Behavior Intervention: Definition, Strategies, and Resources
When faced with difficult situations, children may occasionally lose their temper or experience emotional outbursts. Behavior issues, such as uncontrolled tantrums, aggressive physical behavior, and repetitive emotional outbursts, may interfere with children’s ability to function in school and may cause turmoil at home.
Targeted behavior interventions tailored to meet each child’s needs can prevent these challenging behaviors and teach children to use communication through positive behaviors in response to challenges. Effective behavior intervention plans can effectively minimize negative behaviors and ensure a healthy educational environment that optimizes learning and can improve family interactions.
What Is a Behavior Intervention Plan?
A child who struggles in school may require an individualized education program (IEP) that describes the goals that a team of educators have established for the child during a school year. Key to the IEP’s success is identifying any special support required to reach specific goals. The plan’s special support needs often include a behavior intervention plan that is designed to teach and reinforce positive behaviors.
What is a behavior intervention plan? BIPs, which are also called positive intervention plans, are customized to the needs, abilities, and skills of the child:
- They are individualized.
- They are positive.
- They are consistent.
The BIP has many distinct components:
- Skills training to promote appropriate behavior
- Alteration of the classroom or learning environment to minimize or eliminate problem behaviors
- Strategies to encourage appropriate behaviors that replace problem behaviors
- The support the child will need to behave appropriately
- Collection of data to measure the child’s progress
Types of Behaviors the Intervention Plan Aims to Minimize
Teachers understand the importance of setting classroom rules and expectations. The rules and expectations must be clearly communicated to students and enforced when necessary. The intervention plan is intended to guarantee that all children benefit from a safe, nurturing learning environment. The behaviors that an intervention plan addresses may include some of the following:
- Making noise in class
- Disrupting other students
- Talking out of turn
- Intentionally creating a power struggle with the teacher
- Distracting the learning process by repeatedly arguing over minor issues
- Brooding, rudeness, or negative mannerisms in class
- Overdependence on teachers or other students
Preventive Strategies: Encouraging Positive Behaviors
To manage their classrooms, many teachers tend to focus on problem behaviors. Another way to prevent and reduce challenging behaviors is by acknowledging correct behaviors and praising small successes.
Vermont-NEA (The Union of Vermont Educators) describes strategies for effective behavior management in educational settings:
- Stay calm at all times, and demonstrate to the students that the teacher is in charge.
- Give instructions as simple, direct statements rather than in the form of a question or request.
- Make sure that students know when it’s time for them to give the teacher their full attention.
Use the student’s name when giving praise and when disciplining, and make sure the student understands which action triggered the praise or discipline.