their assignment and give them something soft to tap the pencil on or remind them to squeeze a stress ball instead. So start the year off right by using these behavior management strategies in the classroom. If a FBA (functional behavior assessment) has been done and it determined that the function of the behavior is attention, then ignoring might work. The answer will vary depending on that information. Planning a recess time or physical activity in the morning as well as in the afternoon with additional opportunities for movement around the classroom is a must for students with short attention spans and excess energy. So, it’s important for teachers to be purposeful, clear and utilize visual supports to ensure understanding. Engaging your students, demonstrating your interest in them, sharing a little about yourself, and being enthusiastic about your class sets the tone and gives kids a sense of what kind of teacher (and person) you are. They will do whatever it takes to preserve their dignity." Remember there’s often more than one reason or function for a behavior. Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About. Because of the unique social challenges of students with autism, some strategies will likely work better than others. Complete a behavior contract in which the student agrees to work on specific behaviors in your class. The teacher was seated beside the student and I simply suggested that she work with him from across a table to give a little bit more space. If you're an elementary school teacher, you could spend up to 1,000 hours with your students. 7 tips for managing disruptive behaviour. Be careful to express rules in a positive way rather than making a list of dos and don’ts and make it an exercise that involves the … 4. Allow Mini Breaks. For more serious, recurring behaviors, a functional behavior assessment should be completed to determine the purpose or function of the behavior followed by the development of a behavior intervention plan. Mapping Behavior. Remember this is a process that takes time to learn and if a student is overwhelmed or frustrated they may need more support to be successful. A math teacher in my school assigns kids to small groups, gives them popsicle sticks and glue, and tells them they have 15 minutes to build a structure and then explain what it's for. Being accepted by their peers is the key to their self-esteem. Having regularly scheduled class meeting times will give lots of opportunities for input from the students. In closing, I think that in order to have a positive impact on behavior, using proactive, preventive techniques are vital. Stay Calm and Emotion Free. Never Raise Your Voice. These classroom strategies are wonderful for all children. Identify those replacement behaviors or calming strategies and make sure that the student has support in utilizing them. Don't ignore good behavior. Forcing a person with a DBD to sit still and focus for long periods is like asking a … Further Reading: How to Deal with Entitled Behavior in the Classroom. I was wondering what your or others\’ thoughts were on your second paragraph…. The stress and tension of thinking and moving fast on your feet makes you look for "every little nail". Use The Silent Stare. Here are a few ways to handle a disruptive situation in the classroom: Try to Understand the Student’s Side When a student does something disruptive in class like bullying a classmate, set them aside and ask them for their side of the story. Thank you for such a well-written article. For example, if he needs a break or a calm down space away from other students, then the teacher will have a place set up for him and will approve of this when he asks. Preserve students' self-esteem. Proactively prepare for their smiles, instead! Just disruptive enough to slow the pace of your lesson but not dramatic enough to draw it to a halt. Confront the behavior, not the person. If implemented quickly enough redirection can prevent escalation of inappropriate behavior and help a student regain their focus and complete their work. Strategies for those spur of the moment behavior referral conversations. Brasco ///. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Prevention is the best way to handle a disruptive student. To reach staff, who are working remotely, please email or call 800-442-2762. Deep breathing, counting to 10, taking a break, pushing on a wall, and using a quiet, slow voice are a few strategies that defuse tension. Incorporating opportunities for physical exercise during the school day can help increase students’ ability to concentrate and reduce disruptive behaviors. Editor’s Note – The following article was written by Amy F. Hobbs, Training Specialist for the Autism Society of North Carolina. Consistently show that you hold high expectations for all of your students. And if ignoring doesn’t stop the behavior after a certain amount of time, then maybe there is another function for the behavior (self-soothing, avoiding a demand, etc). Could this misbehavior be a result of inappropriate curriculum or teaching strategies? How does one handle these impromptu encounters? Don’t assume that a behavior is intentionally designed to trick you. You can start using behavior management strategies in the classroom on the first day of school, and they'll help you and your students have a great year. It’s difficult to answer without knowing the specifics of the situation and also without knowing the individual student. and can opt-out at any time. What follows is an idea that can help teachers change their responses to challenging, disruptive behavior. All Rights Reserved. The first few days of the school year are arguably the most important. First, take the time to get to know your students and establish a positive relationship with each one. Be fair and consistent. Try first talking to the child, then try isolating the child within the classroom. It concerns me when I see students engaging in self-injurious behaviors (like head banging for example) and they are being ignored because the teacher or staff doesn’t want to reinforce the behavior. But it’s also important to realize that individuals with autism spectrum disorder need a lot of assistance to learn self-management/regulation techniques. Another student was disrupting the class by climbing on top of bookshelves, window sills and cabinets and jumping off. Development by Identify the cause of student misbehavior Students with autism need to be taught right from wrong as well as how to interact with other children. Learn the most effective communication style for each student and give them repeated opportunities to communicate appropriately and receive reinforcement for doing so. They typically don’t learn social skills as easily or in the same way as other students and social understanding does not come naturally for them. List of Disruptive Classroom Behavior Disruptive