Please note: This example scenario is not an inclusive description of behaviors or circumstances in which a child may need additional assistance or services, either within or outside of your care. Children may display more subtle, or more intense, behaviors that would warrant a Behavior Plan and subsequent intervention to help in the child’s success and prevent suspension or expulsion.
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I am a teacher in a Two’s classroom. I notice that one student, Clara (30 months/2.5 years old), is suddenly having a hard time with transitions. She has also gotten physical with her friends. This is atypical behavior for her, as she is usually very calm and enjoys being with her friends in her class. My co-teacher has noticed the same thing, and several regular rotating teachers have noted that Clara is struggling and are requesting not to come to my classroom anymore! She is almost inconsolable when you attempt to redirect her to a new activity.
What could your next step be in Behavior Plan development to assist Clara?
I spoke with Clara’s mom, who says a family member with transient history and several mental health issues has just moved in with them. Clara’s mom noted that Clara has also been acting out at home since then. Mom and Dad are putting a lot of effort toward helping the family member adjust, which as a result has completely disrupted their regular routine. Clara is not familiar with the family member. I spoke with mom about techniques that she uses with Clara at home.
Clara’s mom seems to be at a loss on how to help Clara, too. What could be the next step in developing your Behavior Plan for Clara?
I do some research and ask my director to come in and observe Clara in the classroom. She does one morning and one afternoon visit on 2 separate days, spending about 1-1.5 hours observing each time. Each observation has transition periods in it, as well as routine times (nap, snack, lunch, outside), and more structured activity times (art, centers, and teacher-led story time). The director agrees to assist and implement some changes in the classroom.
To support Clara, and all of the children, we develop a Visual Schedule for the whole classroom to follow. We also begin giving countdowns to assist with transitions using a timer. We add transitional songs as auditory cues for the children to change activities. After one week, we also add a calm down/quiet station to our classroom to support the children to utilize if they need time to settle and calm.
We’ve gotten feedback from our director, and have implemented 2 changes in the classroom! What should the next step be?
We document Clara’s behaviors and temperaments for 3 weeks, noting changes in behavior before we implemented changes, and after. The rest of the children in the class LOVE the visual schedule and overall it has helped the room transition, but Clara still will not transition between activities in the classroom without a struggle. I revisit the topic with my director, and have kept them up to date as we’ve implemented changes. This whole process has been about 4.5 weeks long, and as a teacher I don’t know how else to support Clara. I am frustrated, and other parents are complaining because their children are getting sent home with accident reports more frequently than before. They have also brought the topic up with the director, and she is concerned that parents are worried about their children’s safety while at school. Some children are even starting to get physical with others, too!
What can I do now?