As I mentioned in the previous post before this one, behavior management is successful in my classroom. It is successful for many reasons. One main reason is CONSISTENCY.
Consistency is vital when working with children with special needs. There is research that shows that children with special needs learn more effectively when things are taught consistently by everyone involved with the child. For example, if the staff at school is potty training a child a certain way, the family of the child should also be potty training in the same or similar way. In my classroom, my paraprofessionals (teacher assistants), ABA’s, speech specialists and occupational therapists are all on the same page using the behavior plan that I use with my students. Some of the parents of my students are also using the same behavior plan (used at school) in their homes. Children have fewer to no behavior problems when they know what to expect or when they follow a consistent routine.
Routine is also important to have when working with children with special needs. The classroom rules are reviewed daily during Morning Circle and at the end of the day. At the end of each school day, the students are rewarded or not rewarded depending on what color traffic light they are on. This has been done on a daily basis establishing a routine. My students have learned this routine because it is done consistently. I have students coming to school and telling me they are on green first thing in the morning knowing what their expectations are. Some students tell me what the rules are in the class without me asking them.
Consistency isn’t just about having clear classroom rules or routines, it is about the way those rules are carried out. In order for a home, a school or a classroom to run successfully and smoothly, consistency is needed across the board. Everyone involved need to understand and be on the same page about what the rules are and how they are to be implemented for each student. Each student is different and may need various implementations.
I believe there are several ways to achieve consistency and routine. Some of them are: communication and team work. Genuine teams respect each other and communicate with each other. Teams ask questions and find solutions, respect each other and are open minded to other’s opinions and thoughts. They collaborate and come to agreements based on everyone’s ideas and opinions. This creates consistency in the classroom, home and in schools.
Achieving consistency can be a hard task. It requires effort from everyone involved with the child (ren), communication, teamwork and sometimes patience.