Importance of Behavioral Management Plans in Early Childhood Development
Early Childhood Development
Behavior management is the holistic process through which teachers evaluate and develop appropriate and sustainable socially acceptable traits in children enabling them to benefit more from their education and interactions with others (Marzano, Marzano, and Pickering, 2003). Challenging behaviors in children are majorly the result of their innate instincts kicking in to ensure the child’s safety and continuity in the outside world. Most children exhibit challenging behavior due to their low level of socialization and corresponding low-level understanding of social cues which makes them instinctively perceive all persons outside their family as threats. This is compounded by the overload of sensory stimuli they suffer which sometimes leads to breakdowns characterized by outbursts of challenging behavior as their underdeveloped brains struggle to classify a large number of new, unfamiliar people in their new environment. Their minds also fail to comprehend the new rules they find in their new environment as they are used to getting their way and always have the undivided attention back at home.
Behavioral management has major benefits to the education system especially in ensuring that they grow and develop to benefit from their education and interaction with others in school. It also sets a foundation for them to be fully functional members of society by making them socially aware of the needs of others which increases their understanding and interpretation of their environment. It also enhances the teachers work and job satisfaction by creating and maintaining a conducive stress-free work environment and increases the effective academic proficiency of the children. This also fosters an environment where the children get to develop better their social and emotional beings by promoting a peaceful and harmonious environment and coexistence. The greatest quantifiable benefits to the education sector are the increased amount of quality study time the children are able to sustain when they shift their focus from the distractions of their challenging behaviors and the increased teacher motivation levels that result in decreased teacher work related stress and turnover.
For behavioral management to be effective, teachers and educationalists need to assess proactively and develop effective, and sustainable methods, especially with regard to their early childhood development education since children’s instinct reflexes, are not an exact science. By focusing on both the causes and effects of challenging behavior in children, educationalists can reduce the amount of time taken to identify their onset by knowing what indicators to look out for and enhance their creation of individualized fast and effective responses to address and change that behavior that increase the student learning experience. Due to the dynamism of classroom management, however, there is a diminished capability to quantify the effectiveness and effectiveness of the developed methods. This can, however, be done by ensuring that these methods adhere to three principles. First, these methods should be centered on increasing the students’ opportunities for meaningful social interactions and academic learning.
Second, they should encourage an active learning environment that enhances active student participation in the learning process. Last, these methods should be based on proven behaviors that foster successful learning in children with a particular interest in promoting student roles in the process and how teachers can best enhance their involvement in the process. Development should be confined to a small group like a class before taking it on a larger scale like an entire school to enable teachers get adequate preparations and help with prevention of indiscipline and dealing with prevailing indiscipline. The success of behavioral management increases significantly where such misbehaviors are identified early, and teachers have parental support back at home which enhances the conditioning of desirable behavior. Proactivity enables educationalists to concentrate their efforts on instilling acceptable behavior than on playing catch up battling misbehavior which is more cost and resource effective and has proven to have more sustainable results.
There are several strategies that are used in the determination of the functions of challenging behavior with teachers favoring strategies that have a proven track record of success (Nissmaman, 2009). Carrying out a comprehensive functional assessment increases the efficacy and choice of strategy though some strategies work well regardless of whether the assessment is carried out or not. One possible strategy involves changing the learning environment and learning the process. Through observation and parent interviews, teachers get to know the physical challenges each of their students have and use this information to create sitting arrangements that increase the learning benefits of each individual student. Hearing and seeing impediments are a major cause of misbehavior in students since they look for ways to keep themselves busy when they are unable to hear or view the board or they may be trying to get the teachers attention to their predicament.
The layout of the classroom also goes a long way in enhancing positive behavior in children. Providing adequate space for passage ensures that children are not tempted to run around in the classroom while ensuring that movement of both students and teachers does not cause interference to students who sit along the passageways. Seating students with attention disorders in the middle at the opposite end from the door benefits them with tranquility without denying them their much-needed teachers’ attention. Differentiating jobs into small manageable tasks enables each student to learn at their own pace with more exceptional students having the option of accelerating their learning by doing extra work. Effectiveness can be increased by incorporating rewards into the process to incentivize the taking up of good behavior by making the whole process a fun activity.
