Addressing Behavioral Issues in Schools

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I help school leaders improve the overall mental health in their schools, so their students can navigate life and accomplish whatever they set out to do. 

I'm Bobby

Welcome, educators! I’m Bobby Jones, and today let’s have a conversation about something many of us face: addressing behavioral issues in our schools. There’s a saying that goes, “If you continue to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result, that’s insanity.” This rings true in our current approach to behavior management. Let’s explore why traditional methods might not be working and what alternatives we can consider.

The Problem with Current Behavior Policies

Many of you are all too familiar with the daily disruptions caused by a handful of students. The same students are often sent to your office repeatedly, and despite your best efforts, their behavior doesn’t improve. Traditional behavior policies focus on consequences, but it’s not addressing the root issues as to WHY. Behavior isn’t the core issue—it’s often a symptom of deeper emotional and mental health struggles.

The Need for a New Approach

I have seen a need to shift our focus to mental and emotional health being important parts of our school environment. Ignoring these aspects can exacerbate the problem. Burnout among teachers often results from the continuous struggle to manage classrooms without the proper support for their own mental health and that of their students. One approach to consider is integrating mental and emotional health support into our daily routines.

Addressing Burnout

Understanding the root causes of behavior by recognizing that students’ emotional struggles often surface as behavioral issues is crucial. Supporting teachers by providing tools and resources to manage their own mental health and support their students can make a significant difference. This balancing act is challenging, and few teachers today feel fully prepared to handle it on their own.

Practical Steps

So, what can we start doing today? Here are a few strategies that have worked for school leaders:

  • uncheckedSearch out or develop comprehensive mental health programs that address deeper emotional issues.
  • uncheckedTrain teachers through professional development on how to integrate mental health support into their daily interactions with students.
  • uncheckedCreate support systems such as small groups or one-on-one sessions for students to discuss their feelings and challenges.

The Role of Teachers and Administrators

Teachers and administrators play a crucial role in this approach. It’s not just about managing student behavior but addressing the underlying emotional needs. Shifting from the mindset that students should respect authority simply because it exists to earning their trust and showing them that we care about their well-being can change everything.

Letting Your Students Be Heard

Building trust and understanding with students involves listening to their stories. Have we made an intentional effort to learn their stories? Allowing students to feel heard and seen is a great first step toward addressing behavioral issues meaningfully. Empowering them to take responsibility for their lives and decisions is also vital. When students feel empowered, they start taking charge of their own choices.


Addressing behavioral issues in schools requires a shift in how we view these problems. By approaching our students as a whole person, we can create a more supportive and effective learning environment. Let’s consider moving away from the old ways that might not be working and embrace new approaches that truly address the needs of our students and teachers.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to implement these changes in your school, visit my website or reach out to me at my contact info below. 

Together, we can create effective school-based mental health programming for everyone in your school community. Let’s keep climbing and supporting each other on this journey. I believe in you, and I’m here to help!

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