Unit 5: Preventing and Understanding Problem Behaviour.
- Problem Behaviours have different roots: troubled attachment, mental health issues, antisocial personality. Identifying the roots of the problem is always the first step.
- Punishment and expelling students are not likely to change the problem behaviour.
- Restitution allows the perpetrator of the problem behaviour to 'undo' the harm that he or she caused by doing something positive to the community or to the 'victim'.
- Restitution transforms instances where problem behaviours occur to learning opportunities and opportunities for exercising creativity and prosocial behaviour.
Practical Activities and Recommendations.
Ten recommendations (From Slides):
- Establish relationships with students.
- Be organized and establish routines.
- Use a variety of methods and mediums in your teaching.
- Communicate clear expectations and consequences.
- Develop your SEL competencies.
- Focus on the positive, focus on the (+2) and not the (-18) (Rita Pierson).
- Establish fair and predictable consequences.
- Establish or take part in support networks with colleagues and administrators.
- Gather data to understand behavior, take notes of your observations and go through your notes regularly.
- Use targeted support for students who need it.
Recommendation 1 (from Reading A):
- Before 'helping' or 'caring' for students, engage in dialogue with them to understand their needs. A caring relation always involves a caring person and a cared for person who has to ACCEPT the care.
Recommendation 2 (from Reading A):
- Practice confirmation.
- "In talking with a child who has been guilty of bullying or complicity in bullying, we might begin by saying, “I know you were scared,” or “I know you were angry,” or “I know you didn’t know what to do” (p. 20).
- "Confirmation —perhaps the loveliest of moral acts—points the culprit to a better self, one already half-present and struggling to become a consistent reality. It acknowledges that young people want to preserve their moral identity; they do not want to become bad people" (p. 20).
- "We do not use confirming statements as a strategy; that would be both hypocritical and harmful. We must see the actual possibilities within them and understand their real confusion. Recognizing this reminds us that time spent on building relations of care and trust in the classroom is not wasted time. Teachers and students need that time to get to know one another. Relations of care and trust provide the foundation" (p. 20).
Activities with Restitution (from Reading B):
- “Self-restitution […] involves fixing (restoring) the self to the person one wants to be” (p. 19).
- Have students describe the person they want to be or have them write down their short term/long term goal.
- When students engage in disruptive behaviour: 1. Identify the need that triggered this behaviour 2. Ask if the behaviour is compatible with what they wrote about the person they want to be (Look together at what they wrote) 3. Find out solutions for satisfying the unmet need while continuing to become the person they want to be.
Recommendations on Restitution (from Reading B):
- When 'misbehaviour' occurs asks yourself 'Does it really matter?' Is it really a 'misbehaviour' or it is just you having expectations that are challenging to meet?
- Use the 'yes if...'. The 'yes if...' allows students to both have what they asked for and to engage in a behaviour that restitutes the possible negative consequences. 'You can miss class if you write a reflection about the readings and send the reflection to your colleagues'.
Recommendation on Behavioral Functional Assesmment (from Slides):
- Identify the aspects of the environment that triggered the behaviour (Students engages in mockery in order to gain attention because they feel excluded).
- Identify the consequences that worked to sustain and reinforce the behaviour (When the student practices mockery, other students laugh and tell them " Oh my god! You're so funny!').