Using Positive Reinforcement With Students Who Act Out Against Substitute Teachers

Remember when you were a kid and you used to act out against your substitute teacher? If you didn’t, you probably at least knew a kid who did. It’s entertaining to some students to see what they can get away with when the regular teacher is away. Flash forward to now, and now YOU are the substitute teacher with students misbehaving. What can you do? Use positive reinforcement.

Using Positive Reinforcement To Correct Behavior

While you’re likely going to be tempted to shout at the children misbehaving in your classroom (and who could blame you?) avoid this temptation. You instead need to use positive reinforcement to make them feel good about themselves and to want to behave to get rewarded.

For example, if you find a student who is behaving well and not talking excessively, it is a good idea to reward the with a kind word or even a piece of candy. In this way, the children who are misbehaving will see that good behavior gets results and will adjust their behavior to suit this change.

Also look for ANY chance to compliment or reward the child who misbehaved. As you know, most of the time kids who misbehave are looking for attention anyways. Try not to give too much attention to the ‘bad” behavior – but instead reward the “good.”

Avoid Being The “Cool” Substitute Teacher Here

While positive reinforcement is important to being a successful student, you should also avoid the temptation of being the “cool” teacher that lets the students do whatever they want or who tries to connect with them by behaving like a child.

The reasons for avoidance are simple: acting like a kid or letting them get away with what they want strips you of the respect needed as an authority figure. Simply put, positive reinforcement must be done in the position of a skilled educational professional, not a “cool” or “hip” peer.

Avoid the temptation to be their “friend” and instead be a guiding light in their lives. To learn more about substitute teacher tips like this, please contact us today.

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