There are those who would admonish their pupils ‘to behave’ rather than teach them how to relate positively to each other. Seldom would we admonish a pupil to read in place of teaching the necessary skills.

–Bill Morse       


Once behavioral expectations have been defined, student acquisition of those behaviors is most effectively handled through systematic teaching. This teaching calls upon the same methods used to teach academic skills–direct instruction, modeling, practice and feedback.  At the beginning of the school year and as necessary throughout the year, students should be taught how to behave responsibly in each school or social setting. Effective teachers spend approximately one-third of their time during these first days of the new school year teaching their expectations, and then frequently review or remind students of their expectations each and every day, all year long. This preventive teaching includes three strategies: 1) group lessons to introduce expectations, 2) individual instruction to review with students requiring more frequent teaching, and 3) preventive prompts or brief reminders just prior to an opportunity to use the expectations, skill or procedure. Using these strategies, teaching is an ongoing endeavor, not a one time event.   Have we taught our expectations to our students?

Good teaching is good teaching. The elements of effective lesson design apply not only to academic instruction, but also to the teaching of responsible behavior.

“We spend too much time attempting to eliminate behavior rather than to accelerate behavior.”

–Ron Sexton

Sample Indicators:

  1. An annual plan for teaching our behavioral curriculum exists.

  2. Our expectations are posted (guiding principals, common areas, social skills, etc.)

  3. Our staff and students know the expectations.

  4. Student behavior is congruent with our expectations.

  5. Our teachers reference their prior teaching of expectations frequently (use prompts to remind students).

  6. There is evidence of related instructional activities (student artwork or compositions, bulletin boards, incentive systems).

  7. Our teachers reinforce and correct behavior previously taught.