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Behavior management: manage vs. change

Date: August 13th, 2014
By: Polly Bath

Watch this video [1:17] about how managing behavior doesn’t change it. Targeting the cause is the key.

Management of behavior is a temporary response. Management is like the punishment, or giving a reward, or putting a student in a certain seat. That’s all management. But behavior management plans are truly written for adults, not for kids. They really are what we’re going to do, on a regular basis, in response to the behavior.

What we’ve got to begin to really do is target the cause of those behaviors, and be able to understand what’s driving them. There is some sort of need and want in order for a student to behave and act a certain way, and he or she will use that action to get their need met until someone teaches them a new way. If a student has got some sort of challenge, some sort of disability, if you will, it makes it even harder.

We really have to get all of us to understand that behavior is just an action, a symptom. It’s just a calling card for something else. Once we learn that, it makes it so much easier for us to not get so aggravated and sucked in. We’re still going to get aggravated, I’m not going to say we’re not, and we don’t have a magic dust to fix every behavior. It takes time.