In the middle school classroom, students' emotions can run very high, making their behavior outrageous and hard to deal with. Teachers can use different intervention strategies to maintain a positive and educational learning environment in which students can feel comfortable. Intervention strategies do not have to involve punishment -- they can also involve motivation and teaching.
Pinpoint the Behavior
Before teachers can intervene in student behavior, they must first understand what the behavior is, how the behavior is affecting the students, the teacher and the aggressive child, and what is causing the behavior. Educators should communicate with students in their classroom to find out how the behavior is making them feel so that they can explain the student with the behavior problem how he is making others feel. Sometimes explaining the consequences of an action will make a student realize the seriousness of his behavior.
Behavior interventions should be an educational experience for the students, instead of just a simple punishment. The punishment will be a much more successful intervention strategy if the student is educated about why she is being punished, how her actions make others feel and how her actions could affect her even after she finishes school and begins her life in the workplace. Teachers could give examples of what would happen if the behavior continued in the workplace or could express their hurt feelings in an emotional way to the students.
Behavior contracts are an extremely effective intervention method because they place students in control of their destiny in the classroom. Educators could spend one of the first days of class developing a behavior contract, using the students' ideas and adding their own. By allowing students to express their opinions of what behavior should be expected in the classroom, students will be more likely to take responsibility for their behavior because they had a part in creating the rules.
Behavior interventions do not always have to involve discipline. In fact, an effective intervention strategy is the Mystery Motivator, which involves motivating and inspiring students to change their behavior. The Mystery Motivator activity involves telling students that if they modify their behavior to conform to your standards for good behavior, they will earn the chance to win a mystery surprise. These surprises could include a gift certificate, movie tickets or simply a candy bar.
Kate Taylor is a professional writer based in Lafayette, Ind. She has served as an online copywriter in areas such as pet care, education and landscaping. Taylor is working toward her M.B.A. at Loyola University Chicago.