Behavior Management: High School
Evan Kruschke & Lindsey Earl
Typical High School Classroom Behaviors
● Socializing (note passing, chatting)
● Cell phone use (texting, social media)
● Not prepared for class (reading, materials, etc)
● Excessive movement
● Lack of concentration (daydreaming)
● Disrespecting you or other classmates
● Sleeping in class
Warning Signs and High-Risk Behaviors*
● Persistent and excessive disruption
● Violent and aggressive behavior towards peers or teacher
● Excessive sleeping in class
● Consistent failure to complete homework
● Any drastic change to usual behavior
● Testing difficulties
*When you see these behaviors, call in the school counselor!
Developmentally Typical Behaviors For High School Students
● Socializing with peers
● Attention to and dependence to social media and technology
● Experimentation with “off limit” boundaries
● Discovering who they want to be - curiosity & turmoil
● Changing from concrete to formal operational thinking can cause differences in coping skills
● Growing and developing moral reasoning
● Engaging in power struggles
Strategies we can use now!
● Personalization of Homework
○ Integrate the interests of the student into homework assignments and tasks.
○ Make simple changes to math problems, such as the adding of personal names or community activities and locations.
● Group Contingency to Manage Disruptive Behavior
○ Create a class wide behavior goal.
○ Find a way to track this for the whole class to see
○ Classmates must work together, holding each other accountable for their behavior.
○ Examples we have seen: adding points to the white board, make it a competition between classes, using a jar and marbles or another small object (when the jar is full or students have met the set amount of points they get a reward). This works best if you let the students in on the planning of the reward.
● Self-Assessment and Goal Setting
○ At midterms, students complete a self-assessment in which they rate themselves on aspects of their performance (i.e. attendance, homework completion, attention in class).
○ Students then rate how important each of the aspects are, and create steps they think will help them score higher on the next assessment.
○ Teachers then check in with students a week later.
● Managed Goal and Contingency Plans
○ Identify students struggling, and work with them to create personalized goals, with weekly check ins.
○ Contingencies may also be used, in which the student is rewarded for the meeting of a goal.
● Adjusting of Task Difficulty
○ If a student is continually causing disruption before or after work in cass, there may be a chance the task was too hard or too easy.
○ Find activities or intentionally difficult, interesting worksheets that will challenge the student.
How can WE encourage a healthy school climate?
Teachers, administration, and staff can work together to improve management and support students.
● Multiple Intelligence
○ Create engaging classrooms where all students can be successful
● Connecting with students
○ In classrooms, hallways, at lunch, during extracurricular activities
● System Support
○ Make changes visible and collaborate.
○ Have discussions about what we see working. How can we keep using what works?
School Counselors are here to support you!
● Communication! If we have any insight that we think would be beneficial to a student's learning, we will share!
● Guidance Lessons (i.e.“How to be a Successful High School Student”)
● Offer observation opportunities
● Resources are our thing, and our door is always open. If you are having difficulty with a particular student in the classroom, let us know and we will do some brainstorming to find a solution together!
What is Our Behavior Management Philosophy?
● BUILD RELATIONSHIPS!
● Be Consistent
● Be Positive & Acknowledge Good Behavior (be specific!)
● Don’t engage in power struggles
● Use Humor
● Give individual attention
● Give students freedom to be themselves (it’s not all about business)
Why Behavior Management is Important for School Counselors
● Relationship building increases your awareness of your student’s needs.
● Good management skills allows for a smoother and more effective presentation of information.
● When a classroom is on task, learning is taking place!
We are here to help you support your students