AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Intervention Techniques

Focus on stopping the behavior after it gets started

It is important that inappropriate behavior is sanctioned. For example:

  • Monitor student behavior and promptly apply negative consequences for misbehavior.
  • Draw upon a wide array of intervention strategies when a difficult situation arises.
  • Create a sense of fairness by matching your intervention to the severity of the offense.
  • Apply consequences consistently.

When establishing consequences, i.e., interventions, think of them in a hierarchy from least intrusive to most severe. From clarification to a warning to a teacher/student conference to contacting the parent to referral. Develop a range of minor interventions to use without interrupting the instructional flow of the class. Use the lowest-level sanction possible that will correct the problem behavior. As the serioiusness escalates or repeats, move up the hierarchy or "ladder" of consequences.

Interventions will fall into one of the following categories: minor, moderate, and serious.




Use nonverbal cues: eye contact, frown, gesture

Move closer

Direct a question

Change activity/
eliminate downtime

Redirect to task

Issue brief desist/ warning

Ask student to state the rule broken

Change seat

Withhold privilege

Assign a penalty

Contact parent

Assign after-school detention

Write behavior contract

Send to  principal's office

Arrange formal parent conference

Refer to counselor/

Refer to alternate school setting

Suspend student