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Tier 3 Classroom Management for Special Education Teachers

We have reached the last post in our Classroom Management Series, which has focused on how special education teachers can plan for classroom management using a tiered approach. Today we are going to talk about Tier 3 – Intensive, Individualized Behavior Support.

Behavioral Support Is Important for Overall Classroom Management

Most special education teachers are already familiar with Tier 3 behavior support based on the fact that their students may come to them with Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP) already in place.  In order for a BIP to be developed, it is important that a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) be completed for the student. Most school districts have a formalized process, along with specific tools, for completing FBAs and BIP for students with and without disabilities.  

Special education teachers should not enter into Tier 3 behavior support, without first completing a Functional Behavioral Assessment for the individual student.  Completing an FBA helps special educators determine the function of the behavior, or what the student is trying to communicate through the behavior. Many times we determine that students are communicating avoidance of a certain activity or may be seeking attention with the challenging behavior that they are exhibiting.  

Build A Strategy Based On Behavior Function

After determining the function of the behavior, the team then needs to determine which strategies would provide the most effective intensive intervention necessary to replace the challenging behavior.  This may include social skills instruction or instruction in self-regulation strategies.

How progress in tracked is going to differ based on the student, their interests, strengths, etc. For example, one student may respond well to an individual teacher check-out at the end of the day where they can reflect on their behavior for the day.

All Students Are Different 

Another student may require more frequent check-ins where they can review a behavior sheet that has visual surrounding their progress (i.e. a sticker chart, point sheet, etc.)

To summarize, it is important for special education teachers to think through classroom throughout all tiers.  By proactively identifying the routines and procedures, as well as areas in which students may struggle, we are able to support all students regardless of their disability status in engaging in successful academic behaviors.  

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