Canters Behavior Management Cycle A Case Study

Both parents worked long hours, Tammy’s father is a pie and cookie chef at the locate bread factory, he leaves for work at 5:00 a. m. and gets home by 3:00 in the evening. Her mother works at the mall as a sales manager at one of the clothing stores. Tammy’s mom sees all the children off to school before she has to be at work, she works 10:00 a. m. until 9:00 p. m. at night. She is usually home to say good-night to the children. There are five children in the family: Richard is 6 years old and in the first grade, Barbara is 9 years old and in the fourth grade, Allen is16 years old and a 10th grader, Diana is a 14 year old 8th grader who has a learning-disability.

A disorder in the basic psychological processes involving understanding or the use of language, which the disorder may reveal itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do Mathematics, (Heward, 2009, p 173) caused by a brain injury when she was 3 years old. Diana has always been in the special needs classroom. This is the first year of school in which Diana will be mainstream within a general classroom of 8th graders in the middle school. Researchers have consistently found a higher-than-usual incidence of behavioral problems among students with learning disabilities, (Cullinan, 2007).

Tammy is Diana’s 12 year old, younger sister and will be in the 7th grade at the middle school, too. Tammy has begin to realize and notice that her older sister is different from her and most of the other students at there school. Tammy fights with any student who tease Diana. Three weeks ago the girls’ mom was called in for a meeting with teachers and school counselors concerning Tammy’s behavior. Tammy has always been a good student, easy to get along with and respectful toward the teachers and school property.

School started two months ago and Tammy has been misbehaving for the pass six weeks. In her classes, especially in A Case Study of Disruptive Behavior in The Classroom 3 homeroom, she verbally fights with the other students, she throws paper clips and other items in the room, sometimes at students and other times at the wall. Tammy has become withdrawn at school, she eats lunch with her sister and see her back to her next classroom. Tammy has been getting to most of her classes after the bell rings and want give a reason for it, instead she has become sullen and angry with her teachers.

Tammy’s homeroom and P. E. teachers have called her a side and talked with her, this has not made a change in her attitude or behavior. Frustrated with Tammy’s disruptive behaviors, her teachers met after school to decide what to do about Tammy and other students’ behaviors in their classrooms, it has been decided that these students will have a one-on-one meeting with one of their teachers to review and add, if needed to their homeroom rules and procedures. One of Tammy’s teacher has no homeroom, she is free for the hour to discuss the classroom procedures and rules with Tammy during homeroom.

These are the disruptive behaviors that Tammy’s teachers wish to correct: deliberate acting -out in classes; verbally fighting with peers and throwing items in the classroom; coming to class late, without a reason and she is not participating or working in class; she is withdrawn, sullen, and defiant; disrespectful when talking to her teachers and peers. The teacher realize that she and her coworkers have not been effectively teaching the students. She sets out to learn how to effectively teach and provide an interesting, stimulating, smoothly functioning, well-managed, and safe and secure learning environment for all students at the middle school.

The curriculum and lesson plans can be too challenging for some student, the student(s) can become disinterested, which can lead to disruptive behavior. There are a variety of learning styles, also family and environments problems, mental and physical challenges can be cause of disruptive behaviors in students, (Heward, 2009). Disruptive behaviors interferes with students’ personal, social, and educational development. A Case Study of Disruptive Behavior in The Classroom 4 These disruptive classroom behaviors leads to disciplinary consequences, which leads to thedevelopment of acceptable  classroom rules and procedures.

The number one factor governing the students ability to learn is how well the teacher manages the classroom. A well managed classroom is task oriented and predictable, which includes effective teaching, which starts with teaching students to follow classroom rules and procedures the first weeks of school, (Gibbs, 2011).

Each homeroom class at the middle school has developed classroom rules and procedures, which Tammy helped her homeroom class to developed. Because her behavior is disruptive in most of classes, the teachers in each of Tammy classes have decided Canter’s three step behavior management cycle is needed and will be used to help Tammy correct and develop responsibility for her behaviors. Canter, (1992) three step “Behavior Management Cycle,” is a theory that outline how to deal with children discipline.

I. Verbally behavior: effectively communicate the explicit directions you expect students to follow. II. Physical movement: use behavior narrative to support students following your direction, (students following classroom rules and procedures are to be praise). III.

Participation: take corrective action with students who are still not following the classroom’s rules and procedures. All consequences need not be negative or harsh, such as the case with Tammy. When dealing with young adults its’ good to establish a rapport, its’ the most important ingredient, which causes a teenage student’s reluctance to be controlled into a willingness to be guided. Tammy is called outside her homeroom class by her teacher, once in the hall and out of hearing distance or the path-way of her peers, her teacher orally points out the rules.

The rules Tammy and her peers developed to eliminate classroom disruptive behaviors, along with corrective action or the A Case Study of Disruptive Behavior in The Classroom 5 consequences for students who do not comply with the rules and procedures. Tammy is re-mined of her verbal abuse toward her teachers and peers; she is asked, why do you throw paper clips and other items in the classroom; why do you no longer participate in class discussion or turn in completed homework assignment. Also, why are you late to class lately and why are you sullen and often withdrawn? Your attitude, your negative and harmful behavior toward others must change.

