An increase in harassment and violence against teachers is taking its toll on already burnt-out educators. A recent survey from the American Psychological Association found that 6 in 10 teachers reported verbal abuse or aggression among students during the pandemic, with almost half expressing a desire or intention to leave or change schools.
To create a teaching environment where educators feel safe, school leaders can consider adding evidence-based behavior management strategies to their return-to-school plan. The more preventative maintenance teachers can do through proactive strategies, the less likely they are to encounter behavioral issues.
Here are five classroom management strategies to help educators regain control of their classrooms:
1. Understand students
Getting to know each student individually will allow teachers to better assess the nature of problematic behavior when it occurs and respond appropriately. Additionally, challenging behaviors are much less likely when a teacher and student establish a relationship based on trust and understanding. To build this relationship, the non-verbal behavior of teachers and paraverbal communication must reflect their compassion for each student.
2. Practice patience
An important de-escalation skill is what the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) terms “rational detachment” – the ability to manage one’s behavior and attitude and not take the behavior of others personally. When confronted with student misbehavior, instead of thinking something like, “I can’t take this disrespect any longer,” teachers can use positive self-talk like, “I’ve seen this before. This behavior does not concern me. What is it and how can I help you? »