Ask any adult who works in or around schools and they will likely tell you that student misbehaviors are a daily problem. It seems like students don’t have the self-discipline or respect for others that we all had in our youth. While there are a variety of factors influencing student behavior, there is strong evidence that adults can affect the probability of positive behavior with a set of basic actions.
Evidence clearly shows that student behavior in the classroom can be predicted by three teacher behaviors:
- Active supervision, which simply means that the teacher communicates expectations and maintains consistent eye contact with the students.
- Verbally engaging students in a positive manner. This can be done with personal greetings, questions, comments, and even small tasks that keep the students’ minds focused on positive behavior.
- Delivery of positive verbal feedback — just letting students know that they are acting appropriately.
Recent research summarizing 12,000 classroom observations has shown that teachers not using these behaviors have students that are 67% more likely to be disruptive during class. These same teacher behaviors can be adapted for drivers to use on the bus.
There’s no sure thing when it comes to strategies to decrease misbehavior on the school bus — or anywhere else. But we do know that some things work better than others, and it’s just logical that we would want our drivers to use those strategies that provide the best chances for success.