I feel that behavior management is a very important aspect for every classroom not just the special education classroom. However, it is a significant part of these classrooms. I can see myself referring to this book and the information that I learned numerous times through my Behavior management is a very important part of the special education classroom. I have learned many valuable tools that I will use in my classroom from this class. I feel that behavior management is not just for special education however, it is my opinion that every incoming teacher should be required to take this class. The strategies and information that I learned from this class will prove invaluable in my classroom. Chapter 1 talks about the psychoanalytical and behavioral approaches to understanding behavior. The psychoanalytical approach is focused on the inner forces for the student, such as impulses, drive, needs, motives, conflicts and personality. This approach also removes the child from the scene of the behavior and assesses the child in a different environment and is completed by a psychologist or psychiatrist. The behavioral approach believes that the behavior is conditioned or taught and the assessment occurs in the environment in which the behavior occurs. This type of assessment is usually performed by the teacher or behavior specialist with the school. I personally feel that the behavioral approach is more effective when assessing a student for behavior issues. If you pull a child away from the environment in which the behavior occurs the likelihood of the behavior occurring decreases. This can also result in an incorrect diagnosis.
Chapter 3 in the book discusses diversity in the classroom; this was a real eye opener for me. I never took into account the affect that culture can have on the behavior of a student. Before this chapter I had not heard the term worldview before but now I can see how this can have such a large influence on not only how the student communicates, but also their personal goals, belies systems, how they make decision, resolve conflict, talk with others. There are times when what one teacher considers a behavior problem is in reality common for certain cultures. An example of this would be in the Hispanic/Latino culture, it is their belief that it is not considered rude to interrupt a conversation, while in our culture that could be considered a behavior issues. I found Chapter 4 very interesting and informative. Until I read this chapter I never really thought much about the connection between early childhood and behavior issues. Being a parent myself I really should not have found this as much of a surprise as I did. There are so many environmental factors that have a large impact on the behavior issues of children that need to be taken into consideration when assessing for behavior issues but this does not mean that every student who comes from a poor environment or has the factors against them will be a behavior problem. By teaching students at a young age about Positive reinforcement we are likely to reduce future behavior issues. The chapter concerning adolescents was one of my favorite ones to read. I used to work with at-risk students and was able to gain valuable insight into how many of these students thought and what were the antecedents to their behavior issues. So many of these students looked like young adults but inside they were still children, many people tend to forget that adolescents are not only going through physical changes but they are going through cognitive and social changes as well. Many times this will lead to behavior issues, but many of these issues could be avoided I feel with a little more understanding. The one thing that I heard from a majority of my students with behavior issues is that they just wish that someone would show they cared. Chapters 6 and 7 were mainly about ways to measure and chart behavior. I can see myself utilizing the information in these chapters many times in the future. The sample forms for behavior observation, the various types of observation that you can utilize with behavior issues, recording guidelines, and many other things. This is the area that I am the most concerned about with behavior management is the ability to correctly observe and record behavior occurrences. This section of the book gave me valuable insight as to not only what steps I need to take but also showed me many different ways that I can accomplish this in my position. I can also see myself using the various types of single-subject designs when assessing behavior interventions. Behavioral assessment is one of the most important steps in behavior management. Behavioral assessment has several features that are common to both behavioral assessment protocols. All assessments are based on the impression of the students’ personality and the abnormal behavior as they occur in certain situations. The assessment also needs to focus on the individual child and their family and that behaviors can change depending on the environment in which they occur. When assessing behavior it is very important to describe the behavior and where it occurs to help diagnose the antecedent for the behavior. The behavior can also change depending on the environment; this is one reason why a student will act out with one teacher but not with a different teacher. The primary purpose of the assessment is to obtain information that will help in establishing effective interventions.
There are many different approaches that you can use to complete a behavioral assessment and there are also different styles that are best suited to different behavior issues. Each behavior assessment is unique and each intervention is unique. No two children are the same and what works for one student might now work with another. Chapter 10 is about Positive Behavioral Supports, this was the chapter that I felt like I could relate to the most. My school district participates in the PBIS district-wide and I have seen the positive effects that this has on the students. When you teach a child with praise they are more likely to respond with a good attitude. When you belittle a child or only focus on the negative the student is more likely to respond with negativity also. I have seen teachers who fall under both categories and the students tend to favor the ones who are more positive. By giving a student a reason to improve a behavior you are not bribing the student, you are trying to reinforce the positive behavior while reducing the negative behavior. There may be times when you will have to use negative reinforcement in response to a behavior, but I feel that this should only happen in cases where the child is about to cause harm to himself or another student.
When I was completing my observation the teacher I was observing gave me a lot of really good advice on not only behavior assessment but how to avoid behavior issues in the first place. When you provide a positive and welcoming atmosphere for students to walk into they are more likely to respond positively, but when a student knows that the teacher does not like them, or will be yelled at for something the student will usually act out. Avoid threats and always follow through with promises. Recognize the good in each student and make them aware of this.
This teacher also gave me a laminated copy of the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Before you delve into the behavior assessment ensure that the students is having the basic needs met, if a student is hungry or tired they maybe more likely to have behavior issues.
There are so many more things that I want to learn about Behavior Management. This class for me was just the beginning. I wish I could say that I am ready to jump right in and start performing assessments and planning interventions. But there is so much more that I have to learn. Most of this knowledge will come on the job when I am teaching in a classroom and I can really see myself using many of the strategies and assessments that I have learned in this class. I can see myself using this information in any type of classroom.