You are old enough to no throwing things in the classroom can be harmful to others and you should not do it. You are talking out in the class and fighting with your peers. All these behaviors go against the rules of the classrooms. You use to make it to your class in five minutes like all the others. Your assignments were always completed in class and were correctly and neatly done. You was a smiling cheerful student and pleasant to everyone. All your teachers have notice changes in your behaviors.

You are expected to change your attitude and behaviors; there should be no more disrespectful talk to your teachers or peers, there will be no fighting in the halls or bathrooms, you will get to classes on time and follow the direction to complete your class assignments. Your parents have been mailed a letter, if necessary a meeting with a counselor and your parents will follow. Tammy is a preteen in middle school with an older sister, who should be in high school, but she has a learning disability. Diana is a special needs student who is being mainstream into general classes.

This has caused Tammy to notice her sister’s learning disability behavior and the way other students tease her for the fist time. Tammy feels she should protect her sister and fights with those students that tease Diana. Tammy refuse to listen to Diana, when she tells her the teasing is o k and she do not listen to it. After Tammy’s talk with her teacher, Tammy’s disruptive behaviors stopped. Her teacher also, set up a meeting with Tammy, Diana, their parents and the a school counselor for families.

The A Case Study of Disruptive Behavior in The Classroom 6 motivation behind Tammy’s disruptive behaviors was discover and handle. Rational and irrational behaviors can be explained after what motivate a person to act is understood. , (Aveyard-Barry, 2013). Tammy has become a pleasant student. She no longer walk Diana to her classroom, but get to her own on time. Tammy do not feels she has to take care of her sister and is no longer resentful and angry.

She is a happy 12 year old, middle school student. Tammy enjoy school and being with her peers. The school counselor place Diana in a homeroom with several girls on the after school sports teams of basketball, volleyball, and tennis. They encouraged Diana to join a team and has taken it upon themselves to practice extra with her. They invited Diana to sit with them and some other students at lunch. *(I substitute for most classes, but wish to teach secondary school Mathematics and hope I could apply this behavior management to high school students. )

A Case Study of Disruptive Behavior in The Classroom 7 References Aveyard-Barry, M. , (2013), What Are the Causes of Behavior in a Classroom? www. ehow. com/print/info_7929261_causes-behavior-classroom . . . Canter, L. , Canter, M. ,(1976), Assertive Discipline: A Take-Charge Approach for Today’s Educator, p 72, 73. Gibbs, N. , (2011), Workable Classroom and Procedures, Building Classroom Discipline, tenth edition, Ch. 6, p 106-111, http//gcumedia.

com/digetal-resources/pearson/2011/building-classroom-discipline_ebook_10e. php. Heward, W. , (2009), Ohio State University, Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education, ninth edition, p 173, 185. What Are The Steps of Canter’s Behavior Management Cycle? ,wiki. answers. com/Q/What . . . Canter’s_Behavior_Management_Cycle. Sarvesh, Motivation And Behavior, www. motivation. com. in/motivation-and-behavior. html.

Students require teachers who can make classroom environment suitable for teaching and learning. Every student is entitled to classroom with the suitable learning environment that is disruption free (Stiggins, 2003). Teachers should, on the other hand, assist students in developing appropriate behaviors at school. Most of the students, who are considered as behavior burdens, would not be so, if their teachers had taught them to behave appropriately in the classroom, and if their self esteem had risen, consequently.

Canter’s Behavior Management Cycle is a theory that outlines how to deal with children and children’s disciplinary regime. According to Canter (1992), student’s classroom behavior can be handled in a repetitive three step cycle. The steps comprise instructions and desirable behaviors; positive repetition, to achieve the desirable behavior into the child’s system; and, finally, negative assertion due to the failure of diplomacy; thereafter, the cycle starts again (Canter, 1992).The cycle outlines how to deal with children that show indiscipline, especially, in a classroom setting.

Case Study on Behavior Management Cycle

Ms. Lynn is teaching the lesson, and when she looks over she finds Jane talking to his neighbor, and the student is doing this the second time within the last couple of minutes. She stops what she was doing and reminds him whether he knows the rule about talking. Ms. Lynn then writes her name on the board. Another example is about Mr. Jackson, a lecture, in his class. He sees John talking to the student seated besides him. He calls out her name and warns her not to talk in his class, and then goes ahead to write her name on the board.

There should be a systematic discipline plan that contains various ways on how to handle a student who chooses to misbehave in the classroom. The teacher informs the students in advance what the consequences will be, in order for students to understand the implications of their misbehavior. In cases where there is no well stipulated plan, teachers need to develop appropriate consequences at times a student misbehaves. The teachers tend to be inconsistent if there is no plan. At some moments, they ignore students who are yelling, disrupting the class or talking. The following time, they may severely discipline students for the similar behavior. Moreover, teachers may respond differently to students depending on their racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic backgrounds.