Behavior is when a student acts in a way that is difficult and this prevents them and other students in the class from studying.This type of behavior usually results in the teachers attention becoming focused on that child and preventing other classmates from receiving the attention they deserve. Understand and accept each student’s limitations while using positive praise to acknowledge their accomplishments. If a student is being taught a clear method of self-regulation, it might be that a behavior needs to escalate before it completely goes away. Find support from a specialist or your local chapter. But you can reinforce good behavior by recognizing it. So over a typical 180-day school year, you'll spend 150 hours with your students. When his students are done, he collects the papers and reads them aloud—often to laughter and groans. Realizing each student is different, and assuming the preventable behavior is not harmful, in general, is it better to stop a behavior before it escalates, or ignore/re-direct a behavior? Everyone wants to be heard and made to feel like what they have to say matters. You ask a great question about whether to ignore a behavior, redirect a behavior or stop a behavior and the line between ignoring and redirecting. The student gained a better understanding of what he needed to do and could see how much he needed to complete before he was finished. When we talk about disruptive behaviors, we refer to inappropriate behaviors that harm the good functioning of the classroom, referring to tasks, relationships with classmates, compliance with class norms or lack of respect for the teacher. Inappropriate behaviors can be addressed and minimized by looking at the individual needs of the student. So, as an educator, how do you handle disruptive behavior? Instead of acting out, students will come to you with their concerns. Explain any consequences of continued disruptions. I have found that consultation and collaboration are essential in managing behavioral referrals and helping teachers manage disruptive behaviors in the classroom. Minimizing Disruptive Behavior. Address the disruption individually, directly and immediately. Classroom management: Refers to the processes and provisions that are necessary to create and maintain environments in which teaching and learning can occur (Duke & Meckel, 1984, p. 3). If a child intentionally makes a mess like writing on a wall or pouring paint on the floor have them help you clean it up. Further Reading: 6 Tips for Skillfully Managing Extreme Student Behaviors. Using students with challenging behaviors as peer tutors with younger, disabled students gives them an opportunity to be in a helper role. Preventing disruptive behavior with a syllabus. It may become a routine and be harder to change. Treat every kid with the same level of respect. Make giving specific positive feedback a habit. So if teacher-student relationships are the key to a great year, make the first day of the school year about building relationships, not reviewing rules. Currently, one of the main problems in our classrooms is behavior problems in children and adolescents. We also developed a visual work system that clearly defined for the student what work they needed to complete and what would happen next. Studies support the idea that strong teacher-student relationships are a bulwark against disruptive classroom behavior. Ask for questions. Brad, Compton, CA. We also adjusted the schedule so that at least twice a day and more if needed, the whole class goes for a walk and has time on the playground. positive behavioral interventions and supports, Suzanne Capek Tingley, Veteran Educator, M.A. Join us in improving lives by making your voice heard, donating, volunteering, or joining us at one of our events. You might want to consider this tried and tested techniques from the experts. Hi Laura, Start with an ice breaker; pair students up and ask them to interview one another then introduce their partner to the class. If you're a secondary school teacher, you teach your students for 50 minutes a day. Being criticized by a teacher in front of their peers humiliates them. Students need to know what's expected of them, after all. When there is inappropriate behavior that is interfering with learning in the classroom, it is important for the teacher to respond quickly. Web Design & Ask the person to recommend a solution. In the Responsive Classroom approach to discipline, the overarching goal is to keep the focus on learning, while maintaining a classroom that’s physically and emotionally safe for all. Remember to Remain Calm. Adult educators have had to face the challenges of disruptive behavior by adult learners in the classroom and in other learning settings. Ask students for their opinions. It’s also important to make sure that he understands what behaviors are not acceptable, such as aggressive acts and what the consequences of those actions will be. Inappropriate … But I think it’s also important then to make sure that positive attention is being given when the desired behaviors are being exhibited. “The only behavior teachers can control is their own,” Rappaport and Minahan advise. Consequences: What happens when rules are broken or followed. You can find resources on this website or by contacting our staff. Then think about the design of the classroom and how you can best arrange it to minimize those distractions and meet the needs of the students. Finding ways to keep the student motivated to follow his behavior contract, taking data on his behavior, closely monitoring his progress, and reviewing and revising it with him as needed are also important parts of the process. I would be cautious in allowing student’s behavior to “escalate” for the following reasons. Also, these students often don’t connect consequences with their behavior. Using only aggressive forms of classroom management to deal with the misbehaviour of disruptive students may cause more problems than it solves. You have to have a sense of humor in the classroom. If you want to email me more specifics about your situation, I’d be happy to try and help further. Implementing a proactive approach in the classroom can prevent many disruptions or behavior problems from occurring in the first place. You might end up feeling joy—not stress—during the many hours you spend with your students this year. 1. Notice of Privacy Practices:Please click here to view how the Autism Society of North Carolina protects health information. Disruptive students, in any teaching and learning environment, are a challenge to manage, but they can be particularly so online. Students want to feel valued. The Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) offers training opportunities for … Being in a role of a peer tutor assists in developing the student’s sense of belonging and generosity.

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