A second strategy involves enhancing supervision and scheduling to enhance surveillance and certainty of activities. This has the effect of ensuring continuity in assessment and monitoring which helps in the discovery of covert mischief and the reinforcement of acceptable behavior. Supervision also enhances the feeling of security for the children by giving them a parent- figure they can rely upon for protection against the threats in their new environment. Proper scheduling enhances the children’s sense of security by removing ambiguity from the learning process and puts the children at ease by decreasing their anxiety levels. A third strategy is increasing democracy by allowing the children increased power to make active choices in their academic development and tasks accomplishment. Teachers can foster good behavior by using a simplified variation of performance contracting management that allows them to engage children in their learning. By setting mutually agreeable learning goals and timelines and allowing the children the autonomy to choose their tools and modes of accomplishment teaches children the benefits of cooperation and horse trading in getting things done.
The function of a child having a kicking and screaming tantrum when the child cannot have a toy because it is not the time for free play is to get the teacher to compromise and let them have the toy regardless of the session. It could also be an indicator that the play time allocation for free play is insufficient for some of the children hence the agitation. The teacher should first explain the schedule to the student and ensure that they understand what is expected of them at different times. Understanding the schedule will reduce the anxiety in the child by increasing their awareness of the concept of time and making them able to tell time by using the passage of events. This can also shed light on whether the time allocations for activities is sufficient to allow the students the right balance between learning and playing to increase their academic and social development. Encouraging the student to use their words and to express their feelings calmly would be an acceptable replacement behavior.
The function of a child replying with smart aleck answers which result in the whole class laughing when called upon to answer a question could be to gain notoriety with their peers and to seem cool. It could however also be a major indicator of the child being under-stimulated by the level of education he is exposed to due to elevated mental acuity. There is also the chance that the child is able to understand and reply to questions in a language that his peers can understand hence they laugh as a sign of the understanding and not because the response is a misbehavior. The teacher should use a battery of tests to ascertain if the student has an increased cognitive level then change him to an appropriate learning level of offer them more stimulating tasks to ensure they do not get bored and benefit from the academic process. The teacher can also ask the class why they find the response funny to ascertain whether the laughter is an inadvertent expression of understanding and make necessary adjustments to their teaching modules to enhance his students learning the process.
A teacher may encounter a child who becomes extremely disruptive and defiant when called on to read aloud in class a behavior whose function might be to indicate a learning deficiency leading to reduced reading efficacy. Fostering an environment where all students are able to feel secure enough to read regardless of their level of proficiency without fear of being ridiculed by their peers. The teacher can also help the student improve their reading proficiency by giving them more reading assignments and enlisting the help of their parents once they are back home which will increase the student’s reading efficacy and reduce their anxiety levels when called upon to read out loud. The teacher can also consider starting the student off with simpler level books in case they suffer from a learning disorder so that they can build their confidence as they gradually develop their reading proficiency.
Teachers are an integral part of the education system as they spend more time interacting with students than any other group. Teachers are responsible for assessing learning and behavioral impediments in their students and can be considered as the first line of defense in the education system. Proactivity allows teachers to remain objective and undertake the assessment comprehensively so as to determine the source of this behavior since behavior is conditioned more times than not. Teachers can also enhance their assessment by talking to their students’ parents in case the misbehavior is a cry for help from situations back home. Teachers are tasked with the development of comprehensive and sustainable methods and strategies to enhance classroom management and ensure their students increase their chances for social and academic learning by promoting a conducive environment that encourages creativity.
Teachers are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the discipline of the students through teaching and guiding them through acceptable behavior. They set and enforce disciplinary conduct and rules which help them regulate the interactions among students as well as that between them and their students to enhance the social and academic development of their students. Teachers are also responsible for the evaluation of the effectiveness of strategies and methods used for the conditioning of good behavior and can save them and others valuable time and resources by allowing them to concentrate their efforts on the teaching of acceptable behavior rather than on tackling misbehavior. The evaluation also leads to the enhancement of strategies and methods making them more effective and reliable in ensuring the success of future interventions. The teacher is also responsible for conducting individual sessions with errant students and determine whether they require further intervention at a higher level.
The most important role the teacher plays in the whole process is that of coach where he is supposed to keep at the intervention no matter how slow the changes might be occurring (Vitto, 2003). Conditioning can take longer than expected and the teacher must assume the role of a coach so as to motivate the children to see the process through to a successful and beneficial outcome for all concerned parties. Teachers are also responsible for the creation and administration of a schedule that creates security by making events certain.
Marzano, R. J., Marzano, J. S., & Pickering, D. (2003). Classroom management that works: Research-based strategies for every teacher. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Nissman, B. S. (2009). Teacher-tested classroom management strategies. Boston, Mass: Pearson.
Vitto, J. M. (2003). Relationship-driven classroom management: Strategies that promote student motivation. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.
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