Copyright © 1998, PE Central Previous Articles

Establishing and Maintaining Appropriate Behavior in PE Classes

By Deb Wuest

Dealing with discipline problems is commonly acknowledged as one of teaching's toughest jobs. Additionally, lack of discipline is perceived by the public as one of the most serious problems in our nation's schools. Solving discipline problems is a challenge for both veteran and beginning teachers.

Handling discipline problems is, however, really part of the greater responsibility confronting teachers -- helping students learn and maintain appropriate behavior. Increasing appropriate behavior and decreasing inappropriate behavior is essential in creating a safe, positive classroom climate and in fostering learning.  There are many different approaches and strategies that teachers can use to optimize students opportunities to learn and to decrease the occurrence of discipline problems in their classes.

This month's feature focuses on David Almeida's " Five C's of Behavior Management". Almeida suggests this five-step behavior management classroom plan for teachers working with all students, including those who have a history of behavior problems. The five C's of behavior management, according to Almeida, are:

  • Clarity,
  • Consequences,
  • Consistency,
  • Caring, and
  • Change. 
  • These C's work together to help manage children's behavior.

    1. Clarity emphasizes the importance of teachers clearly communicating to their students what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Provide clear, concrete examples of both acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.
    2. Consequences for unacceptable behaviors and rewards for acceptable behaviors should be clearly identified and appropriate to the child and behavior. Children should understand both the rewards and consequences of behaving in certain ways.
    3. Consistency in implementing both rewards and consequences. Recognize when students behavior appropriately.  Take pleasure in students good behavior and active participation in class.  Let students know that you recognize and appreciate their efforts -- catch them being good!  When handing out consequences, be fair and consistent.
    4. Caring is one of the most important parts of the plan. Teachers must genuinely care about their students as children.  A child-centered program places the needs of children at the forefront of the educational process.
    5. Change is a necessary part of managing children's behaviors. Although structure and routine are important, teachers must be willing to modify their teaching methods and curriculum to meet the needs of the children. On-going reflection and evaluation can help teachers make necessary changes to enhance learning and minimize the occurrence problems.

    Almeida's "Five-Cs" offer teachers an approach to behavior management that can be used in many different settings.  There is one additional "C" for teachers to remember. Conduct or the manner in which the teacher behaves is important. Teachers must remember that they are role models for their students.  Teachers can promote respect by treating their students with respect.  Students will also learn important lessons from observing how teachers resolve conflicts and handle behavior problems.

    Managing student behavior is one of the greatest challenges teachers face. Effective teachers have a wide range of strategies that they can use to manage student behavior and enhance learning.


    Almeida, D. (1995). Behavior management and the "the five C's". Online.

    Submitted by Deb Wuest who is a professor at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 10/15/98.
    This article used by permission.
    Copyright © 1998, PE Central

    To reference this article:

    Wuest, D. "Establishing and Maintaining Appropriate Behavior in PE Classes". PE Central. 15 Oct. 1998. Online.

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