Proactive and reactive approaches to classroom management address discipline styles. Every teacher uses one of the two approaches to deal with discipline issues and must find a way to effectively discipline his classroom for it to run smoothly.
In the proactive approach to classroom management, the teacher uses different behaviors to lessen the likelihood that a student will act out. The student will achieve the desired behavior. A teacher can use a proactive approach by establishing rules in the classroom and praising students who behave according to behavior expectations. If students are aware of the rules and know the consequences of violating them, this will eliminate some misbehavior. If the teacher praises students for appropriate behavior, they will continue to behave this way to seek additional praise.
The reactive approach to classroom management is a teacher's response following a student's misbehavior in the classroom. The teacher imposes punishment that is fair and consistent when dealing with a student's inappropriate actions. An example of this would be a student being excessively late to class. This student may be punished by having to stay longer after school. These actions may deter the behavior in the future, but it also has a chance of being unsuccessful.
The difference between the two approaches is that in the proactive approach the teacher tries to avoid future conflict before it happens, whereas the reactive approach only temporarily addresses the issue. It is easy to address an issue as it comes up, but it is more fruitful to address the issue before it becomes a problem.
A teacher who uses a proactive approach will be less stressed when dealing with issues and every student will know what is expected of them. It will also help address each of the four issues that cause students to misbehave.