Saturday, January 21, 2012

Preventing Disruptive Behavior: Tips for Classroom Management

1)    Adopt a middle ground. Be firm in enforcing rules, but do it in a way that you balance it with warmth, praise, understanding, fairness, responsiveness, and acceptance of the troubled student’s needs.

2)    Increase your tolerance for angry feelings and acting-out behaviors by identifying positive attributes in the feelings or behavior; for example, independence, leadership qualities, or strong character.

3)    Change your teaching style from stationary to circulating so that you can walk by the troubled, anger-prone, or acting-out student every five-to-six minutes.

4)    Use proximity control, such as walking towards the student, putting one hand on the child’s shoulder or desk, and/or  (without saying a word) removing any object that is distracting the child.

5)    Model calmness, gentleness, and respect. Address children using “Thank you,” “I’m sorry,” or “I apologize.” Teachers should never be afraid of saying to children that we are sorry, or acknowledging the fact that we make mistakes too. Students respect us more when they perceive we are fair.

6)    According to Goldstein, Harootunian, and Conoley (as found in Slap-Shelton, 1994) teachers’ characteristics that lead to sound decision making when dealing with disruptive students include the following:

a)     Remaining calm in the face of a crisis

b)    Listening actively without becoming defensive and/or authoritarian

c)     Avoiding win-lose situations

d)    Maintaining a problem solving approach

7)    Increase your awareness of how your own behavior and particular ways of handling conflict influence your students’ behaviors. Write your reflections in a journal, so that you can see how effective your interventions are, as well as detect any areas where you need to improve. Look for patterns of interacting and behaving in both your students and yourself. Periodically review your progress, assessing how it is going, and making modifications as needed.


 Slap-Shelton, L., ed. (1994). Coping with aggressive children in the classroom. Child Therapy Today, Vol. 1, pp 193-194.

Related Articles

Classroom Management of Disruptive Behavior: 18 Psycho-Educational Principles. To read this article, click here.

Classroom Management: 23 Psycho-Educational Tips for Correcting and Redirecting Behavior.  To read this article, click here.

Psycho-Educational Insights for Managing Habitually Disruptive Students:   Contributing Factors to the Escalation of Behavior Problems. To read this article, click here.

Of Interest to Teachers and School Staff...

Watch Your Language! Ways of Talking and Interacting with Students that Crack the Behavior Code
To preview this book on Amazon, click here.

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  1. Nice , your post is very informative moreover ! Most of the kids are entrapped by the major child behavior problems like abnormal behavior, negative attitude, children behavior disorders which are regarded as to be harmful for their growth and development.find all information about child behavior on

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  3. I really enjoyed your ideas on preventing disruptive behavior! It was very informative and helpful!

  4. As I read through this, the first thing that came to my mind was how kids relate towards their teachers and students. It's true that teachers must know each student and observe how they treat each other, especially after classes. You just might not know what's happening to them outside the campus.

  5. Every students and teacher must have good relationship between them,then only students can learn more and more from the students.IB Schools in India

  6. If a child has disruptive behavior, we as parents are very important in their treatment.