Jul 28, 2014

The Teacher as a Leader Series for Special Education Teachers Part 5: Understanding Behaviors

What do you do to gather information for behaviors? Do you get a chance to conduct a full functional behavior assessment each time? Are you able to observe the individual? Do you also get a chance to ask many questions of the adults working with the child? Or, do you have the time to take a look at any patterns in the child's behavior? One thing we know is that in order to try to find out why the behavior is happening you have to take the time to observe and watch the situation.  As educators, we don't always have the time to do this, but it is essential.

There are a couple of tools that you could use when you're looking to find the reason for a behavior.  You can use data collection or progress monitoring sheets of  various styles.  You can use direct observation. You can use interviews and question adults who work closely with the student, including the parents and caregivers. These methods can prove to provide you with more information than you might think. Of course, when you talk about behaviors in children you have to clarify the issue. Many times people will give out a random quote like “This child has been acting out.”  That doesn't tell us that much.  So, it would be more helpful to say “this child hits and kicks when not given her way.” That description gives us a little bit more information. The Teacher as a Leader Series for Special Education Teachers Part 5: Understanding Behaviors, focuses on trying to understand behaviors and taking a closer look at behaviors. It provides a guide for teachers to conduct small-scale team meetings or large-scale presentations and professional development exercises for other members of their classroom team or in their school district. This presentation is part of a 10 part series for educators.

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