Any teacher will tell you how important effective behavior management is to ensure the success of students — from the children who behave well to the ones who don’t. 

Behavior management is also one area that many teachers struggle with the most. More and more, teachers are asked to take on a greater number of students and responsibilities. Managing a full classroom of students with different needs and development stages is a lot to handle! This is where behavior management comes in. 

What is Behavior Management? 

Behavior management strategies are tools that teachers use to encourage their students to behave in a certain way that will help create a better learning environment. 

While the word behavior can have a negative connotation, behavior management is much more than disciplining kids and stopping students from misbehaving. It reinforces and encourages positive and productive behavior. 

There are no step-by-step guidelines for perfect behavior. Behavior management strategies will — and should — vary based on the student, situation, and setting. 

For example, you would react differently to a student who misbehaves regularly versus one whose misbehavior is out of character, or for a student disrupting others rather than just their own learning. 

The Basics of Behavior Management 

While the behavior management strategies you use will vary based on the circumstance, there are some general guidelines you can follow for positive student behavior:  

  1. Be fair and consistent: set expectations on day one so students know what to expect and what will happen if they don’t follow the rules. Treat every student the same and don’t show favoritism towards specific students.  
  2. Be firm: follow through on enforcing these expectations. Students need to know that you will act should there be misbehavior. Enforcement does not mean teachers should make harsh punishments, but that they’re assertive as to what is and what isn’t acceptable behavior.  
  3. Be positive: it can be hard to get lost in anger or frustration, but students respond much better to positive reinforcement. Look for ways to praise good behavior, which will in turn, encourage more good behavior.  

Remember, how a student responds to these behavior management strategies will vary. Finding what works best for each student will take trial and error. 

Effective Behavior Management Policies 

Consistency is the most important aspect of ensuring effective behavior management in the classroom. Out of all the different behavior management policies, the ones that work effectively are clearly defined and implemented.   

Likewise, the least effective are those in which the teacher only occasionally follows the policy, leaving students confused and more likely to try and act out. 

Ben Dunford, VP of Product Management, Student Engagement and Well-Being, has long used behavior management in the classroom during his time as a teacher. “I found that the most effective policies were the ones that were clear and concise,” says Ben. 

“They didn’t need to be long and complicated, but they did need to be clear about what was expected of students and what the consequences would be if they did not meet those expectations.” 

Here’s an example of an effective behavior management policy: 

  • Set clear expectations: inform students of the expectations for behavior, attendance, punctuality, and uniform. 
  • Demonstrate clear consequences: outline what happens when students don’t meet these expectations. 
  • Showcase clear rewards: preview what happens when students do meet these expectations. 

It’s also essential that the school leadership team supports their teachers and helps enforce these behavior policies, and is available for escalations if the misbehavior calls for it. Everyone needs to work together for behavior management policies to be effective. 

Behavior Management Programs and Tools 

Epraise helps overwhelmed teachers improve student behavior in the classroom. It’s a platform designed to support the behavior management strategies listed above, making it easier for everyone — teachers included — to follow them. 

While Epraise can recognize and address negative behavior, it focuses more on positive reinforcement. When a student first logs in, they see all the great things they have been doing. This achievement can be anything from reaching an academic milestone to helping another student. 

To reward good behavior, teachers can run a ‘shop’ with experiences and privileges for students, incentivizing positive outcomes rather than negative consequences. Teachers can also set up prize drawings linked to specific criteria, such as good behavior or nominations, or set up charitable causes where students can use their points to vote for donations. 

Epraise’s behavior management tools help foster a positive learning environment that supports students’ well-being and motivates them do to their best. With features like confidential parent communication and anonymous concern reporting, Epraise helps create supportive school communities with students’ best interests at heart.  

There are so many ways to utilize Epraise in your school. Get in touch with our sales team for a one-on-one demo of Epraise to see how you can effectively manage behavior in the classroom.