“Much of children’s and adolescents’ behavior is developed by emulating the behaviors of adults who play significant roles in their lives. Research indicates that individuals are more likely to model the behaviors of people whom they view as possessing competence and control over resources, and who are major sources of control, support, and reinforcement–characteristics possessed by teachers.” (Comprehensive Classroom Management: Creating Communities of Support and Solving Problems. Vern Jones and Louise Jones.)

Modeling is a natural part of our routines and practices as teachers. Marlene Bergan, art teacher at Damascus Middle School, incorporates modeling as an instructional strategy often. During a recent lesson, she used modeling to show her students how to create a foam printing project. Ms. Bergan masterfully wove behavior expectations into her lesson. While she explained to kids the process of printing, giving examples and non-examples, she also modeled what to do. Additionally, Ms. Bergan had written out the directions step by step at the work station for kids to follow on their own. As students transitioned into work time on their projects, she offered reinforcement, encouragement, and help as needed to her students. By modeling the project process along with her expected behaviors, students were able to complete their art assignments independently and all enjoyed a safe, respectful learning environment while doing so!

PBIS Tip: Regardless of the grade level or subject area you teach, it’s likely you include modeling among your many strategies. This week, choose one expected behavior to model as well. Are cell phones allowed in class? Consider locking yours away during the school day, too. Are students expected to sit quietly and show respect at school assemblies? Be an example to your kids by sitting among them and participating appropriately. Time and resources are shorter than we’d all like; modeling is a no-prep, free resource we all have that can be very effective with students of all ages. Pick one positive behavior you’d like to encourage in your students and make a point to model it daily.

Courtesy of Danielle Triplett, PBIS Coordinator for the Gresham-Barlow School District

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