Classroom Behavior Change Contract Sample

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

If you are trying to help modify your students' behavior, it can help to have a contract with them. This lesson offers a sample of how a behavior change contract can look.

How Behavior Change Contracts Work

Classroom management can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. If you are struggling with difficult behaviors, one thing you might consider is enlisting your students' agency in modifying their behavior. One way to do this is by writing and signing behavior change contracts. These documents are essentially mutual promises regarding what behaviors students will focus on changing. Written similarly to any other contract, a behavior change contract can help students understand exactly what you expect of them and why it is so serious that they take control over modifying their own behavior. Further, behavior change contracts delineate rewards and consequences; this helps you keep your management of difficult behaviors fair and consistent.

This lesson provides you with an example of a behavior change contract. It is important to note that your specific contract will look different depending on the following variables:

  • your students' ages
  • the particular behaviors you are targeting
  • the consequences and/or rewards typical of your school, and
  • the time frame during which you are hoping to enact change.

However, the purpose of this sample is to give you a general sense of how a behavior contract should look.

Behavior Change Contract Example

We, the students of room 136, promise to work on changing our behavior for the better. This contract is our promise that during school, we will:

  • listen respectfully when our teacher and other students are talking.

We will show that we are listening by making eye contact, waiting to talk until the person before us is finished talking, and using our body language to show that we are listening to the person in charge.

  • get straight to work when it is time to begin something independent.

We will show that we are making good transitions into work time by asking any questions we have about what we are supposed to do before the transition begins, gathering our materials neatly and efficiently, and saving our socializing for a different, more appropriate time.

  • treat others in our class with kindness and respect.

We will demonstrate our respect for others by using language that is kind and thoughtful, keeping our hands to ourselves, offering others encouragement, and helping each other when we need help with something.

  • care for our classroom materials.

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