Techniques for Effective Classroom Management

Feb 7, 2021

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.

Two Approaches

  1. A proactive approach is when the teacher tries to eliminate a problem behavior before it becomes a problem.
  2. A reactive approach is when the teacher deals with behavior when it becomes a problem in the classroom. Both approaches are used by teachers in addressing misbehavior in their classrooms. Teachers must deal with problem behavior to not interrupt the education process.

Understanding Why Students Misbehave - Four Types

  1. The attention seeker strives for attention so his behaviors will allow him to be the focus of the classroom.
  2. The power seeker refuses to follow direction and must have the last word.
  3. The revenge seeker will verbally abuse others.
  4. Some misbehave because they wish to avoid failure. These are the students who do not do their work and sleep in class to avoid further failure.

Managing via the Two Approaches

Proactive Approach

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.

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Reactive Approach

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.

Effectiveness of the Approaches

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.

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Rebbie Lao

Rebbie Lao has 28 years of experience in teaching exceptional learners, Sped program and curriculum consultant, developmental Interventionist at St. Dymphna SpEd Intervention Center.