It’s summer. You’re hanging in the sun and the last thing on your mind is your classroom.
Before you think of signing off for the season, I’m going to show you why the next couple of months are the perfect time to think about your behavior management strategies. I’ll share how deepening your understanding of behavior for a few weeks now, will make your life 10x easier in September.
👉 Make sure you read to the end because I’m giving you 3 steps that'll help you take massive action right now!
1. Focus ⏰
During the summer break, you have the luxury of uninterrupted focus. Free from the demands of lesson planning, IEP writing, and putting out daily fires. Pretty sweet, right?
This time away from the classroom actually allows you to zoom out and get curious about behavior management strategies and techniques without distractions. By investing in your behavior professional development during the next month or two, you’re putting money in the bank for creating positive and conducive learning environments. Seriously, would you rather be forced to learn these when sh*t's hitting the fan?
2. Observation 👀
The summer season gives us tons of opportunities to sharpen our observation skills in tons of different settings. Start looking, I mean really looking, at people. Their body language, their word choice, the way they react to things. From community events to family gatherings, beaches to amusement parks, the places you’re already hanging out in will give you a ton of interesting things to look at through a different lens.
Actively observing how people respond to various situations can provide tons of insight into behavior patterns, social dynamics, emotional responses, and the factors that influence the way your students act. They are human, after all. You can leverage these experiences to begin building that observation muscle, which is the cornerstone of effective behavior management.
3. Personal Growth 👩💻
Engaging in behavior management professional development during the summer, not only helps your future students, it helps your future self too. Behavior is so much more than just a kid freaking out in class. In order to really be effective, you have to rely on skills in so many other areas such as, psychology, sociology, communication, and leadership. These are all incredibly important to a solid classroom management strategy. By investing time in gaining knowledge about behavior management, you can grow your teacher toolbox, gain insights into student motivation, and refine your interventions and strategies. This personal growth will ultimately empower you to create an inclusive learning environment for your students who’ve experienced trauma or simply have some behavior challenges.
It also grows you as a human. This work has taught me so much about bias, stress, my nervous system, and my own poor behaviors. If you’re ready to do this work, I applaud you because it’s not easy.
4. Preparing for the Upcoming School Year 📚
The summer break provides you with a perfect time to reflect on past experiences and refine your behavior techniques. Reviewing and updating approaches, exploring new methods, and gathering new interventions, directly affects your effectiveness in handling challenging behavior. By dedicating time and effort during the summer, you can return to your classroom equipped with a fresh take on behavior, innovative strategies, and renewed enthusiasm to support your students' behavioral and academic growth.
Increased confidence leads to greater action and ultimately greater student success. When you know what to do, you’re not only more effective, but also much happier!
5. Self-Care and Stress Management 💅
Summer is also a time for you to prioritize self-care and stress management. Don’t sleep on this one! Learning about behavior, trauma, stress responses, emotional intelligence and more, equips you with strategies to effectively manage stress, foster resilience, and promote self-care practices. Understanding human behavior and the factors that contribute to stress and burnout empowers you to create balanced lifestyles, establish healthy boundaries, and foster positive relationships with your students. By investing in this work, you prioritize your own emotional well-being, which positively impacts your ability to create a supportive classroom environment. It’s a snowball effect and you’re the driving force!
Okay, so now what?
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Remember, behavior management is a continuous learning process, and summer break is prime time to invest in your professional development. So, make the most of this season and let’s work together to bring more peace into your classroom and build positive behavior change!