Guidance Plan for Addressing Challenging Behavior in a Preschool Classroom


A moving situation in early childhood education played out, illustrating the difficulties many preschool teachers faced. These difficulties centered on striking a careful balance between encouraging young students’ developing intellects and creating a disciplined, supportive environment for learning. This essay focused on a preschool classroom where curious three-year-olds began their adventure to discover the world. They came across a passionate yet troubled lead instructor here. This teacher struggled with the enormous burden of creating a caring and structured setting to support efficient learning. A preschool classroom lacking routines, clear behavioral expectations, and an environment inappropriate for the best learning opportunities served as the backdrop for our investigation. The Decision-Making Model from “Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs” helped negotiate a preschool classroom’s difficulties. Copple and Bredekamp (2009) go into further depth about this approach, which methodically dealt with complicated challenges, in Chapter 13. After realizing how these issues were related, the team used evidence-based techniques and research findings to construct a guiding plan. To promote the young learners’ overall growth and learning, providing a supportive, enriching atmosphere was important.


According to observations, the absence of established procedures and behavioral guidelines is the main issue in the preschool classroom. The teacher’s inability to set an example of acceptable behavior and the physical inadequacy of the classroom setting have all contributed to the problem. Zachary and Harper were involved in a disruptive episode due to unclear instructions, which was made worse by their disobedience after free play was abruptly stopped (Williams et al., 2018). Both the instructor, who lacks classroom management skills, and the students, who disobey the teacher’s orders, bear some blame for this issue.

Several causes have exacerbated this issue. First, the absence of behavioral expectations and organized routines disturbs the learning environment, negatively affecting children’s capacity for effective engagement (DAP standards) (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). Second, youngsters lack a clear example since the instructor does not exhibit acceptable conduct. The children’s developmental preparedness, family histories, and school setting impact them. How youngsters comprehend and respond to behavioral expectations may vary depending on their culture. Additionally, children’s comprehension of limits and suitable play spaces is hampered by the absence of a defined, ordered classroom arrangement.

The guiding plan integrates Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) to address these problems. It is advised to drive desired behavior by employing positive reinforcement, which includes compliments and encouragement. Children can better understand changes using visual cues and routines during transitions. Problematic behaviors can be reduced by proactive classroom management that includes clearly stated standards and expectations (Childs-Kean et al., 2018). Additionally, by modeling good conduct, adults provide kids with real-world examples they may follow. Changes to the learning environment in the classroom are also essential. Developmentally appropriate play is encouraged by designating specialized locations for various activities. Having things that are easily accessible and intelligible encourages autonomous learning and discovery. These tactics, grounded on DAP principles, are meant to generate a positive behavioral change in the kids while giving them the framework they need for well-rounded growth.


Take – Action

The teacher must swiftly implement the suggested guiding tactics, environmental improvements, and altered teaching practices to create a more peaceful and productive classroom. Genuine praise and encouragement should be a regular component of the day’s activities to develop an attitude of motivation and teamwork among the kids. Smooth transitions will be facilitated by carefully placed visual signals and timetables, ensuring that each kid knows what to anticipate from various activities throughout the day. In addition, the teacher must create proactive rules for the classroom that are both clear and consistent and offer a plan for conduct. At the same time, a careful redesign of the classroom’s physical space is required. Children should be able to play in places allocated for different activities so that their play is developmentally appropriate. Children must be able to explore and learn independently; thus, materials must be set up in an easily accessible way. The instructor may promote a more structured and purposeful learning environment by altering the classroom arrangement.

The teacher’s behavior is equally important. A key component of this change is setting an example of proper behavior (Nelsen et al., 2019). The instructor sets a concrete example for the kids by continuously exhibiting the necessary behaviors, problem-solving abilities, and conflict-resolution strategies. The youngsters are given the tools they need to navigate social settings thanks to this modeling of expectations successfully. This proactive strategy makes the teacher the change agent. Positive conduct is promoted and engrained as a core part of the classroom culture when the instructor adopts these guiding strategies, environmental modifications, and altered teaching techniques. By taking these intentional steps, the classroom may change into a place where organized learning and emotional development coexist peacefully, providing the groundwork for a more fulfilling educational experience for young students.


A paradigm shift is envisaged when applying the suggested adjustments and techniques to the classroom setting. Children are expected to understand and internalize the classroom standards when the guiding strategies and better learning environments take effect. Significantly fewer disruptive events will likely occur due to positive conduct becoming second nature. The children would comprehend rules and expectations via continuous reinforcement and controlled play spaces, developing a sense of security and consistency inside the classroom. However, the educator must continue to be watchful and alert. After making these adjustments, a thorough analysis is required. The instructor can evaluate the success of the adjustments by carefully monitoring the pupils’ answers and evaluating their interactions in the newly organized setting. With the use of guiding strategies and enhancements to the learning environment, which will reduce disruptive episodes, it is predicted that children will grasp and adhere to classroom norms better.

The instructor may need to modify the classroom rules, visual timetables, or reinforcement techniques based on the needs and responses of the pupils. In this process, flexibility is crucial. If the youngsters are not responding to certain visual signals or reinforcement tactics, it may be important to modify these strategies to meet their requirements better. Similarly, rules in the classroom should be changed if they are proven too strict or too lax to promote a balanced and productive learning environment. The teacher’s flexibility and response to the pupils’ changing needs are crucial in this reflective phase. The teacher maintains a continual and responsive approach to establishing a happy and productive learning environment for all students by remaining aware of the classroom dynamics and open to making additional adjustments.



Their Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP)-based preschool guidance plan, which focuses on promoting good behavior and avoiding disturbances, was developed with these goals in mind. Adapted from “Positive Discipline for Preschoolers,” their approach combines modeling, visual scheduling, proactive classroom management, and positive reinforcement. Additionally, they prioritize providing interactive places for varied activities and matching the physical classroom environment with Copple and Bredekamp’s requirements. They expect fewer disturbances, producing a lively, balanced classroom environment that supports students’ intellectual, social, and emotional development. Continuous review and adjustments show how committed they are, giving pupils and the committed instructor the best results.




Childs-Kean, R. A., Walker, M. L., & Martin, S. J. (2018). Effective Classroom Management Strategies: For Use During Circle Time. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 53(1), 18-31.

Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8. National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101.

Nelsen, J., Erwin, C., & Duffy, R. A. (2019). Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, Revised 4th Edition: For Their Early Years–Raising Children Who Are Responsible, Respectful, and Resourceful. Harmony.

Williams, K. M., McWilliam, J. A., & Sailor, W. (2018). Creating a Supportive Learning Environment for Preschoolers with Challenging Behaviors. Beyond Behavior, 27(1), 51- 59.

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