Keep Calm & Fix Behaviour
The next few posts will explore more intrusive and less intrusive behaviour management methods, starting with the most intrusive. We will also discuss how verbal prompts, although considered least intrusive, might not be your best management tool. The figure below displays the continuum of behavioural prompts and their degree of intrusiveness:
What about physical prompts?
It should go without saying, but physical prompts should never be your go-to response for tricky behaviour. Because of this, their use will not be discussed here. If you have never passed a course or are not current in your understanding/certification of when, why, and how physical prompts may be used, do not use them. If you have not had a thorough and direct conversation with your school leadership about the use of physical prompts, do not use them.
I repeat: DO NOT USE PHYSICAL PROMPTS!
When teachers model a skill or behaviour, they demonstrate to the student(s) the exact skill they would like to see them perform, and explain each step along the way. For example, if you want to teach students how to put their coats and bags away, you demonstrate how to do this and talk through each step. If you want to show them how you expect them to come into the classroom each morning, you show them exactly what you expect of them so they can see it visually and explain each expectation with rationale. If you want to teach them how to handle a conflict with a peer, you show them the behaviours that are acceptable and then have them practice these behaviours in a controlled setting.
To summarize modeling as a behavioural support:
1. The correct behaviour is demonstrated
2. The student observes the demonstration
3. The student performs the behaviour as demonstrated
While modeling might not feel or seem “intrusive”, bear in mind that you are prescribing a specific set of skills for the child to perform, thus making it a more intrusive strategy when compared to the others.
Try modeling more of those key behaviours your students are having a difficult time with. You might find it helpful!