As a teacher, it can be easy to find yourself in “corrective mode” in your classroom, getting after students when they are misbehaving or not attending. The very best teachers I know are the ones who add “catching students being good” to the mix.
Children will seek out attention, and it’s often easier to get it by being bad. To many children, attention is attention. The students who really struggle in the school setting (the ones who teachers can make the most profound difference to) are most likely to go the easy route and get attention from bad behaviors because it is that much harder for them to get the positive attention.
Teachers who reinforce students when they observe appropriate behavior show students there is another way, and make it attainable for the children to get attention from positive behaviors – a habit which can stick with them for a long time.
Positive Rewards. When trying to change the inappropriate behaviors of children, it pays to ‘catch them behaving appropriately’. Inappropriate behaviors are a method of ‘getting attention’ so give the attention for the appropriate behavior and use this list of incentives to keep… [About Special Education]