PBIS Calming Procedures for the Classroom

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) is a proactive, team-based framework for creating and sustaining safe and effective learning environments in schools. It enables all students to become tolerant and respectful of differences, build lasting relationships with each other, improve their communication skills and avoid confrontation.

Students may exhibit problematic behaviors in class like excessive anger, frustration, bitterness, worry or other emotions in ways that might disrupt the general classroom environment or the learning experience of other students. If a student’s behavior is physically disruptive, destructive or violent and/or presenting a safety risk to either themselves or others, their teachers should promptly seek additional assistance.

Evidential methods for de-escalating behaviors can help to equip students with the skills to manage their emotions independently.

For example, the teacher could maintain a soft, gentle and respectful tone of voice and use positive terms while addressing a student who may be experiencing a meltdown.

An agitated child may tell the teacher to “Go away,” or “Leave me alone.” When this happens, the teacher should keep a safe distance while standing beside or diagonally across from the child in a relaxed posture and take care not to point fingers or exhibit any anger or doubt.

Non-verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication is an effective way of reaching out to students without interrupting class sessions. Students are often intuitive and quick to respond to unspoken signals from those around them. By using non-verbal signals to communicate with students, teachers can also provide them with an outlet to communicate without drawing explicit attention towards themselves.

Brain Breaks

Brain breaks are quick breaks that students might take during a class session to refocus their attention and energies. Such breaks may consist of mindfulness exercises or physical activities that enable students to take small periods of “rest” during mentally strenuous periods of class to allow their brains to refocus and re-energize.

Respectful Redirection

Teachers who keep calm and modulate their voices while dealing with problem behavior often find it easier to tackle student conflicts. Redirection is a quick, concise and in-the-moment strategy that enables teachers to correct problematic student behaviors with as few words as possible.

When-Then strategy

Teachers may also use “when-then” sentences to encourage students to inculcate appropriate classroom behaviors. An example of a when-then sentence would be something like “When you stop yelling at me, we can discuss what’s bothering you,” instead of “If you don’t stop raising your voice at me I’ll make you leave the classroom.”

Such sentencing also provides students with a choice to behave appropriately by reminding them of the consequences of each action.

With the systematic and individualized PBIS calming procedure strategies, teachers will be able to create a classroom atmosphere that encourages positive student attitudes, behaviors and thought processes. These strategies create inclusive classrooms where students are motivated to adapt and support one another both inside and outside the class.

Learn more PBIS teaching strategies with online professional development from Professional Learning Board.



About the Author
Ellen Paxton is a respected expert in education and best known as the Chief Learning Officer of Professional Learning Board. As a two-time National Board Certified Teacher, Ellen has successfully published and customized online professional development courses and Learning Management Systems for 20 years to help teachers meet their state continuing education renewal credit requirements. Through ProfessionalLearningBoard.comRenewaTeachingLicense.com, and ConnectedPD.com. Ellen has established solutions and maintained partnerships with several accredited universities, higher education institutions, teachers’ unions and state Departments of Education while setting strategic direction that makes a difference and overseeing implementation of popular online PD.