Ever have one of those days when you just want to go home and pull the covers over your head? Or eat 26 mini snickers bars because no matter how hard you tried. you just Could. Not. Control.  your class?   Managing classroom behavior can be really tough sometimes. But it doesn’t have to be. Read on to Discover 10 Smarter Ways to manage classroom behavior.

Kids with special needs sometimes struggle with behavior. And disability classifications are important because they’re a necessary part of the Special Ed. process, but they are by nature, general. They don’t pinpoint a kid’s unique behaviors or what those behaviors are trying to communicate. And at the same time, many kids in Gen. Ed settings also struggle with similar behavioral issues.

While it’s true that cognitive delays, attention deficits, and communication and social delays are more common in kids with special needs, many typical kids experience the same types of difficulties as their peers in Special Ed. So managing classroom behavior doesn’t depend on disability classifications.

I’ve worked on managing classroom behavior for what feels like forever! My students have taught me a lot and so have some of my amazing teacher friends! I’ve taught Pre-K -8th Grade students in Special Ed & in Gen. Ed. And sometimes it seems to me as if there’s a big line drawn in the sand separating the two groups. But wait, NO!


In all the years of trying to get it right I’ve come to one basic conclusion – kids are kids! Yes, they are all unique but so very much alike at the same time. The very same classroom behavior management strategies can be effective with most kids in General and Special Ed settings. So whether you have 8 students or 28 students, these 10 Smarter Ways will work for you.

Click HERE, for a FREE Behavior Management Checklist for your classroom!

Ten Smarter Ways to Manage Classroom Behavior



#1 Consistency – Say what you mean and mean what you say. Consistent behavior and actions help to build and environment of truthfulness and trust in the classroom.

#2  Defined Expectations – Kids should know exactly what’s expected of them – no guessing here! If you work with a team have all adults in the classroom on board with common and clearly defined expectations.

#3  Structure – It may not seem like it at times but kids crave structure. They may act like they want to be in charge but the truth is that being in charge is really very scary for a child. They want and need a captain for their ship. Be that captain!

#4  Routines – Routines help to provide structure, foster good habits and reduce anxiety. Where would you be without your routines? Classroom routines are essential for kids.

#5  Kindness– A little kindness in the classroom can go a long way in creating positive relationships with kids. And you’ll be modeling the very behaviors you want to see them emulate.

#6  Validation – Kids appreciate having their perspective and feelings recognized just as much as their grown-up counterparts. Be open to their ideas and feelings and they’ll be open to yours.

#7  Flexibility – Structure and routines may be essential, but flexibility is just as important. Model adaptability so your kids can learn to adapt to change, acclimate to different roles and responsibilities and increase their levels of independence.

#8  A Sense of Humor– It’s okay to laugh. In fact, it’s better then okay, it’s downright awesome! Humor helps to create a comfortable classroom environment, it eases tension and can even promote creativity. So go ahead, make em’ laugh!

#9  Choices –  Whenever possible let kids know that ultimately their response to your request is their choice. Never back kids into a wall or engage in power struggles. Limited choices encourage kids to cooperate through a perceived sense of empowerment.

#10  Support – I’m not talking about just academic support or extra help. Always try to respond to the different needs of your kids.  Try to keep in mind that kids receive different levels of support at home. Get to know the kids in your class. Maybe some kids need school supplies, maybe some kids need to do their homework or other home assignments in class, maybe some kids need an extra gentle tone today. Be that one person that is always there for them and that they can always count on no matter what!

What’s your biggest challenge managing classroom behaviors? I’d love to hear from you! Share in the comments below.

Carol 🙂

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