Back-to-School Bad Behavior Stoppers


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Bad Behavior Stoppers


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Bad Behavior Stoppers

If back-to-school means back-to-school behavior problems, you’re going to love the problem-stopping classroom management interventions we’ve packed inside this issue. Using these dynamic behavior management interventions can make the rest of your school year so much better.K-12 Keynote Speaker Ruth Herman Wells

Hello and Happy New School Year from me, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. For over two decades, I’ve been training teachers, counselors, principals, and youth professionals around North America. From helping so many schools for so long, I’ve definitely learned that no matter how rough the start of the school year has been, we can still help. In addition to offering you intensive live workshops, on-site training, online courses, and streaming behavior management workshops, we’ve packed some of our best behavior management strategies into this issue. But, if you want more than the sampling of great student management methods included in this article, come to Portland, Oregon on October 10-11, 2019 for the full deal, the entire 10 hour Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop.  There’s a terrific 30% off offer at the top of this article so here’s your chance to get the landmark, problem-stopping workshop at a bargain price. You’ll leave with 200 of our most powerful strategies, methods so state-of-the-art, that you just can’t get them anywhere else.



Bad Behavior Stoppers



how to motivate studentsMotivation: The Secret Sauce

Yes, sadly, we all know that there’s no magic answers when it comes to getting students to behave and follow the rules, but motivation just may be the fastest and best overlooked answer. Pictured at right is a bad behavior intervention that is very potent, and, even better, you can use it in a variety of ways. This is our Poster #724 but the best use of this device is to create a real version of that wheel that is pictured and have students play Wheel of Misfortune, where they spin to see what life challenges they may face as adults when life strikes. The wheel has bad breaks like “lose wallet,” “flood,” and “sick dog.” For each spin, as part of a class discussion, students can detail how a lack of education and skills could make the challenge even harder to deal with.

You can follow this game with a Wheel of Better Fortune, and in this version, students can describe how having education and skills can have them ready to conquer each incident of adversity. You are essentially using a game format to market and re-brand school and education as critical to surviving as an adult. Using this type of distracting format makes it difficult for students to maintain their oppositional behavior and contrary nature. When they get caught up in the game and discussion, your message about the incredible value of school and education may sink in a lot more than words could ever do. This type of modality will deliver your message infinitely faster than using mere verbiage that students can easily ignore or dismiss.

Motivation has the power to change everything, including and especially students’ behavior. Once students are more convinced of the enormous, lifetime value of school, their behavior can start to shift. Of course, you still need to teach the behavior skills that you want your students to have, but motivation makes a terrific first step towards less back-to-school bad behavior.


Take Repeat Behavior Problems Off Repeat

back-to-school successIt seems sometimes that the same kids are having the same bad behavior problems starting with back-to-school and well beyond. If you can reduce the repetitive problems, that can really make a dent in the amount of student behavioral issues you have to cope with each hour. So, for students who repeat problem behaviors and dig in their heels to stand behind their mistakes, we show you our Poster #740. You don’t need to buy the poster, but you will want to start using the phrase and concepts shown on this poster. The poster says: The First Rule of Holes: When You’re in One, Stop Digging. This phrase can introduce the idea that stopping bad behavior sooner is a success– versus continuing to persist in problem conduct. You can actually teach students that by stopping sooner, they are making valuable progress towards managing their acting-out issues. Students rarely just stop entrenched behavior problems. Any progress towards improvement is usually a very much up and down pattern.

By acknowledging and praising stopping bad behavior sooner, you are helping break the cycle that often is the source of the bad conduct in the first place. The cycle tends to look like this: The student uses problem behavior and is confronted. The student feels bad about having been caught and perhaps also feels bad that they misbehaved. Feeling bad creates the perfect condition to misbehave. It’s similar to you and that cake in the refrigerator. You ate one big piece and felt terrible about it. So, what did you do? Feeling awful about your over-consumption, you figure you may as well have another piece. Welcome to the First Rule of Holes. It works the same for us adults as it does for your students.

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student inspirational posterEncourage Discouraged Students

Feelings cause behavior. Feelings like frustration, hopelessness, discouragement and self-hatred can help create the perfect storm because they are the spark that ignites the behavior problems that you then have to manage. By helping students cope with or moderate their feelings, you dramatically lessen the fuel for the next meltdown or big behavior problem. One way to temper outbursts that stem from discouragement is to help students understand that they may not be as big failures as they feel they are. So many students are seriously down on themselves whether they voice it or not. Certainly, being unhappy with yourself predisposes a child to use problem behavior. Poster #551 gives you six examples to use to show students that most of the people who are big successes in life, first faced and overcame challenges that are similar to their own. Enlarge the picture to better read the details on the poster. You can also check out another similar poster, Poster #537, to see six more examples you can use to start a class discussion. By showing your students that their ups and downs are just like those of highly successful people, you remove a lot of the troubling feelings that contribute to behavioral issues.


classroom management helpStructure to the Rescue

I will never understand why adults allow chronic behavior problems to continue. For example, many teachers can struggle to get all their students to settle in at the start of class. They can spend minutes saying “Okay, settle down,” “Get in your seats” and “Stop talking please.” Instead, these same teachers could use structure to solve the problem before it happened. Poster #252 shows you one example of structure that transforms the problems at the start of class into no problems at the start of class.

Beginning with a high five clap, students join the teacher at the start of class by making motions that show they have two eyes watching, two ears listening and one mouth shut. This structure replaces the pleas for seats and quiet. For older grades, a simple rhythmic clap sequence can perform the same magic. I have seen educators at the start of an assembly, instantly quiet hundreds of noisy students without saying a single word. They simply initiate the clap sequence and instantly have perfect quiet. Why would anyone continue to beg for quiet when they can clap and instantly get it?

Structure is the solution for many chronic problems. Getting quiet at the start of class is just one example of how structure can solve it all. Structure also can help solve problems with hallway behavior, talk outs, attendance, verbiage, discussion skills– and almost any other chronic problem you face this school year.


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About Ruth Herman Wells

Author/Trainer Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. is the director of Youth Change Professional Development Workshops. In 2011, Ruth was rated as a Top 10 U.S. K-12 educational and motivational speaker by Speakerwiki and Speakermix. She is the author of several book series, a columnist, adjunct professor for two universities, and a popular keynote speaker and workshop presenter. Ruth's dozens of books includes Temper and Tantrum Tamers and Turn On the Turned-Off Student.