Why Student Behavior Management Programs Work


Being an effective educator is a balancing act; it takes a great level of patience and expertise to get a group of students under control and learning. According to Stanford University, there are some specific characteristics that can be found in all effective teachers:

Being an effective educator is a balancing act; it takes a great level of patience and expertise to get a group of students under control and learning. According to Stanford University, there are some specific characteristics that can be found in all effective teachers:

  • Organization and clarity
  • Having an analytic approach
  • Enthusiasm
  • Instructor-group interaction
  • Instructor-individual interaction

An effective learning environment is all about relationships and high-quality instruction. Behavior management programs work because they provide teachers and students with the structure needed for building positive relationships and creating the order required for high-quality instruction to take place.

PBIS behavior management plans prioritize all the aspects of an effective learning environment by focusing on physical space, behavior management, and instruction when developing a classroom management plan.

Let’s see how relationships and instruction help behavior management programs work.

Build Strong Relationships

Building genuine relationships with students shows that you care about them and are invested in their well being. Once students realize you are invested in them as individuals you can build respect, which will make a difference when holding students accountable for their behavior. Effective educators are seen as fair and approachable by students. These educators are able to foster a level of love and mutual respect that students recognize and appreciate.

In addition to building strong relationships with students individually, an effective teacher knows how to engage students in groups. In a whole group setting effective teachers can discern if the class is following the material, encourage student discourse, and have proper pacing and good public speaker skills. Creating individual and group relationships makes all the difference for behavior management.

Another important part of behavior management that supports relationships is creating rules, routines and procedures that will govern a community. Once a classroom is physically organized, rules, routines and procedures dictate the way students and teachers will interact socially and emotionally. Rules can be collaborative, giving students the opportunity to contribute to the expectations that will govern their classroom. However, routines and procedures are based on the teacher’s discretion. Together the rules, routines and procedures establish respect; specifically, how teachers will respect students, how students will respect teachers, how students will respect each other and how everyone will respect the classroom. Effective educators create thoughtful rules, routines and procedures that promote social and emotional skills; and allow behavior management to work.

Provide High Quality Instruction

Providing high quality instruction requires organization, instructional expertise and enthusiasm. Each of these create a learning environment where students are held to high expectations behaviorally and academically. The layout of your classroom is the first step to creating order and predictability. Organizing the physical space of your classroom can promote collaboration, order and creativity. Items in your classroom should be organized so that students know the desired purpose of each space in the classroom and can locate all supplies.

Physical layout is an important part of behavior management because it sets the atmosphere for instruction and interaction. A classroom that is organized and welcoming is the foundation for effective learning and one of the reasons behavior management works. For example, learning in a circle facing your peers, feels different when compared to sitting in rows at individual desks. Each configuration speaks to the values of the learning environment.

An important part of behavior management is having command of the content. Being prepared and confident in the academic content is essential to providing high quality instruction. According to PBIS.org, “Strategies to engage students include providing high quality academic instruction with content matched to student needs, providing frequent feedback to students, using instruction time productively, connecting teaching to students lives, and giving students frequent opportunities to respond.”

Engaging Content Is King

Effective behavior management involves providing students with engaging, relevant, high-quality learning opportunities. Additionally, differentiating content and presenting it in an engaging way will keep students on task and out of trouble. Behavior problems often occur when students are off task because the content is not engaging, too hard, or too easy. When students are invested in their learning they are less likely to misbehave

An effective behavior management system has positive effects for teachers and students emotionally and academically; it aims to promote relationships and create high-quality learning. The combination of these two factors create a program that works for educators and students.

Here at Kickboard we have seen school culture transform because of effective implementations of PBIS. We also have the tools and resources to support your school team as they begin to implement PBIS as a way to promote positive school culture. Click here to learn more about how Kickboard can support PBIS in your school.