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Behavior Management in Early Childhood Education

Essay by   •  July 22, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  2,134 Words (9 Pages)  •  2,089 Views

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Behavior Management in Early Childhood Education

Behavior management is one of the most popular and important topic in the field of early childhood education. Nothing makes parents and teachers more frustrated than an inability to manage a young child's behavior. In this paper I will describe the purpose of behavior management in early childhood education setting, discuss three strategies teachers may use to determine the function of challenging behaviors and design an individual support plan for each of the challenging behaviors, and summarize the role of the teacher in designing and implementing a classroom behavior plan.

Classroom behavior management refers to the discipline system that teachers and schools put in place to teach students to control their behavior. It includes things as simple as how to hand in papers and as complicated as how to handle bullying. Effective classroom management maximizes student learning because less time is spent on disruptions and other behavioral issues. (Zimmerman, J,2012. )

The overall purpose of behavior management is to assist young children in displaying behaviors that are conducive to learning and to teach social behaviors that are appropriate for home and school settings. In effective adult-child interactions, the children's behavior is recognized, interpreted in context, and responded to contingently. (Bacon,P.A. 2006-12)

The most important rule of behavior management in the early childhood classroom is to be consistent. No matter which techniques you choose to incorporate into the management of your classroom, you must stick to the plan for it to work. If students notice that you are sporadic in your responses to inappropriate behavior, they will not be as devoted to making the right choices. If you

create and consistently implement an effective classroom management plan, your classroom will be a safe, welcoming environment where students are ready and excited to learn.

Proactive classroom management is based on organizing the classroom in ways that create a positive physical and emotional environment. Proactive teacher establish routines lesson and disciplinary strategies that teach students self-control.

Proactive teachers do not avoid problems in learning or problems with behavior. These teachers accept responsibility for their students' successes and their students' failure. Proactive teachers are distinguished by their positive approach to dealing with disciplinary problem. Rather than waiting for the problems to develop and then reacting proactive teachers organize their classroom to promote positive behavior.

Proactive classroom management is very important, rather than looking for a quick fix to behavioral problem proactive teachers make a commitment to long-term behavioral change.

According to Kaiser, B. & Sklar Rasminsky, challenging behavior is any behavior that interferes with children's learning, development, and success at play, is harmful to the child, other children or adults, and puts a child at high risk for later social problems or school failure.( Kaiser, B. & Sklar Rasminsky, J.,2012)

Positive reinforcement, natural and logical consequences, and developmental discipline are three strategies teachers may use to determine the functions of challenging behaviors. According to text we offer you several strategies for two reasons. First, people have different styles, philosophies, and life experiences, and what suits the teachers in the child care center or school around the corner might not

suit you at all. It's important to believe in the strategy you're using; if you don't feel comfortable with it or understand the philosophy behind it, it probably won't work for you. Second, every child is unique, and each requires an approach that fits his state of mind, to say nothing of his unique temperament, stage of development, and culture. When you know how to use several strategies, possibilities open up, and you can choose the one that's most appropriate for the circumstances. As Abraham Maslow once said, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."( Kaiser, B. & Sklar Rasminsky, J.(2012)

One technique that has stood the test of time and always works, however, is using positive reinforcement. The correct use of positive reinforcement in the classroom will work wonders on managing the behavior of your students.

I will use positive reinforcement in the classroom by staring the day off right. Greeting my students with words of praise such as, "Thanks for hanging up your backpack quietly.", rather than "Keep your voice down!" Maybe try to find at least one student who has entered the classroom or hung up his backpack quietly, and praise him. Chances are, others will hear and follow suit. Praise sparingly and specifically. Specific praise will reinforce good behavior. "Great job" is nice to hear, but it's even better to hear, "You are doing a great job at keeping all four chair legs on the floor." This reminds the student of the behavior you want her to continue achieving. Use verbal positive reinforcement loudly and openly. When praising a student or group of students, praise them in a nice, loud voice. You want the other students to hear and then mimic the behavior of the good students. Use visual aids. If you see the class working together in a positive way, praise them, then drop a marble into a jar or stick a paper apple on the board. This is a visual reminder to the students that you are proud of their behavior. When the jar

is filled with marbles or the apples extend all the way across the board, reward the class with extra recess or a fun art activity. Be immediate with your positive reinforcement. Catch the good behavior immediately when it happens. Delayed positive reinforcement does not reinforce anything. Sometimes it even confuses those students who have a short memory.

Natural and logical consequences are important strategies that can be incorporated into the classroom. Discipline is a method of teaching children life-long responsibility and acceptable behaviors. Punishment on the other hand, inclines to force children to behave a certain way and does not allow them to be responsible for their own behavior. The use of natural and logical consequences when children make mistakes or misbehave allows for discipline that teaches responsibility and life-long learning. (2012 CESDP)

Teachers must deliver a strong reply to students who refuse to follow orders in the classroom. Otherwise, a weak example will be set for the remainder of the students. When students are talking back to the teacher, cheating,

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