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Tips on How to Write a Behavior Management Plan

written by: Margie • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 9/11/2012

How to write a behavior management plan is a skill all teachers should perfect. These plans help replace students’ undesirable behaviors with more pleasing ones.

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    Obviously, the first step in writing a behavior management plan is to identify the student and the behavior you want to change. After you have done that, you are ready to write the plan.

    What is a Behavior Management Plan?

    A behavior management plan is a plan for changing behavior. They are great tools for teachers to employ because they require active involvement from the student, teacher, and whoever else needs to be included.


    The purpose of a behavior management plan is to develop a plan of action to manage a student’s behavior.

    What Should a Behavior Management Plan Cover?


    The specific actions of everyone involved with the plan should be covered. Determine what the teacher, student, parent, administrator, and so on will do to implement the plan and ensure its success.

    Be specific.

    For example, let’s say you have a student who is constantly putting her head on her desk and not turning in her work. Address those two problems specifically.

    Action of Student: Student will sit upright in her desk. Student will place completed classwork in basket as soon as the work is completed.

    Action of Teacher: Teacher will walk by student’s desk every fifteen minutes. Teacher will place hand on student’s shoulder if student’s head is on her desk. Teacher will call home every other day to report if student turned in assignments.

    In my experience, the more specific you are, the better. In the past, when I have written a plan for the behaviors I mentioned in the example above, I kept a clipboard with me and marked each time I noticed the student's head on her desk. If the plan was working, there were fewer marks as time passed, until eventually there were no marks at all. This sounds tedious, and it can be, but your goal is to extinguish the problem behavior. So, as time passes you should find yourself in less need of the clipboard because the behavior should be improving.


    Determine how you will measure the student’s behavior so you will know whether or not the plan is working.

    I use the clipboard that I mentioned above. You can also look at grades, how often work is being turned in, parent feedback, etc.

    Rewards and Consequences

    Determine which rewards and consequences will be used. This is where it helps tremendously to know your student and to get her input. Some kids will do anything for a 15 minutes pass to use the computer. Others could care less. Some children are devastated by a negative phone call home while others are not bothered in the least. Know the child!

    In my experience, positive reinforcement works best. If you give the child something tangible to work toward, he or she usually responds pretty well.


    Establish a timeline for when you will meet to go over the plan, the measurements, and everyone’s general feelings about it. It does no good to write a plan if you never go back and use it!


    As you consider how to write a behavior management plan, think about ways to ensure its success. One way I do this it to have everyone who is to play a part sign the plan. It makes it feel more official and like a real contractual agreement.

    Remember that the ultimate goal of writing a behavior management plan is to longer need a behavior management plan. If the plan is successful, the undesirable behaviors will be replaced by desirable ones, and everyone is happy.