Instructions and Desired Behaviours

The first step in Canter’s Behavior Management Cycle is the outlining of clear instructions and desired behaviors. The teachers need to state instructions and teach acceptable behaviors, if they desire students to follow a certain direction. Teachers must give directions for each activity to be performed during the day, such as the group works, lectures, and transition between activities, among other things. For every situation, the teacher should spell out his behavior expectations from the students. A problem may diminish, when the teacher assumes that the students know how they are expected to behave. For instance, teachers may desire that the students remain seated during the entire lecture; pay attention to the lecturer; remove all materials from their desk, except pencil and paper; raise their hands in cases, when they have comments or questions; and wait until they are called to speak.

Once the behavior for each situation is determined, the teachers have to teach students how to adhere to their directions. First, teachers need to state the directions. With the younger students, they need to write down the behaviors on a flip chart. Subsequently, they need to model the behaviors, allow students to restate the behaviors, give the question about the behaviors to ensure that students understand them, and then involve students in activity to ensure that they understand the directions.

Positive Repetition

The next step is positive repetition to get the desirable behavior into the system of student. Once the teaching of directions is done, teachers, particularly at the basic level,- must apply positive repetition to strengthen the children as far as follow the taught directions is concerned. Teachers need to focus attention on the students who follow the direction rather than those that do not obey. For example, “Jackson went back to his seat and is set to work” instead of “John you did not  go back to your seat” or “Lyn, what is wrong with you”. In most cases, teachers after giving directions to students pay attention to students who do not obey. Instead, they need to shift their attention on those that follow instructions in order to rephrase the previous direction with a positive connotation.

Negative Assertion 

The last step is negative assertion due to the failure of diplomacy. If the student persists to misbehave after being taught directions, and the teacher has used positive repetition to reinforce the direction, the only alternative left with the teacher is to apply the negative consequences that are prescribed in his or her Assertive Disciple Plan. It is a general rule that a teacher should not implement a disciplinary action to a student till the teacher, at least, has strengthened students for the desired behavior. It is advisable that teachers be positive first. Teachers should emphasize that the negative behavior of students is getting their attention, which shows that the teacher is negative and in turn portrays classroom as a negative place.

An effective discipline plan ensures that consequences are applied fairly to all students across the board. All those, who willfully interfere with classroom and bring a class to a stop, incur similar consequences. A written plan would be better since it can be circulated to parents, who will be informed prior to the teachers’ standards and the consequences to be suffered by the children, if they misbehave. This will ensure that there are no surprises and complaints, in case a parent is called by a teacher (Canter, 1992).

Teachers have to undergo trainings on how to administer assertive discipline. More often, teachers are not taught on how to maintain students in their seats for the entire lecture time. Behavior management, in most cases, is taught through a smorgasbord (Canter, 1992). This approach of training teachers is similar to a swimming class, whereby non-swimmers are shortly introduced without any prior practice. In short terms, teachers are told to either swim or sink, of which many teachers are sinking. According to Canter (1992), many beginning teachers drop out of the teaching profession because of the inability to manage students’ behavior. They need to be thoroughly trained in a classroom, how to attain management skills. Teaching the content is never enough. Teachers will not get to the content if they do not know how to make favorable classroom environment.

In brief, a well developed discipline plan is required, in order to manage the behavior of various students in the classroom. A well developed discipline plan should contain a maximum of five consequences for violating the desired directions, out of which teachers choose those that they are comfortable with. For instance, the first time a student violate the rules, he or she is warned. The next time he breaks the rule he is given a 10-minute timeout, with a 15-minute timeout the third time. If he breaks the rule the fourth time, his parents are called by the teacher; and lastly, the student goes to the principal, if he breaks the rule the fifth time. The plan should not allow teachers administer consequences that are not suitable for students and do not account students’ interests. It is necessary to note that the consequences should not result in any physical or psychological damage to the student, for example, by making the student stand before the others in the classroom or treating a student in a way that degrades him or her.

Canter (1992) suggests that writing of names and checks on the board are equally necessary though they should not interrupt class sessions. Some teachers, besides names and checks on the board, go ahead to comment on the matter, for example, “you have talked out once more”, or “you are impossible”. The issuing of reprimands interferes with class sessions and should be eliminated. Writing of student’s name on the board does not only calm the student in a non-grading manner, but also gives record keeping system for the teacher. However, some parents do not appreciate the writing of student’s name and checks on the boards and misinterpret it to the mean shaming of their children. In conclusion, the behavior management of a student should be the joint responsibility of teachers, administrators and parents, at large.


In conclusion, Assertive Discipline is not everything, and instead it is just a beginning point. All teachers should apply counseling skills; group process skills together with other skills to assist students, who have behavioral problems, learn suitable classroom behaviors. Besides other professional skills, behavior management should be part of teachers continuing professional development (Stoughton, 2007). It requires a lot of effort and continuing training for teachers to understand classroom management skills. Parents also need to support disciplinary efforts of teachers. In many cases, teachers lose moral stamina when the whole responsibility of behavioral management has been abdicated to them by the parents.

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