Where did you learn your most effective behavior management techniques?

TeAch-nology.com's Teacher Poll of the Week
Where did you learn your most effective behavior management techniques?
On the job (in the trenches).
From an excellent book.
From a workshop.
From fellow colleagues.

View Results

These Behavior management techniques are essential to the teaching profession. Behavior issues vary from the mild to the extreme and everything in between and teachers need to develop methods for every situation. The majority of teachers report that they learned their most effective techniques on the job.

Ways of dealing with different behaviors are part of teacher training but textbook cases don't always relate to real life situations. It is rare to find an in-class situation that is identical to one learned from a book. That means that teachers need to be able to adapt learned methods to individual scenarios. These types of adaptations can best be learned on the job.

Tips from fellow colleagues are invaluable, particularly if they have dealt with the same student in the past. Behaviors are repeated patterns and in all likelihood, the problems one teacher is experiencing with a student have occurred in the past. Discovering what tips and tricks a colleague used can either be helpful or can show what methods were ineffective.


Learning from a workshop, book, or college or university course were not perceived as effective ways to learn behavior management techniques. All three of these categories received minimal number of votes in this poll.

Some behavior techniques are learned through trial and error. Finding out what doesn't work is almost as helpful as finding out what does. Knowing that when faced with a particular situation there are several ineffective methods that should be avoided allows teachers to more effectively diffuse difficult behavioral issues. Each scenario is slightly different depending on the student and the displayed behavior and teachers need to have an entire repertoire of techniques up their sleeve.

Teaching professionals are always learning, and most of us think this happens only during organized professional development days. However, much of the learning happens on the job, in the day to day classroom interactions with students. If all children behaved perfectly and never acted out, then behavior management techniques would not be necessary. However, our students aren't Stepford children programmed to act a certain way. Variety is the spice of life and luckily teachers are up to the challenge.