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Classroom Behavior Management
Guidelines for Success


How do the most effective teachers…

  • manage behavior in their multi-ethnic, multi-cultural classrooms?
  • develop and use classroom rules and routines?
  • use classroom consequences that work?
  • design positive behavioral supports for challenging behaviors?
  • avoid career- and health-threatening frustration and burnout?

The establishment and maintenance of safe and supportive classrooms that contribute to high quality student achievement are critical skills that are rarely taught at the university. Consequently, those skills must be crafted and honed “on the job.” Each school and each classroom presents its own unique challenges, and because every year brings a new group of students, teachers must become lifelong learners.

The foundation of this learning lies in just a few research-supported principles and actions, and the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment have condensed the information for ready consumption.

Everything starts with TEACH:


T –             Tailor for diversity. Make it a point to know as much as possible about your students, including their diverse cultural, ethnic, behavioral, and learning characteristics, along with stressors they may experience outside of school.

E –             Encourage positive behavior. Aim for a 4:1 ratio of positive comments to negative corrections for all the students.

A –             Arrange the environment for success.  Teach your behavioral expectations directly and immediately through collaboratively-established classroom rules and well designed classroom routines. 

C –             Consult your peers. Seek collaboration with experienced teachers and specialists before difficult problems start to become entrenched.

H –             Hug yourself. Prevent stress and burnout by focusing each day on what you are accomplishing and not just on what is frustrating.


To help you implement the TEACH guideline, we have put together the next section that elaborates, clarifies, and expands on these five essential principles.  We have divided them into three segments:


Cited Classroom Management Links

Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice (CECP) CECP is a Washington, DC-based organization dedicated to improving education for children with, or at risk for serious emotional disturbance. The site contains numerous evidence-supported prevention and assessment strategies.

Dr. Mac’s Amazing Behavior Management Advice Site This is the  website of Dr. Tom McIntyre, education professor at Hunter College in New York. It is clever, fun, and packed with ideas for teachers of all levels.

Intervention Central  It is one of the most popular education sites on the web, and for good reason. Intervention Central is a gold mine of ideas, procedures, techniques, and down-loadable forms for hundreds of teacher and support service concerns.

Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL)  NWEREL is a non-profit educational organization that seeks to bring research-based support programs, technical assistance, and training to schools nation wide. Numerous free publications related to effective teaching are available on the website.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) This is a collaboration between the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and numerous universities to bring Positive Behavioral Supports to schools. The site is full of “how to’s” to guide schools in the implementation of school-wide Positive Behavioral Supports.

The Responsive Classroom This comprehensive site advocates a social and emotional learning approach. It contains an excellent article database under Article Library.

Training and Technical Assistance Center at the College of William and Mary This site offers many useful idea and links can be found in the Resources section.

This web site has been produced by The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment to provide research-based school violence prevention procedures for educators. The web site has been made possible with the generous support of the Robert and Renee Belfer Foundation and other supporters.
The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment to provide research-based school violence prevention procedures for educators
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