Tarang: Session 6
“Managing Behaviours in the classroom” was the topic discussed with teachers at the sixth session of the Tarang teachers’ training program. The resource person Giselle Lobo based the interactive program on the real situations that teachers shared with her, many days prior to the session. This made the training very practical and meaningful.
Giselle shared a Behaviour Intervention Plan format with the following steps, each of which was discussed in detail.
Step 1: What is a 'problem' behaviour? A behaviour can be termed as a problem only if it interferes with learning, is socially inappropriate and harmful to self or others. Giselle gave tips on how to differentiate and understand behavioural challenges and learning difficulties.
Step 2: What is the reason for the behaviour? Giselle emphasized that behaviour is a form of communication and it always occurs for a reason. It is important to understand the reason for the behaviour in order to plan the intervention. The causes for the behaviour can be within the child e.g. emotional issues and various disabilities, or outside them, such as conflict in the home, crowded classrooms, bullying by classmates and so on.
Step 3: What are the details regarding the behaviour? Once a behaviour is identified as a problem behaviour and its causes are recognized, it is essential to describe it in terms of where it occurs, when, what happens, when is it better or worse and so on.
Step 4: What is my plan? When a challenging behaviour is clearly understood, an effective intervention plan can be developed to deal with it. Behaviour management strategies were discussed to deal with behaviours like attention seeking, throwing tantrums in the class, not sitting in one place, and not interacting with others.
The participants were divided into four groups and each group selected an inappropriate behaviour that they faced and used the format to form an intervention plan. Group presentations offered an opportunity to discuss different challenging behaviours and to identify effective strategies to handle the same. For example, for a child who engages in attention-seeking behaviour, the teachers suggested that attention should be given to positive behaviour and avoid negative behaviour and give descriptive praise like ‘Well done! You completed the work”. The teachers were given an assignment to identify a challenging behaviour, discuss the reason for the behaviour, describe it and plan an intervention.