Picking One

As teachers, we strive for perfection and often want to tackle everything at one time, but here’s a new strategy to consider. Pick one behavior at a time on which to work with students who may challenge your patience with their behavior.

  1. Make a list of the specific behaviors you would like to see your students change. PICK ONE, yes, just one at a time!
  2. Talk with your students about this behavior and teach them what you want them to do instead of what they are currently doing.
  3. Make a small chart for their desk with the word “GOAL” written on the chart. Then make squares for the number of times you want them to exhibit the behavior for the day. For example, if your students constantly shout out the answer to a question, tell them you want them to raise their hand until you call on them to answer. For this behavior, perhaps their chart should contain three to five squares.
  4. Every time, for this example, they raise their hand to be called on, give them a star on their chart.
  5. When they earn a certain number of stars (which you determine), give the students a reward or special privilege.
  6. When they become great at their new skill, move on to the next behavior.

Ignoring the other negative behaviors might be hard, but take comfort those bad behaviors will soon pop up on your list to to be the next skill on which to work your students.

by Allyson Willis