The best way you can start out is by being firm and consistent from the beginning. You need to know what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and from day 1 with the children you need to work with them to define some "classroom rules", so that they also have ownership of what is appropriate behaviour (if the class is old enough).
Look at your physical environment, and how you set it up. Make sure you do not have "laneways" where children can run from one end of the room to another. Instead, make sure your room is set up into various learning areas.
Also, you need to make sure you are prepared. Make sure your group times are well thought out, and contain variety and are age appropriate. Make sure the activities that are set up in the room also contain variety, and will cater to a variety of developmental levels, until you get to know the children better and what they are individually capable of. Have backup plans... if something is not working, replace it with something else, before the children have the chance to start acting up out of boredom or frustration.
Make sure your routine times are consistent to begin with. That way the children will understand what is expected of them right from the word go. I used to establish a "special helper" system very early on, and that was something that the majority of children loved to be a part of, and really encouraged positive behaviour from, as they all really wanted to have a turn. I would choose a different helper each day, so that the children weren't waiting forever to have their turn.
Are you an eduactor or supervisor?
There is nothing you can plan for before you meet your kids. You can only know how to best anticipate and prevent behavior problems once you know their behaviors. Then you can use different methods that would work in your group that may not be effective in another...ask this question again once you know specifics about the types of personalities in the group.
If you are a parent then I'd suggest speaking with the teacher about their methods of prevention and discipline before choing your school.
The only way you can anticipate behavior problems is by be a really good observer. You can take time out and observe and record their behavior and weed thru and find those that might have potential for having behaviorial problems. As for preventing just being there and watching them and listening. You can't always predict or prevent behavior. If it happens then this is when you can step in and take care of it.
Humans can be just as unpredictable as animals.
It is hard to anticipate bad behavior unless you have observed all the children for some time, but i find when it does happen i find that distraction always works well!
You can't. If you know you are having a child with a behavior problem you will need to have the child in your classroom to see if his/her really behaves different so you will know how to act and teach that particular child. It could happen that because of the parents don't know how to handle their own child they say the child has a behavior problem.
So, I'd take step by step:-))
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