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Preventing Escalated Behavior: Strategies for Defusing Problem Behavior

Teachers, even with a reasonably sound behavior management system and solid instructional practices, will sometimes encounter challenging behavior. These behaviors include noncompliance, attention getting, defiance, disrespect, rule violations, threats, and confrontations. Such behavior can lead to class disruption and escalate to serious behavior affecting the safety of both staff and students. Teachers must have (a) strategies that enable them to identify factors that predict behavior escalations, (b) efficient tactics for intervening early and preventing and redirecting escalations, and (c) effective responses to severe problem behaviors.

The best approach for dealing with escalations is to emphasize prevention strategies that deescalate behavioral chains. When students display confrontational or challenging behavior, the teacher is likely to respond directly, which often triggers an intensification of student and teacher ...

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