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What I Learned About Behavior Management… I Learned from My Mother in Second Grade

July 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

I was in second grade and would frustrate my mother because I could not seem to put my undershirt on the correct way. I always had the tag in the front (which was supposed to be in the back). She would fuss and fuss but no matter how much she yelled, I just could not remember to put my clothes on the right way.

One day, she created a system and made a deal with me. She told me that she would give me a quarter for every time I correctly put on my clothes. I was excited about the challenge and the opportunity to make money. Every day that I put the shirt on correctly, my mother put a check on a daily list that was posted on the refrigerator (each check represented 25 cents). After a month, I had earned approximately $7 .50 as the system had created a consciousness in how I got dressed in the morning. Through this structure, I was able to develop a new behavior.

Ormrod (2008) addressed this issue of behavioral change as an extended adjustment in how one makes mental associations.  My mother used a daily reward system to change my behavior by providing a daily reinforcement to her expectations and it worked!

This experience influenced my teaching style later when I became an educator. I have designed a daily management system that immediately identifies when students behave in a way that meets the classroom expectations and immediately identifies when they behave in a way that violates them. Just like my 2nd grade experience, students are able to adjust their choices when there is immediate recognition of that behavior and expectations are reinforced.

Teacher Tip: No amount of yelling is going to get a child to change their behaviors.  Create a system that builds students’ consciousness and allows them to make informed choices.

~Angela Dye


To learn more about our behavior management system (which also blends behaviorism with constructivism), please visit our curriculum page.

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