A rise in harassment and violence against teachers is taking a toll on already-exhausted educators. A recent survey from the American Psychological Association found that 6 in 10 teachers reported student violence or verbal aggression during the pandemic, with nearly half expressing a desire or plan to quit or transfer schools.
To create a teaching environment where educators feel safe, school leaders may want to consider adding evidence-based behavior management strategies to their back-to-school plan. The more preventative maintenance teachers can do through proactive strategies, the less likely they will encounter problem behavior.
Here are five classroom management strategies to help educators regain control of their classrooms:
1. Understanding students
Getting to know each student individually will enable teachers to better evaluate the nature of the problem behavior when it occurs and respond appropriately. Additionally, challenging behaviors are much less likely when a teacher and student build a rapport based on trust and understanding. To build this rapport, teachers’ nonverbal behavior and paraverbal communication need to reflect their compassion for each student.
2. Practicing patience
An important de-escalation skill is what the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) terms “Rational Detachment”–the ability to manage one’s behavior and attitude and not take the behavior of others personally. When faced with student misbehavior, instead of thinking something like, “I can’t take this disrespect anymore,” teachers can use positive self-talk such as, “I’ve seen this before. This behavior is not about me. What is it about, and how can I help?”