4-3. Five Basic Premises About Behavior
- People are social beings who have a NEED to BELONG, be it in a family, school, or community.
Dysfunctional students react negatively because their trust in people has been taken away. By caring, for, and not accepting negative behavior from students, they will respond to individuals. BUT they will not be able to easily transfer this respect to others. In fact, if they experience being treated with respect, they will react extremely negative towards people who do not treat them respectfully. In young people, respect is developed one person at a time.
- Behavior is best understood on a HOLISTIC BASIS.
A student bring the good, and bad, from their homes, community, friends, etc. We can't isolate students' experiences, and feelings, to "just school" Any problem in a student's life will be played out in school. We must understand and deal with more than we see in the classroom.
- Behavior is GOAL-DIRECTED and has a PURPOSE.
No matter how strange a certain behavior may look to someone else, that student is doing it for a reason. The student may think they are doing it "to get even", or for some other reason, but often they do not understand why they are doing what they do. They may be lashing out at a deep emotional scar but all we see is a student behaving in an unacceptable way. It matters that the student may be hurting, but it is almost always unacceptable to allow them to behave in a disrespectful way.
- People are understood in terms of HOW THEY SEE THEMSELVES in their situation.
If a person sees themselves as helpless, they will try to gain control and may do it in negative ways. How we see them is not a s important as how they see themselves. When dealing with students we must try to see through their eyes and mind-set.
- People are DECISION-MAKERS.
Students do make choices! It is our responsibility to ensure the choices they make are positive. When they make negative choices, we must deal with the behavior and try to ensure the next choice is positive. We can't expect students who are behavioral students to make many positive choices without us giving of ourselves and showing the students we care enough to deal with their negative behaviors.