Overview: The following information includes strategies and suggestions for managing at-risk and disruptive behaviors in the middle school classroom.
As school counselors, we believe in:
- Implementing solution-focused approaches
- Proactively meeting the needs of all students
- Empowering students to take responsibility for their success
- Reinforcing and modeling appropriate behavior
At-risk behaviors in the classroom include:
- Aggression and violence
- Stealing and dishonesty
- Harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB)
- Inappropriate language and conversation
- Antagonism and hostility towards individuals
- Lack of attendance, participation and motivation
- Provide structured time for journaling in order for students to process, recognize, and identify cognitions, behaviors, and emotions.
- Implement a monetary rewards system to create incentives for exemplifying positive behavior and affirming existing appropriate behaviors.
- Offer tactile stimulation to redirect disruptive behavior through - a fidget ring
- An exercise ball
- A stress ball
High-risk behavior is inappropriate, frequent behavior that has the potential to place a student in danger. High-risk behavior management strategies include:
- Cue cards – a system where students can excuse themselves from class if they begin to notice signals of dis regulation. Teachers can also give students a cue card when they notice the same signals in the student. Teachers and students are mutually responsible for making alternative plans.
- Emotion cards – a nonverbal alternative solution to identifying how emotions are linked to behavior. Teachers and students should
- Partner with supports available within the school to provide a community of support for the students. For example:
- Behavior interventionial
- Mental health therapist
- Introduce school-wide language between students and staff to break down barriers in communication regarding behavioral issues.
- Encourage healthy hobbies and extracurricular activities which highlight students’ innate strengths and skills.
- Provide structure and routine so expectations are clear and there is a consistent routine.
- The CHAMPS model (conversation, help, activity, movement, participation, success) provides teachers with a classroom tool for setting daily expectations.
- The CHAMPS model can be implemented school wide to create consistency among classrooms.
The model below describes an approach to behavior assessment that is specific, measurable, and observable. It provides evidence to create an appropriate plan for behavior management.
In terms of behavior management, school counselors are responsible for promoting solution-focused approaches to addressing behavioral issues school wide through:
- Guidance lessons
- Supporting all members of the school community
- Modeling positive and professional behavior
- Awareness and utilization of available resources
- Individual and group counseling
- Implementing evidence based approaches
- Staying current and connected to the American School Counseling Association