School operations

Behaviour – Students

2. How to decrease inappropriate behaviour

Change the environment, setting or activity

Arrange the classroom environment/activities to decrease inappropriate behaviour and increase independence. For example:

  • If the rolling chair in your classroom invites the student to climb on the chair and roll around the room, remove the chair from the room until he or she has learned to sit in a chair appropriately. These techniques reduce the need of continually needing to tell the student “no” and, instead, focuses instructional time on teaching the student new skills.
  • Vary the difficulty of tasks, presenting an easy task prior to a more difficult task and interspersing easy tasks throughout the academic time period.

Keep calm and move on

  • Stay calm.
  • Reduce talking.
  • Remove items that might be thrown.
  • Redirect (“back to work” first — then “check your schedule” etc).
  • Attend to the appropriate behaviour by creating opportunities for small, positive steps towards desired behaviours.
  • Reinforce movement towards the desired behaviour.

Teach the student alternate behaviours

  • Focus on teaching replacement behaviours and reinforcing desired behaviours.
  • Ask yourself, “What do I want this student to do instead of this?
  • How can I positively reinforce the replacement behaviour?”

Make sure that behaviours of concern do not result in reinforcement

  • When providing consequences for behaviours of concern, respond in a way that will make the behaviours of concern ineffective.
  • Make sure rewards/attention for desired behaviours far exceed any attention/reinforcement the student may receive for behaviours of concern.

Be prepared to deal with escalating behaviour

  • Have a plan that outlines how everyone will respond when a behaviour of concern occurs.
  • Behaviours of concern can create stressful situations.
  • When everyone is on the same page, and knows the “adult expectations,” educational staff are more prepared to respond.
  • Ask for support from your school team, support personnel, or administrators.
  • Having others observe and provide suggestions can be helpful.

Resources to deal with escalating behaviour

If restraint or seclusion of a student is needed, you must follow the Restraint and Seclusion policy and guidance, including reporting the incident to the Incident Support and Operations Centre (ISOC).

Guidance chapter on strategies to decrease inappropriate behaviour

Reviewed 22 September 2023

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