Behavior Management Strategies for Middle School

Instructor: Marquis Grant
Teachers often need strategies to help manage behavior in the classroom. This lesson will highlight strategies that can be used to manage the behaviors of middle school students. A short quiz will follow that will test your knowledge.

Behavior Management

Behavior management refers to your ability to create and maintain a positive classroom environment that allows all students to be successful. Your ability to manage behavior will only be possible if you hold students responsible for their own actions. You, as the teacher, must believe that your students must behave appropriately in order to be successful in the classroom. Your expectations for students must be high, and your students must understand that you are firmly committed to positive behavior from the first day of school. You must teach your students your expectations and model how they will go about meeting these expectations.

When you teach and model behavior, be explicit about what you want. Even middle school students need step-by-step guidance when it comes to doing the right things. Instead of saying, 'I want everyone to get in line,' you may want to say, 'I want everyone to get into a single-file line with no talking, hands beside you and facing forward.' By following this approach, you will reduce the likelihood that students do not follow your instructions as expected.

Prevent Behaviors

It is actually possible to stop problem behaviors long before they start. You can do so by creating a rules and routines chart to display in the classroom as a visual reminder of your expectations for behavior.

A rules and routines chart can be a good reminder for students about their behaviors.

You should also plan for any and everything. For example, you should have extra work assignments for students who finish working early or know how you handle a student who becomes disruptive during class time and refuses to comply. How will students ask for help if needed? When are students allowed to talk, and when are they expected to remain quiet? These types of things should be covered before the beginning of the school year.

Teach Behavior Expectations

As the teacher, you cannot assume that your students know how to behave, even if they are in middle school. Remember, not all teachers are good behavior managers. Some of your students may have experienced chaotic or unorganized classrooms in the past. This means that you will simply have to put in a little more work towards appropriate behaviors in your classroom and in the school as a whole.

Teaching students appropriate behaviors as part of a lesson is much like teaching students how to do math, science or any other subject. You will need to :

  • Decide on which behaviors you will focus
  • Plan the goals and objectives for the lesson
  • Determine how you will go about teaching the lesson to your students
  • Locate the resources that you will need to execute the lesson
  • Decide the outcomes that you expect from your students as a result of the lesson being taught.

Model the Behavior

Modeling allows students to see how you expect them to behave through explicit demonstration. For example, if you expect students to walk in a straight line without talking, you may ask two or three students to come to the front of the room and show their classmates how you want to done. You may even show them how it isn't done by having a couple of students demonstrate walking in an unorganized line and talking. This way your students will see an example of the correct procedure as well as the incorrect procedure.

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