From Negative Behavior Problems to a Student Role Model

Allison Berg
First-grade teacher, Howe Elementary School, Des Moines, Iowa

One student in my classroom has a very strong personality and struggles with negative behavior. Being part of a team allows his personality to shine through in a positive way. He had been very bossy towards other students, so I knew he needed to have the facilitator role in his team. Sometimes I huddle my facilitator students together and ask them what it means to be a good facilitator. He was able to tell me that a good facilitator leads the group but doesn’t tell their teammates what to do. He has shown so much growth and improved his negative behavior more than I think he would have in a traditional classroom. He’s stepped up into a leadership position, and the other two members in his triad group really look up to him. Even when we’re doing individualized tasks, they ask him for help because they see him as a leader in the classroom. I tell him I hope he continues to be a good role model for the other facilitators, and he has been.

Source: Toth, M.D., & Sousa, D.A. (2019). The power of student teams: Achieving social, emotional, and cognitive learning in every classroom through academic teaming (p. 88). West Palm Beach, FL: Learning Sciences International.