Behavioral Tips from Randy Sprick
There are several ways that you, as a teacher, can move your students to do their best academically. But before we get to those, it might be helpful to keep in mind a few underlying concepts:
- Students who repeatedly misbehave are, at the moment, more motivated to misbehave than to behave responsibly. Students who do nothing are more motivated to do nothing than to work at completing assignments.
Work on increasing students' motivation to engage in desired behaviors while concurrently decreasing their motivation to engage in undesired behaviors.
- Most people are motivated to engage in a particular behavior by a complex mix of intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
Use procedures that address both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
- As a person's skill at a task increases, that person is more likely to feel intrinsically motivated to engage in that task.
Insure student success in the academic and behavioral tasks you assign.
Now, consider using the following techniques to motivate your students.
Present tasks or desired behaviors in a manner that will generate enthusiasm (and intrinsic motivation) on the part of students.
To increase intrinsic motivation, think about using these four strategies, singly or in combination:
- Explain why or how the task or behavior will be useful to students.
- Give students a vision of what they will be able to do eventually.
- Relate new tasks to previously learned skills.
- Rally the enthusiasm and energy of students (give a pep talk).
Implement effective instructional practices to keep students interested and academically engaged.
- Periodically evaluate and improve their presentational style (tone of voice, intensity, etc.).
- State clear objectives and evaluate student progress.
- Actively involve students in lessons.
- Provide students with immediate performance feedback.
- Work for high rates of student success.
Give students positive feedback in a variety of ways on their progress and success in meeting academic and behavioral goals.
Incorporate these suggestions into the positive feedback you give your students. By doing so, you can significantly increase the probability that your feedback will encourage students to behave more responsibly in the future.
- Feedback should be accurate.
- Feedback should be specific and descriptive.
- Feedback should be meaningful and reflect some level of importance.
- Feedback should be age-appropriate.
- Feedback should be given in a manner that fits your own style.
By using these techniques, we believe that you can: (1) maintain the motivation of students who already follow the rules and do their best on assignments; (2) increase the motivation of students who do nothing or only enough to "get by;" and (3) generate the motivation of students who tend to misbehave to behave responsibly.
— Excerpt from CHAMPs: A Proactive and Positive Approach to Classroom Management