Characteristics of Effective Behavior Managers

How do successful teachers improve classroom behavior?

Effective behavior management is a priority for successful teachers, and this article will give you to tools necessary to implement and develop the characteristics that make a difference in the classroom. Make yourself, and your students, happier and more productive with these tips from experts at the Council for Exceptional Children.
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Updated on: October 10, 2001

Characteristics of Effective Behavior Managers

Effective behavior managers:

  1. Respect their own strengths and weaknesses as seriously as those of their students.
  2. Understand that social-emotional growth is a never-ending process.
  3. Clearly communicate rules, goals, and expectations.
  4. Respond to behaviors consistently and predictably.
  5. Discriminate between issues of responsibility and problem ownership.
  6. Exhibit high degrees of empathy and self-efficacy.
Behaviors teachers exhibit that contribute to successful classroom management include:
  • having materials organized
  • using a pleasant tone of voice
  • being aware of multiple elements of group functioning simultaneously
  • being able to anticipate possible problems and react quickly to avoid them.
High levels of self-efficacy have a positive effect on behavior management as well as academic achievement. Teachers who exhibit high levels of self-efficacy use more positive reinforcement, prefer to work with the whole group, and persist with students who are experiencing difficulty, rather than ignoring or giving up on them. The teacher's ability to be empathetic can also be associated with student success. Empathetic teachers report experiencing less stress and exhibit the following qualities:
  • Warm
  • Caring
  • Affectionate
  • Friendly (smile frequently)
  • Soft-spoken
  • Calm
  • Relaxed
  • Humorous
  • Analytical of behavior and motives
  • Able to predict how another will act
  • Able to sympathize
  • Not easily incited to express anger
  • Not easily depressed under difficult circumstances
  • Able to subordinate their own needs and feelings for another's benefit
  • Spontaneous
  • Balanced in feelings of self-worth and self-regard
  • Encouraging
  • Inspiring
  • Motivating
  • Adaptable to the needs of others
  • Altruistic (desire to make a personal contribution)
  • Able to give positive verbal and nonverbal feedback
  • Conscientious in attending to students' needs
  • Do not need to be the center of attention
  • Make others centrally involved
  • Independent and creative
  • Totally accepting of individual differences, but do not focus on deviance
  • Highly intuitive and feeling
  • Do not feel a great need to control all people and events
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