Date of Conferral
Research consistently reflects novice teachers’ feelings of inadequacy in effectively responding to students’ disruptive classroom behaviors. Some teachers may quickly default to disciplinary write-ups or make behavior-related referrals to special education. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the perspectives of first-year elementary general education teachers about their competency and their tolerance for managing problem behaviors; to identify supports that will strengthen their ability to acquire and use effective behavior management skills, and thus reduce referrals. Social constructionism was the guiding conceptual framework. In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted via telephone and analyzed using Moustakas’ adaptation of the Van Kaam method for analyzing phenomenological data. The participants consisted of two White female teachers and three Black male teachers from a South Carolina school district. The findings showed(a) their reliance on personal resources to manage disruptive behaviors, (b) decreased tolerance as the school year progressed, and (c) insight into their perception of the support needed to become more competent and tolerant. Examples included (a) support from administrators when responding to disciplinary incidents, (b) more training on classroom behavior management, on cultural competency, and on the impact of mental health disorders on students’ learning and behavior. The positive social change implication of this study is the enhancement of teachers’ competency and tolerance to effectively respond to disruptive behaviors without feeling inept, defeated or burnt out and decrease unnecessary referral use.
Smith, Lucina, "A Phenomenological Study of First-Year Elementary Teachers Managing Disruptive Behaviors" (2021). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 9890.